We decided to take an overnight trip with the kids down to North Padre and Corpus Christi this past weekend. Although it's not officially summer yet it was a perfect time to go--it wasn't too hot (or crowded) and I still have a couple months before the new baby arrives. The kids had never been to the beach and we all had a great time (despite some minor sunburn and the craziness of doing it all in less than two days).
We had debated buying some sort of canopy or umbrella before we went but decided to wing it and made sure to bring hats and sunscreen. We did bring way more food than we needed--you don't end up eating as much as you think with all the sand, but the bucket and shovel sets I bought for each of the kids came in handy. The boys tromped around like pros in and out of the water, but Eleanor freaked out as soon as her feet touched the sand.
I did eventually convince her to go shell picking with me, but she shouted no at the water any time the waves came near her.
Overall, we spent about four hours on the beach Saturday afternoon and then cleaned up for dinner at Doc's under the bridge between Corpus and Padre Island.
The main sitting area is surrounded by water and it has a great view at sunset. The food is also really good. I tried the parmesan herb crusted flounder, and no, I did not manage to eat it all (Chris helped me out a bit).
The kids slept surprisingly well (we haven't always had success sleeping away from home with them)--especially Eleanor--she's been in a bit of weird sleeping phase lately. After a well-rounded breakfast of cereal, poptarts, and fruit, (the hotel didn't have a free breakfast), we packed up and walked out for one last look at the water before heading off to the Texas State Aquarium. The admission ended up being a bit more than I had thought, but luckily we got a discount by showing our San Antonio zoo membership.
We arrived just in time for the dolphin training and then headed down to the underwater viewing room; it was pretty cool seeing the dolphins close up.
The aquarium had a great layout with both indoor and outdoor exhibits, including an Amazon section. My favorite animal had to be the tiny little seahorses--I used to love seahorses as a little girl and couldn't believe such small ones existed!
We finished our visit off at nice little park-like area right on the coast outside. They had some shaded benches and these cool blue viewing telescopes (although the one we tried didn't work). Off in the distance you could see the USS Lexington.
We picked up some lunch along the way and were on the road and back home around three. The kids and I slept most of the way home (thank you for driving honey), but we were all still pretty pooped from an eventful two days. It'll definitely be a trip worth taking again though--after the new baby's a little older of course!