About an hour later, we managed to get checked out of the hotel and on the road to the river. On the way we drove past San Marcos - home of Texas State University. Clint happened to throw into conversation with the kids that if they would just go to college there we would buy them a house to live in (the only catch being mommy and daddy could come stay whenever we wanted). Ah...another mortgage on top of tuition, but we have at least 10 years before we have to actually start thinking about it seriously (12 till we have to do anything).
Now, the Comal River is not nearly as inundated with toob rental places as the Guadalupe, but it still has its fair share. We decided on Rockin' R as it is a rental place we are both familiar with and it had parking available. After completing the transaction for the rental, we were bussed (with several others) across the street to a park the river runs through. Yes we could have walked that distance, but we had 4 toobs - that I was not exactly confident the kids could or would carry - and a floating cooler. We tried to prepare the kids for the cold water (usually maintains a 52 degree temperature), but they were still quite shocked when we got them in their toobs. 3 hours, 4 toob shoots, and a few small rapids later we had two brand new river rats on our hands. They loved it!
When we got off the river it was pretty close to time to check into our campsite, but be decided to stop for a bite to eat first. I love going to BBQ places where you can buy meat by the 1/2 pound. We were able to have left overs for sandwiches later. After filling our bellies, we checked into the camp and started getting setup. Not very fun in the hottest part of the day, let me tell you. I had some trouble with my side of the tent poles. Hubs got his side braced and told me to hold my side a certain way so it wouldn't fall. "Like that" is what I heard as the tent came down because, obviously what I was doing did not work. I took it personally and dropped the pole that I was ineffectively holding in my had and stormed off (I have just an ever so slightly excitable temper). We had ourselves a nice little argument as we finished setting up camp, and then got over it. We were on vacation!
Time for Historic Gruene - who's town motto is "Gently resisting change since 1872". While there we visited some of our favorite places..."The Grapevine" (couldn't stay in there for long...too much glass), "Gruene General Store" - this place is lots of fun (including free fudge samples), and "Lone Star Music" (yes there are a few stores around that just sell music). Gristmill here we come. Known for its chicken fried steak - this place is a Texas staple. We however skipped this old fashioned meal this time (as we were still not extremely hungry after our big lunch). Hubs had the beef medallion salad and I had the grilled chicken spinach salad (and these are no girly salads...neither of us could even finish it). Angelique had fries and Christian had grilled cheese. Yes, I know, I should be voted mother of the year for feeding my children balanced and nutritious meals. For this trip we skipped Gruene Hall - the oldest dance hall in Texas. It is best avoided (in my opinion) in the summer months as there is no a/c. In fact on our last girls trip (over 2 years ago now) we went to a concert there in May. I think we were all sick from dehydration by the end of the night.
Back at the campsite the kids want to go swimming. So we walk down to the river and let them play for a little while. We realize we have forgotten several things we should have brought (and would have if I hadn't been under the weather during the week and forgot my list). The kids want to roast marshmallows, we don't have any coffee (and a few other things I can't think of right now). So as the sun is going down, hubs leaves to go to the store and the kiddos and I go in the tent. For the next 45 minutes, they squeal and hid every time they see headlights going down the road. I just lay there on my air mattress looking through the mesh top of our tent looking at the darkening sky (I know sounds like great fun, but it was enjoyable). We had our little marshmallow roast, hubs and I drank a beer then off to bed. We had another busy day in store for tomorrow.