Port Aransas and Mustang Island

A few weeks ago we drove further south in the US than we've ever been....to the Gulf of Mexico! Our friends in Round Rock invited us to spend a weekend with them, just hanging out at the beach and of course we said YES.
So, 4 hours south of Austin is Corpus Christi. And 1/2 hour past that is a cute Texas beach town called: Port Aransas. Mustang Island is the unique stretch of shoreline there.

We stayed at the Laughing Horse Lodge.
Where there were tons of cute kids (2 per family),
Very colorful and kitschy decor,

Lots of drinks and treats,
And tons of fun people!
From left to right: Us, Christa and Matt Hall and their girls Lexie and Brooklyn (my Warhol dress model), Jon and Katie Evans and their kids Lydon and Maddie.
Seriously, this was one of my favorite Texas weekends. We had a blast! The lodge was a little quirky and weird so next time we'll probably go for a slight upgrade. But the company was great and I really loved all the bright beach vibes.
Every time I drive through our own neighborhood I think, "why is EVERYTHING brown?? Brown houses, brown rocks, brown dirt, brown BORING." Let's take a few notes from the Carribean folk and spice it up! I think I was meant to live by the beach. And this weekend I decided I want to move to Port Aransas.....maybe...
The turquoise home in the distance? I want it.
But back to our funny lodge.
When I read the hotel description on their website it said, "we're funky and unique with a bit of beach and bit of cowboy."

Yep. The funky beach:
The bit of cowboy:
It was such a funny little place. These pictures make me laugh just thinking about it. The living quarters were really tight with 3 families. There was no living room or couch or hang out area, and no hallways anywhere. Just 3 bedrooms that opened into each other and a really small funny kitchen. But the kids didn't care and had so much fun together jumping on beds, watching movies, and acting silly. Lucy and Lydon were little buds. At one point I heard him say to Lucy, "your dress is cute". Haha. I love kids.
Of course the real highlight of the weekend was spending an entire day at....the BEACH!!!
I've been itching for the sandy waters lately.
Growing up with the Pacific Ocean all my life, I approached the water cautiously, tiptoeing my way in, expecting that quick chill that runs up your body. But, surprise! It was warm! I couldn't believe it! Totally dreamy. You could walk right it, no problem. And that's just what we did all day.
The kids all played so well together.
(the little love birds again):
There was a lot of this:
and this:
and this (which all reminded me of being a kid, searching for shoreline treasures):
The adults set-up camp and soaked up the sunshine and chatter. It was really fun to get to know everyone better. A cool group of friends.
Katie and Jon again. Katie is a photographer and Jon is an Audio Engineer and musician. I related to both of them so well. We could have talked for hours! Oh wait, we did.
The kids gathered a large collection of seashells and sorted them like Halloween candy.
Lexie made this cool line:
and even little Brooklyn helped!
This shell was my favorite. We brought it home.
And the rest of the day was spent doing....beach stuff. Looking for things,
Dancing (how great is her tan line?),
getting messy,
walking around,
looking for stuff again,
bundling up,
and finally making a castle. Well, this was my first attempt...
but then Casey walked up with a bag full of these and construction was abandoned.

want a bite?
After an ice cream break (followed by Doritos, oreos, and chocolate chip cookies. Isn't the beach great that way? Junky treats gallore), the kids were back on the sand.
Not sure what this photo says....some deep "Inspirational" poster verbiage...."When waves beat you down, don't fold!"
Just a chair in the water.
A photo of me! With a bad tan line too.
And eventually, I got back to my sandcastle. A sandy Stonehedge, decorated with the kids' seashell collection.
I forgot how much I enjoyed playing in the sand.
We could have stayed for another few hours. But I guess the seven we enjoyed filled our bucket up real nice. Bye bye beach. We'll be back!
Meanwhile, at the lodge...

We ate lasagna, let the kids run around till they completely crashed and then played silly games all night and found out that Jon likes bubble baths and clowns. The late hours always bring out the best in us.

The next day we ate Sugar cookies for breakfast.
We ate other stuff too. But seriously. Who doesn't want this for breakfast? It's just a donut in disguise.
Hooray for Texas!
And for the Laughing Horse Lodge!
Our little girl:
and....our other little girl:
Katie and her camera. I love seeing other people lean over to capture the moment too.
We said goodbyes to everyone and continued our Port Aransas adventure as a family of 4.
Everywhere you drive in town you see these funny shark heads, leading into the store. Kitschy cool and kind of crazy.
Look mom, a lighthouse!
and seahorse lollipops!
We found the local candy shop and let the kids fill up a bag.
How fun does this look?
On our way out of town, I made Casey drive through this neighborhood, Cinnamon Shore. And this is when I really fell in love. Wow. These houses are beautiful. I finally realized that my home decor style is "modern beach cottage"? Maybe? I just think that the outside of this house matches the inside of our cookie-cutter suburban home perfectly. Our home needs new skin.
Would you like one too? You can live in a TX beach house for 1/4 the price of a Calif beach condo! And you're walking distance to the beach! And you have a community pool! You just have to be ready to evacuate for a hurricane at any time. Haah.
But hey, everyone has their problems. How many times do fires blow through southern California? Earthquakes? Flooding in the south? Tornadoes? We all have mother nature issues. I'm just trying to talk Casey into it all....
Have you ever seen such cute outhouses?
I really want to pee right now, in the coral pink house please.
After drooling over Cinnamon Shore (and perusing Zillow on my phone for the next 1/2 hour) we drove to Corpus Christi and toured the Aquarium.
Cool seahorse. The kids are sticking their heads up inside of the aquarium.
This is a dumb photo. But Owen is obsessed with that talking fish plaque. Casey's parents have one and Owen played it over and over last time we were there. He often sings "don't worry, be happy" around the house. So we died when we saw it on their wall:
Owen also loves turtles. So this was the highlight for him. Lucy's highlight was touching stingrays.
And my highlight was this. I love these two. They are really good, good playing buddies. They have the most infectious laughs when they're together.
And before starting the 4 hour drive back, we ate at this Texas hot spot:
These boxes are full of....peanuts. Random. You get to munch on them while you wait for your burgers and fries.
I ordered the bacon cheeseburger with bbq sauce. Um. Wow. Really, really good.
We topped it off with a round of canjun and regular fries for everyone.
3 cheers for a really fun weekend!
I'm already dreaming about our next trip there.