State Park visit number 4 is in the books! We had the day off for Good Friday, and when we got up the kids were bored and we were all driving each other crazy. I thought I’d look up close by state parks and we’d just go for it. Buscher State Park is about an hour away from us so I loaded the kids up and we drove out there to check it out.
Having done zero research other than mapping how long it would take to get there, I was counting on getting a park map once we got there to give us some ideas of what to do. Naturally, the park headquarters was closed for lunch when we got there. lol. But we’re not ones to let a little thing like lack of information stop us from exploring! We followed some signs to a parking area, saw a trail head, and we were off!
It was a cute little park and we had a nice hike, but honestly I should have taken some time to look things up before we got there. On the way out of the park, we found an actual lake that would have been fun to explore. Oh well! There’s always next time. 🙂
I grew up on the coast and I absolutely love the beach. The sound of the waves, the feel of the sand between my toes, it’s the ultimate recharge place for me. And y’all, because of Covid we hadn’t been to the beach for over a year! 13 months to be exact. Well, I decided that it couldn’t be put off any longer! I did a bit of research and the closest beach to us is Corpus Christi. And wouldn’t you know it? Just on the other side of Corpus is a state park! It’s like it was meant to be. lol.
Mustang Island State Park is about 4 hours from us which is a doable drive. I didn’t want to risk staying in a hotel, nor did I want to deal with food and packing, so we decided to do it as a day trip. Which was an insane idea but I regret nothing!
The beach was perfection! I’m actually wondering if they brought in sand after the last hurricane because the sand was so soft and pristine! Mia was beyond thrilled at the giant sand box. lol. We picked up some sand toys at Target curbside and it was totally worth the $10.
I think spring is my favorite time to go to the beach. It’s warm enough to feel like you’re at the beach, but cool enough that my kids are happy just to get their feet wet so I don’t have to worry about them in the water.
No lie, the drive back was brutal, especially because we got stuck behind an accident in San Antonio for a hour. Literally. But it was so worth it! We basically drove for 4.5 hours (we had to make a pit stop to see the World’s Largest Pecan in Seguin!), played at the beach for 3.5 hours, then drove for 5 hours back home. I *may* have limited snacks and water bottles in the car so that we could avoid potty breaks. lol.
What can I say, I’m a sucker for cheesy roadside attractions!
We are fairly cautious when it comes to Covid and I went round and round in my head as to if we should do this or not. But it seemed very safe. We drove, so no exposure there. I did stop to get gas, but I get gas here too. And once we got to the beach, it wasn’t crowded at all so we had no problem keeping to ourselves. I think there was at least 20 feet between us and the next closest person. Plus, the wind was blowing very strongly and the sun was bleaching everything.
And now that I know we can do it in a (very long) day, we might go again the next time we have a day off!
So, this will not come as a shock to any of you, but I am a tad bit crazy. I’ve decided that we should visit a new state park each month, but we already got derailed by snowpocalypse in February. Never fear! I decided we could catch up and visit 2 state parks over spring break. 🙂
First up was Longhorn Cavern State Park. We are on the cautious end of the spectrum when it comes to Covid precautions, so my rules for spring break were that it had to be outdoors, and we had to be able to get there in a few hours so we didn’t have to stop for a potty break. We’re just north of Austin, so this was an easy 1.5 hour drive.
I wish I had more pics, but I was a bit busy with the kidlets. lol. But this state park was super cool! We booked the cave tour and I highly recommend it. It was a little on the pricey side as far as state parks go, but it’s the only way you’re allowed in the cave and the cave was super cool. There are steps down into (and back out of) the cave, but the actual cave itself was fairly flat. I threw a baby carrier in my backpack and I was glad to have it! Mia totally could have walked the entire way (1.1 miles), but she was a bit slower than the group and also I was terrified that she would try to touch one of the cave walls. Now I just need to practice so I can wear her on my back instead of my front!
They cannot require masks anymore (Thanks Texas! ::sigh::) but they do highly recommend them. Luckily, the group on our tour was all wearing masks, plus we stayed at the very back of the group so that we could have a little more space. That said, the group entering the cave when we exited was nearly all maskless. Honestly, I’m not sure what I would have done if that had been our group… Maybe skip it? I hate that people are so selfish.
Mia has a massive backlog of school work, so I had planned to use today to catch up. But then I woke up and it was absolutely gorgeous outside. The kind of day that it’s a crime to waste. So I made a snap decision to pack the kids up and drive to Mother Neff State Park! Literally, we were walking out the door within 20 minutes of me checking to see if they had available reservations. lol.
It’s such a fun park! It’s a little over an hour away, but I dug out the kids’ headphones and tossed their iPads in the backseat so it was blissfully quiet. I will say that one of the unexpected perks of virtual school is that everyone has their own iPad. lol.
And once we got there it was perfection! It’s for sure not stroller accessible, but I threw a mai tai in my backpack and crossed my fingers that I wouldn’t have to use it. And Mia was such a trooper! We didn’t hike for 10 miles or anything, but she did great over a pretty uneven “rustic” trail. Our first stop was this cool cave. More of an overhang, but I’m not complaining.
Then we followed the well marked trail to a little pond. So much fun! We hiked back to the cave since that was where we had parked and had our little picnic. Pro tip: leave most of the food in the car. 1. You don’t have to haul it around. 2. It’s very motivating for kids when they find out that they have to hike back before they can eat. lol. (I did have an emergency stash of apple sauce pouches that I let them have on the walk.)
I snuck in some time to work on my hexies, naturally. lol. I remember when the twins were born and I wondered if I would ever be able to take all 3 kids on adventures by myself. It was so easy when it was just Kate and I and I was worried that I would never get back to that. I am happy to report that there is “life after twins.” lol. And I wouldn’t change a single second of it. 🙂