Tuesday, September 10, 2013

South Padre Island 2013


Ok. So we went on the Alaskan cruise, and then we spent a few days in Seattle, and we arrived back home.

After that we enjoyed two days at home before going on our next trip – South Padre Island! We go to South Padre every year with my parents and sisters (Here's 2011 and 2012), and this year it had to wait until after the Bar exam, so we ended up with pretty much back-to-back vacations for the month of August. Crazy but SO, SO FUN!

South Padre is the perfect relaxing vacation. We spend a lot of time on the beach and we get plenty of quality family time. We go to the same restaurants (Wanna Wanna, Dirty Al's) and places (Sea Turtle Inc., Cactus Flower, Our Lady Star of the Sea, Paragraphs) year after year, so there’s very little planning involved and it just feels comfortable and fun.

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There’s a non-profit on the island that rescues and rehabilitates injured sea turtles, and we went to their facility to see all the recuperating turtles. They’ve expanded their facility since last time we were there, so we were pleasantly surprised that we got to see so many turtles close-up! 

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They have a big wall of all the turtles they’ve nursed back to health and then released, and there are so many! They were all found washed up on beaches with various health issues (many of them due to swallowing plastic bags, etc… sad stuff!), but now they’re back in the wild!

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There’s an endangered sea turtle called the Kemps Ridley that only nests in south Texas and northern Mexico, and they collect all the nests each year to make sure the eggs hatch and the baby turtles get to the ocean safely. We got super lucky because a nest of eggs hatched while we were there, so we were able to get up super early and go see them release the baby turtles into the ocean at sunrise.

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Those baby turtles are adorable, and they all made it into the ocean!

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Just like we do every year, we drove out to the far north end of the so we could climb on the dunes, grill burgers on the beach for dinner, and make s’mores. We picked a really big dune for our dune-climbing race this year, and for the first time, Karoline won! I came in last after starting to fall about halfway up the dune… I collapsed face first right as I reached the top (we have a no-hands-in-the-sand rule… haha!). Oh so graceful.

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We slid down the dunes on dune sleds!

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At some point, my sister Kristen and I started doing a little photo shoot on the beach every year. She's a dancer and loves to be "on stage," and I love taking pictures, so it works perfectly! This year I brought my DSLR and we got some really great photos. She’s incredible, right?

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Burgers and s’mores and the sunset on the beach… ahhh. It’s just about perfect.

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And pretty much… that was it. The beach and the waves and the sand and family time for five days. Absolutely lovely! See you next year, South Padre!

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