I was a little nervous about going on our family vacation this year, mostly because of the vandalism that happened to our house last year. *shudder* It took us almost a whole year to recover, rebuild, and unpack again. BUT thankfully this year our vacation turned out to be super relaxing, exactly what we all needed after the stresses of last year. : )
We chose Texas mostly because dad had meetings down there anyway. We just tagged along the first few days and after he finished up we spent another week as a family on the beach enjoying ourselves. And what better way to extend our short summer than heading south just as the weather turns below freezing. Yeah, sounds like a good plan to me!
The only down side to Texas is the distance. We spent 27 hours in the car both ways; 2 full days of driving down and 2 full days of driving home. That’s a LONG time to be sitting in a little space!!
Light Painting on the highways to cut the boredom:
Finally we arrived in San Antonio! While Dad was busy with his meetings the rest of us wandered around downtown along the amazing river walk. It was gorgeous!
And look (!) the trees still have leaves and they are GREEN!
We spent 2 days just wondering around the whole city. Our hotel came with tokens to ride the trolley so when we got tired of walking we’d hop a trolley and ride its full loop just for fun. The really strange thing about San Antonio (and maybe Texas in general) was the fact that one building or block would be super fancy and well kept and right beside it would be a run down shack that you would expect in the ghetto. So strange.
One of our favorite things to do: crash fancy hotels. We had a good excuse, we needed to find a bathroom. Actually it was mostly accidental, we’d find a store or visitors center and in the process of trying to find the bathroom we’d end up in an adjoining hotel lobby and from there we’d wonder through until we found what we needed. We saw some pretty fancy places!! A very modern hotel. And a 1920’s hotel. It was probably one of my favorite accidental explorations of the whole trip. Seeing the architecture and decor was super fun!
Back at our own hotel I enjoyed taking pics of my siblings in the outdoor lighted pool!
Our hotel was an older 1960’s style with bright colors: El Tropicana – the name reminded me of I Love Lucy. : )
When we first checked in there was a whole flight crew in the lobby; pilots and stewardesses. I felt for a split second like I was walking into the TV show Pan Am. Weird.
And a little bit of fun on the way out: gotta love it!
Then we drove another 4 hours south east to Seaside Texas where we rented a little beach house. Ahhh the beach!! Ocean, Sea life, and of course Gulls!
Let the silly side come out!
I’d love to say I won the race, but I tripped.
Since we were in Texas of course we had to try something new: Nopal
Which turned out to be just a little bit slimy. Although it tasted like sour cucumber so it wasn’t too bad … once you got past the slime.
One day we drove into Galveston. Due to the recent hurricanes lots of the area was pretty run down. But I liked the house below. It reminded me of Villa Villakulla in the Pippi Longstocking movie.
On the wharf we talked to one of the fishermen and he told us he’d only seen snow once in his life, so we told him about the 6 foot drifts we get in our yard. I don’t think he believed us.
Let’s just say the wharf stunk pretty badly. Reeked. But it made for interesting photos. ; )
Mom found out that we could take a ferry boat for free , so we went out to sea for a 15 minutes ride to a little island. The breeze was perfect, the weather warm, the salty air making our hair sticky.
On the island we walked out on the fishing pier (or rather rock formation) and watched a whole pod of dolphins swim and feed. Too bad they didn’t leap into the air or show their tails, but still super fun to watch!!
Back at our own beach house:
All week long I had “Let’s Go Fly A Kite” ringing in my head. Marry Poppins would be proud.
I Love how the ocean changed colors depending on the weather. Some days gray, some brown and our last day was a pretty teal green.
Goodbye ocean. Until next time!!
Back into the car for 2 days. Ugh. Sooooo stiff and cramp inducing.
The very last morning we got up before dawn and as we stopped for coffee the sky began to lighted into a pale gray/blue. I noticed a HUGE flock of birds settling on the wire across the street. They filled up every line for over 4 blocks! It was still almost completely dark but I managed to crank my ISO and got this last photo from our trip:
And now I’m home again! Whew. I really enjoyed being away, unplugging (although I did miss the Internet, I wanted to check my email once a day in case I got a wedding request … so I ended up having to drive 15 miles to the nearest McDonalds with Wi-Fi!) and in general taking a break. But it also feels amazing to be home! You appreciate the little things of home like using your own silverware, or being able to make a pot of tea, or knowing where the pens are stashed. Yes, it’s good to be home!