5 Cool Facts to Know About Garner State Park

September 30, 2019

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Would your ideal vacation spot be a perfect natural haven filled with hiking, canoeing, tubing, geocaching, and even dancing? For many the answer is yes, and each year many outdoor enthusiasts choose Garner State Park as their ideal summer destination. Chock full of numerous nature-based activities, loaded with Mother Nature’s wonders, and highlighting the beauty of The Frio River, this state park could be your prime location for summer outdoor adventures as well. Are you unfamiliar with this amazing state park in Uvalde County? Here are 5 cool facts to know about Garner State Park.

1. Location

This beautiful state park is located in Concan, Texas on the southwestern edge of what is known to be the Edwards Plateau in the Balcones Canyonlands. It was created during the Cretaceous age due to fault line activity. Deep cliffs and mesas define this picturesque canyon land and surround clear rivers and streams perfect for fishing, canoeing, and tubing. The location, although visited by many year after year, remains mostly unchanged by human activity. The natural changes that occur due to weathering, flooding, or plant growth are allowed to constantly redefine the landscape without human intervention.

2. Wildlife

Being that the naturalness of this park is preserved as much as possible, much wildlife live and thrive there. Visitors to the park will frequently spot this wild life around them. Squirrels, raccoons, and white-tailed deer are the most common, but more exotic animals exist there too. Look for Rio Grande turkeys and mourning doves amongst a whole selection of various birds. If you are a bird watcher then you are in for a treat. The golden-cheeked warbler and black-capped vireo, both endangered species, nest in the park from spring until summer.

3. The Frio River

Rising from springs as the West Frio River, it promptly joins 2 other tributaries and flows southeast for 200 miles before draining into the Nueces River. The name Frio means cold in Spanish and this name perfectly describes the fresh cool waters that lure swimmers and campers up and down the length of its banks. This river is given a shout-out in the song, “All my Ex’s live in Texas,” by George Strait who grew up in Frio County.

4. Geocaching

Merge the joys of hiking and exploring with a scavenger hunt and you have geocaching. Hundreds of geocaches are hidden throughout the park and can be found using a GPS device or an app on a smart phone with GPS capabilities. The GPS device tells you how far away a geocache is and you must go off searching for it. They can be hidden in trees, under rocks, or even placed behind signs and landmarks. Often times a geocache will house a log book so you can write in your name and claim victory over that treasure forever.

5. Dancing

Back in the 1940’s during summer evenings, people would gather at the park’s concessions building and host a dance. This tradition has survived to this day and the park hosts dances each evening. They are very popular and require early arrival as they fill up quickly.

Escape the Festive Season


The Christmas parties are upon us. They mark the start of a full bill of social get togethers, excessive eating and drinking and time with the family. Some people relish the buzz, the giving and the sharing of good times, but some people prefer to escape the festivities in favour for some ‘peace on earth’.

Not every household will be gathering for roasted turkey, potatoes and all the trimmings during Christmas. Every year a significant number of boat enthusiasts opt for an alternative celebration. Accompanied by a small group of willing family and friends, they will be heading out onto the water with a flask and a turkey roll for sustenance.

All weather gear will replace the traditional Christmas jumper and party hat and you can catch up on the Queen’s Speech another time. On a sunny winter’s morning, what could be more of a treat than heading out onto quiet cruising waters?

With a bit of planning and preparation, you can be ready to make the most of the limited boating hours that are on offer on a bright, calm day.

Winter Boat Preparation

In addition to the usual gear and checks, your boat will benefit from a little extra time and attention if you want to keep it on the water through the coldest months.

• The good news is that with a vessel kept on salt water, it is unlikely that liquids will get frozen. You can however run antifreeze through the raw water system if you have concerns following a particularly cold spell.

• It can make sense to switch gas supplies to propane, as it has a lower freezing point that butane.

• A supply of grit can be useful for helping to keep decks from getting icy and presenting a slip hazard.

• Batteries may need additional charging through the winter months

• It is even more essential that you check all equipment regularly to ensure everything is in good working order.

A reliable supplier of quality branded boat parts can be useful to ensure that replacements and spares are delivered quickly.

Personal Safety

The warmer you stay, the easier it is to think clearly and perform well, so wrap up. Cold fingers can make it more challenging to undertake tasks, so you need a good pair of gloves and make every effort to keep ropes out of the water.

The sea temperature drops considerably through the winter months. If anyone falls overboard, they can be paralysed by the shock. It is therefore important to take care on board and always wear life jackets.

Pay close attention to shipping and weather forecasts, along with keeping a close eye on the clock. It’s easy to get carried away and not notice that time is ticking by. You don’t want to be stuck out at sea when the sun goes down.

7 Fall Activities for Fitness and Fun

September 30, 2019

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With gorgeous foliage and cooler temperatures, fall is the perfect season for outdoor activities. There’s something invigorating about a breezy fall afternoon that quite simply revives the soul. If you’re looking for ideas on making the most of this season, below are a few suggestions for fall activities for fitness and fun.

* Hiking. Whether hiking along a rugged mountain trail or in a wooded area, the time of year is just right for this endeavor. With a sense of adventure in the air, you may find yourself tackling trails that before seemed too challenging. If you own a mobile GPS device, use it to create some new hiking paths.

* Flag football. Reminiscent of a movie scene on a college campus, get together with a few friends for a game of flag football. With high school, college and professional football in full swing, your competitive spirit should be up for the challenge. Flag football is a great way to spend a fall afternoon.

* Jogging or walking. For those who enjoy jogging or walking, fall makes this exercise just a bit more pleasant. Enjoy taking in the sights and sounds of the season on an extra long route on weekend mornings.

* Raking the yard. Who says raking the yard is just hard work? You can actually have some fun with it. Share the task with family members and think of creative ways to make raking a game. No matter who wins, all can enjoy the sense of accomplishment with a cleanly raked yard.

* Bike riding. Another way to get in a solid and enjoyable workout during the fall is to ride your bike. Whether competing in a local race or going for a more leisurely ride, your spirits will soar will when biking on a cool fall day. If you have children, bike riding makes for a nice family activity.

* Yoga. For those who are passionate about yoga, try an outdoor session as the sun sets on a glorious autumn day. The serenity of nature will map to the inner serenity you’ve found. Yoga is such a relaxing form of exercise and meditation, and the fall weather truly compliments this discipline.

* Camping. Finally, if you’d like a weekend filled with both fun and exercise, go camping. Whether setting up camp or scouting for wood for a bonfire, you’ll truly enjoy the camping experience during autumn.

5 Reasons for Cooking Outdoors

September 30, 2019

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Why should you consider cooking outdoors as part of your lifestyle? There are many reasons why one should consider having outdoor cooking every now and then. Here are five great benefits from outdoor cooking:

1. Outdoor cooking is a stress reliever. How can we say so? Well, when you are cooking outside and having the company of your friends or relatives while enjoying some wine or beer, would you not feel relaxed, at ease and felt like the world is just a background? Surely, I do! Having the people whom you cherish and trust as company while cooking and eating outdoors and enjoying the nature, the sunset or the stars above is surely an excellent way to remove stress.

2. Cooking outdoors means healthy living. We are all conscious of our food intake especially when it comes to meats. Grilling outdoors is a healthy way of cooking foods. Unwanted fatty oils of the meat are dripped off the meat, which means calories are reduced, but nutrients like riboflavin and thiamine are maintained. We also don’t use butter when we grill meats which means healthier food! Veggies that are grilled are also more nutritious, especially those which are low in water content. Aside from being healthy and nutritious, the utmost part is that the food tastes finger-licking good!

3. Cooking outside is practical. How? Cooking indoors makes the house warmer and this could lead to air conditioners inside the house working overtime which also leads to bigger electric bills. To avoid such bills, especially in the summertime, outdoor cooking is the best option! Outdoor kitchens can be used as an entertaining area when celebrations arise. No need to have reservations at a hotel banquet hall and no need to worry about the possible mess inside your house if a party is held outdoors.

4. Outdoor cooking is entertaining. I mean, would you not take the opportunity to show off your cooking skills when friends and family are at your home? The best way to do that is when you have your outdoor kitchen complete with a wood-burning pizza oven! When you are outside socializing with family and friends, you don’t want to be left out on the latest happenings just because you are inside your house cooking while everyone is having fun outside. Cooking in an outdoor oven is an excellent choice for togetherness!

5. Outdoor cooking is valuable. Every penny you invest in your outdoor kitchen is worth it. The real estate value of your home increases because of having this trendy outdoor kitchen for outdoor cooking. When you invest in first class outdoor kitchen appliances, you certainly invest wisely! Having the best outdoor kitchen accessory typically means investing in stainless steel grills and island components. Stainless steel is considered an “all-season steel” because it lasts much longer and doesn’t rust despite the weather conditions it must survive.

Where should you put your investments? Definitely on something that would give you a better way of living! You and your family deserve a life that embraces laughter, cherished moments, and healthy living! You can find all that and more in an outdoor kitchen and entertaining area.

Summer Time Outdoors

September 30, 2019

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Summer fun begins when school is out and no more studies, that is for some kids. Schools now offer the kids summer school which might include catching up on hours to graduate or learning new skills and attending classes that need improvement. Other kids go to summer school just to be with their friends and have fun. Many schools plan outside activities like going to the park, swimming pool, or going to places to see the fire department, police headquarters and meet the people who serve their community. Some kids participate in crafts and games at school, but overall most kids enjoy their time at summer school.

Some of the sports outside still are going on in most areas. Boys and girls are involved in playing T-ball or baseball, while parents and grandparents cheer them on. It is just part of summer and being outdoors, even when it is hot and muggy. This is a good time to meet other parents and your neighbors that you don’t always see. Usually, you will share a bag of popcorn, candy, ice cream and soda with your kids or grandkids, what a great time to be together. You, of course, will want to take the camera to be able to take that special picture or video of your kids or grandkids. What memories you can make with them for being there at that special time when they catch the ball or make a home run.

As summer season continues the outdoor sports like swimming, riding bikes, going to camp and just being around their friends is important to them.

While dad and mom are packing and getting the car ready to go on vacation. The kids are getting their special toys ready to take with them. Some families will plan to go to spend their time at an amusement park or to the beach, while other families are getting ready to go camping and spending time up in the mountains and enjoying the outdoors and scenery.

Summer is a busy time, but can also be a great time to enjoy the family and be together. Taking time with your family is so important today since days seem to be so busy and our schedules are so full with work and other activities. Our kids and grandkids grow up so fast and leave home to go off to school or take a job away.

5 Must Haves For Winters

September 30, 2019

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Winter is love and I enjoy it to my fullest every year. It’s the time of year when my energy is at the maximum because I don’t enjoy much in summers due to the scorching sun shining all over my head. I do skiing, skating, and enjoy some other outdoor play, but still, there are some things I always have to prepare before winters start. Here’s what you need to make your winters worthwhile.

1. Ski

Like I said, I love skiing so I need ski shoes and boats. Go to a local sports store where commercial playground equipment is available and there you will easily find ski items, too. I usually shop in September as it is the time when great variety is available and store staff treats you well, too, because they have a plenty of time.

2. Skates

Just like skiing, I love skating and I need skates every winter, both for myself and my kids. I have seen some used pairs available at multiple sports shops and I was surprised to see their condition. They were good enough for the use of both young and adults, so make sure you get some of these to make the most of coming winters.

3. Beauty Products

In winters, skin gets very dry and sometimes, even itchy due to the central heat. I always prefer keeping coconut oil at my home in winters and I moisturise my kids with it. However, I also buy some winter creams and lotions to make sure my children’s skin does not get affected. Some of the brands I have tried including Nature’s Baby Organics, Earth Mama Angel Baby, and California Baby have given fruitful results.

4. Lip Balm

Just like skin, lips get dry a lot during winters. Therefore, I always keep a lip balm in my bag and keep one in each of my kid’s pocket. This way, I reduce the chances of forgetting it before getting out. In case you can’t find a decent chapstick or lip balm, try moisturizing lips with coconut oil. It has done wonders for me, to be honest. If it doesn’t suit you, you can also try simple butter and Aquaphor as a lip balm. However, try to use them in a little amount so that it won’t irritate you.

5. Snow Gear

When you get the first unexpected snow, you need readily available things like snowshoes, gloves, pants, hats, and coats. Kids get so excited when it’s the first snow of the year and all they want is to go outside and make a snowman and take pictures. Therefore, your snow gear must be prepared beforehand so that you won’t miss that lovely time of the year.

Some schools even ask for a snow kit, and if you don’t get your kid one, it will end up him being indoors while his peers are out in the snow jiggling and giggling around. I am sure you would hate it so much, so avoid doing it. You can save a good amount if you shop in March for snow gear as there isn’t a demand for these things during a hot weather.

In a Nutshell

Winters are almost here, and you should now prepare yourself to make the most of the lovely weather. All you need is some advanced planning and a little effort to enjoy winters at its fullest. However, don’t forget to take measures for health protection as it’s the time for an infectious outburst. Aren’t the given tips simple enough to make your winters momentous?

Autumn Leaves Are Falling


Autumn is a wonderful time. It is the end of the beginning. In Spring, everything comes to life after being dormant through the cold winter months. Then Summer arrives and everything blossoms and grows. Finally, Autumn is upon us and the trees shed their leaves waiting for the next time they can come back to life.

The autumn leaves are changing colour, the air is crisp and clean in the early morning, the sound of rustling leaves as they float through the air moving as if they are ready to travel to wherever old man wind takes them… these are the sounds and sights of Autumn.

Autumn is a perfect time to get out and go for a walk, or even better take your dog with you.

This is also a great time for photography. The amazing colours of the leaves turning red, orange and gold, and the way the light shines through the canopy of leaves makes for some truly amazing shots.

Action shots of dogs (big or small) romping through piles of leaves, wriggling ecstatically on top of the pile, trying to catch falling leaves in their mouths or running along a path with the sunlight behind them. These make for some amazing shots!

Taking advantage of the spectacular backdrops and scenery that the Autumn leaves provide, can make a picture of your best friend so much more interesting. It may even be worthy of having the honour of hanging on your wall, and not just your Autumn screen saver on your computer, tablet or phone.

With the new age of digital cameras and phones with cameras we now take more pictures than ever before. Years ago we were limited to how many pictures we could take, based on how much film you could afford and the cost of developing the film..unless you were lucky enough to have your own darkroom!

Taking 36 pictures in a week used to be a lot, but now with almost everyone having a cell phone and those phones having a high definition camera right in their phone it’s nothing to take 36 pictures in a matter of minutes. Our cameras and phones consistently hit their limits and we have to go through and delete hundreds of pictures that we never would have taken had it cost money for film and developing.

3 Places to Experience on Your First Safari


Petra’s work trip to Kenya gave her the perfect opportunity to spend a few extra days to go on a safari. Her friend had lived in Kenya and so she asked for a recommendation – that was us! We planned a six-day safari to Maasai Mara, Lake Nakuru and Lake Naivasha with a final lunch at the serene Kiambethu Tea Farm. Extraordinary wildlife and startling a hippo on a walking safari were among her highlights.

Voted Africa’s Leading National Park for the sixth time in the 2018 World Travel Awards, the Maasai Mara National Reserve must be on a first-time safari itinerary. It was Petra’s first destination and being late July, it didn’t disappoint. She stayed at the lovely Aruba Camp near Talek Gate, right on the banks of the Talek River. This time of year is when the migratory herds of wildebeest come into the Maasai Mara from the Serengeti so wildlife is plentiful – not just wildebeest, zebras and gazelles, but also the predators that follow such an abundant dinner plate.

Rift Valley Lakes

Lake Nakuru National Park was next, home to the endangered Rothschild giraffe and black rhinos. She spent the night at Punda Milias Camp just a few kilometres away from the park, allowing an early entry the next morning for optimal game viewing. She spent most of the day in the park, getting some awesome sightings of those Rothschild giraffes and getting up to the viewpoint that overlooks the whole Lake Nakuru and the surrounding national park. In the afternoon, she made the short drive to another Rift Valley lake: Naivasha.

Lake Naivasha is the largest of the Rift Valley lakes in Kenya. Most of the accommodation is lined along the shore of the lake and this is where Petra found her lakeside banda at Camp Carnelley’s. In the morning she embarked on a walking safari in Wileli Conservancy. More giraffes! This time they were Maasai giraffes and there were even a couple walking on the track in front of her for a while. As she walked along the lake (with a guide and a ranger) they startled a hippo that had unusually been grazing outside the water – unusual as hippos normally graze at night and stay in the water during the day. Fortunately, as the humans approached the hippo made a run straight for the lake with an almighty splash.

After that excitement, Petra went with the guide for a different walking safari – this time in the village to witness rural Kenyan life. The hustle and bustle down by the lake subsided the further they climbed up and away from the shore. Eventually after a bit of tough-going they hit flat ground and a magnificent view over the lake, flower farms, various conservancies and the geo-thermal plant in Hells Gate National Park.

Blossoming In Paris Through The Parisian Life


Being in Paris gives you a vibe of being stunning. Whether you are in an alley or on the main road or the pavement there are people with a vibe of elegance in them. Several cafes and restaurants would let you increase your appetite. It is the feel of being amidst history and modern fashion.

There are mysterious unknown places to discover like the Underground tunnels Catacombs with the impressions of world war two that has bones and skeletons aesthetically placed and its told that it has about 6 to 7 million peoples bones that were killed during the French revolution and has a look of a cemetery. You would have to wait in a line unless you get a golden ticket booked previously on skip the line tickets section online. It costs about 40 US dollars but the place is worth visiting. This place is 20 meters below ground with a 14 degrees temperature It was build in the 12th century with lime stones and gives you a feeling of being in a mine we need to be there with a local TOUR guide.

If anyone has the curiosity of where to find the best baguettes French bread and pastries in town or want to see the Maison Kaiser the award winning bread maker who serves bread to the president. You need to walk around the streets of Paris with a list of best bakeries.

Le Grenier a Pain is one of the best bakeries in Paris and it has received several awards. There is a boulangerie in every corner of the city.

Traffic here is moderate but we might feel a little noisy and crowded sometimes. There would be scooters and cars crossing each other from the alley and roads even though there are lanes. Overall, it is quite safe to cross the lanes through signals. There would be an electric pole where you get the red and green button to push which is for pedestrians and vehicles to stop and wait at a periodic time there are cafes around the corner where you can sip your latte with baguette and watch the people go by. Like a cherry on top, you would find a free WI-Fi around every restaurant and sitting areas so there would be loads of communication and uploading of videos and pictures with your friends.

Chateau de Versailles has a fireworks show that was previously banned. Louis the 14th the king of France loved to be called the king of the Sun so the palace is filled with equipment that look like a sun and even the garden can give you glimpses of it.
Living in Paris can cost you a fortune. Many people opt for very small rooms unless you are a billionaire and want to spend your bucks. Try asking the French citizens who have lived here for several years for a moderate living place because a big room or an apartment can cost you almost 300 to 400 Euros. It all depends on the facility and area. The Champs Elysee is the most expensive area where a room can cost you 105 Euros with a separated kitchen and a big bedroom. SO choose wisely. Find a youth hostel or Airbnb through websites like couch surfing and book your place there on prior basis.
Paris has loads of food varieties but obviously It is rich, it is colorful, it is tasty and is made with the best of ingredients.

You will get loads in variety but the best is French onion soup with raisin bread, steak, seaweeds French fries and falafel. There is this item called Crepes and Croissant. It comes in varied varieties like chocolate to almond. Going to the Latin Quarter, you would find items ranging from seafood duck breast fries sausages ham bacon eggs and simply stunning vegetables. You can have a 3-course meal menu with either ten or sixteen Euros option is yours. You would have your choice of salad French fries and ham or sausage. (Only if you are a non-vegetarian) Not to forget the Baguette and cheese that goes together with a cup of coffee this place resembles a lot to the Indian street food area where we enjoy our spicy treats. Do not forget to try the Chocolate Fondue specially the egg bean with vanilla cream. You can learn the recipe from your hosts. Cheese is what will melt your mouth with its flavor ranging from Parmesan to Mozzarella.