In the summer of 2010, the Andrews family embarked upon a journey meant to be a relaxing vacation at Mustang Island. The hotel was booked, our bags packed, and the car ready for the four hour drive upon the Texas roads. This would normally be the point in which I relay the pristine waters, the sand castles, and the sun rays kissing our cheeks red. Yet, the reason why this was one of our best family vacations is quite unique and to the contrary. This was no regular summer day at the beach. This was hurricane season.
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Of course one does not intend a vacation at the beach to occur during inclement weather. It was just that the dates we set two months prior could not be changed last minute. We paid for the rooms, so of course we were going to use them. Then again, while most would view this as the worst of luck, we looked on in anticipation. I myself have always loved the rain; it’s water falling from the sky! The thunder rumbling and the lightening casting breathtaking streaks across the sky is completely awe-inspiring. Thus, we arrived just as the clouds had begun to darken, and the wind to billow fiercely. It was nearing sunset, and we all came to the conclusion that we wanted to go out to the coast before settling in. Fighting the wind as we walked the distance of the dock, we were quite unprepared for the sight that greeted us.
There was no longer any coast to walk onto. The waves had rolled in all the way up to the dunes and even covered the last stretch of the dock. We were about to turn back thinking that our sunset walk had been made void, when my mom suddenly strode forward. She had been cooped up in a car for four hours, so by golly she was going to have her walk! Not wanting her to brave the storm by herself, we followed with a watchful eye on the tide. When the waters receded, the ground became visible and we walked. When they drew close, we retreated onto the grassy dunes and waited for the next withdraw. With seaweed scratching our feet, wind now full of raindrops pushing us forward, and a determined mother ever walking on, it was certainly an experience worth remembering. After we finally made it back to the dock, it was not fear and annoyance that issued from within, but rather laughter and excitement. That had been the most stimulating stroll we had ever had in the history of family outings.
The storm only lasted another day (in which we were much obliged to not stay in again), and we soon had the anticipated wave riding, shell searching, and sun burning experience. One of the things that most intrigued me was how quickly the sky could clear up in a night. After a cozy “sit down” dinner (instead of our normal “eat wherever” tradition), I went out onto the balcony. Looking from the black sea to the dark sky, I was surprised to see the familiar twinkle of stars. What had once been obscured in shadow was now clear and dotted with the natural lights of a clear night sky. This had been the best vacation we had ever had, not because of the destination, but because of the memories made from an exceptional situation.
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