A Picture-Perfect Beach Vacation | My Family Travels
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As a last hoorah before college, my Girl Scout troop decided to take a weeklong trip to South Padre Island, a beach destination in Texas on the Gulf of Mexico. We had a blast: it was a great way to end our twelve years of Girl Scouting, and we all managed to get the summer tans we had wanted!

For our stay, we rented two condos at Seagull Condominiums. Although it was pretty expensive, it was well worth it. In one condo, we had three balconies with gorgeous views, a kitchen, and three large bedrooms. Since we had kitchens, we stopped by the Wal-Mart in Corpus Christi to buy groceries for our meals during the week. It was a good bonding experience to cook our own meals together every day, and all of the eating/cooking utensils were already provided in the kitchens.
 

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However, we did have a problem with setting off the fire alarm whenever we cooked bacon and with grease sticking to the pans. First tip: don’t forget to buy cooking spray.

As soon as we arrived, we headed straight for the beach. The beach at South Padre definitely lives up to its reputation. We were able to go 50 feet into the water, and it still barely came above our stomachs! The waves were strong and numerous, causing us to repeatedly have to fix our swimsuits. Second tip: wear a one-piece swimsuit, or prepare to constantly adjust your bottoms.

On the first night, we attempted to go crab-hunting after it got dark. We all brought flashlights to spot crabs and to make sure we didn’t step on any jellyfish. We saw several jellyfish washed up on shore, which reminded us to watch our steps. The jellyfish were so beautiful, though, that we were glad they were there. It was extremely tempting to touch their gelatinous bodies, but we took pictures of them instead. Unfortunately, our crab-hunting ended early when it began to rain. We raced back for the dock trying to protect our phones, incredulous of how far we had managed to stray from our building. Third tip: Always check the weather forecast!

Fortunately the weather cleared up by morning, and we spent the entire day at the beach. We swam, jumped into waves, attempted (and failed) to use a skim board, and sat out in the beach chairs enjoying the sun. Never having visited the ocean before, I was not prepared for the intense saltiness of the water. It really burns the throat and eyes at first, but it’s not bad after a while. The beach was incredibly relaxing, but it is not a place for busybodies. That evening, we were all surprised to see how much sunburn we had acquired. Fourth tip: one application of sunscreen will not suffice for the whole day!

One day when the weather was a bit unpleasant, we decided to go to Port Aransas (about a ten minute drive) and browse through souvenir shops. I did not buy anything, but it was fun to look at all of the T-shirts and ocean-themed trinkets. We ate dinner at a restaurant called Virginia on the Bay, which was delicious although a bit expensive.

The beach is not very regulated, so on the last night of our stay we were able to make a bonfire on the beach. We reflected on our favorite memories together and ate as many roasted marshmallows as we could stomach. It was the perfect way to end both our trip and our time as Girl Scouts!

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