Living in a State of Wonder

Last week was spring break here in Houston which gave us the opportunity to get away for a few days to one of our favorite places, the Frio River in the Texas hill country.
The scenery, the quiet, the big open sky was just what we needed to recharge ourselves and celebrate our boys 13th birthday. Mother Nature at her finest; real, raw reminders of life, loss and renewal in evidence as we hiked and paddled our way through miles of beautiful countryside.
Here's a little of our time there shot with my phone:

And time to just be still and enjoy a really good book. Ann Patchett's State of Wonder is a beautifully written story about the Amazon. It's a good read.

This was our first time to stay with River Haven. Lovely property, immaculately clean and very affordable. 
Now back to work!

A Dozen

This weekend wraps up our Spring Break here in Texas. It's also my twin boys 12th birthday. We celebrated with a much needed getaway to the Texas Hill Country. I'm not even sure what town we were officially in, but we stayed at Criders on the Frio which lies between Concan and Leakey. I intend to avoid tent camping for the rest of my life, so these sparse cabins were a compromise to roughing it (if you call a window a/c unit roughing it :)

The drive through the hills and valleys was beautiful with mile after mile of ranch land. 

Spring weather in Texas is so unpredictable. Our mornings were cold, overcast and foggy, but by the afternoon the sun was out and the boys hit the river. The word "frio" is Spanish for "cold".  They should change it to "freezing" because that spring fed river was too cold for me in the month of March.  But boys being boys...they couldn't resist a couple hours every afternoon on the rope swing.

The area has two state parks with excellent hiking. We visited Lost Maples State Park for a morning of hiking but usually just traipsed around our camping area with acres and acres to explore by the river.

We had a glitch in our reservation when we checked in and were given a cabin without a tv (yea, I know).  I was so proud of my boys, they rose to the challenge and not only survived it, they thrived.  Every evening was spent by the fire outside, telling ghost stories  (my favorite!) and arguing over who's the best Batman villain, before passing out exhausted by the day spent on the river (and being rescued after missing the kayak drop off point...they loved/hated that adventure!)

I love the way this trip slowed us down. Being unplugged was just part of it. I believe being outside in a place as beautiful as this, changes our role in the world for a little while. We become observers. We learn to look. The shift just find yourself watching hawks circling overhead or staring at the big fish in the crystal clear waters of the river, too lazy to take the bait.  "Tourists!"  they must be thinking...and off they go. We skip rocks...hundreds of them.  We pull over on the side of the highway for a while to watch longhorns watch us.

We watch the sun rise and set over the biggest cypress tree in Texas.

We head in to town for lunch and it feels wrong to be inside, sitting in a cafe..we're suppose to be OUT THERE! Climbing on this.....

A dozen years ago, me and my high school sweetheart .....

were blessed with two baby boys. 
They're sweet, kind, talented, funny....and inseparable. No matter how much we encourage them to experience life as individuals, their innate urge is to be together at all times. They truly, madly deeply care for each other. 

Happy Birthday to my sweet boys!

Run for the Hills

It's Spring Break for my boys and we are hitting the road and heading to the Texas Hill Counry.

Vintage Marquee Lights - Texas
via etsy

We're looking forward to fishing, hiking, playing in the river, snacking and  r e l a x i n g. It's been a while since we had a good road trip and we're ready to be outside.  The hill country is beautiful.

File:Texas Hill Country 187N-2.JPG

We'll be unplugged for a few days which is a good thing.  Wouldn't want to miss sights like this:

Cypress Roots on the Frio River