“Mom, what are we doing today?”
”Huh? Is it tomorrow already? I don’t remember sleeping.”
I have no idea what day it is or even what time it is. I have no idea how much sleep I got, if any. It’s summer. The days and nights stream together, and they all seem endless. I’m pretty sure I went straight from 4th of July fireworks to warming milk and buttering waffles. Any rest my husband and I get is so fleeting, but hey, it’s summer. And I’m continually reminded that we only get 18 of these until kids move out. So, the pressure is on. Out of bed. Chug the coffee. Pack 12 bags of snacks. Pull the swimsuits out of the washing machine because who has time to move laundry to the dryer anyway?? Load up kids. Run back in the house for more coffee and 5 water bottles. Activity, activity, activity. Late dinner. Bedtime threats. Bedtime avoidance. Family game we forgot to play earlier. Second dessert. Books and more books. Lots of snuggles….. Breakfast. What day is it?
We all know the saying, “the days are long but the years are short”, and I find that to be so true for summers. Summer days feel endless until mid-August hits. Then, we’re wondering, “where did summer go?” I hope that, in the future, my family’s memories of these precious, short summers are of the quality time we had together and not of an exhausted mama, mountains of dirty laundry, and cold meals in the car. This hope motivates me to keep checking off our summer bucket list and finding plenty of special downtime together in between.
Checking it off…
Pedernales Falls –
Highlights: unique and beautiful park, challenging trails and climbs for school-aged children, kids see it as an “adventure”
– Stair-climbing and rock-hopping are unavoidable; be prepared to carry toddlers and babies on uneven terrain. Strollers can only go on certain trails.
– Get there early, and choose swimming OR hiking as your primary activity during weekends and busy summer days. One will likely be closed due to capacity once you finish your first choice.
Highlights: hours upon hours of soaking wet fun, ability to bring in your own food, many shaded areas, variety of rides for a variety of ages
– Go early in the week, not on a weekend.
– Save the most popular rides for power hour when people start leaving or break for dinner (after 5 pm).
– Go to the East side first thing in the morning – it’s less shaded and gets very busy. Hang out on the West/original side in the heat of the day for more shade and longer, “lazier” rides.
– If lines are extremely long on the East side, head over to the Torrent River (wave “pool”). You’ll feel like you’re on a ride, but there’s no wait!
– Bring in your own cooler of food and drinks (non-alcoholic) to save money.
The Shady Llama –
Highlights: gorgeous hill country views and sunset; relaxing atmosphere; sandbox, games, and hammock swings for kids; beer and wine for adults; a chance to spot the llamas
– Although it’s shaded, it gets hot. Go later in the afternoon or evening (stay for the sunset!).
– Bring in a picnic. They have limited food options (occasionally a food truck and a chicken salad or cheese plate option).
Hill Country Galleria –
Highlights: splash pad; library with ongoing events and kids’ activities, plus a small children’s area with blocks and a play kitchen; outdoor grassy play area next to Amy’s ice cream; family-friendly shopping and dining; movie theater … You can spend the whole day here and even pick up groceries from Whole Foods before heading home.
– Bring a change of clothes for after the splash pad. You cannot enter the library or other establishments with wet swimsuits or clothing.
– Half-price movie day is Tuesday every week.
– Plan your visit around a Library event. They have story times that include a craft and often have live music. http://www.beecavetexas.gov/city-government/library
I’d love to hear from you! Let me know what you’ve been doing this summer and any tips you have for making the most of your summer bucket list.