Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Island Living

We just returned from a glorious vacation in South Padre Island, TX. If you're like me, you had no idea that such an island existed in the U.S. of A. We happened upon it as we badgered people for vacation ideas. It was a perfect vacation spot because it's in the Gulf of Mexico, and it's the off season, so condo rentals were half off. As a matter of fact, I was so excited for this trip that the day before we were ready to leave, I painted my toenails and forgot to paint one toe.
DAY 1:
Up at the butt crack of dawn for Evan's first ride on an airplane. I look like a chipmunk.
 Otherwise...50 snacks, 25 meltdowns and 300 lollipops later, we landed to a 90 degree sunny day at a miniature airport in Brownsville where we grabbed a rental car and headed to the island. 
I like that word. Island.
Speaking of Island....

We arrived at the bridge. We have to watch out for Pelican's (per the sign). PELICANS!
We're just over the bridge and a sign announces our destination:
 We didn't waste time. I mean there are palm trees here. We headed straight to the condo and barged in.

 This is the first view we had upon arrival into the condo:
That picture was taken from the balcony. My hope is that you were able to ignore hairy-chested old man lounging by the pool below. Also, I used dramatic license because technically this is the first view before you get out onto the balcony:
Ahhh. While we're here, let's take a listen, shall we?
Now for the tour of the rest of the condo:
Entryway: Kitchen and living room all in a conglomerated mass.
 The bedroom with the pink bedspread that Dawson threw a fit about because he didn't want to sleep in a bed with a pink bedspread. Oh look! I spy with my little eye an Evan that didn't want to nap and cried his way through it.
The bedroom we kept Dawson from having. You can see that this room has a balcony with a stunning view of the beach. And, more importantly, no pink bedspread.
 This is me. That is my hair deflated by humidity. All of you now know the reason we had to move to humidity-free Colorado. It was all for my hair. 
This is the view from our balcony of our pool. We don't jump from the balcony into the pool because we wouldn't land in water. We'd land on pavement. Although I probably wouldn't use the word land. More like splat.
All of those pictures were taken within mere minutes of arriving. It was time to get to the beach. I couldn't wait to see the reactions from Dawson and Evan since it was their first experience of the ocean. I brought my shark whistle just in case. I would like to point out 2 things first.

1. Because it is the off season, we pretty much had the condo, the pool and the beach all to ourselves.
2. The ocean water was around 80 degrees
I wanted to take a real quick picture outside the door of the condo and you might see a display of annoyance from a certain boy named Dawson because he felt that the 3.2 seconds it would take me to get the picture would waste valuable beach time.
We are about to cross the pier that will lead us to water.
And finally...
THE OCEAN

 I would like to interject here by saying that people who have combovers should consider moving to the beach. It seems to be a permanent and natural occurrence for a combover to occur, as you can plainly see by mine in the picture below.
A nice lady saw us acting like tourists and offered to take our family picture.
If you're my mom and you're reading this: Yes, I did apply sun screen to my feet.
We had dinner out at a seafood place called "Blackbeard's" where I had to shovel in my fried catfish while Evan screamed because he didn't get a nap.
We ended our first night with a moonlight picture of the beach.
The first picture is the one I took which is crap. I call it "moonlight in the raw".
 Jason is the pro and his picture follows. I call his shot "whatever". 
DAY 2:
The second day turned out to be a sunny 94 degree perfect day at the beach.
So we started it off with a sunrise. I took this one from the balcony:
 Jason saw me and took this one. Sometimes he's better than me.
Not long after the sun rose from the east,  I heard Jason yelling at me from the other room: "Honey! Why doesn't Evan have a diaper on?" I came running out of the bedroom and wondered why I on earth I put Evan to bed without a diaper. Was I that tired? Had he learned to take his diapers off? I chased a gleeful, diaper free child through the kitchen and saw that he had a small bulge at the bottom of his pajama pants.
Well would you look at that. A diaper.
I also noticed a stench.
That's not beach sand in his diaper. Is all I'm sayin.
Straight away (that's British talk) we headed for the beach where the boys began the work on a sand castle:
And while they were busy, I went in search of beach creatures where I found him:
Because I'm clever, I named him Sandy. And then I found him:
I named him Sandy as well. So. I guess if I call, they'll probably both come. I went to check on the progress of the sandcastle and found that they finished and went on to play in the beach.

The boy on the left next to Dawson, his name is Logan. I found this out because his family introduced themselves to us yesterday. They are in the room directly above us, and... they are from Castle Rock. Castle Rock is a city only 45 minutes from Colorado Springs and we go shopping there at the outlets which I think is a dumb name for a group of store chains. Other than that, I was quite amazed by the "small world" phenomena.
I had to take this picture of my footprint next to Evan's. For one thing, my print looks like I'm a Sasquatch, but for another, the prints look inverted.
Jason and Evan went exploring.
Doesn't Evan just look like he belongs on the beach?
The afternoon was crouching upon us and Jason set about burying Dawson in the sand while Evan sat upon him and I took a picture of my shadow.
Jason created a sea turtle with a familiar face.
After a short break and a drive to explore the island we went for a late afternoon walk on the beach.
Evan found it intriguing to stick his fingers in the holes made by sand crabs.
Evan can run really fast.
Good Night Day 2.
DAY 3:
This day was overcast and windy so we opted to go to the zoo. The Gladys Porter Zoo which we had all to ourselves. I've never had a zoo all to myself before. It's actually a huge zoo teeming with wildlife and fun things to do. 
 I'm interrupting to show you the car ride to the zoo. Evan tends to make himself at home in rental cars by propping his foot up.
The first thing we noticed is that apparently the sea lions should have had a little performance but we found this guy instead:
 Can anyone tell me, is it normal to put a chicken in a cage with a monkey?
I felt a special connection with this guy. He has hair like mine. Especially now that my hair feels beat up by crashing waves with salt water. I hear ya pal. A little deep conditioning will do you well.
 Aww. It's Evan and I.
 Jason.
 Dawson got to pet his first stingray.
 A nice park centrally located in the zoo.



An aviary where we fed the birds, toppins a bag. (2 snaps and hoo-rah to the person who can tell me what musical I just quoted.)
I hadn't realized yet that Evan was digging in to feed himself. Forget the bird.


 Dawson had a strategy here. He would go in for a sneak attack to pet the dove while I held its attention with a scrumptious paper ramekin of bird goodness.
 Who knows what I was jabbering on about there. But it appears I was mauled by a bird on the left side of my head. I can assure you that I wasn't and that mess is completely natural.

Hmmm. That abruptly ended our zoo trip. We just went back to the condo and thought we could relax until Evan took a spill that landed him smack dab on the pavement nose first.
He got pretty banged up, but after some Motrin and a nap, he perked up and spent the afternoon entertaining himself by coming at me with a broomstick like it was a javelin.
 He got bored with that walked around the condo with a shovel. As you can see, we dressed him up because we headed for dinner at this awesome (voted best on the island several years in a row) Italian restaurant called Gabriella's. Best pizza and pasta I've ever eaten. You will not see pictures of our food posted here because you should all know that's a pet peeve of mine.
 DAY 4:
We got up at sunrise and went for a long walk on the beach and Jason got some pictures of us.
 Then I wanted to try. I give up.
 We spotted a crane.
 The day turned out to be hot and sunny with minimal breeze so we spent a moment in the hot tub and had a picnic at the pool.


Then Evan had an island nap.
 DAY 5:
This day began on the blustery side.
 As a result, we opted to spend our day inside. The first stop was to the Sea Turtle Rescue.
The especially nice thing about the 2 places we visited is that they are paid by donation, with the suggested donation being $3 for adults and $2 for children. Both places are non-profit organizations.
 Don't touch the turtles! They bite. This rescue unit has been on national news and one of the turtles is being featured on PBS coming soon. It's a very small place so I was surprised to hear of it's fame.
The tanks the rescued turtles go into are sponsored by certain individuals. Jason liked this one.
 This turtle's name is Fred and Dawson was allowed to feed him a slice of Romaine lettuce.
Next and final stop: Sea Life Research Center
I want a starfish for a pet. Or a dolphin.
 Hermit crabs seem to have an angry disposition.
 Dawson loves marine life so he was rather enthralled by everything he got to hold. Evan was enthralled with running around wreaking havoc.
We went home and relaxed for a bit, which meant Evan got to have snack in the shower. We're not sure why Evan likes to play in the shower but he stands in there and pushes the sliding doors back and forth for minutes on end.
 We ended the night back at Gabriella's because we liked it so much. Did I tell you that they showed Guys & Dolls? I can totally do the impression of Adelaide.
 DAY 6:
We spent the morning at the beach and left the afternoon for the one thing we were all excited to do: The Dolphin Watch.
Our boat. The blue and white one. Not the one that says "Diver I" which has nothing to do with dolphins.
Look! A pelican! How does he hang onto that sign with his flat webbed feet sideways?
During the first half of the tour, they let down a net and put the catch into a tub to show the children.
 One of the first dolphin sightings. Dawson brought his binoculars. Evan thought the kid next to him was a dolphin.
 Here are 3!
 Toward the end of the tour, we got a great shot of South Padre Island. So Pretty! I felt this place would be particularly suited for Pepsi commercials.
 We ended this day with a sunset dinner at an excellent restaurant called La Hacienda where we got to eat outside.
 And watched the sun set.
LAST DAY (7):
Lost & Found
That night there was a storm that pushed seaweed up onto the shore.
I'm glad we didn't arrive on the first day to this or I would have asked to go to Vegas instead. So we went down to explore and see what manner of treasurers were hidden in the muck. I was hoping for a $100 bill.
Instead, we found:
And how fitting that only a few yards down we found:
 Then I heard Dawson yelling to me about something blah blah and Jason said they found a Portuguese Man-O-War. Venomous sea life! Oooh. I shuddered. Did you shudder?
 We spent the rest of our last day in the pool and packed for home.
I'll leave you with the way we kept Evan entertained in the airport:
Ahh feeling blessed, and happy to be home.

3 comments:

Carol S. said...

You are a Gem!!! What a great way to memorialize a special vacation...

Nita said...

Oh you are such an awesome vacation commentator!! I actually had to go pull the corners of my mouth down after reading because they were stuck in the smile position!! It looks like you guys had a funtabulous time... minus the little spill Evan took to the pavement! Poor little guy. You should seriously think about getting that boy a helmet to wear. Im thinking that the toilet seat and plunger came from a ship that sunk at sea during the storm!! I bet you will see it on the news!! :)Love and Miss you all!! HUGS Nita

Anonymous said...

Very entertaining - I feel like I was there! (Linda)