Hamilton Pool Dream Come True

Hamilton Pool is another Texas treasure!!!  This natural wonder is located just outside of Austin to the West.   You have to make reservations to go and there is no guarantee that you will be able to swim because of bacteria levels which are tested daily.  Reservations are from 9-1PM and 2PM-6PM.  This is my own opinion, but I think there are bats in the “grotto” and I would think that the unsafe bacteria specifically ecoli might have something to do with their poop.  That’s just a guess.   It’s worth the risk to make the 3 hour drive because you can still enjoy the view of this beauty which is quite spectacular.   And there are plenty of other things to do in the area. Determined to go, I made the reservations months ago.  Even if I had to go by myself. Fortunately, my mother-in-law, son, daughter and friend went with! Your reservation is by the carload and since we have smaller vehicles, it was worth it to rent a minivan.  I looked at this day trip as a mini vacation and treated it as such!  We were comfortable!

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We began the 1/4 mile rough terrain to the water.  It really is steep in some places and rocky, the rocks aren’t even.  There isn’t anything to hang on to.  People lug their coolers, chairs and floats regardless!  There is no wheelchair access, which makes me sad because for people with disabilities this would be a huge challenge to go see and some would never go.

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The vegetation kept the hot Texas sun away.  There are lots of mesquite trees and cypress as you get towards the water.  I’m standing on the “beach”  here taking my first picture. This is where we laid out some towels and I called it our base camp.  The beach is rocky crushed rock with good size stones.  Outside of the stunning beauty of the cave like curved roof with water gently falling into a clear green massive pool, I noticed these three very large catfish at the water’s edge.  They hung out there the entire time!  First things first, I wanted to explore!  You can walk in the cave all along it to the other side.

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I thought bats were coming out of the swallow nests, but they aren’t.  If you look closely, you can see the muddy nests with a hole in the middle on the ceiling.

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Here is a view of the beach from the other side…

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Sometimes the water that falls is quite massive, on a day like today, it was picture perfect for standing under.

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Under the waterfall is the rock where people jump in.  I swam around the pool.  At first I thought it was going to be freezing because the water temperatures are in the 60s year round.  It was cold at first, you quickly get used to it.  Even though the water looks clear along the edges, it isn’t as it gets deeper.  Still it’s a very pretty green.  Looking up at the water falling is pretty cool as you see the droplets take the plunge.  I could have spent the day here, however my crew is not the chilling type.  At least not here.  I’m guessing it’s because there is no cellular service.

The idea was to eat here, bringing in food.  However, for this group it was a better idea to go out to lunch/dinner.  We ended up going to Canyon Grill which is on lake Travis.  We had another amazing view and great food!  Fantastic day ! ❤

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Hamilton Pool Dream Come True

It’s hotter than hell!

It’s mid July…and you guessed it…in Texas it’s hotter than hell!  This week it’s my turn to host bunco!  What is bunco?  It’s a game of dice that needs ideally at least 8 people that sit at two tables of four people to roll six’s on 3 dice.  I don’t even remember how to play anymore, however our group still get’s together!  We now just go out for dinner once a month or have a get together at someone’s house.  Since I am not a big entertainer, this is huge for me.  Once a year, I host at least 3 additional people to my current household…LOL!   We have a pool and a grill and I can cook.  We had fajitas and “poor man” Sangria… here is the recipe…

a glass

cut up some orange slices, a strawberry and add 3 black berries

add 1/2 a glass of Sprite Zero

the rest red wine

and whala, Sangria.

I made fajitas and  a snickerdoodle dessert that one of my bunco friends posted on Facebook.  It’s so funny that my friends asked who would make it…I was never asked or mentioned…hmmm.  Well my family thought it was the best thing I ever made.  So I’m going to go with that…yeah!

We had a great time in the hot tub…which by the way the light doesn’t work.  (now a weekend project).

My husband was to have a going a way party at our house for one of his co-workers. We’ve been here for about 15 years and well the shape of our house is not perfect. We do our own landscaping, cleaning and maintenance and it probably shows!  (not perfect).  I don’t feel really comfortable with people from his work here because things need painting, updating, maybe a little deeper cleaning…etc.  The pool has some black algae spots… what can you do?  I’m working on it.  It’s always something.

Oh well!  I love looking up homes for sale in various places (Texas/Florida).  Since we are going to visit California, I thought I would look there since at this time of year it is not as hot.  How does anyone live there?  We can live in a shack for 1/2  a million dollars there. In Texas that same 1/2 a million and even way less than that you can live in basically a mansion.  We had a man from the pest control service come out this week. He is from southern California and mentioned the same thing.  So hard to live there compared to here because of the expense. I’m really looking forward to that trip to see what it’s like to be in southern California.   What is it with the quest for California?  I know for me it’s the waves and the beach and the outdoors.

This weekend….tennis tennis and biking!  It’s so weird, I thought I would be in great shape over the summer training for the triatholon and I’ve actually gained weight!  What??? Seriously this is ridiculous!  I work out like a mad women.  I have a fitness tracker set with the max goal that I meet pretty much daily.  But, I eat and drink apparently too much ! Such a sad face there.  Still looking for balance!

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It’s hotter than hell!

Jacob’s Well – A Texas Treasure

The time is finally here!  A reserved swim at Jacob’s well.  If you are going to make the journey from Houston to Wimberly, Texas you might as well plan on a few stops!   We could not believe the traffic on I10 between Houston and San Antonio, there were no accidents  and no construction, however the traffic was stop and go, which was very strange…maybe fourth of July weekend?  I was worried that we wouldn’t get to swim because we had a 12PM reservation and we were late! Hmmm, it is nice that they say swiming is for reservation only because it’s such a small place, there isn’t room for a large crowd, however I was completely shocked that there is no one policing it.  They don’t tell you, time to go.  And there is no lifeguard on duty which is also shocking.  You could jump from way up high, then mid way then pretty close and you are on limestone rocks that are slippy when wet.   They say no diving…um says who? jacobs well It is a 10 minute walk to one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen.  Being that it’s a state park I can’t believe there are no park personnel.   This is the beginning of Cypress Creek.  Which is murky in Houston, and CRYSTAL clear in Wimberly.  The water temp is about 68 degrees.  Here it’s a spring and it’s at least 120 feet down!  It’s like you are jumping into the abyss!

I talked to an adjacent property owner that walked by, he was an older man and said that in the 40s his grandfather built what appears to be a walk way around the well.  It definitely looks like it was made, and he told me it was because the well filled up with silt from flooding, they dug it out and took the material they dug out and built the platform that protects the well from filling up with material during flooding.  (It diverts the water around it).

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This is an amazing experience.  I could have stayed here longer, however my adult teen and her boyfriend were ready to move on.   Which is fine…I wanted to go to an Olive oil “vineyard”…you can’t not go, it’s only 3 miles from here.  So we went to Bella Vista.  A lot of their oils and vinegars are made in California.  I made it a point to get the one made here.  I tasted it and it was good.  They also make wine, however I didn’t try any.  Another gorgeous place.  (They have a tour, which I didn’t even look into considering my company).

We then went to lunch at a place called the Leaning Pear that my daughter picked out…which was really great!  The restaurant is on Cypress Creek.  I got an amazing pic…

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My crew was up for one more adventure. And I was happy to hear that my daughter’s friend had never been tubing down the river.  Wow!  What an experience!  The river today is a little faster with all of the recent rains, apparently the Army Corp of Engineers are going to let out more water after the July 4th weekend which means the river will close! However today tubing on the Comal river was nice!   They allow for people to drink beer or whatever on the river (police were definitely here today) and when you get out that’s it. We spent about $20/per person for a couple of hours and got a ride back to the car.  tubingcomal

I am the luckiest person on earth to be able to have a day like this!  ❤

Jacob’s Well – A Texas Treasure

Summer turns me upside down…in Texas

Summer officially begins June 20th according to the solstice dates, but that is not how people in Texas determine the start of summer.  The start of summer is recognized here by school ending, the community pools opening, the weather turning warm and humid and for me…the crepe myrtles blooming (my favorite summer tree).  Summer is here! And summer is long!  It stays hot all of the way  through the end of September, but somewhere around then you feel the change to fall.  You just won’t see the leaves change until December.

Now to hit the things to do that are perfect for summer in Texas!  So what does one do in Texas during the summer?  For sure you need to hit a body of water.  Being the water lover that I am, I am a bit of a connoisseur of water activities in Texas.  There is always room to expand the knowledge!  The beaches, while abundant are not my first choice.  Galveston our little island, has plenty to do, however if you are from Florida, you tend to be spoiled by clear water and that is not what we have here ….anywhere from Galveston, to Port Aransas, to South Padre.   These are all really popular places to go to the beach and are fun, just if you really, really like being in the water, you might want to be able to see your toes and open your eyes under water and you can’t do that here.    Some of the lakes are kind of the same thing, murky but not all lakes in Texas!!!  Austin has some of the most amazing places for water activities.  Barton Springs is a clear spring and SUPER cold!  Like 68-70 degrees year round!  Ok, for me that is cold, water temperature to me needs to be like bath water.  Tubing is really fun also.  Places like the Comal River or the Guadeloupe River between San Antonio and Austin are a must!!   It’s super relaxing to float peacefully down the river on a hot summer day in clear water!   And a stop by the town of Gruene is a must too.  It’s one of my favorite Texas towns.  The Grist Mill restaurant in Gruene is perched on a hill overlooking the Comal River and the tubers.  It’s amazing in the summer and the winter.  It’s so open that you are either really hot or really cold.  So it’s fans or the big Texas fireplace to help balance the temperature.  And their steak is nothing short of awesomeness.

So I booked my July reservations for Hamilton Pool and Jacobs Well (It’s by reservation only now) near Austin.  Both are in state parks and are natural clear water bodies.  Both are similar, Hamilton Pool is described as “A scenic natural swimming pool in a canyon below a 50-ft waterfall, surrounded by a grotto”.  Oh heck yeah, need to go there!  It’s hard to get commitment from others, I just booked it anyway. (If you book it they will go? … we’ll see)

Tubing down the Comal River…

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Port A…

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Can’t wait to share new adventures of places to go in Texas!

Summer turns me upside down…in Texas