Monday, June 30, 2008

Beach Vacation 2008

Last Thursday the three of us headed off for our first family vacation! This is the first time since Ethan was born that we've been anywhere other than to visit other family, so it was really exciting to be taking a trip just the 3 of us. Here's the rundown of how it went.

Thursday, June 26th

I took the whole day off and spent the morning packing like a madwoman (I only forgot 2 things: 1.)peanut butter--we planned to have a beach picnic and I had everything else for sandwiches--even ziploc bags; 2.) the electric pump to inflate Ethan's bed--which I had set out the night before to charge, but never actually packed--good thing Rick had some spare hot air when we arrived.). Rick had a meeting at work and so he picked Ethan up from Kids Place after lunch. Everyone got home and we got everything loaded up and on the road a little after 1:00. The idea was that it would be nap time and Ethan would sleep the first couple hours of the trip. Yeah right. He didn't conk out until after 3:00 and then only slept an hour. Hooray for 7 hour car trips! Thank Heaven for, "It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown," and it's accompanying featurette, "It's Arbor Day Charlie Brown." (Yes, there is an Arbor Day Charlie Brown episode.) Ethan loves both of these and watched them over and over again--now he talks non-stop about Schroeder, Linus and the rest of the gang. He also learned to say, "Put up your dukes" from Lucy. Thank you Charlie Brown!

We got to Victoria around dinner time and Rick showed us around the town. We saw the mall, the old house on Pasadena, and even St. Joe's (Rick's high school). Then we headed for Mr. Gatti's for some dinner and. . . it's now an Incredible Pizza Company. Not quite the same for Rick, but Ethan had a good time anyway--he especially enjoyed the corn and green beans from the buffet (he told me he wanted "fruit and vegetables" for dinner). Then we headed on down to Port Aransas. We didn't have to wait too long for the ferry and got to the hotel a little after 10:00. Ethan was tired and did a lot of yelling, "I want to go back to our car!" before we chilled out by the pool for a few minutes and he calmed down. After bath and settling in, it was after midnight before we all finally hit the pillows.

Friday, June 27th

Ethan slept pretty late, but we made it down for the complimentary Holiday Inn Express Breakfast. It's much nicer than your average continental breakfasts (including eggs, bacon, biscuits, gravy, french toast, etc. on top of the usual bagels, fruit, and cereal). This became a highlight of the trip for Ethan. He really liked the busy breakfast room and the big fish tank in there. After breakfast we loaded up for our first foray to the beach. The hotel was only about 2 blocks from the beach, so it was a quick drive. We found a nice spot and unloaded. Rick then took the car back to the hotel (to avoid a $12/day parking pass). Ethan and I played in the sand a little and then walked out to the water (I walked, he got carried). We weren't out there very far when he declared, "I want to go back to our car!" We went back to our blankets and waited (impatiently) for Daddy to return (on foot). Rick was able to get Ethan to play in the sand a little more and walk down the beach to watch someone with a kite before we finally sent Rick back for the car and all headed back to the hotel.

The hotel pool, with it's 6 in. deep kiddie area was much more Ethan's speed and we had a good time there before getting cleaned up for lunch. For that we just hauled ourselves across the street to a place called "Shells." The woman at the hotel said that they could do some kid food and it was the best restaurant on the island for adults. They had a really unique menu and we all enjoyed our lunch. Rick had gumbo, I had a delicious burger with pepper jack, avocado and key lime aeoli, and Ethan had a black angus hot dog! Rick and I even took some Tres Leches cake back to the room for dessert. Yummy!

It took a long time to get Ethan down for a nap. Partly because of the unusual surroundings and circumstances, and partially (mostly) because of the ridiculous uproar going on overhead. Whoever was in room 224 this weekend--I curse you! I hope you don't sleep for a week! What sounded like 3 or 4 near-teenage boys body slamming each other from the bed or couch to the floor went on at all hours while we were there. We complained to the front desk 3 times over the course of our stay, but to little or no avail. It was a problem every time any of us tried to go to sleep. So, Ethan had a pretty late nap, so we just headed back to the pool in the early evening before dinner.

We took a drive around the island a little before dinner and finally found ourselves at the happening hot spot, "Virginia's on the Bay." It was right on the water and had a glass elevator up to the second floor bar area which had a nice lookout. Ethan was thrilled that we had to wait for a table because that meant more elevator rides! We had a so-so dinner there with really mediocre service, but we did enjoy the view. Rick had the "Cajun Dump" which was poorly named, but quite a feast of crab legs, peel and eat shrimp, sausage and potatoes. Another night of difficult sleeping (Ethan now in our room on a "big boy bed" instead of on the blow-up bed in the living room).

Saturday, June 28th

Another relatively late morning of sleeping and then it was off to the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi. We drove down the island (rather than taking the ferry and going around) to get to Corpus. It took maybe about an hour. Ethan was excited to see the fish. The aquarium really was nice. Like the zoo back home, E only looks at things for about 5 seconds before moving on--"More animals please?" The tank with the purple fish did get a longer viewing--guess we're raising him right. :-) He also especially liked the outdoor tank of turtles. We played on the playground for a bit and then waited in our seats (about 30 minutes) for the dolphin show to start. It was a full house even 30 minutes before, so even though Ethan was pretty fidgety we wanted to keep our seats so we wouldn't lose them. Luckily the dolphins came out early to warm up, so there was something to watch. It was a really fun show. Ethan liked clapping along with the trainers and especially enjoyed the dolphin who kept tossing himself the basketball. We all enjoyed watching them jump and spin and play.

We had quick lunch in the car on the way back, hoping Ethan would fall asleep--see that just never worked out for us this trip--before we got back. He didn't, not even in the REALLY long line for the ferry (in hindsight we should have taken the ferry over and then went the long way back to miss the lines, but what did we know?) At least this time the ferry ride was in daylight and Ethan could see what was going on. He liked feeling the waves. Another late nap, but shorter this time.

When Ethan awoke we were off to Rockport (more long ferry lines) for an evening at a different beach. Rockport is on Little Bay, so the water is much more shallow and calm. They have nice pavilions and even playground areas with slides, swings, etc. for the kids. It was REALLY windy (as it was the whole trip) but Ethan just loved swinging with that wind in his face. He must have been feeling braver, because he asked to go out in the water with Mommy and he even stood in it for a little bit. Mostly though, he enjoyed making giant letters in the sand. We did almost the whole alphabet. My legs were tired! We had our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and Pringles picnic and had a great time.

Sunday, June 29th

We hit the pool one more time before heading back to Fort Worth. We were happy to leave our noisy upstairs neighbors, but sad to say, "Bye bye ocean" as we crossed on the ferry for the last time. We stopped in Victoria again, this time for lunch at Casa Ole' in the mall. It was not quite what Rick remembered from his youth, so that was disappointing. Ethan and I did have fun in the photo booth though. We made it safely home and are back to the normal routine again today. We may make this an annual trip--it really was a good time.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Picky, Picky

When settling in for the night, I rub Ethan's back and/or tummy for a little bit before leaving the room. Lately, he is apparently not satisfied with my technique in this activity. He has started to grab my arm and say, "No, Mommy, this way" and guide my hand in the way he wants to be rubbed (usually counter-clockwise on his tummy). Sometimes I am too slow or too fast, so he feels the need to guide me himself. I guess he's learned early that if you want something done right, you should just do it yourself!

Monday, June 16, 2008

What a Memory!

Tonight, Ethan was requesting some songs that we don't usually sing at bedtime--or any time really. But he had a series of 5 or 6 that he asked for from a cd we listen to in the car. When I got to thinking about it I went and checked the CD case. Sure enough, he was asking to sing those songs in the same order that they are on the CD. One right after the other!

I guess I better pay better attention because tonight I didn't know all the words. Mommy has some work to do!


I know. I'm a slackin' Mommy blogger. I've been waiting for some new pictures, which meant I had to find the camera and the cord. But I found them! And got the pics downloaded. So, coming soon--I promise!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Tonight, while reading stories and imitating the faces Ethan was making at me:

E: "No, Mommy! Put your face down!"

Couldn't quit laughing and kissing his sweet head.