Summer weather is finally here, friends! And it is wonderful! And beautiful. And makes us want to be outside playing and splashing.
That’s exactly what we did these past two weekends, starting with our first swim of the season on Mother’s day. I love living here in the Austin area. Just love it. I thought I loved Houston, but this is a whole new experience for us. I’ve never lived somewhere with a local swimming hole. And Austin is full of swimming holes!
When we lived in the Houston area, we were always about an hour and a half drive from Galveston. We’ve probably only been there about a half dozen times. My husband is really outdoorsy but doesn’t like going to the beach because all I want to do is lay on the sand. I mean, he’s not wrong. And I’ve probably only taken my toddler to the beach 2-3 times and I’m pretty sure they all were while he was away on active duty and other friendly people took me with them or when my parents visited.
But now, we live near rivers and lakes. It’s more fun to hang out in the water than it is laying on rocky or grassy shores. So we’ve found a way the whole family can enjoy a fantastic summer day at our local swimming hole!
What you need for a Summer Day at the Local Swimming Hole
My husband went a little Amazon happy and ordered us a ton of great stuff to make our day at the river fun-tastic.
But first, let’s talk safety. We’re excited that our little one is 3.5 now and is able to really enjoy excursions with us. This wasn’t so much an option when hew as a baby or a younger toddler, but we’re working on teaching him to swim and feel in control when he’s in the water.
The first thing we got for him was a life vest. We tried those water wings with him but he wasn’t so much a fan, and the life vest was perfect. It let him go under when he wanted and has given him the confidence to practice “scoop, scoop, kick, kick” without us holding him. Plus, we got him this adorable dino vest, so super double win. It’s meant for kids 30-50 pounds, so it’s perfect for our 35-pound hippo. And yes, hippo is his nickname.
The next thing is a lesson learned: get ocean shoes for all! We had our kiddo in sandals that strapped on around his ankles, but he kept taking them off in the water. And he ended up cutting his foot. So going forward we’re making sure everyone is wearing appropriate footwear. Hubby’s sticking to his 5-finger shoes haha.
See on Amazon
Now let’s move on to the fun! The best thing hubby found for our adventure is a 4-person inflatable boat. It is amazing!
This is where the real fun took place. Our first day out we spent the day just hanging out at the shore and swimming, and I got to enjoy my new inflatable chair kindly provided by TRONO complimentary for my review. It’s super awesome because you don’t need a pump (though we already had one for the boat anyway) but all you do is spin around to catch some airflow and twist the opening closed for support. And done.
But as we hung out in the shallow waters that day, we saw so many paddling their kayaks and floating around in giant inner tubes. And I could see the ideas forming in hubby’s mind. When we came home, he ordered this boat. And we took it out this past weekend, and let me tell you it was the best day ever. #BESTDAYEVER
It folds down so small but inflated is very roomy. Hubby got to row us around, he also got out and swam and pulled us, which was very fun. And H and I? We lounged. We jumped out and swam. We splashed. It was fantastic.
After a few hours of rowing and swimming, we tied off to a tree and had our picnic lunch. Then we floated back to the starting point and swam some more. Just an amazing time.
Seriously though, this boat made our day fantastic! It’s super sturdy and in addition to the 3 of us, we had our cooler, our folded up cart that we used to carry the boat from the truck to the water edge, our inflatable and folding chairs, our two backpacks (waterproof backpacks I should add), and our Camelbak.
Here’s the rest of our accessories:
And here’s one of the waterproof dry bag backpacks, which came with a cell phone case for waterproof photo taking! YES!
So, if you’re looking for a fantastic way to spend this summer, and have access to a local swimming hole or lake – do your whole family a favor and get an inflatable boat and have yourselves a wonderful summer!