Quick Getaway to Corpus Cristi

[NOTE: I found this buried in my drafts from last July!  Enjoy a bit of the beach in the middle of winter]

We are planning a significant summer vacation next year, so didn't plan any major travel this summer.  Late July, though, Ken surprised us with a quick getaway to the gulf.  We've visited a friend at their bay house, but have never gone to the beach here in Texas, so this was a first for us in our 12 years in this great state!

Of course, I had made a custom road trip map before heading out.  I also created a meal plan of fish tacos, shrimp boil, corn chowder, and an easy, yummy grilled peach ice cream dish!  I got every single recipe from this Wide Open Eats article recommending fresh beach house kitchen meals.  The chowder was my favorite.

At home, I've been using HEB Curbside for 75% of my grocery shopping.  It was so nice to meal plan for this beach trip, place the order 2 days in advance, (free next-day orders until October 1st) then pick up my groceries from the HEB that was closest to our Airbnb.  I highly recommend that method!  If you aren't in Texas, I know other stores do online order and pick-up as well.

From the 3rd floor balcony,
looking away from the ocean, back to the suns
We stayed on Mustang Island at the Lost Colony Beach Houses we found on Airbnb.  Since it was a last-minute decision, we found a few open days at a great discount, so we jumped on it!

The beach house was so close to the beach, we could take steps out the door to the short boardwalk that led to marker 79 on the beach.  We had 2 balconies that looked out to the sand and surf, which was dreamy!

We enjoyed the warm water and super-soft sand.  Corpus waters are not crystal-clear, but the water was relatively clean.  After some time in the sand, you will notice a sticky, black substance stuck to your feet or ankles.  We learned that it's tar.  We never saw anything this bad, though, and Lost Colony provided tar wipes at the outdoor shower.  It wasn't a big deal for us at all, but I can see how a large volume of tar on the beach could be a major pain.

View from our beach umbrella-tent 

The temps were HOT while we were there, so we mostly avoided being out at the beach from noon until 3pm or so.  When we got out to spend a lot of time on the beach, we were thankful to have the umbrella tent we got on sale a few years ago at Costco.  There is no shade otherwise, so I highly recommend bringing shade with you if you go out there.  Have sturdy anchors for whatever shade structure you use as the winds can get crazy strong!  Side note: pack out what you bring in.  We were shocked that people left entire campsites on the beach.  They would leave behind their camp chairs, plastic toys, tents, and even a very nice set of 20-pound dumbbells that now belong to us, thank you. (The dumbbells...not everything else.)

Travis started the trip saying he didn't want to get dirty out at the beach and that he didn't want to get in the water.  That changed quickly once we were there and it was tough to convince him to come in each day!

Tian was happy as a clam building castles and searching for sea life. Even Kenzie found a friend on the beach! (see photo)

Speaking of clams, it was fun and sometimes creepy to see hundreds and thousands of tiny clams appear after a wave uncovered them from the sand.  After the surf made it's way back out, the clams would stand upright and burrow back down into the sand.

The next morning, we got out to the beach early to find sea lice, which really aren't lice at all, but crab babies, active in the water.  We headed back in and they were gone by lunchtime and for the rest of our trip.  Again, we weren't bothered by them since we only encountered them for a short time, but I can see how it could put a major damper on your beach vacation if you had to deal with them your entire trip.

Kenzie's new boyfriend

TJ helping Tian collect hermit crabs

Ken and TJ went out on an excursion to visit the USS Lexington.  They both highly recommend the visit if you enjoy military ships and aircraft as they do.  They spent a good 3 hours out there exploring the aircraft carrier.

After their tour, we all met up at Kody's Seafood.  We had learned from Austin CODA friends that this place was CODA-owned and while I don't know the owners personally, I can recommend the place!  Their fried shrimp, chicken tenders, and onion rings were excellent!
[Note: CODA = someone with deaf parent(s)]

We almost captured the entire family in this pic!
All fried and all very good! Kody's Seafood

His reaction to the sand, waves, and gulf breeze
Working hard

Okay, let's talk about this kid.  (Oh, by the way, I'm a grandma now and this is my grandson! I don't believe I've blogged about that yet!  That story is a post for another day, but he's obviously the cutest grandkid anyone has ever had ever on the face of the earth.)  He LOVES the beach as much as we all do.  It was totally his happy place.  The first moment he saw and touched the waves and sand, he had the biggest smile on his face.  He was not at all bothered by the surf and salty waves.  It was so fun to see complete joy on his face when he was out there. 

He did it!
All smiles, all the time at the beach

Golden hour with this golden boy

We actually had time to hang out on the beach together
Shark photo op

If you've read this far and thought "what a perfect vacation," you're right...and wrong.  Our first night there, the house had a plumbing issue that caused quite a smell and mess, then blocked our access to the master bathroom, kitchen sink, and dishwasher.  No big deal if you're eating out all the time, but remember I said I meal-planned and was cooking every day.  In addition to that, Ken and Kenzie arrived a few hours after the rest of the family on the first night.  The very next morning, Ken had to drive all the way back Austin to put out a fire at his business.   Thankfully, he was able to fix it quickly and get right back to Corpus, but that was an unexpected hassle.

I mention these imperfect parts of our "perfect" beach vacation for two reasons: 1. Don't believe that what you see on social media is the whole story and 2. Don't let a few hassles ruin an otherwise great time.  I had a few customer service agents mention that they were surprised I wasn't angry about the issues we had with plumbing.  I told them that while I did expect some type of refund for the trouble, it didn't ruin our trip.  It added some time on the phone and extra housework, but Turnkey was responsive and helpful all the way through.   They offered to move us to a different place, but the location of these houses was too good and there was nothing else like it.  Even with the hiccups, we still had a great time!


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