Family and Friends

How I Spent My Family Vacation

09.26.06 | 1 Comment

Mrs. Flametoad and I took our first real vacation since Tadpole-1 was born three years ago. We went to Port Aransas, which is a popular beach on Padre Island on the Texas gulf coast. The drive was roughly six hours– two hours longer than I’d remembered. The long drive was made much more tolerable with the addition of my iPod. I was able to catch up on many of the podcasts to which I’m subscribed, and I listened to three or four chapters of the podiobook 7th Son: Descent. For the occasion we rented a Dodge Durango so we’d have room in the back for an adult and both tadpoles. It was money well spent. The gas mileage wasn’t great, but gas was 10-15 cents cheaper on the coast so that was something.

Tadpole-1 at the beach; next stop- Baywatch!

All in all it was a wonderful trip. It was great spending time with Mrs. Flametoad and the kids. It was Tadpole-1’s first trip to the beach, so it was a real joy watching him experience it. Tadpole-2 is too little to understand what was going on, but she enjoyed the attention and was very attentive to what was going on around her. Mrs. Flametoad is just as much fun to be around today as seven years ago.

We left Flametoad Manor on Friday afternoon, about an hour and a half later than I’d hoped. We arrived at our condo outside Port Aransas at about 11:30 pm. My parents and sister’s family had already arrived and were asleep. We quickly unloaded the kids and essentials and got settled into our room. The next morning we cooked eggs, bacon, and biscuits in our condo’s kitchen before heading out for the day’s fun. The condo was on the beach, so it was a simple matter of following the boardwalk over the dunes to the waiting surf below.

two bathing beauties

We played on the beach until about 10:30, then headed back to the condo. I let Mrs. Flametoad catch a nap upstairs while I played with Tadpole-1 in the swimming pool. Then it was upstairs for hamburgers and hotdogs cooked in our kitchen. After naptime, we loaded up the family and drove to the shipping channel to show Tadpole-1 the “big boats”. He quickly decided he wanted to ride one, so we ended up riding the ferry to the mainland and back. That was “boat” enough for him, so everyone was happy. Back to the condo for a change of clothes and another trip to the beach. (Incidentally, the washer and dryer in the condo were great for not having to put on cold, wet, swimsuits.) This time the tide was higher and the waves washed up and over our blanket, dousing the digital camera, Mrs. Flametoad, and almost Tadpole-2! Mrs. Flametoad and Tadpole-2 seem to be okay, but I’m afaid we got sand and salt water in the camera. The moving parts have a gritty, grinding sound and feel to them. I need to sit down with some alcohol wipes and try to give it a proper cleaning.

waiting for the wave

Saturday night we went out to eat at a (what else?) seafood restaurant, where we played UNO while waiting for the food. A big cold front blew through after we went to bed, causing the wind to scrape plastic funiture around our balcony. Fortunately the kids slept though it. The morning began rainy and overcast, but it cleared off by 9 am and everyone went back down to the beach while I stayed behind and watched a napping Tadpole-2. One more “picnic” meal of hot dogs and sandwiches made in our room, then it was time to load up the rental SUV and head back home inland.

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1 Comment

Comment by Jerry
2006-09-27 18:15:41

Looks like good for all. I love Padre Island. Spent a magic week there as a boy. Hope no one got sunburned. And great to have a family vacation. I need to call you about Renfest too.

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