A week ago we took a quick trip to Port Aransas, TX. It was a three hour drive, and we left on a Sunday afternoon and returned Tuesday evening. I think it's the first time we've traveled overnight as a family since we moved from Maryland. Our Pilot was packed to the brim. Every day I would check the forecast in hopes that somehow the thunderstorms predicted would just magically disappear. The weather didn't end up being ideal, but thankfully we were still able to do everything we wanted to.
We rented a condo a couple blocks from the beach. It was quiet and comfortable and perfect for our family.
Nate took the kids on a walk to the beach Sunday night, but Monday morning we packed all the sand toys and swimsuits and really got to play. The birds were not shy and apparently have a thing for Nacho Cheese Doritos. You can see Jansen's orange tipped fingers in this picture. He had a chip snatched right out of his hand.
We spent most of the morning building sandcastles (and trying to reinforce and protect castles from the tide) and digging.
Leah's little shoes never did recover from this beach trip. :)
There were a few dead jellyfish on the beach. Sunday night Jansen stepped on one and then tucked his shoes under his arm and that contact alone gave him a big rash and he was in A LOT of pain for about 45 minutes. We tried to be really careful, but at some point Natalie got stung on the beach too. It was probably a good 30 minutes of wailing before she felt better.
After lunch and a little break we went swimming. Leah LOVED it. She was really kind of crazy.
We actually didn't eat out a single time on our trip except for an ice cream stop. We eat better if we bring our food, it's less expensive, the kids eat it better, and we don't have to wrangle kids in a restaurant. We found a funky little ice cream place on Monday and stopped for a treat though.
There were some pretty crazy thunderstorms that night. I thought it was kind of fun - being so close to the beach and all - but we lost power in the middle of the night. The neighboring condo had a faulty smoke alarm that was going off for a lot of the night, so it wasn't our best night of sleep.
We were still able to do some exploring the next day even after the bad weather. Emmy is wearing a little mood necklace she picked out at a souvenir shop. We watched dolphins and had a picnic lunch at a park Tuesday morning.
Port Aransas is a really great place for birdwatching. Nate saw 82 species while we were there, and we saw a gigantic alligator at this nature preserve.
Last stop before heading home was a little candy shop. The kids filled up some bags with a crazy assortment of things to help keep them quiet and happy on the drive home. One of my very greatest treasures is memories of my childhood, and it's so hard to believe we are right in the middle of making those lasting memories with the kids right now. I love to think that we added some great moments to their little memory tanks on this trip.