Wimberley Market Day

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Last Saturday afternoon my dad and I wandered over to Wimberley Market day! We spent our time meandering through the maze of isles full of booths. This market was very popular and for good reason! It was full of fun and quirky items to look at, live music, and good food.


Wimberley Market Days are the first Saturday of the months of March through December, and is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. This event is put on by the town’s Lion Club to give funding for the town! It has proven very successful by providing thousands of dollars in funds each year, contributing to local projects to improve the community. See their website for more information! It amazes me that they are able to do this almost every month of the year, because there were hundreds of booths set up and it was crowded with visitors! They put a lot of effort into this event for a great cause. Admission is free, and parking is only $5.

We arrived at the location, Lions Field, around noon and had some barbecue served at the Lions pavilion and listened to a local band which was quite entertaining. Then we wandered around, trying to stay in the shade as much as possible, and checked out the booths. Many of the vendors were locals, but some traveled here from other towns near the area as well. The items sold were mostly antiques, ranging from furniture to other miscellaneous items. There were others selling handmade furniture, clothing, beauty products, plants and more! I highly encourage you to buy at least one thing when you go, these market days are very important to sustain local businesses! After we we found our way back to where we started, I grabbed an ice cream and sat under a cypress tree to relax for a bit. Overall, this visit was a very enjoyable way to spend an afternoon.

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My Blogging Experience

Since February, I have been writing this blog as a project for my Functions of Digital Media class at Texas State University. With the school year coming to an end, I want to take this post to reflect on my blogging experience. I feel that I have learned a lot, and enjoyed managing and writing my blog more than I thought I would! I am very passionate about my topic, and love that I can share this with others through my posts. In the future, I want to broaden my topic and create more of a lifestyle blog that more people can relate to, including subjects like health, cooking, photography and exercise. All of which I enjoy as well. But of course, I will continue to share my outdoor adventures!

What I’ve learned

I learned a number of things from this project. I found that sharing my posts on social media helped a lot with spreading popularity and growing my viewer count. Facebook served as a significant influence in my viewer count, most likely because most of my close friends and family are on Facebook and are interested in what I’m up to. Social media was key to establishing my audience and served as a great tool.  This experience will also benefit me in the future because it has taught me the importance of networking and using media to promote my image. This is very helpful in the working world    it makes it much easier to enhance your best self to potential employers.

Using a blog has also helped me improve my writing skills and know how to relate to my audience by using the appropriate language. My skills I have improved will definitely be helpful in the working world. Being able to communicate intelligently and effectively is very important, and I believe I will be able to implement those skills into my future profession.

My Stats

My most popular week for views was the week of March 27-April 2. During that week I posted twice and reposted another blogger’s post. I received a total of 164 views and 26 visitors. My most popular post overall was actually my very first post! I think it was the most popular post because it got the most shares on Facebook by my family and friends, which generated a lot of traffic to my page. But my other posts were pretty close, so I was able to maintain a steady audience. Facebook significantly beat twitter as a referrer. I think this is because I have a more established profile on Facebook, and a lot more friends and family members that are interested in what I do.Screen Shot 2017-04-29 at 4.00.00 PM

For my all time stats, Facebook referred 227 views while Twitter referred only 18. Soon I want to begin sharing on my Instagram to gain more attention. Something in my Stats that surprised me was the fact that I actually got views from people in other countries. I received views from people in Canada, Germany, Australia, South Africa, Singapore, and Spain. I think it’s really cool that these people found interest in my blog! Even though my blog is area specific, this reinforced my idea that people everywhere can still find inspiration from my posts.


Overall I am so glad that I began this blog! I’m excited to continue sharing my passions with this community and watch my page grow. This has been such a valuable learning experience!

Follow the Texas State School of Mass Communications and Journalism blog to learn more about their program and the students that are a part of it. And feel free to comment any thoughts or tips for improving my blog!

My Hill Country Bucket List

What better time to make a bucket list than when summer break is right around the corner? In this post I have created my summer 2017 “Hill Country” bucket list. I will be living in Austin this summer (possibly my last summer I will spend living at home   so crazy), but I hope to venture out of Austin and explore other areas that I haven’t before and learn some new things! Feel free to comment if you are inspired by any of my bucket list items, or if you have any ideas for things I should add! Of course my overall Bucket List is much more extensive, but for this I will list just 10 places and things I hope to experience in the Hill Country area this summer.


  1. Float The Guadalupe River

Floating the Guadalupe River is a must-do in Texas. How sad is it that I have been living in Texas for 10 years and NEVER floated the Guadalupe!? I absolutely need to do this over the summer. There are multiple places to rent tubes along this river, I checked out WhiteWater Sports in New Braunfels, Texas, which also shares property with the Whitewater Amphitheater; a great music venue that I have been to a couple of times. Whitewater sports has shuttles at every drop-off/pick-up point, so walking far wouldn’t be an issue, it is also affordable ($24 per person), and seems pretty well-organized and legitimate. I would love to take a day to float the river and then catch a country music concert afterwards.

2. Explore Krause Springs in Spicewood

Krause Springs is a beautiful property that has been owned by the Krause family for many years. It is 115 acres with 32 springs to swim in. There are also relaxing gardens, picnic areas, and camping sites! The scenery looks so beautiful and inviting, and the springs look especially appealing for a hot summer day. Visitors are required to pay a fee upon entering the property, it is $8 for adults and $5 for children for the day. Check out their website to see more photos and find out more.

3. Visit Garner State Park

Garner State Park is located in Concan, Texas and offers  1,774 acres of the gorgeous Hill Country Landscape. Visitors can rent paddle boats, kayaks and inner tubes to enjoy the Frio River that winds through the park. There are miles of hiking trails throughout the park that I would love to explore. There is also a multitude of attractions to entertain visitors, from a museum to geology and bat tours. This place is perfect to bring friends and family! Check out their website to learn more and see more photos of the park!

4. Picnic at the top of Mount Bonnell

Mount Bonnell is located in Austin, literally 10 minutes away from my house… So I honestly don’t know why I haven’t gone up there before! It is claimed to be the highest point in Austin, but only a brief set of stairs will get you to the top. From there, you get a perfect view the downtown Austin skyline and Lake Austin below. This quick hike is perfect for a clear day! I would love to picnic at the top on a sunny day to truly enjoy the sights and the fresh air.

5. Learn to Wake board at a Cable Park

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Chris wake boarding at Quest ATX Cable Park

One of my goals for this summer is to get better at wake boarding. My boyfriend, Chris, and some of his friends are into it, and I think it’s really cool! I have tried learning at a cable park before (if you haven’t heard of a cable park    it is basically a large pond with an overhead cable system, a rope is attached to the cable and pulls you around the park while you wake board), but I did not do very well… haha! It is challenging but I definitely need to try again. A popular cable park in the area is BSR Cable Park, located in Waco, Texas. This park has a large pond for wake boarding with an island in the middle (there are also lemurs on the island, how awesome is that) and other additions such as the famous Royal Flush; three massive slides that attract hundreds of visitors   you may have seen a viral youtube video of people shooting down them! I think it would be really fun to take a day trip to this park, but there are also a couple of local Austin cable parks like Next Level Ride and Quest ATX. Each one is unique in their own way!

6. Hang out at Blue Hole Regional Park in Wimberley

Wimberley, Texas is one of my favorite Hill Country towns. I think it is such a charming and unique town full of natural beauty. The Blue Hole Regional Park is 126 acres and offers access to Cypress Creek, hiking trails, and recreational areas. Admission into the park is $9 for adults and $5 for children. Check out their website for more information. This place is perfect to bring friends and family for a fun summer day. The swimming areas along Cypress Creek provide an escape from the Texas heat. Wimberley also has great places to eat and shop, so it is the perfect town to take a day trip to!

7. Go on a weekend getaway to Fredericksburg

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Wikimedia Commons

Fredericksburg, Texas is a historical German town that is FULL of fun things to do. There are tons of shops, restaurants, parks and trails to experience. You can easily spend a weekend here and never get bored! This town has such a unique atmosphere that can’t be found anywhere else. It appeals to families with young children or adults looking to get away   there is something for everyone! See their town website to find out more and plan an itinerary. I would love to stay at an Inn or Cottage for the weekend and venture out to some of their parks to do some hiking or running and enjoy the town’s gorgeous Hill Country scenery.

Read: Enchanted Rock

8. Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga With Breath and Body Yoga

See their video from one of their Stand Up Paddle Yoga Classes.

One of my goals for this summer is to start doing yoga. I have always been interested in yoga and have taken a few classes here and there, but I really would like to get better. I also feel like it will be good for me    I tend to overthink a lot of things and get stressed easily so think it will be a good way to regularly clear my mind. But while doing my research on studios, I came across Stand Up Paddle Board yoga by Breath and Body Yoga. Classes are $45, but I think it would be worth the experience. I have seen SUP yoga before on Lake Austin and Travis, so there may be cheaper classes out there! Either way I would love to try this! It seems like a challenge, but also a fun way to get a good workout.

9. Hike the Barton Creek Greenbelt

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Wikimedia Commons

Hiking the Barton Creek Greenbelt is a popular activity in Austin. I have hiked it before, but it’s been a while! The greenbelt is about 800 acres with trails along Barton Creek. There are multiple places to access the trail, but it begins at Zilker Park in downtown Austin. The greenbelt is gorgeous and provides a lot of shade and swimming areas to escape the heat. Check out this article to find out more about this trail and see a trail map. I think it would be fun to go for a morning run on one of the trails and then take a dip in the creek afterwards!

10. Swim at Jacob’s Well

Jacob’s well is located between Dripping Springs and Wimberley. I always see posts by people at this swimming hole, and I’ve always wanted to visit! I don’t know very much about it, but I know it’s a pretty popular spot to spend a warm summer day! Check out this article to find out more. The entrance fee is $9 for adults ($5 for Hays county residents) and $5 for children. Many people jump off a rock into the spring, as you can see above! This looks like a good hang out spot to relax and enjoy the sun.


Be sure to comment what you think. I hope I have inspired some of my readers to go out and enjoy the outdoors this summer!!

All photos found on Creative Commons

Interview With TukTuk Boards

Hi!

For my Digital Media class I had the opportunity film a short interview with Tom, the creator of a local Austin company that produces and sells quality wake surf, surf, and stand-up paddle boards. I hope you all enjoy, and be sure to check out the TukTuk website to find out more!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch

This week my awesome boyfriend surprised me with a trip to the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch and it was SO COOL! This ranch is home to 40 exotic, native and endangered animals across the world; it is truly an “African safari   Texas style”! This place is perfect to bring a date, friends, or the whole family. It is located between New Braunfels and San Antonio, and the tickets are $22 for adults and $13.50 for children.


My boyfriend Chris and I started out in the walking area at the entrance to the ranch where visitors could view giraffes, monkeys, and lemurs. The giraffes were one of my favorites, they even have a “giraffe barn” that visitors could go in and get up close with the giraffes. This ranch prides itself in its giraffe conservation effort, which is really awesome. You can learn more about their Giraffe Conservation efforts and the famous twin giraffes that were born on the ranch here.

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A giraffe in the “Tower Creek” portion of the Wildlife Ranch

After admiring the giraffes, we hopped in the truck and headed to the Drive-Thru portion of the ranch! This road winds through 450 acres in the beautiful Texas Hill Country landscape. We saw so many animals like antelope, bison, longhorn, zebras, ostrich, and much more! You can also feed the animals if they get close enough. I would suggest getting to the park during the cooler parts of the day like morning or late evening when the animals are more active! But Chris and I got there around 3:30 and still had an awesome time. We still got up close with a lot of the animals; my favorites were the zebras and the ostriches!

The drive thru took an hour or so and was definitely worth the experience. We finished our trip at the petting zoo to empty out the rest of our bags of feed and then checked out the gift shop. Overall, this trip was definitely an adventure to remember and a great way to spend an afternoon!


Take a look at the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch website for more information. Also see my gallery for more photos!

Thank you to Chris for such a great surprise 🙂

Paddle Boarding on Lady Bird Lake

Hi friends! Sorry this post is late, I had a very busy weekend 🙂 but full of fun!! This past Sunday was my 19th birthday, which was thankfully a beautiful day so I got to spend the majority of the day outside doing things I love! I spent my morning out at the barn where I ride horses, then met up with a friend afterwards to go paddle boarding on Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin. Paddle boarding downtown is always fun and the perfect way to take advantage of the sunshine!

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Photo from Creative Commons (CC) by @crockodile

My good friend Kyle and I got to the dock around 3 and paddled for about an hour or so. We went a mile up the lake to the Pluger People Bridge. This way we could get a great view of the downtown Austin. We took our time enjoying the sights, goofing around, attempting to do handstands on our paddle boards (harder than you would think) and capturing the views around us with Kyle’s GoPro. We had so much fun! Although we stayed on the main part of the lake, there are a lot of neat coves, like the Barton Springs Creek, to explore. But I really just enjoy being apart of the active community of Austin and getting to experience its gorgeous views from the lake.

 


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Kyle and I on Lady Bird Lake with downtown Austin in the background

There are a few places to rent paddle boards to use on Lady Bird Lake, the seemingly most popular and the one I usually go to is SUPatx located at the Texas Rowing Center (1541 West Cesar Chavez, Austin, TX). I highly recommend this company because although it may be crowded on nice days, the staff is awesome and always move quickly, and they have an endless amount of paddle boards so you don’t have to worry about waiting! They are very well organized and super helpful if you have any questions! SUP Rentals are available for all ages, minors are required to have a parent or guardian with them/ signing for them (depending on their age). Rental fees are per hour   paddle boards are $20 on weekends and $15 on weekdays.

Going out on Lady Bird Lake is always so enjoyable with family or friends, be sure to try it!

 


The Texas Rowing Center also rents out kayaks and canoes and even have summer programs and rowing clubs you can join if you are interested in that as well. I encourage you to check our their website to find out more information!