We haven't taken the kids to a beach just for play and we've never been to Padre Island. I love doing new things! The drive there seemed a bit long but it wasn't bad. With Stuart's Phone As Modem connection, we were able to have a video conference call with Granddad over Skype as we drove down the road.
The kids loved being able to talk to Granddad while riding in the car and it certainly helped to break up the monotony of the road for a while.
The kids also love our hotel room. It is directly on the beach.
But, best of all, it has a kids suite so they had their own little bunk bed area just for them complete with a separate TV and video games. Here Rachel enjoys some screen time as she random hits buttons and says, "Cool" to the menu screen.
Nicholas has loved having the bunk beds. He climbs up the ladder but then he has figured out a way to jump down to the lower bed from the back side of the upper bunk. And of course he loves that he can just sit up and touch the ceiling.
This was really the coolest hotel room I've stayed in!
Rachel is great at putting on her own shoes and immediately taking them off as well. By the way, she is wearing a diaper you just can't see it.
Daddy relaxing on the bed.
"Tum on, Dada." Enough resting. Let's go to the beach! I'll help you put your shoes on.
After much playing, we all sat down to enjoy some snacks and re-hydrate ourselves. We enjoyed throwing bread crusts and chips to the seagulls that quickly surrounded us. They were fun to play with because they were great at catching food in mid-flight as we threw it up to them. But then the stalking began.
We decided that maybe we should have just left them alone. Too late for Daddy who got a surprise dropped on his shirt as he was trying to relax!
Then we had some cold ice cream. Let it drip all over, little ones. The waves will wash it all away :)
And away she goes....
There was a lot of seaweed in the water and washed up on the sand. Rachel liked picking up the fresh seaweed and just carrying it around with her. It was really weird stuff. It didn't feel like a real plant at all but more like a plastic fake plant you might buy at a craft store.
We found lots of shells, crabs, sand dollars, and even a portugese man-o-war jelly fish.
Jellyfish stings are a common beach injury. Portuguese men-of-war are the most injurious jellyfish common to Coastal Bend waters. Their "blue bags" may look pretty, but they sting. Watch your step. Between 30 percent and 40 percent of all jellyfish stings occur after the sea animal has washed up dead. When stung by a jellyfish, a paste of rubbing alcohol and unseasoned meat tenderizer is recommended. The tenderizer works with the body’s natural proteins to break down the injected poison.
We bought flashlights while we were there and walked on the beach at night. It was so nice. Your hearing is really enhanced because you can't see as much and the waves sounded so incredible as they hit the beach. At night there were lots of little crabs running around on the beach and the kids had a ball chasing them around with their flashlights.
Of course, all the running and playing on the beach wore us all out, especially the little cubs.
We did do a few other things while we were there. We had to visit this tourist trap of a souvenir shop. I mean, could you really resist the giant mermaid waterfall in front of a humongous sand castle?
The food on the north part of the island was ok but it was difficult to find great seafood. There isn't many choices in restaurants so we felt as if they didn't need to try to make their food taste great. So we also drove inland to Corpus Christi to have some great seafood at Water Street Seafood Co. This restaurant was especially great because the waiter was very attentive with our two children which makes dinner go more smoothly and enjoyable for everyone involved.
Today was our last day at the beach. We made a quick trip along the shore then came in for some breakfast before getting on the road. We tried the breakfast buffet in our hotel restaurant this morning. It was great because there was a little guy at his own table making omelettes, crepes, and french toast made to order. Yum! We are all so happy and in such a good mood over how well the trip has been going.
Rachel likes to point out when she sees something, especially if you have asked her to find it. She says, "Right dare!" and points to it. It's so cute and I'm so glad I caught it on video. I also love the "Cheese!" at the beginning when she thinks I'm taking her picture :)
We are on the road again as I write this. We're on our way to see the U.S.S. Lexington, an aircraft carrier in Corpus Christi. Rachel is trying to nap but it's a relatively short distance to our next stop that I'm afraid she's not going to get much rest just yet.
After our brief stop in Corpus Christi, we're off to San Antonio for the next two nights. We'll be at Sea World all day tomorrow.