DIY, Photography

Summer Time

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Nothing is better than Summer Time in my opinion! It is such a more relaxed, slower pace than the normal, hectic life we lead during the 9 long months of the school year! Sleeping in a bit, taking our time and enjoying the simple things in life that we so often take for granted when things get busy. There is just so much that can be done without the restrictions of school and work! Isn’t it funny how school and work really don’t want you taking off long periods of time to refresh and rejuvenate? Since I first started working, ages ago I have often said that we have things wrong in the country! We should have a 4 day work week and 3 day weekends! I truly believe that people would be more productive!

SSL Fort Richardson State Park
Large mouth bass fishing and kayaking at Fort Richardson State Park.

Summer Time is a great time to get a way and enjoy some much deserved rest and relaxation with friends and family! As a single mom it is sometimes challenging to find fun (cost effective) things to do that are entertaining and fulfilling! This summer we have planned a few short weekend trips and then a longer week long vacation to the beach! I sort of have the travel bug if I am being totally honest! As I am already looking things to do for Fall Break (October for our School) and Spring Break 2018! Did I mention that I am a planner? Well I love planning anything, from parties to vacations! If it is a fun event, I am your planner! Now that we have a few things planned out for Summer Time, we are both getting pretty excited!

SSL Palo Duro Canyon State Park
The teenage boy, before he was the teenage boy, at Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Texas offers 54 State Parks, many of which are a hop, skip and jump from SimpleSouthernLife! So first on the Summer Time travel agenda is a long weekend trip to Colorado Bend State Park! With State Parks booking their campsites almost a year in advance it is incredibly difficult to secure yourself a weekend, let alone a weekend that works with everyones busy schedules these days! So we decided to take a couple of days and make a Sunday-Wednesday trip when the State Parks are less crowded. Pretty sure the Ranger on the video sold me on that idea when he said we would pretty much have the park to ourselves!

As we plan our camping adventure I think I might have a few too many girly ideas planned to glamp this coming trip up!  I mean who doesn’t think that adding a monogram to my kayak is a good idea? As a southern girl, I love to monogram everything! So after seeing this idea on Pinterest I decided this was a must-do before our trip! We also have table cloths, bed linens instead of sleeping bags (too hot already for sleeping bags) solar lights, inflatable mattresses and a slew of other comfy items to make it seem more home-like! Much more to come in a full camping report in another post!

SSL Pedernales Falls State Park
The teenage boy captured the beauty of Pedernales Falls State Park.

We decided on the camping trip back in early May when the temperatures were much cooler and mild. Unfortunately this week we have started to see the temps rise to the low to mid 90s. I am sort of wishing we weren’t roughing it, but I will survive! I have included a couple of pictures in this post from other State Park Adventures! Summer Time is a great chance to get outdoors and explore what your state has to offer. Many State Parks offer discounted rates for seniors, veterans and those visitors under the age of 12. It can be a relatively inexpensive way to hike, bike, fish (in Texas you do not need a fishing license to fish at a State Park but check with your State Park before you fish), rock climb, have a picnic and many many more fun activities! Also, check out the Junior Ranger Youth Explorer Program that State and National Parks offer for free! The kiddos won’t even know they are learning!

So in part one of Summer Time we are happy to share with you the discovery of your local State Park. I am the girly-iest of girls, you know the monogram and pearl wearing type, but getting out and exploring the beauty and history of our state through camping, hiking, kayaking and fishing is what makes me the boy-Mom that I am! Best part, visiting a State Park can be a day trip or a few days…and it is fun, entertaining, inexpensive and a fulfilling way to rejuvenate the mind, body and soul! Score!