Friday, March 6, 2015

Birthday, Bentley, and Bliss

./`./`./` Happy Birthday to me, happy birthday to me, I get to serve on a jur-y, happy birthday to me! ./`./`./`

Mixed in among my birthday cards was a letter from the District County Clerk - how'd he know it was my b-day? I'm probably one of the weirdest people on the planet, in that, I'm actually excited about the process!  Of course, I already had to reschedule it, as it conflicted with a work project.  

We left out Friday for Lake Livingston State Park and made it into the park before the sun went down.  In fact, we got to watch the sunset while flying our newest piece of camping equipment: our DJI Inspire 1.  It's a high-end hobbyist's photography device used for aerial photos and videos.  12 megapixel photos and up to 4k video - it is going to be an awesome addition to our adventures.  As RDB says, it's like a tripod in the sky.

This is the first park we've been able to take it out to a State Park, though we have flown it in our neighborhood, and Randshe's neighborhood, too.  It certainly attracts attention and so far, has had nothing but positive reactions from those who've been around it.

I mean, come on, you *know* this girl was having fun with it!

RDB purchased a secondary controller - so that he can navigate the flight systems (he's the Pilot) and I can operate the camera (I'm the Camera Man).  One of the guys who stopped by there at the park mentioned that this was the perfect set up for hubby and wife - both get to play with the same new toy - I agree completely!

Yep, that last one is by far my favorite!  We've got great thoughts about how to incorporate the photos (and videos - RDB is editing one right now) into the blog, and even helping the State Parks with no-cost aerial photos of the sites or camping loops.  And hey, if you see us out there with our bird in the sky and want a bird's-eye-view of your camping get up (or kayaking, or fishing or whatever) stop on over - we'll gladly shoot the photos and send them to you via email!

That was site #68, by the way.  Lake Livingston SP is still piloting the site specific reservation system - which we LOVE.  We've booked this same spot for Christmas this year.

Saturday morning we woke up to an easy breakfast of coffee, scrambled eggs and pancakes.  Diesel woke to a treat of a big rawhide bone.  It's my b-day: I can give gifts to whomever I want right? ;-)

We looked up the Geo-caches in the park, and there were more here than in any other we've been to.  So, we went for a walk and only found one - go figure! -  but had the opportunity to introduce Diesel to waves and water for the first time in his short life.  It was funny - at first, he was put-off by the sound that the waves were making, but as I got closer to the water, then put my hand in and splashed it a bit, he realized that it was safe, and not only stood in it, but tried to drink from it as well.  Smart puppy learns fast!

The trails at LLSP aren't inhabited just by pedestrians, you also have the option of going for a horseback ride thru Faith Ridin' Stables right there in the park!  It'd been nearly a decade since I'd been on horseback, and I'd talked about it several times with RDB (who's never been) so, we decided to sign ourselves up for the 1pm ride!

After a (very short) safety talk, RDB was saddled up on his ride; it only makes sense, of course, that his horse was named after a brand of car: Bentley

My horse was named Scarlet - you can barely see her face in this pic, but if you look in nearly every other photo of our trail ride, you can see her ears slung back in the permanently "pissed-off" position. 

So, we were mounted up and off we went on our one hour trail ride!

Again, notice Scarlet's ears.  Permanently pissed-off position.  They say, if you're not the lead horse, the view doesn't change much.  And for Scarlet and me, it sure didn't.  I'm not sure what Bentley had to eat, but every fourth or fifth step he shoved his tail to the side and let one rip.  About half way thru the ride, Bentley decided he'd had enough of carrying people around all day and started to do a little Texas-two-step.  If you've ever been on a horse that wanted to make a point that he's not happy, this will feel a lot like he's gearing up to buck you off.  One of the wranglers simply said, oh, he's just trying to scare you- but for someone who had never ridden before, that was enough to want to get off.

Once Junior, our main wrangler, was notified of the dance step Bentley was trying to master, he immediately had RDB switch horses. So, if your Bentley breaks down, that's just too Tough.  (That would be the name of RDB's replacement horse: Tough.)

And even though Scarlet and I had a slightly different view on the way back, she still had her ears fixed in permanently pissed-off position.  RDB and I didn't really put two-and-two together til we were heading back to our campsite, but after RDB switched horses, Junior stayed nearby him the rest of the ride - talking horses, talking training, just shooting the breeze.  Junior is the son of the hubby and wife duo who own Faith Ridin' Trails and we had to hand it to him for recognizing that as a first-time-ever rider, this event could make or break RDB's experience with horses.  Hats off to Junior for a job well done, and to Tough for getting RDB the rest of the way home.

Bentley, of course, was sent to the end of the line.  Needless to say, his view didn't get any better for all the acting up he did.

We got quite the sniff-down when we got back to the camper...
We spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out at our site.  There may have been a nap (or two) before we had dinner.

After the sun went down, we pulled out our camping chairs and sat underneath the clear dark sky.  It never ceases to amaze me how crystal clear the night sky is when you get far enough away from the city lights.  This site was perfect for looking up at the stars, and also across the dark still water as light twinkled on the other side of the lake.

RDB and I went for an owl prowl Saturday night.  We didn't see any woodland creatures, but did make our way over to the boat ramp nearby the camp-store.  There's a three story tower you can climb up and get a higher view of the lake (not much to see that time of night).  Of course, when you have a quad-copter, you don't really need the tower to get the best views!

We typically put Diesel up in his house (crate) to sleep in the evening, but decided to change things up since we keep the camper so cold at night.  This evening, we decided to give him a chance to try out sleeping on the bed with us.  He figured out pretty quickly that we weren't there to play and settled down to sleep.  Overall it went well - but I'm not sure we'll do it again, as Diesel's a bit of a bed hog!

Sunday, we woke to rain. Drizzly, on and off, consistent rain.  The radar showed that we had a line of storms traveling north-easterly along the southern part of the state - so there wasn't going to be much reprieve from it.  (It's still down pouring now here in Houston on Monday as I type this).  RDB and I were in no rush to get out in the rain and so we slowly got around and packed inside the camper, then made quick work of breaking down outside.

It was a wonderful birthday weekend.  We really are in love with this park - and since we can book site specifically, we know we'll be right back here for Christmas.

It's great to be camping again.  ;-)

For more camping photos, go here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Happy Birthday to Me! (I love my RDB!)

Happy Birthday to me - 
Hubby bought me a HP Stream!  

I think after all this cruise blogging, he wants his Mac back! ;-)