Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Lessons Learned from South Padre

Over the weekend, we took a little family trip to McAllen and South Padre Island, Texas.  If you don't know where McAllen is (like me), here it is on a map!

Yep, right there on the USA/Mexico border!  We left Friday, after Jack got out of school and I can sum up the whole drive:  "I'm hungry, are we at the hotel, is it time to go to bed, and I'm hungry."  Seriously, the three kids ate the life out of the snacks I brought for the beach.  They ate the whole time and then ate at every stop for meals.  Growth spurts?!  I also kept telling them to rest and try to sleep, but no one fell asleep until we reached McAllen, but no worries, all three had bursts of energy once we got into our hotel room.  Every light switch was turned on a thousand times per child, beds were jumped on, and they decided to switch beds a few hundred times.  We finally decided on the girls in one bed and the boys in the other, seemed fair to me but we ended up with Will halfway through the night!  The best part of the night was when we all said good-night to each other, for about ten minutes each child said good-night to each person in our family, even themselves!  Around 11, everyone fell asleep and were all up by 7!  We showered, ate a quick breakfast, and headed on over the work event we helped with by passing out water for the event.  Our kids were so cute with their waters and saying "Thank You" to everyone!  After the walk, we had a tour around McAllen, since Eric goes there all the time, he had to show us all the cool places...like Casa Kevin, K-Mart (how do we not have a K-Mart in our area?), and the Mexico border.  We ate lunch right along the Rio Grande River and saw the border patrol once, the restaurant was so American!  Everything was fried and huge, the fries were so yummy!  I was full the rest of the day.  After that, we hit the road again and headed on over to Padre.  And yes, we had 2 kids asleep in 2.3 seconds after we left the restaurant and they slept almost the full 2 hours!
Once we got to Padre, we checked into our dump, I mean, hotel.  Disgusting doesn't begin to describe the place but the whole island was booked...*Book early if going to Padre!  And read the reviews!  To sum it up, we had to Lysol the room, buy sheets, and towels.
I diverse.  We went to the beach where it was a tad windy, like we were windblown, but still had fun!  The kids ran around, found shells, and tried not to get run over by the crazies driving on the beach. They had such a blast and the sand and beach were a lot like the ones seen on TV, white sand and blue water (with huge white cap waves barreling towards us), and beautiful shells!  I love the beach but forgot about how sand gets into everything.
**I was more then a little stressed out due to the hotel, wind, and the beach.  I mean, the water was hereandpeopledrivinghere.  And seriously sand, can we talk?  Do you have to stick to everything?!
Focus, Liz.  After the beach, we go to dinner, where best quote EVER..."We can't go there, we're not wearing any underwear!" Thanks Jack!  Dinner, another experience where two kids spent most of the time in the car crying with the air on while I tried to ignore the glares from people wanting our parking spot.  Since our oldest was having a great day, we got ice cream from the DQ (how I love the Dairy Queen) and then Eric took him go-carting.  He LOVED it!  After that, we went to the bay side and watched the sunset!  Beautiful!  We went back to the hotel, lysoled ourselves and slept in peaceful slumber...except when Will fell out of bed around 2.  I slept with Molly and Will and Eric and Jack slept on the pull-out couch.
Except for Will falling out of bed, we all slept like babies, got dressed before we could get anymore bugs or diseases from our room and hit the road towards home.  "Donuts, donuts, donuts" is what they wanted for breakfast, so I put in "donuts, donuts, donuts" in our GPS and we went to first one and no donuts!  Everything except!  Whatever!  It was a cute hole-in-the-wall and delicious food (I love eating out for breakfast) and the kids inhaled their food....but wait for it!  Not even 20 minutes on the road, "I'm hungry" came from the backseat.  Seriously?!  I was still full from the lunch the day before and they are starving after a huge breakfast!  And, the rest of the way home...that's all we heard!  Thank God for raisins, peanut butter pretzels, marshmallows, and beef jerky (don't judge, my kids were hungry and I'm cheap).
So, to sum up our weekend and advice for everyone:  1. Book your hotel early in Padre.  2.  Kids are hungry all the time.  3.  Don't trust the GPS.  4.  Put the youngest in the middle and with mom, it's just easiest that way.  5.  You will have to vacuum out your car because about 1 ton of sand will occupy your car.

Sunset Saturday night on the bay side of South Padre Island

Getting ready to Go-kart!  Which one was more excited?!

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