Sunday, April 15, 2012

Camping at Martin Dies Jr. State Park - Easter Weekend 2012 - Day 2

As usual Ryan woke up before the crack of dawn on Saturday morning (about 6:45am).  He and Kevin got up and went down to the boat and did a little fishing.  Connor got up and crawled into bed with me and we snuggled and went back to sleep until almost 9am.  :)  Remind me why Connor couldn't be an only child again?? :)

While they were fishing Ryan caught a small bass.

Not long after we got up Randy, Diana, and Luke ventured out, too.  After a quick breakfast they took the boat out to do a little fishing taking Connor along this time while Ryan and I went up to take a shower.

Connor caught a crappie.

When they got back we got the boys dressed in their "Easter outfits."  I had hoped to get a good picture of them "dressed up."  And before they rolled around in the dirt or otherwise got filthy.  :)  Unfortunately they had other ideas...

I am afraid this was as good as it got.  :)

At least they were both looking at the camera and smiling!  And just in the nick of time - as Kevin got back from his shower and it was time to head over to Uncle Charlie's.

Lisa, Mike, Jeremy, Cameron and one of Cameron's friends followed us back to spend Saturday night at the park with us.  We totally lucked out as the people in the site right next to us packed up and headed out while we were at Charlie's.  So while they unloaded their truck and set up their tents we took the boys out in the canoe.

We took them on the same trek around the island as Kevin and I had made the day before.  Though we turned around past the first bridge and headed back the way we had come instead of taking the longer trek around having to paddle against the wind especially as the sun was heading quickly towards to the horizon.

Ryan took our admonishments to sit down and do not move VERY seriously.  He never budged so much as an inch without us telling him to do so.  He did NOT want to tip the boat.  :)  And he was terrified that the alligators were going to eat him.  In hindsight maybe he wasn't so far off... :)

In fact it made him VERY nervous when Connor turned around and crawled under the next bar to sit next to me.

In the swampy area we saw and heard several fish jumping.  We even saw a fairly large alligator gar jump near the canoe.  We listened to the sounds coming from the bullfrogs and tried to repeat it ourselves without much luck.  Then as I watched some bubbles near the front end of the boat I asked Kevin if he knew what made them.  We had seen similar bubbles surface near our canoe several times the night before.  I laughed and said it was probably alligators.

The bubbles continued and even more bubbles came up as we got closer to them.  Then just as we coasted over the top of the bubbles we heard a GIANT splash just off to our left.  I looked up just in time to see the end of an alligators tail splash violently into the water about 6 feet off to our left.  When Kevin heard the splash behind him he turned turned to our right just in time to see part of the alligators head.  The alligator was UNDER our canoe.  And by our best guess it was AT LEAST 10 feet long if not bigger... Needless to say we probably startled him and he DEFINITELY startled us.  We sat perfectly still and quiet for a few seconds afterwards just coasting in the water.  When the alligator didn't pop back up or attack our boat in some made for a horror story scene I nervously laughed and put on my best fake "WOW voice!" and gushed about how "cool" it was that we got to see that "GIANT Alligator GAR!!"  "He must have been chasing one of those baby catfish!"  Uh, huh... Sure...  We continued on nervously keeping an eye on the water and looking for any more bubbles.  

Luckily the rest of the trip was pretty uneventful.  We found the bridge, made scary sounds and heard them echo back, and then turned around to head back.  As we neared the area with the giant gator we tread carefully nervously keeping an eye out for any movement at all. 

When we got back to camp we told everyone about the GIANT ALLIGATOR GAR without the G-A-R that we had seen on our trip.  The boys happily retold the story just as I told them.  :)

While the guys started a fire to cook the hotdogs Connor ran around with this pine branch on his head claiming to be a unicorn.  Yeah, I don't know either.  Just smile and nod.  :)

After the hotdogs and smores as the boys were running back and forth between campsites I broke out the glow sticks and gave them to the boys.  The bracelets are just a tad too big for the boys' wrists and they kept sliding off so I took some and put them around Connor's ankles instead.  Then we put a necklace around his waist.  He looked so cool when he was running in the dark.  All you could see were the glow sticks.  I tried to get Ryan to let me put the same thing on him, but he wanted no part of it.  But after everyone told Connor how cool he was Ryan changed his tune and wanted to be decked out just like Connor. 

It turned out to be a good thing we did, too as it was the only way we could keep track of them as they chased the older kids on their bicycles. The bigger kids put them on their ankles and wrapped them in the spokes of their bicycles.  It made them much easier to see at night.  I will have to keep that in mind if we ever make it to the midnight bike ride.  :)  The boys liked the glow sticks so much they insisted that they wear them to bed.  So we changed them into their jammies and put the glow sticks back on.  Luckily the blankets masked the glow so it was relatively dark in our tent and didn't keep anyone awake.  :) 

Not that there would have been anyone to keep awake except me as Kevin and Randy went out for more night fishing and I was so exhausted that I practically passed out the second my head hit the pillow. 

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