Sunday, June 8, 2014

2014 New Braunfels

Fourth year. 
It was a very different year.
Only our two families came, with addition of Aunt Marilyn.
We had a crazy thunderstorm come in on our drive up. We big it to the camp site. 
It came in the night and flooded the river.
So we spend the first full day at Schlitterbaun, in the freezing waters of around 60 degree temperature.
The storm passes, the temperatures warmed up and we had a wonderful time. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Quick trip and surprises along the way

My niece asked me, "Did you have any adventures with the Rv on your drive here, Aunt Mary"
            but , of course!

There is always some wrinkle to our plans. Except this time, we didn't make the plans. We had planned to go to Austin after we visiting Winedale. It would put us late on the road, but we weren't too worried about it, as we have always had good luck finding an Rv spot at Walmarts around the country. We thought we better go ahead and check, and saw terrible news from other travelers about Austin not allowing overnight parking at Walmart: some  city ordinance.
So, next best thing, Cracker Barrel. We  were traveling country roads, not interstates, so rv places along the way aren't open, and there aren't the big truck stops or Cracker Barrels along the Texas highways.
I called a Cracker Barrel in Round Rock, about closing time, and the manager said no problem, we were welcome to park out back.
So we did, and decided to give CB our breakfast business as our thank you back. An hour wait, (after hostess gravely understated time for table of 8), and we were off and ready. The curious and slightly annoying sightseers trying to get a peek into the rv.

Always something! Fortunately, never anything too severe.
The kids picked my favorite sweet to surprise me, maple sugar leafs.

We had plans for this weekend in Austin, and hadn't pinned down the details, until Friday morning, We decided, sure let's take the RV.
Our last trip to New Bransfels, we had an indicator light show up related to the transmission , and it even up'd the rpm's the RV ran at. We took it to our favorite shop and thought we were good to go. The mechanic wasn't sure if he got it, because the signal wasn't consistent. It doesn't seem to show until under a little harder pedal pressure and hilly terrain.

We had a great visit in Austin to celebrate birthdays and family.

We ran out of propane in the drive home and tried to make do with the windows open, which normally is okay, except  August in Texas. It was hot, dry.
And then there is the stink.
We aren't sure how we let this happen
As its never happened before
But somehow the potty much have been used after the last trip.
And in the Texas summer heat, it cooked up a very unique and painful smell.

Fortunately there are truck stops. Truck stops have water avaialble, and rv supplies ( to help with smell and potty problems). Many often also sell propane. Yay, the ac could work again.
When we arrived at home, we were a happy family once again.

Monday, June 3, 2013

New Braunfels, Texas 2013

We stayed at the same place, 
enjoyed the same friends, with a few additions, and missed one already moving on,
played at the same waterpark,
tubed the same rivers.
We had so much fun, getting together with friends that are like family.
I hope the kids stay close through the years, 
and these trips hold special places in their hearts.

view down from our campsite

first dip in the water - cold, as usual

exploring together

a peek inside our home away from home

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Test Run to Galveston - April 2013

When we bought our rv almost six years ago, we committed to each other to spend many weekends a year traveling around together, spending quality time with each other and with our children. The reality of the rv outings haven't come to as many as we hoped, although each time is a treasured experience and memory.

The rv has been patiently waiting for attention since the end of last May. Anticipating a busy summer, we took it out for a test run, and everything was working fine, except the generator. We took it in to a shop and had them replace the awning as well.
fresh new look with new awning
Then, we thought we'd take it on a trial run to Galveston and see what we might have forgotten before venturing off on bigger trips I hope to plan this year.

We stayed at the Texas State Park in Galveston.
Image of the Texas State Parks Pass
The Park pass costs $70 a year for family and covers daily entrance fees and discounts on camping at all Texas state parks. A good deal since the state does not charge a per person fee, it covers all who fit in my vehicle. (my vehicle can fit many - my whole family!)

It was good the see the park open again after suffering significant damage from Hurricane Ike.Hurricane Ike destroyed this state park back in 2008  The resulting change was significant. Now so many less beach spots over 150 before the storm and now less than 40 on the beach side. The bay side is still nice, and you are welcome to cross over. It would be nice to have septic at site, the park does have a dump station. It would be nice to have a bathroom closer,  but still had one in walking distance. (There are eight of us).

I took the three younger girls and drove down early on Friday, to beat the traffic thought Houston. The rv ran well, everything went smoothly. I do wonder why drivers of little cars like to cut in front of me like I am not there. We arrived safely. I had reserved our spot months ago to be there to cheer on an aunt in the Ironman triathlon and was only able to get a bay side spot. Which isn't a bad spot, there are nice views of the bay.

We had a nice visit  with Max, who spent most of the day and evening with us. The rest of our crew came and brought Mario's pizza for dinner. Saturday we played at the beach, went to mass and met family and friends at Gaidos for dinner.

Sunday Ironman day. We had so much fun cheering on the athletes biking by the state park.

I caught sight of Mar too late coming by at the 10 mile
But knew to have the camera ready as we cheered her on past the 45 mile mark.
We came back Monday after a wonderful family weekend.

I do have some projects I would like to get get done. I am going to redo rv front curtains, give it a major clean inside and out, maybe convine Nick to give it a wax job, and steam clean the carpet.

Bay side beach

quick sand bay

Ready, set go!
Hermit crab races
Park entrance to Gulf side beach

special time with sisters

I always dreamed of visiting Lake Como...
Kayak and wake board water trail

full service kitchen

we always eat well on these trips

Ready for next adventure

Thursday, May 31, 2012

New Braunfels, Texas 2012

Great Family Trip with Water Fun

Destination: New Braunfels and  Lazy L & L Rv park
But it is much more than a RV park!

We enjoyed our time at this wonderful setting overlooking the Guadalupe River. It has the benefits of a state park, with a natural playground and the plush accommodations of an Rv park (ie. water, electric & septic at the site). The slots are roomy, bathrooms nearby. The added difference of this place, they keep it immaculate! The staff was always working to clean up trash and debris.
I love the hills surrounding the campsite!

she's ready!
We arrived Memorial Day, after the large holiday crowd had just left. The staff spent the next day raking any trash left behind. The grassy areas did not have burrs, mostly, which is important since we tend to go barefoot. The Rv area we stayed #185 & 186 had a green common space perfect for the kids playing football or Frisbee. The slots were deep up to a fence overlooking the river (safe for kids to play). The staff allowed us to have as many tents we wanted on the slots, so our tent camping friends and overflow of kids stayed right behind us.

We rented tubes from Lazy L&L and floated down the river with options up to a six hour float to pick us up, with rates better than a trip down the Comal River in New Braunfels. It's better too in that you have the River to yourselves.

  • Water shoes - the difference between fun and mobility without pain 
  • Friends easy to make on the river
  • Always bring a football or volleyball, something to keep kids in motion

Just down from our spot, the best rapids we went over on the Guadalupe, with a beach and calm water for all to have fun in.
Even the little ones. Here is where you can see how some of our group made it better for the kids.

Our common area had a good set up for  fire pit for  s'mores and rosary prayed by firelight led by kids from each family

Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels
In our opinion - the best water park

Our secret is to come the last week in May - just after Memorial Day. That week most schools aren't out, but college kids are ready to work. So no lines on most water park rides.
New this year, what I call the lazy man's tubing experience: The Falls with the Aquaveyer
You don't have to ever get out of your tube - there is a conveyor belt to bring you back to the top. If you can get over feeling like a doughnut: being squished together before the conveyor, it is very fun. The biggest downfall: No shade like the Comal River tubing just below this ride. Our friends were floating by on the River while we were at the park. Second day passes are a deal. The price alone is steep, but there are deals to save $20 off an adult ticket. (adds up when buying of a group.)  Plus you can bring in your own food and drink (NO GLASS!). My meal planing husband has had a successful idea of cutting cheese, sausage, fruit and pickles a head of time, for a quick snack as the run through the rides.

Now the Comal River has it's pluses:
Its refreshingly cold, it has chutes that make it more interesting. But to repeat the old Camp W shoot, the city of New Braunfels charges a $5 band to repeat. Add that to the cost of tubes and Schlitterbahn isn't that outrageous. For most of us growing up in Central Texas, we remember the chute and waterfall at old Camp Warnecke. It is still as fun and dangerous as you remember:

I liked this vintage look of long ago Camp Warnecke-  linking tubes.
A little Internet trivia on this area:

tanned and all tired out!
Who could get tired of this beauty?
What about Mass??
St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church was a fifteen minute drive from Lazy L&L up to the Canyon Lake. It didn't have views of the lake like I hoped, or 8:30 daily mass like advertised, but did have a lovely Communion service with a nice sermon on LOVE. The Adoration Chapel is peaceful and adorned with beautiful stained glass windows.