Monday, August 30, 2010

Life at the Beach

Our time here is slowly coming to an end.  We will be leaving on Wednesday.  I know I sound repetitive BUT we have had a blast.  The beach is a wonderful place to escape to.  I don't know if I enjoy the sound of the waves or the wind more.  It must have a hypnotizing effect on our minds and body. 

Cory and I will miss our daily walks along the coast and afternoon swims with the kids.  Isabella is still talking about the night we had a fire by the sea.  Memories and experiences are gifts from God.  They sustain us during hard times, bring smiles to our faces in the wee hours and define some of who we are. 

One memory that I will never forget is the night Cory complained about something under his side of the air mattress.  If you know Cory, he has the patience of Job.  He had complained for three nights about a bump under his side.  If you know me, one of little patience, I finally said..just look under the @#$% mattress.  Well, you will never believe what he found...a bicycle helmet.  I was about 3 months pregnant with Isabella and my mood had been all over the place, I was pretty sick.  This is about 2 AM in the morning and I could not stop laughing.  Hard laughing!  Bob and Bonny were camping with us and wondered what was so funny.  I could not even speak because I was laughing so hard.  Needless to say Cory will never live this down. We still bring it up, especially if he complains about his back or neck hurting from his rest the night before.

Yeah, it sucks to be our dog sometimes.....LOL
Why am I telling you this?  Because my husband must have a huge tolerance for uncomfortable situations.  Last night we decided to go for a run on the beach.  Great!  We get ready, put our shoes on, grab the dog and head out.  About 400 feet from our trailer he stops and says he has something in his shoe.  Okay...a pebble, sand, toys, bicycle helmets (just kidding)...NO...a CRAB!!!  He had put his shoe on with a crab in it.  The crab was about 2 inches long and the body the size of a quarter.  I don't know about you, but if anything (princess and the pea coming to mind) and I mean ANYTHING is in my shoe I notice it immediately.  He shook his shoe into his hand and he laughed saying "you are not going to believe what is in my shoe"...if grossed me out!  A live crab, yuck. 

Anyways, these are two memories that I will not ever forget and thanks to some wonderful camping experiences we were able to live life.  As a family we have laughed so hard over the silliest things.  I want my kids to know that laughter is a key ingredient to the success of our time here on this earth.

I love the moment you do something and then something better happens.  I took Rye and Isabella to the Texas State Aquarium and as we crossed over the bridge they had a HUGE ship docked in the bay.  To me it was a ship (scary....another fear I have, yeah it's annoying being me sometimes) but, she immediately recognized it as the USS Lexington.  This is a huge deal in Rye World because it is haunted.  Some people get excited about seeing movie stars, my daughter gets excited about being near haunted buildings, ships and the supernatural.  Gotta love that girl!  The smile on her face was ear to ear.  If we did not have Isabella we would have probably ventured to take a tour, maybe next time.

The aquarium was fun.  The girls loved being up close to such big ocean wild life.  Rye and I both noticed how graceful the dolphins are when they are gathered together.  They get within inches of each others space and never touch.  We had a good time.

I can't tell just yet where we are going until a few more things are finalized but stay tuned.  I will post as soon as we know for sure!  I hope everyone is living their lives to the fullest!!
I said to Isabella "look there is a shark"..hence the blur, she immediately started backing up..too close for comfort I guess.
USS Lexington and Rye

Friday, August 27, 2010

Day at the Beach, Mustang Island

Rye is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!
This is her: Stop taking pictures of me..look!  LOL
We have been on Mustang Island almost a week.  We have enjoyed every minute of it, well, most of us have.  Drake got really sunburned on the first day and would not leave the trailer for 2 days.  Which it could have all been prevented if he had listened to his Mother about wearing sunscreen.  I have concluded that some of my kids have to learn things the hard way.  This is going to make for a very interesting decade of their lives. 
I love these kids more than anything (except their Dad, of course)

We have enjoyed our stay so much that we are extending it for one more week.  Drake told me that he never wants to leave the beach (before the sunburn though, so maybe his enthusiasm has been curbed a bit).   We can definitely tell the weekend is here.  The park is packed this morning and there is lots of traffic in and out.

Love the waves!

We are not sure what to expect next week.  There are several hurricanes brewing in the ocean.  They are forecasting rain off and on for the next 5 days.  Now don't get me wrong when I say it would be thrilling to have a little taste of the wind and rain.  I would never want to put my kids in danger, but Cory and I have always loved a good storm.  I will post on Facebook if we encounter any such thing.

When I was researching this idea of living on the road, I came across a website called Families on the Road.  You may notice their website on our blog.  This was so helpful in many different ways.  It gave us the courage to do it, it let us see how other families are handling it and it is just FUN to read.  I would highly recommend it if you have some free time.  My kids feel lucky that there are only the three of them...some families have 6-10 kids.  Some of the families are on bikes. 

Isabella calls this piggy boarding instead of boogie boarding.

What I really love about the stories are how similar they are.  I wish that we could all meet up together for one big rally.  Most of the families are doing this for the same reasons that we are, their Dad works on the road a lot and they wanted to be together.  It reaffirms to me that what we have done is a wonderful event in our life.

Last night was the night we designated to have a fire on the beach.  It was awesome!  I wanted to spend the night out on the beach but Drake said "that's like camping while you are camping".....and that's a problem how?  Anyways, we did not spend the night but that is my goal for next week. 
Man must collect must build fire...what a good looking guy!

I have always been up for almost anything!  It's hard for me when our kids are not.  I wonder why they are so apt to play it safe all the time, until I push them to "just try it" and then they LOVE it!!  I hope that as we live this lifestyle they will want to try new things.  Maybe it's just maturity and experience.  I have always been a firm believer in living each day to its fullest.  I am trying to encourage my kids to not live their lives in have to feel life to really enjoy it!  How can you know joy if you have not experienced sadness, or know fear if you don't know contentment, or the sense of playing it safe and yet having your nerves engaged in the thrill of the ride.  These are just the thoughts of a 40 something woman who maybe having a mid life crisis...ROFL

Dad, Drake and Rye in the waves

Back to the beach....the waves were HUGE!!  This storm has created a boogie board paradise.  I have to admit the beach is a little bit boring with out waves.  We played, ate and relaxed for 5 hours!  We were very tired when we came home.  Our poor dog played harder than the kids and she was the first one begging us to come home...our dog is pretty smart..LOL

Needless to say we all slept really well last night and are anticipating another fun day in paradise.

Rye is all glamorous, walking out of the water and the other three are doing I don't know what...This is very funny!!

Our stud muffin, Drake
Guess who is afraid of getting his face sunburned again.
Handsome Dad

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Arrived on Mustang Island, TX

Cory, Rye and Isabella on the Gulf of Mexico
Today was one of those fun times that you just hop in the truck and say "Where do you want to go?"  Honestly the freedom is addicting at times.  The beach has been on our to do list for some time and with Cory being unemployed (that is a whole other story...effective Friday, no severance or nothin!) we decided to head south and see what there was to offer.

Isabella being a crab..we did find some small hermit crabs, she loved that!
We went though Victoria and hit the bay.  This was nice but we really wanted real waves and lots of white sand.  SO, we kept driving south.   We did ask a few people along the way where they would go and to our surprise many of them don't go to the beach...really, you live at the beach...anyways...we ended up taking the ferry.  Now, if you know me really well, you know that my biggest fear is being trapped in a car under water.  So here we are in the truck ( I am sitting in the middle) and we get on this ferry with the trailer.  Immediately the kids start telling me that if we go under, to let the car fill completely full first, DON'T PANIC and then escape.  Does this sound like something I wanted to hear..I don't think so.  The ride lasted about 5 minutes and we exited the ferry.  I think I held my breath the entire time and my knuckles where white. 
Drake with his new skim board

Umm, where is the board?
I think my kids got their information from Myth Busters or something but they knew exactly what to do...I love this...DON'T PANIC...uhmm, yeah...right!!!!  This is the one nightmare that I have had since I was a kid and it terrifies me to no end.  I hope I can get off the island..LOL
Fun caught in action

We did finally make it to a state park.  We like the state parks because they are not as crowded.  Some of the parks here are literally side by side for 40 or 50 rv's per row...they hold about 400 rv's.  It's hard with a dog to be this close.  Anne either likes you or she does not, beware if she does not.  We just hate dealing with the barking.  We also like to take her to the beach or lake with us and some of the RV parks have a problem with this. The state parks do not and this is cool.
Can you tell by the smile that she is in having a great time.  Beautiful Rye!!

After setting up our site we had to go test the water.  We did not know what to expect on the beach or in the water.  To our pleasant surprise there was not any oil to be seen.  The sand went forever and the water was warm.  The park ranger did warn us against a few jelly fish, sting rays and a hard under current.  We also learned that there may be snakes in the grass...GREAT...I love snakes...NOT!!!!  Texas has way too many snakes.  Seriously, there are probably 20 different snakes and half of them are poisonous.
Rye and Ann living the dream

The kids are in heaven.  They have missed the beach and this is exactly what the doctor ordered for our family.  We loved Austin, but we needed a vacation from our vacation.  We are not sure where we will be next week but Cory has some options and we are taking each day as a gift and living it to the fullest.  He is still teaching a few days a week.  He is studying for a few test that he needs to take to become current with some new HP products and this will hopefully open up some doors for us. 
Paradise in Texas...the beach is 5 miles in each direction of white sand.

Are we stressed...NO WAY!  We have our health, our family and our guardian angels watching out for us.  Life is still good. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Day in Austin, TX

Our beautiful daughter, Rye.

This was a favorite place that we use to eat at when we lived in Austin during  1988-1990..It has changed a little bit since the last time we ate there.  It went from small, hole in the wall to very popular and not so great food. I was a little bit bummed.

All I can say is that today was HOT!  While coming home the truck said it was 106 degrees!  It's hard to believe that people down town are wearing sweaters and suits.  But, with that said we did venture out into the heat to see downtown Austin.

Before I talk about our trip today, you must know about yesterday...and keep in mind the current temperatures we are having.  It all started around 2AM when we had no AC...yes, that is correct...NO AC.  We checked everything and could not figure out what had happened.  We were in the trailer and out, back in and out...switching breakers on and off.  Doing these minor things is enough to cause us to break out in a sweat...and it did!  We finally came to the conclusion that nothing was going to be fixed at this hour and we tried to get some sleep until the morning.  Key word there was "tried" failed for me and the day turned into a "get Mom a Dr. Pepper or else..." kind of day.  We all lived!!

We woke up in the morning and rechecked everything again, for the the 100th time.  We borrowed an electric cable from a neighbor and ruled out that our cord was bad.  The unusual thing is we had power to the outlets, just no a/c, lights and refrigeration.  A different neighbor told us this meant that our 12 volt was bad. We immediately called a service center and had someone trying to help us over the phone to trouble shoot our situation.  At 95.00 an hour for the service call we really did not want him to show up and flip a switch and leave.  This took about an hour and the temperature outside is gradually rising...90...92..95...yeah, it doesn't drop at night like in the mountains..kind of sucks!

He arrived, tested a few things and immediately found our problem...500.00's later.  Our fuse panel had been fried, which was tied to the 12V battery thing ma jig .  We are not sure why...could of been the power surge from the storm, could have been our battries....who knows.  We decided to drive and get the part right then instead of waiting for it to be FED EX'd the next day.  Thank goodness we did!!

The technician gave Cory a quick lesson in how to install the part and we were off.  Took a few hours to return and about 20 minutes to install.  The whole time we were in the trailer with no A/C and it being about 102 degrees outside.  I am sure the trailer was hotter than that.  Cory and I were melting.  I have never experienced the water pouring out of my pores as I have living down here in Texas. We were basically down to our skivvies trying to be electricians and doing our best to not get shocked.  Yeah, we forgot to unhook the brand new batteries before we started working on the panel.  Had a few sparks before we realized this one.

We are learning ALOT about our trailer.  The guy asked me if I  knew what RV stood for, he told me "Ruined Vacation".  Wasn't he cute.  He also said that if the owners of RV's knew  all it took to care and maintain an RV nobody would own one.  I think it is just part of owning anything.  It cost you money to maintain and repair whether we live in a home or an RV.  SO, that was yesterday.

Today we found ourselves in down town Austin and loving every minute of it.  We started off at the visitor center for the capital building, moved to the capital, had lunch at Hickory Street, tried to go to AMOA (Austin Museum of Art), going to "Bodies" at UT and ending our day at the Texas Memorial Museum.  All in all it was fun!  Considering the temperatures, the kids did an awesome job of staying positive and living in the moment.  Tomorrow: Schlitterbahn!!

Believe it or not, we were all having a great time. The camera caught us in between smiles...LOL
This fence goes around the whole state capital and every star is painted gold..The fence and original building were all built by prisoners in the early 1820's.
Rye and Drake are at the very top in the center..on the 4th floor.
This leg bone was as large as Drake and the sign read "Please Touch" he is!
The Senate room was beautiful. All of these desk are the original desk from the 1870's.  They have only been modified at the ink well.  A phone had to be installed for them to vote, speak on the floor and talk to their offices.  They were all solid walnut.
This is the rain storm from the day before.  The river is running under neath our trailer.   It was a complete downpour!  Being the good Mom that I am, I encourage my kids to go out and enjoy..LOL
After about 5 minutes we had a ton of standing water...simply amazing!