Gifts From The Sea (or the Gulf)

One of our very favorite things to do while at the beach was to gather shells. We walked alone scanning the beach where the waves rolled in and in pairs in ankle deep water, letting out hoots when we would find pieces of sand dollars or unusual-to-us shells. We would do this for hours upon hours...so relaxing!

When we brought home our little bag of memories, I immediately put them in a bowl with a tiny amount of bleach and let it sit for a couple days....

 And then we poured them out onto a large clean towel to dry off, play with and sort...
 Once again oohing and aahing over the pieces that we had found...
 And wondering what some were...
 After admiring them on the table for a week or so, we knew we had to find a bowl to display our Texas Vacation Treasures! Of course I have cool bowls and dishes lying around that could've easily served this purpose. But of course I used this as another excuse to go browse one of my favorite thrift stores that had been ignored for much of the summer.
  Isn't she lovely? Found at Goodwill for a dollar.
 Sigh...and our shells have found a forever-home...

  Aren't they pretty?
 Just one more picture

And then just one more to sufficiently admire them.
So far they have been taken out and rearranged by each one of us at least once as an excuse to play with them once again. As it should be.


Texas Road Trip (In Bits and Pieces)

I am still a bit amazed that our vacation is now in our memories after looking forward to the trip all summer. And I am still a bit tired. 19 hours down and 19 hours back. We have never done a road trip like this before! So because I am still brain mushy, I will give you the highlights in bits and pieces.

--We drove all the way to Hillsboro, just South of Dallas in one big push on the way down. We were planning on stopping before Dallas but there were no hotels to be had. We were on I35 and I happened to be the one driving when I said "Dallas! HERE WE COME!" and heard in slow motion Hubby saying "NOOOOOOOOOOO!". It seems I was supposed to take the Fort Worth I35 instead. At that point we had committed to driving through Dallas. Hands are still shaking from that little adventure. It was Cah-Ray-Zee even at that time of night. When we checked into our hotel I said to the clerk "I have no idea where we even ARE!" and she nodded knowingly after I said we just drove through Dallas.

--The second day we arrived in Corpus and checked into our hotel where we would stay for the next 2 nights.

--We immediately drove to CC Beach and planted ourselves in front of the Bay. Where we eyed thousands of Jellyfish in the water and on the sand. Not even exaggerating.

--The best beach we visited was White Cap Beach on Padre Island...it was so fun to just drive onto the beach, park and stake our spot for the day. This is where we would go here on out when we were at the beach. And we spent a LOT of time in the water. It was beautiful!

--We found our second hotel just down the road where we would stay for 2 more nights...Highly recommend the Holiday Inn Express on North Padre Island. LOVED how it was right on the beach!

--I do not like Coconut Water. At all. I tried it alone and with different flavors. And decided that even though it has wonderful health benefits and hydrates you quickly, that I am NOT going to try another bottle. Random, I know, but when you have a cooler full of different types of Coconut Water and you simply cannot drink it, it makes you a little crabby.

--There was a guy walking around with 2 Macaws on his arm. We were excited, ran up to him and the next thing you know, I have a bird Kissing My Lip. I still don't know how it happened. Bud thought it was pretty cool.

--Virginia's on the Bay (Aransas) was where we introduced the kids to Calamari. Yummmm!

--One morning we got the kids up before 6am to hit the beach while the tide was out. It might help to google high and low tide times. But it was fun having the beach completely to ourselves;)

--The Alamo was amazing. Amazing.

--We visited the Texas Aquarium and while it was wonderful to see, we are more impressed with the Omaha and MN Zoo's aquariums even though they are in the Midwest.

--We decided to drive straight through on our way back home. We left at 6am, made a few stops along the way (lunch and The Alamo) and pulled into our driveway at 2:39 AM. Holy Moly.

--There is nothing like walking back to the hotel all sandy and salty and tired out.

--The moon was so gorgeous over the gulf!

--Our main goal driving down was to get to the ocean and hunker. We love the beach! Next time, a few more sightseeing adventures will be planned. But I think our main goal will still be getting to the water.

--There were a LOT of upscale outlet malls in Texas!

--Embassy suites have really good omelets.

--I LOVE those Jumping/Flying fish! They completely crack me up seeing them 'surfing' in the waves! No idea what kind of fish they were, but we loved watching them. And Lu does a hysterical imitation of them.

--You really do get used to saltwater in your eyes after a bit.

--Sunscreen is to be used by the handful.

--It was 116 in OK City when we stopped for lunch and gas.

--LimeARitas are really tasty.

--So are Coronas.

--We ate a lot of seafood but should have eaten more.

--We would go back to the Texas Gulf in a heartbeat.

--But it is always so very good to be back home.

--I know there are things I am forgetting to tell you. Watch for add-ons to this post.

We were packed in tight...this is Lu's view of Bud;)

Jellyfish, Jellyfish as far as the eye can see!

Fresh Calamari!



Moon Rising

Holiday Inn on the left

By Virginias On The Bay


Texas Road Trip In Pictures

 And we are back from our Family Vacation to the Gulf. Details on the trip coming soon... 

Hubby and Lu enjoying an after supper walk on the beach looking for shells

Bud and Lu

Parking on the beach was such a novelty for us!

Holiday Inn off of White Cap Beach...so wonderful to just walk right down to our swimming spot!

That Grilled Fajita Quesadilla was SO yummy

Alamo Cat

Who had ZERO interest in having her picture taken

USS Lexington

All of the shops had fun displays at the entrance to entice us indoors

We LOVED the Texas Gulf!!