Fourth of July Weekend 2021

Road trips with kids are not for the weary. Our second trip in our newly acquired recreational vehicle (RV) has been very memorable to say the least. We planned on traveling northwest to the beautiful hill country where the Guadalupe River winds through small towns and is shaded by giant cypress trees. What is normally a four hour road trip took us twice the time. Stopping for potty breaks, nursing baby and food were easy. It was the tire blowout on the camper that gave us the most stress. We were only ten minutes from our destination when we had to pull over on the side of the road and change our tire.

Views on the way

Praise God for my husband’s Nascar like skills sans power tools and the RV not falling off the jack as cars zoomed past us at seventy miles an hour. Literally ten minutes from the campsite and we get our first taste of the ugly side of glamping.

Daddy and Nicholas setting up the rig. Mia doing backbends and cartwheels for joy when we arrived. Norah copying her big sister.

We arrived at Buckhorn RV Resort in Kerrville at 7pm. Our site had a lush green lawn at the end of a lane of campers. I chose this park because of the pool, playground, tennis courts and all the fun activities. They also some eve breakfast and dinner on occasion and have a bar with outdoor patio. We didn’t participate in a single activity or use the pool. The girls did take advantage of the smooth pavement for rollerblading and scootering. We had made plans with our friend, Wiley, who lives in the area for dinner. We ate steaks and asparagus from the grill. The adults visited, the girls went for a night swim and Nicholas napped by the fire.

A few pictures I took before it became too dark. I always love taking pictures in this yard. Wiley’s mom always decorates for the season and holiday.

The next morning we got up bright and early for the sweetest little small town parade. We caught candy and enjoyed all the floats. Our favorites beside the horses were the bagpipes, old cars and a genius electric company float. Big shoutout to the guy running for office passing out paper fans!

I always love a chance to coordinate red, white and blue. Mia’s was the only outfit that was purchased recently.
The whole family including Daisy dog. She even had special baked treat passed by parade participants!

It was definitely warming up and we were already warm from the parade. We had packed for swimming and a picnic at the river. Our friend has a good buddy who owns this sweet spot on the Guadalupe. It has a floating deck, trampoline kayaks and a rope swing. We have known Wiley since high school. Another couple who we knew from our hometown was also visiting the area and joined us with their two sets of twins for swimming on the river.

The girls living their best life with new friends, daddy time and brave adventures.

Nicholas slept the entire time, affording me time to take pictures and play with his big sisters. This is the second time the girls have played in this river. The water is about eight feet at the deepest part and is slow moving towards a dam two hundred yards away. We came when it was spring break four years ago. The only thing they remember was freezing in the pool and green waffles for St. Patrick’s Day. Read more about that trip here.

Norah popping bubbles and begging to get into the water.

Norah napped on a blanket after swimming and eating her weight in watermelon. The big sisters pretended to nap too. We left this river retreat and returned to the RV for a dinner of leftovers with Wiley and his son. We took a walk through the park after dinner checking out all the campers and discovering ideas on how to store clothes a s things to get for our next trip. It feels so good to come back to an air conditioned home with a hot shower. The girls watched ‘Sing’ while we chatted and listened to music outside.

My red, white and blue babies.
We attended the 11am mass at Notre Dame Catholic Church.

I love attending a new church while on vacation. After Mass we visited with a sweet local couple. The lady was Filipino and she suggested a popular spot for lunch. We ate fried catfish and shrimp by the river. The crowd is mostly older and enjoyed seeing our babies.

We went back to the RV to pick up Daisy and our pool bag for dinner and fireworks. There was a promise of rain for the entire Fourth of July weekend.

Nicholas awake and enjoying the views. Daisy makes a comfy footrest.

Water and watermelon are a must on the Fourth of July. Mia was the first in the pool. The other kiddos were asleep in the car and Ryan and I walked the property and our friend showed us the lot he was clearing for his house.

I am always amazed at all the work they put into this place. It is so amazing to just sit and look around. There is a photo opportunity at every angle.

Snacking on watermelon, cheese and salami.

It stormed right before dinner. The kids played inside while our host grilled redfish. Norah held her first sparkler and only enjoyed the fireworks in the distance. We all enjoyed homemade vanilla ice cream cones before calling it a night. We got to bed early for our drive home the next day.

We left the RV park around noon and looked for a place to eat. We stopped at Cracker Barrel which was going to be an hour wait. We decided to order food and pick up at a Chili’s thirty minutes down the road.

We were halfway to Houston when our car started acting up. Earlier, driving through San Antonio, our gps rerouted us in a different direction than how we came and we knew it was only by the grace of God. We were just entering the town of Bastrop when we pulled over to check the car and camper. It was five in the afternoon. The girls were getting restless and Ryan was searching for an open car shop on this observed holiday.

A few miles down the road, the Ford Car dealership and service center was open. We parked the camper at a dead end road next to the car lot and pulled into the service center thirty minutes before closing. We left our car to be checked the next day. A young mechanic offered to pull our camper to a park two miles down the road. We unloaded the car, loaded the kids in this stranger’s truck and jumped in the bed with Daisy. Cameron and Savanah are expecting their first baby in September.

Our neighbors at the RV park.
Hanging out while Daddy sets up our home

The Bastrop RV park couldn’t have been more perfect. Our site was conveniently located just a few steps from this miniature horse and donkey pasture. The laundry room was right in from of our site and the dumpster was very convenient as well.

Our new site has a beautiful lawn

It just so happens that just a few weeks ago one of my best momma friends moved with her family to this very town that we were delayed in. They were living in a rental fifteen minutes away and the home they were building was across the highway from where we were parked. They came to visit us and drove Ryan to the grocery store for supplies. The kids fed the horses carrots and played card games. This is one of the homeschool families we do everything with and our girls love playing together. Before they moved we saw each other at least once a week. We were all overjoyed to spend even more time together.

We were running out of clean laundry and my friend came to my rescue with dollar bills for the machines. We found out what was wrong with the car and needed to stay an extra night. Our friends picked us up for a pizza dinner on the Colorado river. The kids floated with the current and played in the sand. Water and dirt are my children’s idea of a great day. The park was so beautiful and we wish we had enough daylight to spend walking down the trails.

My girls felt like they were in heaven

God is so good to allow us time that we had been wanting to spend time with our friends. The girls probably won’t remember that their parents were stressed and we were stranded. They will remember that they had the best surprise visits with some of their best friends. Thank you Lord for your merciful love and this sweet gift of friendship.

I am forever grateful to be able to spend quality time with my family. We have been praying for opportunities to spend more time together. As my friend told me, “misfortunes led us to blessings of presence.” We have the choice to look upon our circumstances with negativity or to take the challenges as an opportunity to grow. We have learned so much from our extended weekend vacation. Gratitude seems so simple but can only be learned through experience. The minute I take my life for granted I am humbled and reminded that it is not my plan, only His.

Continued after we finally got home:

A new coil and a fuel injector later Ryan got a ride to the dealership to pick up our car. It was about 6:30 pm on Wednesday when we finally left the park to drive the hundred and thirty miles home. As soon as we turned off the highway to grab some dinner our car alerted us that the trailer was disconnected.

When we first pulled the RV to the beach, the trailer wire got caught between the ball and hitch and cut a few wires. Ryan had wires them back together but we always knew it was temporary. The autozone was just a mile away. Thankfully they had what we needed and we were able to change our the entire cable in about and hour and a half.

Back on the road and starving, we found a Chick-fil-A. It was smoother sailing until our potty break about an hour later. When we took off nothing was amiss. As we drove through the small towns the breaks on the trailer started acting up. When Ryan would slow down, the breaks completely locked up. He had to tap them to release them. It was so scary because basically we were pulling our RV with tires at a standstill and brining rubber. It continued all the way home. We arrived at the house just before 11pm. We already had an appointment to bring in the RV for other repairs we had noticed covered under our warranty. I was suppose to drop it off but with the breaks acting up, there was no way.

Ryan worked until that evening and decided he would take it when he got home. While waiting on dinner, Ryan checks out the camper and noticed that a bushing that holds the wire in place was missing. The wire was rubbing on the metal causing a disrupt in the breaks. He taped it up and the trailer breaks were fixed. Ryan is so smart and if I am called to a life of RVing, I am glad it is with him.

Blessings,

Venice

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