After a long stretch of concerts, we were looking forward to a few days off. We promised the kids a beach day. We were finishing up in Brownsville, TX when our host asked, “Where are you off to next?” We explained that we would be soaking up the sun in South Padre Island. He hesitated and then said, “OK… Spring break ended this week, so you should be O.K.”
We had this conversation with many people and responses varied.
“Spring break is over here, but Mexico is on break, so it will be crowded”
“Plan on 2 hours just to get across the bridge!”
“It is spring break in Mexico, but they are limited in the number of days they can visit, so it will not get busy until Thursday.”
“It should be fine.”
“It will be full of Mexican families, but that is not the same as drunk college kids. It will be crowded, but OK.”
“If you don’t drive after 4 PM, you’ll be OK.”
We took in all the different advice and left around noon on Monday. I stopped to pick up some groceries and a few more boogie boards. We crossed the bridge with no problem and I started calling the county parks to see if there was room. Andy Bowie Park had overflow parking available. Now that we have the bus we were happy to be in overflow parking since we could easily have plenty of water and run our generator.
We were kind of bummed out with the weather forecast. It was supposed to be 70 degrees and overcast. Of course we would not cancel a beach day because of it, but we were hoping South Padre Island would be in the 80s this time of year. We got registered and called the kids up for lunch before headed out to the beach. “Can we stop and get another boogie board?” Trinity asks as soon as she sees the water.
“Yes.” I respond as I turn to Michael with a wink and a smile and went to the back to take care of Truman. The kids had been in the back since we left and they had no clue that new boogie boards were waiting for them in the closet. Michael must has asked them to set the table when I was in the back with Truman, because when I came forward they had found the boogie boards and were arguing over who got which one. Just a few minutes later, our toes hit the sand.
“Oh! The sand is actually warm.” Michael was surprised. Since we travel south in the winter, most of our beach days are at cool Florida beaches. The kids race to the waves like a scene from Baywatch.
“The water is perfect!” the girls scream from the waves.
MJMJ comes racing back, “Watertopia! It’s watertopia, I say!”
That is when I remembered that our past beach days have been in 50 degree weather. Suddenly 70 degrees does not seem so bad. We stayed out more than 4 hours that afternoon and managed to get sun kissed skin even through the clouds.
Trinity shouted a loud “WOOOO HOOO!” each time she rode a wave all the way into shore and then gave 2 thumbs up. That was worth the price of admission right there. Soon, MJMJ had learned how to catch a wave. He inspired Cecilia to risk putting her face near the waves and she even caught a wave.
The beach was clean and peaceful. The county park had a playground that the kids enjoyed in the evenings. The sun even came out for us Thursday morning. We were 5 miles down the strip, so it was not crowded, but by Thursday the hotels saw a bit more traffic. We found some intricate sand sculptures as we walked near the hotels. Thursday afternoon we swept the sand from our carpets and headed inland for the Triduum.