Travel

Texas Car Camping Part 3

I’ve fallen in love… and not with my husband.

I have found a new love in car camping and hiking. The simplicity of the experience and freedom it allows me is everything I didn’t know I was missing.

I told you how I prepared for my trip in my post Solo Car Camping. I told you about the first night in my post Texas Car Camping and my second day in my post Texas Car Camping Part Two. Now I’ll detail my third and final day of my weekend away.

As the sun began to rise Saturday morning I was feeling all sorts of things.

  1. I felt a stiffness in my shoulder that I wasn’t sure if it came from sleeping on it wrong or if it was from climbing in and out of the cave the previous day.
  2. I felt the four blisters on my right foot and the one on my left from hiking 13 miles in new shoes.
  3. I felt excited to move on to Enchanted Rock State Nature Area where I would hike to the summit of a massive pink granite dome.
  4. I felt a little gross and dirty from not showering for a few days. Thank goodness for dry shampoo and baby wipes.
  5. I felt disappointed this would be my last day of my adventure and I would have to return to work on Monday.

All of these feelings energized me for the day ahead. I hit the road by 7:45am to drive the 1.25 hours to my destination. I arrived 30 minutes after their opening time of 8:30 to this sight: About 50 cars lined up on the side of the road trying to enter the park. I underestimated the number of people who would be interested in hiking and this fantastic natural location so early in the morning. Watching every car briefly stop to talk to the park rangers lined up at the entrance only to either continue on down the road or u-turn and head in the opposite direction, I finally got to the front of the line. They already reached their max capacity for the morning, but I was offered a voucher that guaranteed admittance at 1pm when they reopened.

With a little over 3 hours to kill, I fortunately had many options to occupy my time before I would be able to return to the park. I decided to travel the 17 miles to Fredericksburg, TX. What a fantastic town! This destination is known for its German immigrant culture mixed with Texas pride. There are tons of shops, restaurants, wineries and entertainment to keep you occupied for days! The town was bursting with activity and tourists participating in egg hunts, shopping and sight seeing since it was Easter weekend.

I’m not really much for large crowds or spending money so I did some quick research and found a nearby wildflower farm that was free to visit. Sign me up! Wildseed Farms was perfect! You can’t help but admire all the Texas Bluebonnets lining the roads as you travel through Texas, and to have a location with acres of them growing in on place was absolutely gorgeous. They have a shop, winery, an event venue, cafe, and of course the fields. If you’re in the area, you really need to make it a priority to stop.

As the time drew closer to 1pm, it was time to head back to Enchanted Rock.

It was worth the wait.

My intentions were to hike to the top of the dome and then complete a loop around the base of the mountain as well. You can see the trail map here. The climb to the top was tough, but doable. My shoes gripped the granite easily and even a simple tennis shoe would probably do the trick. The views were breathtaking. Nature truly is amazing.

My feet and blisters were not happy though. I laid down and smiled through the pain.

After basking in the sun at the top, I finally decided to make my descent, skipping the longer hike I had planned and headed home.

I don’t think I could have had a better time on this trip. Everything exceeded my expectations. I know there were a few people concerned for my safety, but not once did I feel unsafe. Cold? Yes. But never, unsafe. I really need to get that sleeping bag for next time.

Travel

100 Travel Destinations

Today is the 100th day of school. I work in an elementary school, and the 100th day is kind of a big deal. Kids and teachers dress up… students complete themed activites based on the day… there may or may not be a parade for the students to show off their 100 day apparel, arts and crafts. It’s so cute! It also got me thinking, why do they get all the fun? Why not use this opportunity to take a 100-themed idea and put my favorite spin on it? Travel. So, what are the 100 places I’d like to travel before I’m 100?100 travel destinations before you're 100-2

In no particular order:

28 Destinations in the United Statestravel destinations in the US-9

24 Destinations in Europetravel destinations in Europe

20 Destinations in Asiatravel destinations in Asia

19 Destinations in AmericaTravel destinations in America

9 Destinations in Africa, Antarctica, and OceanaTravel destinations in the world

Whew! There are definitley a lot of places on my list. Just a few more than my typical 5. I literally cannot wait to start checking some of these off in the very near future. In fact, I’m getting ready to take a road trip in March that will take me through 4 states in the USA that I’ve never been to.

Are any of these places on your list? I thought it would be hard to come up with 100, but it was actually hard to narrow it down to ONLY 100!

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Health

Simple Life, Happy Life

Less is more.

This popular saying is my mantra for 2018.

Five tips for a simpler, more satisfying life pinterest.png

I’ve spent so much time thinking and planning and trying to outdo myself in every aspect:

  • Having the perfect pinterest-worthy house
  • Making as much money as possible
  • Perfect body: thin, flawless skin

It’s so easy to get caught up in the rat race of life where nothing is ever good enough. There’s the belief that there’s always room for improvement, and nothing and no one is perfect. The danger of this mindset is that you will never be satisfied with anything you ever accomplish. Lost 2 lbs this week? You could’ve lost 3 or 4. Ran a mile? You could’ve done it faster. Made x-amount of money? You can make more if you do xyz. It’s a never ending cycle.

Yes, it is important to have goals and not be stagnant. It is also important to learn to appreciate what you do have. Gratitude, health, and happiness will contribute to a more fulfilling life than any of the material items, or non-essential milestones I or society sets before me. What does simplifying my life look like?Five purge tips to simplify life.png

  1. The Household Purge
    • I’ve moved twice in the last year, so I already downsized a lot of items just so I won’t have to move a bunch of stuff over and over again. Now that I have lived in one place for 9 months, I can identify even more items that I can get rid of. If it hasn’t served a purpose in the last 9 months, then there is no reason to continue hoarding it or bringing it to the next destination.
  2. The Clothing Purge
    • I’ve had a lot of the same clothes since high school. They’ve had a good run and I think it’s time to retire them. May they rest in peace.
  3. The Social Media Purge
    • I deleted the Facebook app off my phone. I have spent too much time mindlessy scrolling through my newsfeed. I unfollowed anyone on Instagram I don’t personally know. I’ve gone a month now with these drastic reductions in social media and it has been so refreshing. I honestly don’t miss any of it.
  4. The Career Purge
    • Work/life balance is crucial. Identify if what you are sacrificing is worth the reward. I’m having a hard time making any changes in this. I still want to make more money. I’m still actively pursuing ways to do this. I’m a work in progress.
  5. Body Expectations Purge
    • Yeah, I need to work on this too. I still want to be thinner, and my skin sucks. I can’t do it all at once. Baby steps. But learning to let go of certain expectations and not maintaining the thought that once I achieve certain things, only then will I be happy. I will purge myself of this behavior.

I am looking forward to continuing to implement these small adjustments to how I live my life. I’m turning 30 this year and one of the great things about getting older is really getting to know yourself and for me a simpler life is a happier life.

 

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