A Weekend on Padre Island

Culture, Photography, Travel

There are few things that rejuvenate me more than traveling. Whether hopping a plane for an extended trip, or packing the car for a quick weekend adventure, the level of excitement I feel over exploring a new place is always the same.

When we lived in Boston, traveling was easy. A trip to the beach was never more than an hour away, a trip to the mountains just a little more. We could be to the country in only 30 minutes, and often, our favorite adventures were had right out our own backdoor.

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Traveling in Texas hasn’t been quite as easy. Nearly four times the size of New England, Texas travel takes much more time. We have a running list of places in the state we’d love to visit, but until we have the time for 7-10 hour drives, we’ll just have to keep those trips on hold.

Bored with our frequent Hill Country visits but eager for adventure, with a forecasted 82 degree high, last weekend, we headed south to explore the Texas coast.IMG_0602

I’d longed to see the Gulf ever since moving to Texas. Only three hours from Austin, it’s a place I figured we’d visit often. Well, it only took a year and a half living in Austin to get us there, but at least we finally made it.

Though unseasonably crowded for the end of January, we were still able to find seclusion, and the relaxation we were after. Upon arriving on Saturday after a desolate drive, we ventured off road and took our car down the beach for a few miles to find ourselves a quiet spot. Tucked away next to the dunes we set up camp and spent the afternoon playing with Heidi, our beach-loving pup.

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Though Heidi deeply enjoyed the ocean, she more so loved the sand. She spent hours running and splashing, and making a mess digging holes. She chased birds and played football, and caked her face with sand. She was a mess, but hysterical, and watching her was my favorite part of the day.

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Once the sun hit the horizon, we settled in next to the fire with our dinner and mugs of wine. We stayed up late talking, watching the stars and listening to the waves. Come midnight, we finally crawled into our tent and went to bed, tired from the wine and conversation, and soothed by the sound of the wind and crashing water just feet away. IMG_9558

On Sunday we relaxed to an interesting cycle of sun and haze. One minute it would be so terribly gray that we thought surely we’d be stormed on, and the next there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. This went on for a good hour or two before the sun finally won and kept the clouds away. Soaking up the sunshine and the cool ocean breeze, we spent the remainder of our morning reading and resting, before packing up and heading on our way.

On our way out we grabbed fried fish from a seafood shack in town and enjoyed it on the beach before calling it a day. Bidding Padre Island farewell, I inhaled the ocean air one last time, already longing for my next weekend away.

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