Monday, November 5, 2012

Padre Island National Seashore

We finally made our way down to the Texas coast. We planned to stay about a week at the Padre Island National Seashore. We ended up lasting three nights. We were dry camping; no water hookup (only the 40 gallons held in our tank), no sewer hookup (all of our lovely black water has to stay in our 40 gallon black tank) and no electricity or internet. Well, we did have lights, that’s all the RV battery apparently can handle powering. It was really fun in the beginning but the humidity really kicked our butts. The area is home to “winter Texans” which according to my observations appear to be Canadians that come to Texas for the winter. Apparently the only thing they bring with them besides their RVs is a short pair of shorts for the men and one-piece swimsuits for the women. 

On the first day we spent time walking along the beach. We looked at the little ghost crabs in the sand and watched the little birds run across the water. We also saw brown pelicans diving into the ocean to catch fish. We didn’t go in the water, the beach we were at is home to a variety of jellyfish and I was terrified one of us would be stung. We also saw plenty of people fishing, they take their fishing seriously on the Gulf; I’ve never seen the stuff they’ve got going on back at home in California! We had to sleep with all the windows open because it was so hot and humid.

When we woke up the next morning the RV was sticky and moist. The carpet felt damp. We drove over to the visitor’s center. Inside the visitor center we found a lot of information about the island. There was also a “touch table” for the kids. They learned so much from the amazing ranger there. I wish I remembered his name because he was awesome! He spent so much time talking to the girls and answering all their questions, most of which were “what’s this?” He told them about the dolphin skull and spine, the blowfish, turtle shell, legless lizard, different shells, sea stars and everything else they could possibly ask about. We spent a lot of time in there with that ranger! After, we drove on the beach and saw all the trash that washes up from Mexico. We found a “sea coconut” and saw more birds diving in the ocean. After that we went back to the campsite. We decided to go swimming. It was so hot and there really wasn’t much else to do. The girls had a blast in the water, I really wish I would’ve brought my camera down to the water with us to get pictures of them playing but I left it in the RV. The baby wanted to do everything her sisters were doing which really scared the heck out of me but they all survived the water and we never saw a jellyfish.

We went down to the beach at night to look for the big ghost crabs the ranger had told us about. Holy cow, I have never seen so many crabs, we saw tons of ghost crabs in the sand and a bunch of bluish crabs in the water, running along the shoreline. The girls had a blast chasing the crabs into the water. We watched the moon rise that night and it was gorgeous! 

I was really worried about how the girls would trick-or-treat. Rob asked the lady working in the gift shop if she lived on the island and if the houses gave out candy. She was enthusiastic in encouraging him to take them on the island. We got the girls ready and headed out of the campground to the town area of the island, it looked dead and the city seemed to be filled with senior citizens so I thought it was going to be a flop. We turned down the magic street eventually as we found 20 or so cars parked along the road. We parked too and started trick-or-treating. It was the best Halloween the girls have had probably ever! Almost every house was passing out candy. Parents were dressed up taking their little kids. There were hundreds of people wandering the streets of this neighborhood. Each house that was giving out candy sat in their driveway, you didn’t need to waste time knocking on doors and being ignored, if people were outside their house, they were giving out candy. We walked around for an hour, we didn’t even cover an entire block and the kids had plenty of candy. They were ready to quit but loved every minute of it. One guy was even giving out beers to parents, Rob was really happy about that.  

That night sleeping was excruciating! I felt like my chest was being crushed by a thousand pound brick and my body was so sweaty and sticky I could barely move. The humidity at the beach was a mo-fo! We decided that morning that it was too much to handle. Plus, our tanks needed emptying and our water tank needed filling. So, we quickly packed up and moved on to the next location. Padre Island made a great impression on us though and I hope we visit again someday!!

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