Texas

Midway!

Has it been so long?

Things have really changed, though I’m not sure yet if its for the better or for the worst. But for now, I’m simply grateful for the new opportunities I have been blessed with.

A quick update about the new changes in my life:

  • I am now living in Austin! that’s right! I finally moved from Laredo and am finally residing in Austin, TX. Though, I’m not sure if this is where I want to set up my tent forever, but it’s something.
  • I’m going to school! Yep, I’m pursuing Web Development. Which is honestly super funny, considering my brother is an IT tech, my sister is a web designer, and now, I’m a future web developer.

So far those are the only two changes I’m working on… but I am working on building my new portfolio. So lets see how things go. But maybe now, I might be able to change my template for this blog too.

If I have enough time, that is.

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Texas

Adios 2017, Benvenidos 2018

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2018 Cover in my bullet journal

2017 flew by faster than I would have liked for it to. In the past 12 months I have learned to venture off to new places, added a new member to my growing family, and met new life challenges as well as goals.

Life did not go as planned, and I soon realized that life wasn’t giving me the joy or the venture that I had once hoped for. Instead, I was stuck in a rut and I wasn’t moving forward. I was stuck in all aspects of my life, and the things that I held dear and close to me, soon felt like a chore.

2017 brought with it months of fighting my depression.

Once again, depression had taken root, soon after I took on a new path: working as a manager in retail. And although I loved the job, it left me with no time to do the things I enjoyed. Gone were the days I could go on a hike even if it was a quick day hike, gone were the days where school was an option, or photography was just a few shutters away. Work took up most (and I mean pretty much 99.9%) of my time. My work life had swallowed up everything else I loved and held dear. Soon after, my depression had kicked in, and I just stumbled down, allowing it to take over.

But, as the months progressed, I soon learned to speak out more regarding it, and although work still took up most of my time, I learned that I needed a change. I needed to change what I could and accept what I couldn’t. I couldn’t change my depression, that was a root of myself that I had to learn to bear and accept. But I could change the things that caused it. I could change the way I felt about myself, I could change my job, my career, and hell… even my location.

So 2017 ending with a new idea in my head, one that I was pretty thrilled enough to even post up on here. 2017 may have ended in a rough patch, but I persevered and grew from it. If anything I thank 2017 for teaching me many things: hiking and camping are my new therapy and therapeutic way of coping with stress and my depression. Photography is a great hobby I loved, and I want to get back into it. My kids and dogs are a huge part of my life and without them, I wouldn’t be who I am. And… I can be independent and move forward in life.

2018 is just a couple minutes away, and I can’t seem to comprehend how fast time went by, but as I hold on to the amazing memories I had the past 12 months, I look forward with my head held high as I know 2018 will be an amazing year.

I’m changing my location, I’m changing my job, I’m changing myself in more ways than one… this year, 2018 is going to be all about change, and I can’t wait to see how far I get in this new journey. I know its a long shot, and it’s something new and scary… but life is all about trying new things.

With that said, Happy New Years, and here’s to an amazing and adventurous 2018.

-Evie

adventures · road trips · Texas · Uncategorized

Kerrville, Texas & a new Aussie

Texas bound, once more! And this time, the destination is Kerville, Texas, which I might add, is the first time I ever go visit. Located in the Northwest area of Texas, the drive was amazing, with beautiful hills overlooking most of the drive, and lush green trees growing near and far.

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And as it turns out, it’s also very close to the Guadalupe River!

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Photo not mine, found it in Google.

The plus side, it seemed Bailey was just as excited to go out and explore this side of Texas as well, especially since she got a lot of attention in San Antonio as we made a quick stop to grab some food.

The drive wasn’t long or dull, but I do wish I had taken my camera, or that I had time for more pit stops, but unfortunately, I had a schedule to abide to, and stopping in San Antonio was a quick “let’s get food” thing.

But, the reason for going to Kerrville wasn’t just for kicks, oh no…

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Meet Aspen, a beautiful blue merle Australian Shepherd who stole my heart the moment I saw a picture of him. So, me being the spontaneous person… I did some planning, begged my mother to watch my beautiful demonic (i mean angels), children, grabbed Bailey and headed out the door. (And by spontaneous, I mean a couple of months of planning and saving, along with messaging his breeder and making sure everything was perfect for when I went to pick him up.)

That being said, I had added another member to my growing family, thankfully… it was a four legged, fluff ball…. and he’s just adorable!

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His personality is something akin to a cat… and an oddball. While Bailey is more affectionate and attention seeking, Aspen is a bit more, “I just want to be near you” type. Which, honestly… is a godsend compared to my baby girl. Haha, she’s still adorable and I love her. But in all honestly, the whole reason for getting another Aussie was so I could have Bailey play with another one, and have two future hiking partners to take on future endeavors.

Still looking back at it, I do wish I had more time to stop and smell the roses, so to speak, when it came to the scenic drive and beautiful Guadalupe river, but hopefully, this gives me another reason to drive on over once more to Kerrville and visit this beautiful place.

On the side note, looks like Aspen and Bailey are gonna get a long just fine. Since, they haven’t tried killing each other yet.

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The trip was fun, a bit on the come and go side, even though I seriously wish I had been able to take more pictures and enjoy the city a bit more. But the small glimpse I got only helped fuel my curiosity for this place even more so now. And finding out the Guadalupe River is near the city has only made me want to go visit this beautiful place and dip my feet and take some amazing pictures of the scenery.

-Evie

adventures · city · family adventures · hiking · outdoors · parks · road trips · state park · Texas · texas state parks · trails · trip

Castroville Regional Park, Castroville, Tx

It seems I have given off my hiking and camping fever to the rest of the family. My mother in law has decided that it would be a splendid idea to take the whole family (minus the sister who lives out of state) to a weekend camping/hiking trip in Castroville Regional Park, located in Castroville, Tx.

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Castroville Regional park is located on the southwest part of Castroville, consisting of about 126 acres full of hiking, swimming, RV-ing, around the Medina River. Castroville itself is located 20 miles just south west of Downtown San Antonio, the city on it’s own is like walking out towards a small town straight out of a picturesque storybook. It’s atmosphere was full of antiquities with small stores and family friendly faces all around.

But the thing that took the cake was Castroville Regional Park on it’s own. It’s free admission, but to reserve your spot for picnic tables or camping, you do have to pay a fee. The cost isn’t as high as other places, and thankfully it only required $5 to reserve our spot (per tent and per day, I believe). Although, the downside to that was that the spots were VERY limited. (3-4 slots, I believe).IMG_8109_edited-2

So we headed out on July 2nd and the drive wasn’t long, and thankfully our plan wasn’t that complicated. Head out July 2nd, camp out that night and enjoy July 3rd before heading back home afterwards. Since it was basically spontaneous, we just packed up the necessities, much of which was basically a quick stop to Walmart to buy the tent, air mattresses, flashlight, and well… pretty much everything. (It was our first time camping ever, and much to my excitement, I did realize, I didn’t have anything before hand.)

Finally reaching our trip, we set up camp (and terribly might I add, as it was my first time ever trying the camping bit). After some trial and error, and one of the damn poles snapping and having to MacGyver the situation, we finally succeeded in our first ever camping obstacle: pitching the tent. And might I add, after that we realized that we needed a better tent.

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And although camping was as glamorous as I had thought, I did forget one little problem when it came to being outdoors: BUGS. Mainly, roaches. Castroville Regional Park was full of roaches at night, and much to my complete and utter horror, they were the big ones, the ones that had not problem coming near you and climbing on you. (Mostly to my husbands utter terror, and my humor). So once night time hit, I did realize that Velcro doors on tents wasn’t my ideal type of “protection”. So this helped add more to the “we need a better tent” bit. (I have no shame.) Soon after night time hit, we also realized that the tent itself had very little, and I do mean little, air flow coming through, and after a long, hot sleepless night we finally crashed out.

The next morning was a little better, albeit forgetting breakfast, we had to hop on to the closest McDonalds in order to eat before starting the rest of the day. (its a work in progress, at least). Soon after eating breakfast and picking up our tents and shoving them to the back of the trunk, we were ready for some much needed hiking and swimming in the river.

The hike was amazing, and although we got lost more than once, we still managed to see some wonders and get some fresh air. The plus side, the boys seemed to have loved hiking… while my oldest was a bit more enthusiastic on trying to catch some fishes in the river. (he didn’t have any luck.) We hiked some trails, reached a good distance, then hiked back to our picnic table before going for a swim. And boy was that really needed. After hiking up some steep trails, keeping an eye on not one, but two little boys, and dealing with Texas’s heat… the water was just what we needed to cool down. And it was awesome. Although getting to the water is a bit of a steep trail itself (you could slip), the water was refreshing, with the boys loving the fact that they would look for shells and cool rocks in the shallow spot, while the adults simply floated around enjoying the water’s soothing natural music. I would strongly recommend taking swimming shoes or some sandals that don’t easily slip off though, and to keep on eye on some potential tree branches that could prove a bit hazardous when swimming or floating about.

The park was nice, the outside was kept clean and the park employees were friendly and left you alone… while the river was a bit of a different story. Though there was trash littering the side of the river every now and then, my concerns were the piles of tree branches littering the river that was nerve wrecking as one would float near it and potentially cause harm to someone if they weren’t careful.

-Evie

adventures · family adventures · hiking · outdoors · parks · road trips · state park · Texas · texas state parks · trails · trip

Garner State Park, Texas

Adventure itches are hard to quell, your mind wanders and begins to day dream of possible spots to visit. Places to explore, and new things to see and do. While summer sneaked up on me, my plans with the little ones wasn’t as grand as I had originally hoped for. (Sadly, there was no rocket ship building, and no road trip across the country planned out yet– maybe next year) BUT, that didn’t stop our adventure itch from ceasing, oh no… cooped up inside a house for several days (just one) my children and dog were going crazy. As well as me, we needed an outlet, an escape. We needed to be in the outdoors, climbing hills, and taking pictures, jumping in rivers, and soaking up the sun.

Therefore, Garner State Park was the way to go.

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The place was fresh, it beat the heat from my city and the water was just as beautiful as the scenery above the hills.

It was just what we needed, the water was the perfect remedy for the hot days to come, dipping our feet in the refreshing water after a nice hike through one of their trails was honestly the best thing out there. It was also very fun to look for tadpoles and other fishes in the area. My boys learned how to skip rocks (failing miserably, but still having fun), as we looked for birds and all other kinds of amazing things outdoors.

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finding tadpoles by the frio river (note: no tadpoles were actually harmed and it was released soon afterwards)

It was honestly just what  we needed, and just what we needed to curve the adventure itch for now…

Still, as fun was it was going on a spontaneous trip even for a day, my family and I are pretty excited on our future camping trips as well. Especially if it means being outdoors a little bit longer.

-Evie

 

city · outdoors · parks · Texas · trails · trip

Buffalo Bayou

Nestled in Houston, I found out there are a lot of parks… and I do mean a lot, which is surprising for a big city. In my home town, there isn’t any big trails or huge parks like the ones in Austin, Tomball, or Houston. But that’s beside’s the point, (it has some good qualities though…) Driving to Houston, I got many recommendations to go to Buffalo Bayou and check out the scenery as well as go for a run. It didn’t disappoint.

Though traffic took most of the time away (mostly due to construction, but it happens), I was still glad to be able to see just a glimpse of this beautiful park, as well as take some really nice pictures, and meet different people. This place looks promising to go on a long run or to go for a walk and get some exercise. Not only that, but it also has some neat spots for picnics and for families with kids.

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The park was nice, there were people kayaki and canoeing on the river, dog owners running and walking with their pups, some runners and bicyclist enjoying the daily stroll and exercise, families soaking up the sun, and even some people just enjoying the scenery, like myself. Overall, I didn’t feel alone or stood out, in fact, I fell at ease. And though the city is roaring with life, and people weren’t overreacting when they said it was a big city. I planned terribly and didn’t take into account how far away some of my destinations where or how much traffic there was, to go see all of them. However, even though I didn’t get to see everything I wanted, and take pictures of everything, my decision to stop by and see a bit of Houston, was honestly a great idea. Even if I had to put Galveston on hold, I wasn’t disappointed with what I saw. Buildings towered over the city, looking out of place when we were in the park. The more I walked, the more I would think I left Houston and ventured off to a different land; my fascination with greenery and outdoors was cured only a fraction with all of the sights. I fell in love with the park over and over again, with every click, there was a smile on my face, taking in the scenery and trying to capture it all. After all, “Pictures or it didn’t happen” tends to be my motto lately.

The lush green grass and trees around the area made the walk and exercise very relaxing, and though there were spots where there was no shade, it was still a great experience. Plus, I got some great pictures too. So overall, Buffalo Bayou, was a nice and relaxing place to go, even if I had to drive about 45 mins to see it. I’m tempted to drive the five hours plus just to go finish exploring this beautiful park. Hopefully, next time I can actually be able to see more than just a glimpse of this beautiful place, along with all other great spots in Houston.

What are some MUST see places and sights to behold in Houston, Texas, that you recommend.


-Evie

city · outdoors · Texas · trip

Houston, Texas

My trip has lead me down to Houston (or as others like to call it “H-town”) before I have to head back home and be a responsible adult. (Against better judgement, but I digress). 

Houston was… different. I have been to Austin and San Antonio and I don’t believe they could compare to how big Houston was. Even I didn’t expect for it to be so separated from each other.

Though I didn’t get to go explore as much as I had originally wanted (thank you detours and traffic), the things I did see were very interesting and I would hope to be able to go back and see more of it. I heard Chinatown has amazing things, especially snacks that I can’t find in my city. Along with museums and some awesome trails to hike. Alas, although it might have been a fleeting look, Houston looked like it had so many cool and amazing opportunities to go exploring. But that traffic….. oh lord, that traffic.

Still, I can’t wait to post up my pics of the small walk I did in one of Houston’s amazing parks: Buffalo Bayou.

-Evie