04/13/17

Chica Afuera at Brackenridge Park

I am where I know I was meant to be.

My first Easter at Brackenridge Park

You don’t have to travel far to find yourself in Nature. These parks, trails and open spaces are usually not that far from your home or work. The more I explore the more I uncover. The more I uncover, the more I want to share. My memories are many and I will forever be grateful that my parents loved me enough to fuel my soul. Was it my smiles and my enthusiasm every time they took me to the park that made them realize that was my happy place? Perhaps it was a combination of the love they had for me to want to see me smile and their appreciation for the outdoors. Whatever it was … it worked! Nature was a natural thing growing up. The outdoors was my playground!

Every park has it’s story and that is the journey.

 

If you ask me what my favorite city park is I would have to say Brackenridge Park. This very popular park is minutes from downtown San Antonio and I am totally positive that the reasons for it’s popularity would include the San Antonio Zoo, Japanese Tea GardenWitte MuseumBrackenridge Park Golf Course, walking trails, playgrounds, fishing, bird watching, a miniature train, Kiddie Park and the Sunken Garden Theater. These attractions are all withing walking distance from each other so make sure you put on a good pair of walking shoes when visiting and exploring.

San Antonio Zoo

Brackenridge Park is rich with history with evidence of human visitation and occupation dating back 11,000 years. Native American artifacts dating as early as 9200 B.C. have been found inside the parks boundaries. Historical buildings remain standing in the park as well like that of the 1878 Pumphouse #1, the oldest industrial building in Bexar County.

If your just old enough you might even remember the Horse stable, paddle boats and the Sky Ride that you would board at the Japanese Tea Garden and exit at the Zoo. For the record … I’m just old enough to remember, lol.

In my heart there are memories and there they will always be!

 

This park was introduced to me by my parents. It was a happy place for us and when I grew up and had my own family it was the first park I took my girls.

I have seen the park change through the years and the growth and development has been great. The Conservancy seeks to ensure the best possible user experience for future generations by improving park amenities, providing programming, and building a sense of stewardship in the community.

This park is very special to many and family traditions run deep.  It’s all about quality family time no matter where you are. The element of outdoors is just a plus. San Antonio Parks & Recreation does allow overnight camping during Easter weekend and they do extend the curfew hours. Check out the link in case your feeling adventurous, lol.

Fitfunand … Pafuera!

San Antonio Zoo with my Mom

 

 

 

 

 

09/10/16
Hike n Bike through San Antonio Missions Historic Park - FitFunAnd.com

#Sunday Funday: Hike ‘n Bike through the San Antonio Missions Historic Park.

The National Park Service celebrated 100 years of service on August 25th, 2016 and we were all invited to join in on the fun. In Texas a few friends and I attended a red carpet event at a local theater to watch a screening of the National Parks Adventure IMAX film. If you haven’t already seen it I would highly suggest it!

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I am honored to represent my community as the Ambassador for Latino Outdoors~Southwest. This platform allows me to creatively explore the outdoors and highlight the beauty of Texas parks. Lucky me!

I had an amazing opportunity to not just join a celebration but put one together. I had been in contact with Tiara the Outdoor leader in San Antonio for Outdoor Afro and we thought it would be a fantastic idea to join our groups for the Centennial. These two organizations are changing the faces of conservation. A diverse set of people exploring, sharing and showcasing their love for the outdoors.

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Tiara and I thought it would be a great idea to do a Hike ‘n Bike along the beautiful river connecting our Missions.

Mission San Juan Capistrano and Mission San Francisco de la Espada are about a 3 mile round trip down the San Antonio River. Two groups, two parks and some cool peeps : ). The group was amazing and the weather was perfect!

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I am inspired and happiest the most outside exploring and it was even more special because we honored the Centennial. We hiked and biked to our destinations with smiles on our faces. A sweet thank you to San Antonio B-cycle who offered our group a 50% discount to rent the bikes located at the Missions. Find your park they said and together we did just that.

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Sunday Funday Hike n’ Bike

I wasn’t done yet! There was just one more event left for me and that was to run the NPS 100th Birthday Virtual 5k/10k/half. A virtual race is basically your pace, your race, your chosen destination. You register on line and a portion of the fee goes to the specified race and in my case, the National Park Foundation. When you complete your race you turn in your time and a couple of weeks later you receive a medal in the mail. The medal for this particular race was a Ranger Hat and you can see why this was a no brainer : ).

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I decided to run the 10k (6.2) miles over to the beautiful Mission Concepción. This stone church was dedicated in 1755, and appears very much as it did over two centuries ago. It stands proudly as the oldest unrestored stone church in America. In its heyday, colorful geometric designs covered its surface, but the patterns have long since faded or been worn away. A perfect place to reflect on what once was and what is now.

Just because the celebration has ended doesn’t mean the party is over! Head over to National Parks and be inspired to discover these amazing open spaces. Now go on and get lost, anywhere is a good place to start!

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FitfunandNPS Centennial!

 

 

 

08/24/16

#National Park Centennial: Happy 100th and Many More!

On August 25th 2016 the National Park Service will be celebrating 100 years of service. We are all invited to join in celebrations across the nation.

Happy Birthday National Park Service!

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Big Bend National Park, TX

We have the most amazing parks and to make it even more fun I have decided to run a 10k Virtual Race in honor of celebrating our beautiful open spaces.

A virtual race is like any traditional race without the hassle of location and crowds. It’s your race to run anywhere your heart desires. Your race, your pace, your chosen place! A full registration comes with a race shirt, printable bib, medal and the chance to win prizes. You turn in your results and your medal will be mailed to you.

The NPS 100th Virtual race has extended the race registration till August 28th, 2016. I just had to … the medal is a precious Ranger Hat! Do you still need another reason? A portion of each registration will be donated to the National Park Foundation : )!

The National Park Service (NPS) is an agency of the United States federal government that manages all U.S. national parks, many American national monuments and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations. The NPS is charged with a dual role of preserving the ecological and historical integrity of the places entrusted to its management while also making them available and accessible for public use and enjoyment.

May you find yourself outdoors … running, cycling or just simply hiking! Let the wind play with your hair and may Nature nuture your soul.

FREE admission to all 412 national parks starting August 25th-28th, so plan a visit and Find your Park

Where will you find yourself : )?

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Fitfunand … Afuera!

 

07/31/16

#Latino Conservation Week: Inks Lake State Park, Texas.

The Latino passion for the Outdoors was in full swing. A week showcasing our fearless spirits and beautiful selves engaging, experiencing and advocating for the great Outdoors.

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Inks Lake State Park, Texas

Latino Conservation Week took place July 16 to July 24 2016.  This Nationwide initiative provided an opportunity for Latinos to come together and to demonstrate their passion for the outdoors, both for enjoyment and preservation. Highlighting our lands and the spirit that stirs the Latino souls. Disfrutando y Conservando Nuestra Tierra!

In its third year, the week as grown to more than 100 events nationwide!

I had an opportunity to host an event at Inks Lake State Park. A hill country gem perfect for a day trip or a weekend getaway. Because the lake’s level usually stays constant, you can play here year-round. This would be the place to perfect our kayaking and canoeing skills.

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July 23rd was the day to gather new friends and old friends at Inks’s Lake State Park in honor of Latino Conservation Week. Many of us had no clue what our journey to the final destination aptly named Devil’s Watering Hole would include. The name alone should have scared off my tribe, LOL. Devil’s Watering Hole is a place where many daredevils take a plunge from the cliffs into a deep sink hole, YIKES! No worries, it really is a pretty safe place.

I couldn’t wait to get into the water to try the kayak and listening to the nervous chatter and laughter around me I knew I wasn’t the only one!

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I am extremely happy that my group trusted me in guiding them to a location that I just knew would take us out of our comfort zone but in the greatest way. We engaged, we explored and we even walked a little taller exiting our kayaks & canoes. Every day is a chance to be greater than the day before. Mission accomplished for Latino Outdoors Southwest!

A special thanks to Sean D. Jones our Park Ranger Interpreter, Jasmine Scott with Texas Parks & Wildlife and to the sweet volunteer Allicia. Jasmine was my first point of contact and was excited to hear about the initiative and the event and even volunteered to come in on her day off to be with us, wow!

Exploring every chance we get. Mountains, Hills, Rivers, Lakes, Trails … here we come, Latino Outdoors.

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Fitfunand … Afuera!

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07/19/16

#TexasParks: Take a Hike Y’all!

I love Texas where just about any road trip leads you to a nearby river, lake or spring. The Texas heat can get pretty brutal so a park with water to dive, dip or swim, is a must for me. Thank you Texas for having some amazing watering holes!

The National Park Service turns 100 on August 25, 2016. This centennial will kick off a second century of stewardship in America’s parks which will engage communities through recreation, conservation, and historic preservation programs.

We have all been invited to Find Your Park on a national level and to explore programs in our own backyard.

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My “backyard” is the Texas Hill Country. Texas is my state, born and raised!  A 25-county region of Central Texas and South Texas. The Hill Country reaches into portions of the two metropolitan areas, especially in San Antonio’s northern suburbs and the western half of Travis County, ending southwest of Downtown Austin.

A perfect road trip would include family, friends, hills, river fun and if i’m really lucky a winery or two : ).

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Dry Comal Creek

I do have some favorite parks that made the “must visit because Josie said” list : )! These beautiful outdoor parks are in no particular order because each park is unique in what is has to offer. Local Parks, State Parks, National Parks or the ever popular Texas watering holes. I am happy to share some of these outdoor gems with you, because after all … Sharing is caring! 

Texas Parks

Garner State Park

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Pedernales State Park

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Guadalupe River State Park

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Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

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Hamilton Pool Preserve

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San Antonio Missions National Historical Park Texas

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Mission San Jose

Krause Springs

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Comal Springs & Landa Park

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Mitchell Lake Audubon

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Big Bend National Park Texas

 

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Texas parks have my heart. I am never disappointed but I would be if I hadn’t wandered. Big Bend was the biggest and definitely the most challenging for me so far in terms of the terrain but it left me wanting more. I know in my heart I will be going back and I will set no boundaries for the open spaces that nurture my soul and make me smile ear to ear : ). The more I discover the more I uncover … my happy place, Outdoors!

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Big Bend National Park Texas

Latino Outdoors ~ Josie Southwest Ambassador

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Malibu Creek State Park – California

Take the Pledge to Take Care of Texas and receive a FREE Texas Parks & Wildlife State Park Guide and a FREE sticker!

Free Texas Hill Country PassportVisit 18 or more of the 24 Hill Country destinations. Have your passport stamped at each location and then win tickets, outdoor adventures, tours and more.

Join us in Celebrating Latino Conservation Week at Inks Lake State Park.

For additional information email Josie@latinooutdoors.org

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Fitfunand … Parks!!