Shauna is my other half of the dynamic duo that makes up PureWander, which will be launching this fall. Recently she and her family road tripped to North Padre Island in Texas and had a wild time. She’s guest posting this week while I carry on procrastinating. Ahem.
We are moving from Texas to Colorado. There was only few days from when we left our house until we needed to be on the road, so we decided to take a mini-vacation. After almost 5 months in Texas, this New England native was disappointed—because of a broken down vehicle, we hadn’t seen much. My hubby saw an article online about great trips for nature lovers, and one of them was watching the baby Kemp’s ridley sea turtles being released in North Padre Island, Texas. It was on.
The trip was last minute, which isn’t usually an issue, but apparently everyone flocks to this hot, humid beach during the summer months. I couldn’t find a hotel anywhere—not in our price range at least.
“Hey Wifey,” he says to me, “Why don’t we just get some gear and camp out? We need some stuff for camping in Colorado anyway.”
That was true, so I acquiesced. You can’t make reservations, but the nice Park Ranger lady told me that I shouldn’t have a problem when I called to check it out. We left late in the afternoon after all of our odds and ends where wrapped up from the move and after a 5 hour drive, made it out to the campsite—in the middle of nowhere.
Thankfully, we had enough foresight to grab a lantern at Walmart on the way; we did not, however, have enough to buy two. My husband and I constructed our new tent in the pitch black night while my 3-year-old son snored from on top of the picnic table with just that one light source. It was fun.
After we finally had everything set up, we climbed in for bed. I was half asleep before I realized that the top of the tent is a light mesh, so I could see every star in the sky. We talked about our trip while counting the shooting stars before finally succumbing to sleep.
My alarm went off at the crack of dawn (literally) so we could go down and watch the baby sea turtles being released into the wild. The sunrise was nothing short of spectacular, and the turtle release was a blast to watch. They looked like little spiders crawling across the beach before getting slapped and carried away by the waves.
When we got back to the campsite, we changed into our suits and headed down toward the surf. We built sandcastles, dug holes and jumped the waves for hours. I even got a mud bath, compliments of my 3-year-old son. (I did feel pretty smooth afterwards.) Pelicans and seagulls sang out all around us, and the little yellow flowers waved from the lush dunes at the end of the beach. When the tide came in huge schools of shiny silver fish rode the peaking waves as they passed by, and we even spotted a few as they jumped out of the water.
It was turning into a perfect day; then my son was bit by a crab—twice. As we headed out of the ocean and up to our campsite, I realized how hot and sticky it was here. I had sand in more crevices that I realized I possessed, which didn’t help. The bathrooms were a short walk away, but longer than I really felt the need to trek. It felt nice to use the outdoor shower in my bathing suit, and I actually felt fresh for a few minutes afterwards.
We had a great camp out roasting hot dogs and marshmallows for s’mores and the sun went down. I even picked up some solo cups for the camp, because it just isn’t classy to drink wine from the bottle. Too bad I fell asleep as I was putting my son down to bed.
Now that it is over, I can admit that we had a great trip to the beach; turns out that I just prefer trips to the beach when I can crash in an air conditioned room at the end of the day and safely clean out the sand in all my naked glory. We will definitely go back to Padre Island, we’ll just spend our nights in a hotel. I think our next legit camping experience will be somewhere with a little less beach.
For more information on this fun Gulf spot: