Fun with kids

A Week At Padre Balli RV Park in Corpus Christi Texas

Padre Balli Park in the Camper

I cannot express to you how good it actually felt to be in our camper again. It had definitely been way too long since we’d made a trip (3 months). I let it slide though because I knew we’d be staying for a week this time and I have a certain amount of nights I insist we spend in the camper each year to make paying the price worth our while.

This wasn’t really a traditional camping trip for us. It was one of those situations where the camper is basically a condo on wheels and an affordable way for us spend an entire week at the beach. We showered regularly, went souvenir shopping, ate some dinners out at restraunts, and civilization was at our doorstep… or close enough (Thank goodness because we needed it to be on Thursday night).


Why We Chose Padre Balli Park For This Trip

Morning walk on the beach before the crowds showed up

Morning walk on the beach before the crowds showed up

The main reason we chose Padre Balli Park was for the proximity to people we were going to the beach with. Yes there are nicer RV parks within 30 minutes of where we stayed, but those parks weren’t a 5 minute car ride to the family we were spending time with at the beach. Also we knew we weren’t going to spend a lot of time at the park so paying a higher price for one of those other nicer parks just didn’t make any sense. My parents ended up tagging on to the end of this vacation so we did end up driving 15-20 minutes each way to hang at the beach in front of their beach rental too, but we still weren’t hanging out at the RV Park so paying the price for a “nicer” one just didn’t make sense. In this way Padre Balli Park definitely seemed like a good choice.


My Thoughts on Padre Balli Park

Pros:

  • Park is on the Beach

  • There is a restaurant and gift shop on the fishing pier at the park

  • Easy drive to Dollar General, Gas Stations, and Restaurants

  • 50 Amp area is new

  • Shower Houses and Laundry onsite

  • Full Hookups in 50 AMP area

  • Concrete pads in new section

  • Friendly staff

  • Affordable (we paid $275 for an entire week in the 50 AMP area with full hookups and it’s on the beach. The 30 AMP area is $150 a week and doesn’t have sewer. There is a dump station.)

Cons:

  • No pool

  • Basic sites (not too close together, but not too far and zero landscaping)

  • Quiet hours not enforced and people like to party. Thank goodness for AC units being so loud.

  • Old 30 AMP area is run down and cramped (pot hole parking lot with hookups)

  • The beach at the park is very crowded

  • Lots of trash left behind on beach and at the campsites and the park doesn’t seem to prioritize cleaning it up.

Notes:

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They do things a little differently than most. They don’t actually take any payments from you until you show up. When you call to book, you get a reservation confirmation number and that’s basically it. Write it down and hang on to it. You don’t hear from them again until about a week before your trip when they call to confirm your stay. It was my first time experiencing this and it honestly made me a little nervous that we might not have somewhere to stay when it was time to show up. Fortunately that wasn’t the case. They seemed to have it together in this department.

Would I stay at Padre Balli Park again?

Yes, absolutely. We definitely want to try out Gulf Waters sometime in the future too, but we want to do that when we plan to stay there and not rush off each day to go see other people staying in other places. When we pay the price to stay at Gulf Waters, we want to take advantage of their scenery, pool, and easy access to a beach that’s clean and beautiful. Padre Balli Park is absolutely a great go to for situations similar to this trip we just had. And honestly, if you’re not a little beach spoiled like me and you want to save a few dollars, Padre Balli Park is really a great choice even if you plan on taking advantage of the beach without driving elsewhere.

The highlighted site is site 16 which is the site we stayed in.

The highlighted site is site 16 which is the site we stayed in.


What I Learned on This Trip

More than I was prepared to learn, that’s what. But seriously though, Tyler had to go back to work for a couple days so we spent night 2 with just me and the kids in the camper. I was laying in bed about 10 PM that night thinking it had all gone so smoothly without him when the power goes out in the camper. It’s July in Texas and I like AC. Saida is already passed out and Corbin is making every excuse to stay up just a little longer, but I finally have him laying down in Tyler’s spot in my bed when this all goes down. I check to make sure we didn’t trip the breaker, but the entire Park is out. Turns out a transformer blew and the estimated time of restoration is 3 AM. YES 3 AM. If we don’t get the generator going, we’re going to be hot as hell and lose the food in the fridge and we’re one of the lucky ones with a generator. Unfortunately there isn’t any gas in it so that means I’m hauling kids out of bed at 10:30 at night to go buy gas cans and gas so we can get through these next few hours in comfort. All of these things were new for me, but a momma’s gotta do what a momma’s got to do and I wanted AC for my kids and to save the milk I just bought for them that evening.

Once the transformer was fixed, they blew another one and the new estimated time of restoration was 5 AM. I didn’t buy that much gas so I dropped us down to 1 of 3 ACs and everyone still managed to sleep comfortably. Power was back on by 3 AM anyway and we still had enough gas to get us through another power outage (this time for the entire island) that happend a couple days later.

We’re buying a nice gas can and taking some with us on every trip going forward for situations like this. The other option is our camper does have a fuel station and we could keep some gas in there with a stabilizer to make it last a little longer. And I’m happy to say I now know how to start the generator and keep things going when things don’t go as expected.

I really hate to wake sleeping kids, but they did an awesome job hanging with me and holding the flashlight while I filled the generator.


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Places We Ate

Snoopy’s

13313 South Padre Island Drive

Corpus Christi, TX78418

A family favorite on Padre Island at the JFK Causeway. We’ve been going here for years and fish is always fried to perfection and the view is great. The secret is out though so go early or be prepared to wait in line to order.

A La Mode Gelateria

14254 S Padre Island Dr Ste 101

Corpus Christi, Texas 78418

Our friends introduced us to this place. It’s also on Padre Island and Saida and Tyler are obsessed with the banana pudding gelato. The staff is super friendly and welcoming and it’s definitely a new tradition for us.

La Playa Mexican grille

222 Beach Ave.

Port Aransas, TX 78373

Cash only in Port Aransas and this one isn’t a secret anymore either. The restaurant itself is super tiny so there is almost always a wait and then we show up with 16 people. I love it here because they actually know how to make a fish taco. I love cheese, but you don’t put cheese on fish tacos, you don’t put fruit salsa on fish tacos (IMO), and you don’t use flour tortillas on fish tacos. They do none of those things, thank goodness.

Brooklyn Pie Co.

15326 S Padre Island

Corpus Christi, TX 78418

We were first timers here. I wanted to just walk over to Mikel Mays on the pier at Padre Balli Park the night it was just me and the kids, but Saida insisted on Pizza and we had seen this place just up the road at the next stop light. We ordered their large cheese pizza, went and roamed around at ACE Hardware for about 15 minutes and then came back to pick up our pizza to go. The kids loved it and it came with one of those little plastic barbie tables… I mean pizza savers… which the kids have never seen before and Saida is excited to use it as a barbie table (as it was obviously meant to be).


Favorite Camping Hack of the Trip

I stole this hack idea from one of the RV Camping Facebook pages I’m on. As soon as I saw it I was on Amazon ordering these suction cup hooks to hang our beach towels and swimsuits on the outside of the camper. It was a great solution for not having to bring our wet and sandy towels into the camper.

Disclaimer: The link to Amazon below is an affiliate link. If you purhase from Amazon after clicking this link, I will receive a super teeny tiny commission at no additional cost to you. Also if you purchase these after clicking this link, THANK YOU! You doing this allows me to keep creating quality content for my readers and I think that’s pretty awesome.


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Drink of the Trip

Overall this trip was a family success, just not without drama because who would even know what that looks like. Lots of margaritas were had; spicy grapefruit ones. Click below to see the recipe I found on Pinterest. They were delicious. and I used lime juice from a bottle, HEB’s Rio Red Grapefruit juice, Espolon Silver tequila, and didn’t bother with garnish because we were taking it out to the beach.


Pictures From Our Trip Because I’m a Photographer

On Mustang Island near my parents’ beach rental

On Mustang Island near my parents’ beach rental

Mustang Island

Mustang Island

Mustang Island near my parents’ beach rental

Mustang Island near my parents’ beach rental

That’s how I feel about ice cream too. Shout out HEB.

That’s how I feel about ice cream too. Shout out HEB.

Iphone Picture edited with Lightroom Mobile @ Padre Balli Park

Iphone Picture edited with Lightroom Mobile @ Padre Balli Park

Iphone photo unedited @ Port Aransas, Texas

Iphone photo unedited @ Port Aransas, Texas

Iphone Photo edited with Lightroom Mobile @ DQ in Pleasanton on the way home

Iphone Photo edited with Lightroom Mobile @ DQ in Pleasanton on the way home


Share with Me

As usual I have no idea how to wrap all of this up. That was all kind of random, but that’s just kind of our life right now so… it is what it is.

Feel free to share your favorite restaurants in the area in the comments, tell me where you’ve found fish tacos that don’t suck, or let me know if you tried that margarita recipe. Seriously they are so delicious, especially if you’re into spicy alcoholic beverages.

Happy Camping,

Monica

60+ RV Parks & Resorts on the Texas Coast

My three favorite things currently are camping with my family, Texas, and the beach… and coffee… and wine… and tacos (not necessarily in that order).

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So naturally when we got our RV, I wanted to know where all the beach RV parks are in all of my favorite Coastal Texas towns and bonus points if they are family friendly (I mean like not the 55+ parks) and were near tacos. I didn’t really know how to go about figuring all of this out and figured most newbies, like me, are probably a little lost and let’s face it, it’s nice when someone can kind of simplify it for us because… mom life.

With the help of AllStays.com, I was able to put together a pretty extensive list of RV parks in Texas along the Coast. I’m not saying they’re all amazing (some really are fantastic), but they’re here and they range anywhere from “welp, there’s nowhere else to stay and I really want to go to the beach for 4th of July and it’s in 2 weeks” to “This place is freaking awesome and I’m never leaving”. Minimum requirements were water, electricity, and either sewer hookups or a dump station and tacos close by (just kidding about that last one. I’ll just make my own, but if you have a killer recommendation for fish tacos, please leave it in the comments). If it didn’t have those things, it for sure didn’t make the list. I like to camp, but I also like the comforts of home and am totally cool if my camper basically functions as a beach house on wheels when at the coast. I personally don’t need to boondock nor do I yearn to do so. To each their own. Maybe one day when my kids are older we’ll give it a try.

This list includes some basic amenities for each Park/Resort. Some of these places (a lot of them actually) have much more than what is listed here. For example; clubhouses, splash pads, playgrounds, laundry rooms, bath houses, walking trails, restaurants, boat launches, fishing piers, etc.. You’ll be able to click to visit their website for a full list of amenities and of course to book your stay when you find a winner. You’ll find over 60 total RV parks/resorts to choose from in Kemah, Galveston, Freeport, Bolivar, Matagorda, Aransas Pass, Rockport, Port Aransas, Corpus Christi, and South Padre Island and more (organized from northern most area to southern most area). Yes, this took me a good long while to put together and I’m happy it gets to get used by more than just me. And I’m happy that when you decide you want to go to the coast last minute on a holiday weekend that you’ll have a place to go desperately look for RV parks with availability. You’re welcome.

Side note: Can you even say, read, or type you’re welcome without thinking of Dwayne Johnson? if you could, I probably just ruined it. You’re Welcome.

Kemah RV Resorts

Home to the Kemah Boardwalk and less than 20 minutes to the Space Center. Kemah is on my RV camping bucket list.

Brickhouse RV Resort

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1029 Marina Bay Drive
Kemah, Texas 77565
(281) 334-0333

http://brickhouservresort.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Wifi in Business Center

  • Cabins available for rent

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Marina Bay RV Resort

925 Marina Bay Drive
Kemah, Texas 77565
(281) 334-9944
http://www.marinabayrvresort.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Lake Front

  • Wifi

  • Cable

  • Dog Walking Areas

  • Cabins Available for Rent


Bolivar Peninsula

Just a short ferry ride from Galveston and you’re only agenda is to relax or maybe pick up a fishing pole or a beer.

Paula’s Vinyard RV

1250 N Crystal Beach Rd
Port Bolivar, TX 77650
(409) 684-9970
https://paulasvineyard.com

  • Full Hookups

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Lazy Pelican

996 Sea Spray Dr.
P.O. Box 1396
Crystal Beach, TX 77650
409.684.9909
http://lazypelicanrvpark.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Short walk to beach

  • Wifi

Bolivar RV Resort and Storage

731 Hwy 87
Gilchrist, TX 77617
(409) 974-0064
http://www.bolivarrvresort.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Beach Access

  • Bay Access

  • Wifi

  • Beach Home Available to Rent

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REEL Paradise RV

1123 North Rd.
Crystal Beach, TX 77650
409-502-7909
http://reelparadiservpark.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Bay Access

  • Covered RV sites with boat lift

Lazy D&D RV

681 Hwy 87
Crystal Beach, TX 77650
409-684-1900
http://lazydanddrvresort.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Bay Access

  • Wifi

  • Satellite TV

  • Waterfront Canal Site

Stingaree RV

1295 N. Stingaree Rd
Crystal Beach, Texas 77650
409-684-2731
https://www.stingaree.com/RV-Park

  • Full Hookups

  • Bay Access

  • Canal Sites with Boat Tie Ups

Beach Side RV Park

1280 Hwy. 87
Crystal Beach, TX 77650
409-996-3288
http://www.beachsidervandstorage.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Short Walk to Beach


Galveston / Freeport

The place rich in history with a little something for everyone and home of some of the most upscale beach RV resorts along the Texas coast. The beaches aren’t known for their beauty in town, but head west just a little ways and the beaches become quite charming and quaint. This is one of my favorite places in all of Texas.

Visit https://www.galveston.com to see all Galveston has to offer.

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Galveston Island State Park

14901 FM 3005
Galveston, TX 77554
(409) 737-1222
https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/galveston-island

  • Water/Electric Sites

  • Dump Station

  • Beach Access

  • Bay Access

  • Waterfront Sites Available

  • Note: Beach side of park is getting ready to undergo a 3 year renovations during which the entire beach side of the park will be closed and only sites on the bay side will be available.

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Galveston Island RV Resort

23700 Termini-San Luis Pass Rd
Galveston, TX 77554
(409) 200-2745
https://galvestonrv.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Wifi

  • Cable

  • Short Walk/Drive to Beach

  • On site cottages

  • Dog Park

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Jamaica Beach RV

17200 Termini-San Luis Pass Rd
Galveston, Texas 77554
(409)-632-0200
https://www.jbrv.net

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool with swim up bar / Lazy River

  • Beach access across the street

  • Wifi

  • Cable

  • Dog Park

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Stella Mare RV Resort

3418 Stella Mare Ln
Galveston,TX77554
(409) 632-7017
https://www.stellamarervresort.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool / Tiki Bar

  • Beach access across the street

  • Dog park

  • Homes available to rent

  • Wifi

Dellanera RV

10901 Termini San Luis Pass Rd
Galveston, TX 77554
(409) 797-5102
https://www.galvestonbeachinfo.com/Dellanera_RV_Park.asp

  • Full Hookups

  • On the Beach

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Galveston RV Resort and Marina

6310 Heards Lane
Galveston, TX 77551
888-744-2837
http://galvestonrvresortandmarina.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Bay Access / Marina

  • Wifi

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Sandpiper RV

201 Seawall
Galveston, Texas 77550
409-765-9431
https://www.sandpiperrvresort.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Rooms available to rent

  • Beach access at Stewart Beach

  • Very close to downtown and all the action

Tiki Toms

333 Jones Lake Rd.
Tiki Island, TX 77554
409-935-5599
http://www.tikitomsrv.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Bay Access

  • Wifi at Clubhouse

  • Waterfront sites available

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Bluewater Resort

11511 Bluewater Highway
Freeport, TX 77541
(979) 239-4301
https://www.bluewaterrvpark.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Beach access across the street

  • Pool

  • Bay Access

  • Cottages available for rent

  • Wifi

  • Cable

  • Waterfront Sites


Matagorda

Not much happening around here, but that’s kind of the appeal. Another one of those places to just be and soak up some quality family time in the outdoors. It’s also on my RV camping bucket list.

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LCRA Matagorda Bay Nature Park Camp

6430 FM 2031
Matagorda, TX 77457
855-392-7638
979-863-2603
https://www.lcra.org/parks/Pages/matagorda-bay-nature-park.aspx

  • Full Hookups Sites

  • Water/Electric Sites

  • Dump Station

  • Beach Access

  • Colorado River Front Sites

  • Airstream Campers Available to Rent


Port Lavaca

Just a small Texas town along the coast. A perfect place for bird watching and fishing.

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KOA Port Lavaca Matagorda Bay

1348 Co Rd 302
Port Lavaca, TX 77979
Reserve: 800-562-8635
Info: 361-893-5120
https://koa.com/campgrounds/port-lavaca/

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Bay Front Park

  • Wifi

  • Dog Walk

Lighthouse Beach and Bird Sactuary RV Park

700 Lighthouse Beach Road
Port Lavaca, TX 77979
361-552-5311or 361-552-1234

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Bay Access

  • Wifi

  • Cable

  • Note: I wasn’t actually able to find a website for this park. Info may not be accurate.

Oceanside RV Park

1818 Broadway St
Port Lavaca TX 77979
361-552-4814
http://www.oceansidervparkandpier.org

  • Full Hookup Sites

  • Water/Electric Sites

  • Dump Station

  • Cable

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Texas Lakeside Resort

2499 West Austin Street
Port Lavaca, TX 77979
361-551-2267
http://www.texaslakesidervresort.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Cable

  • Dog Run

  • Waterfront sites available


Palacios

Where? I’ve lived here all my life and this is kinda what I was thinking when I came across this RV park. Anyway, I’m not going to tell you where to vacation and this is another place perfect for a fishing getaway.

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Serendipity Bay Resort RV Park and Marina

1001 Main St
Palacios, TX 77465
361-972-5454
http://www.serendipitybayresort.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Bay Access

  • Wifi

  • Cable


Rockport / Fulton

I’m going to personally name this one the RV Capital of the Texas Coast. Holy moly there are a ton of RV parks. There is a ton to do here too; roam the shops, visit their beach (which is on the bay), hit up a museum or the aquarium, or go fishing. I always think of fishing when I think of Rockport simply because that’s what we always did there when I was growing up.

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Blue Lagoon RV Resort

717 N Fulton Beach Rd
Fulton, TX 78382
361-729-1100
http://www.bluelagoonsrvresort.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Bay Access

  • Wifi Available at Rec Building

  • Cable

Ancient Oaks RV Park

1222 Hwy 35 South
Rockport, Texas 78382
(361) 729-5051
https://ancientoaksrvpark.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Wifi

  • Cable

  • Dog Run

Anglers RV Retreat

1012 N. Moline Street
Rockport, Texas
361-205-4737
http://www.anglersrvretreat.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Wifi

Bahia Vista Waterfront RV Park

5801 FM 1781
Rockport TX 78382
(361) 729 - 1226
http://www.bahiavistarv.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Bay Access with Peir and Boat Tie Ups

  • Wifi

Bay View RV Resort

5451 HWY 35 NORTH
ROCKPORT, TX 78382
(361) 400 6000
RESORT@BAYVIEWROCKPORT.COM
http://www.bayviewrockport.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Wifi at Clubhouse

  • Cable at most sites

  • Walking Distance to Copano Bay and Aransas Bay Fishing Piers

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Goose Island State Park

202 S Palmetto St.
Rockport, TX 78382
(361) 729-2858
https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/goose-island

  • Water/Electric Sites Only (20/30 amp)

  • Dump Station

  • Bay Access

  • Note: Some parts of park are closed due to Hurricane Harvey damage. Please check for updates before booking.

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Beacon RV Park and Marina

301 Fulton Beach Road
Rockport, TX. 78382
(361) 729-3906
http://www.beaconrv.com/
beaconrvpark@gmail.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Bay Access

  • Wifi

  • Cable

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Circle W RV Ranch

1401 SMOKEHOUSE RD
ROCKPORT, TX 78382
(361) 792-3687
https://circlewrvranch.com
STAY@CIRCLEWRVRANCH.COM

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Wifi

  • Cable

  • Cottages available for rent

  • Short drive to bay

Coastal Breeze RV Resort

3025 Loop 1781
Rockport, TX 78382
(361) 444-4131
https://coastalbreezervresort.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Bay Access

  • Wifi

  • Dog Park

  • Claims to be newest in Rockport

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Copano Bay RV Resort

3101 FM 1781
Rockport, Texas 78382
(361) 790-9373
copanobayrvresort@gmail.com
https://copanobayrvresort.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Bay Access

  • Wifi

  • Dog Park

  • Cabin Rentals Available

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Drifters Resort RV Park

4401 Hwy 35 South
Rockport, TX 78382
(361) 727-9105
info@DriftersResort.com
http://www.driftersresort.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Short Drive to Bay

  • Wifi

  • Cable

  • Cabins/Cottages available to rent

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Estes RV Park

140 Estes Drive
Rockport, TX 78382
(361) 386-2539
http://estesrvresort.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Short Drive to Bay

  • Wifi

  • Cable

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Hidden Oaks RV Park

221 Palmetto (Lamar)
Rockport, Texas 78382
361-790-8581
LIVE@HiddenOaksRVResort.com
http://www.hiddenoaksrvresort.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Wifi in Clubhouse

  • Cable in Clubhouse

  • Short drive to bay

Lagoons RV Resort

600 Enterprise Boulevard
Rockport, Texas 78382
(361) 729-7834
http://www.lagoonsrv.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Indoor Pool

  • Short Drive to Bay

  • Wifi at Clubhouse

  • Cable

  • Dog Walking Area

  • Cottages available to rent

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The Last Resort

4321 Business Hwy 35 S.
Rockport, TX 78382
info@thelastresortrockport.com
361-727-1958
https://www.thelastresortrockport.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Short Drive to Bay

  • Wifi

  • Cable

  • Motel rooms, cottages and cabins available to rent

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Majestic Oak RV Resort

298 State Hwy 188
Rockport , TX 7838
361.727.0034
info@majesticoakresort.com
https://www.majesticoakresort.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Short Drive to Bay

  • Wifi

  • Cable

  • Cabin Rentals Available

Palm Harbor RV

170 Port Ave
Rockport, TX
361-729-0113
http://www.palmharborrv.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Short Drive to Bay

  • Wifi in Clubhouse

  • Dog Walking Area

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Rockport Retreat RV Resort

175 Nell Ave
Rockport, TX 78382
361-500-9975
https://rockportrvretreat.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Wifi

  • Cable Available

Route 1069 RV park

606 W. Market
Rockport, TX 78382
(361)790-7600
http://www.rockportrv1069.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Short Drive to Bay

  • Wifi

  • Cable

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Saltwater Flats RV Resort

4221 TX Highway 35 South
Rockport TX 78382
361-386-2403
https://www.saltwaterflatsrvresort.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Wifi

  • Cable

  • Cabin Rentals Available

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Sandollar Resort

919 N. Fulton Beach Road
Rockport, TX 78382
361-729-2381
http://www.sandollar-resort.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Bay across the street

  • Motel Rooms Available to Rent (currently under renovations and not available)

  • Wifi

  • Cable

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Seaport Villiage RV Park

5340 Hwy 35 North
Rockport, Texas 78382
361-727-0866
http://www.seaportvillagervpark.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Bay Access 750 yards from park

  • Wifi

  • Satellite available for additional fee

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Shady Oaks RV Park

1301 Jims Smokehouse RD
Rockport, TX 78382
361-729-6511
https://rockportshadyoaksrvpark.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Cable

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Taylor Oaks RV Park

707 S. Pearl St.
Rockport, Tx. 78382
Phone: 361-729-5187
tayloroaksrvpark.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Wifi

  • Cable

  • Short Walk to Downtown and Bay

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Wilderness Oaks RV Park

4851 N. Highway 35
Rockport, TX 78382-9603
(361) 729-2307
www.wildernessoaksrv.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Wifi

  • Cable

  • Dog Run


Aransas Pass

Apparently there is a water park in Aransas Pass. Who knew? The dolphin encounters also rank high on Trip Advisor and of course, it’s another fishing town. Take the ferry over to Port Aransas for a beach day, shopping, and restaurants.

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Aransas Bay RV Resort

501 North Avenue A
Aransas Pass, Texas 78336
830-423-4322
aransasbayrv@yahoo.com
http://aransasbayrvresort.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Bay Access

  • Wifi

  • Short Drive to Bay

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Marshall’s Landing RV Park

2707 Hwy 35 N
Aransas Pass, Texas 78336
817-946-6571
http://www.marshallslandingrvpark.com/index.html

  • Full Hookups

  • Waterfront Sites

  • Wifi

Ransom Road RV Park

240 E. Ransom Road
Aransas Pass, TX 78336
361-758-2715
http://www.ransomroadrvparkinc.com/index.php

  • Full Hookups

  • Bay Access within Minutes

  • Wifi

  • Cable

RV Haven

922 Mack Road
Aransas Pass, TX 78336
361-230-4440
https://rvhavenrockporttx.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Wifi

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Southern Oaks RV Resort

1850 Texas Highway 35 Bypass
Aransas Pass, Texas 78336
361-758-1249
https://www.sorvresort.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Wifi

  • Cable

  • Dog Park

The Palms RV Park

2135 W Wheeler Ave
Aransas Pass, TX 78336
(361) 758-4000
https://www.thepalmsrvpark.com/home.html

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Wifi

  • Cable

  • Dog Park


Portland

Portland is small town on the bay just outside of Corpus Christi. Stay in town or make the quick trip to Corpus and take advantage of all they have to offer.

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Sea Breeze RV Community Resort

1026 Seabreeze Lane
Portland, TX 78374
361-643-0744
http://seabreezerv.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Bay Access

  • Wifi

  • Fenced Dog Walk


Port Aransas

Another one of my favorite beaches from childhood and adulthood. Gulf Waters is arguably the most luxurious and upscale beach RV resort in all of Texas and the town itself is just charming. Lots of good memories made here and it’s also just a hop, skip, and jump to Corpus Christi so you can advantage of all it has to offer as well.

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Port A RV Resort

2600 HWY 361
Port Aransas, TX 78373
(361) 416-1405
https://portarvresort.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Wifi

  • Cable

  • Short Drive to Beach or Bay

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Gulf Waters Beach Front RV Resort

5601 State Highway 361
Port Aransas, TX 78373
(361) 749-4978
http://gulfwatersrvresorttx.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Beach Access

  • Wifi

  • Cable

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Pioneer RV

120 Gulfwind Drive
Port Aransas, TX 78373
888-480-3246
https://www.pioneerrvresorts.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Beach Access

  • Wifi

  • Cable

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Mustang Island State Park

9394 State Highway 361
Port Aransas, TX 78373
(361) 749-5246
https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/mustang-island

  • Water/Electric Sites (50 amp)

  • Dump Station

  • Beach Access

  • Note: Website states it’s only open for day use currently due to Hurricane Harvey Damage.

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Surf Side RV and Resort

1820 S 11th St
Port Aransas, TX 78373
(361) 749-2208
http://surfsiderv.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • 2 blocks to beach

  • Wifi

  • Cable

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On The Beach RV Park

907 Beach Access Rd 1A
Port Aransas, TX 78373
361-749-4909
http://onthebeachrvpark.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Beach Access

  • Wifi

  • Cable

I.B. Magee Beach Park

1000 Lantana Dr
Port Aransas, TX 78373
361-749-6117
http://nuecesbeachparks.com/ibmageebeachpark.html

  • Water/Electric Sites

  • Dump Station

  • Beach Access

  • Note: Currently closed due to Hurricane Harvey. Check website for updates.


Corpus Christi / North Padre Island

The RV parks in Corpus are less impressive, but there’s so much to do. Corpus is home of the USS Lexington, The Texas State Aquarium, Padre Island National Seashore, and word on the street is there is even a Selena Musuem. We’re getting ready to stay at Padre Balli Park for the first time and I’ll be sure to share our trip when we get back. Look out for that post coming soon.

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Padre Balli Park

15820 Park Road 22
Corpus Christi, TX 78418
(361) 429-4191
http://nuecesbeachparks.com/padreballipark.html

  • Full Hookups

  • Beach Access

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Colonia Del Rey RV Park

1717 Waldron Rd
Corpus Christi, TX 78418
(800) 580-2435
(361) 937-2435
https://www.ccrvresorts.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Cable

  • Wifi

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Padre Palms RV Resort

131 Skipper Ln
Corpus Christi, Texas 78418
(800) 552-6250
(361) 937-2125
https://www.ccrvresorts.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Minutes to Bay

  • Wifi

  • Cable

Laguna Shores Villiage

3828 Laguna Shore Rd.
Corpus Christi, TX 78418
361-937-6035
https://www.lagunashorevillage.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Wifi

  • Cable


Port Isabel

Just this side of the causeway from South Padre Island (the southern most and prettiest beach in all of Texas). These two RV locations below seem actually really neat and it’s worth clicking into both of their websites to check it out.

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Long Island Villiage

900 South Garcia
Port Isabel TX 78578
(956)943-3131
https://www.longislandvillage.com/default.php

  • Full Hookups

  • Bay Access

  • Wifi

  • Cable

  • Waterfront sites with dock available

Port Isabel Park Center

702 Champion Ave
Port Isabel TX 78578
(956) 943-7340
https://www.portisabelparkcenter.com

  • Full Hookups

  • Dump Station

  • Pool

  • Bay Access

  • Dog Park

  • Wifi and Cable available for stays over 1 week


South Padre Island

I already said it above, but this is the prettiest beach in all of Texas. By that I mean the water is generally clearer than anywhere else. You can do anything here from dolphin excusions, parasailing, fishing, sunset cruises, and more.

Andy Bowie County Park

7300 State Park Rd 100
South Padre Island, TX 78597
(956) 761-3704
http://www.co.cameron.tx.us/wp/parks-our-parks/parks-coastal-parks/parks-andy-bowie/

  • Full Hookups

  • Beach Access

Isla Blanca Park

33174 State Park Rd 100,
South Padre Island, TX 78597
(956) 761-5494
http://www.co.cameron.tx.us/wp/parks-our-parks/parks-coastal-parks/parks-isla-blanca/

  • Over 600 Full Hookup Sites

  • Beach Access

  • Bay Access

KOA Campground of South Padre Island

1 Padre Blvd
South Padre Island, TX 78597
800-562-9724
https://koa.com/campgrounds/south-padre/

  • Full Hookups

  • Pool

  • Bay Access

  • Wifi

  • Cable

  • Dog Park


Any further and we’re in Mexico folks and taking an RV to Mexico sounds like a pretty stupid idea, at least to me. I did finish typing this all out while drinking a spicy margarita though so… there’s that.

Anyway, not really sure how to wrap this thing up so cheers to vacay. Good luck finding a place to park and be sure to let me know in the comments your favorite RV park/resort on the Texas Coast.

-Monica


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24 Rainy Day Camping Activities for Kids

Rainy Day Camping Activities for Kids

I know I’ve talked about it before, but I’ve got a knack for planning camping trips on rainy or poor weather weekends. My talent for doing this is incredible actually. Just ask my family. You want to know when it’s going to rain? Just ask me for my camping schedule and you’ve got the answer. We’re headed to the coast in July and I’m already planning for hurricane weather because that would be my luck. You can bet I’ll be keeping a real close eye on the forcast during that time.

So since it’s obviously going to be raining for my next camping trip and the one after that and the one after that, here is the big question. What kind of rainy day activities can we do to keep the kids busy in the camper? I mean, we’ve watched every single movie in our camper at least 5 times and we haven’t even been camping for all that long. There are only so many times you can watch Sing or the Minions Movie over and over again. I’ve seen this question asked over and over again on camping forums so I’ve compiled the ultimate list of rainy day camping activities for your young kids.

The Ultimate List of Rainy Day Camping Activities For Your Kids

Markers and coloring books

Markers and coloring books

  1. Watch Movies - Yes it’s screen time and that’s not what camping is about, but for me camping is family time so if we’re all enjoying a movie together with a little popcorn, then I’m cool with that. Our camper favorites lately seem to be Sing, Minions, and The Lorax.

  2. Play Board Games - Candy Land, Monopoly, Guess Who, Battle Ship, Connect 4, Chutes and Ladders, Sorry, Trouble, Checkers, or any board game you already have hiding in a closet somewhere will do.

  3. Play Card Games - A whole family activiite sure to please. We love Uno and Go Fish. My almost 6 year old daughter would probably play all day. Don’t forget about games like Skip-Bo, Old Maid, War, Apples to Apples, Crazy 8, or Charades for Kids.

  4. Color - We prefer a couple of coloring books and some markers that stay in our camper. Both of my kids love to color. Crayons can melt if they get too hot so I wouldn’t suggest keeping them in the camper if it gets hot in storage.

  5. Paint - I’ve seen suggestions of painting rocks which looks like a ton of fun. Some people have also mentioned leaving them behind for the next set of campers to discover. I love that idea. Seems like a fun way to put a smile on someone’s face. Also some old school water colors and paper are easy to pack and always a fun activity for kids.

  6. Play outside (if it’s safe to do so) - Just make sure you have a couple of kid size ponchos on hand (or swimsuits if it’s warm enough) and pack their rain boots (or crocs) and you’re good to go for a little rainy day outdoor adventure. Of course if there is lightening near by or dangerous wind, don’t do this. Use common sense folks, but have fun.

  7. Play-Doh - cheap and easy to bring along.

  8. Fort Making in the Bunks - If you have bunks that is and plenty of blankets or sleeping bags, pillows or just anything that can be used for a fort. I haven’t met a kid that didn’t enjoy fort making yet.

  9. Learn Origami - Keep a stash of paper around and maybe grab an inexpensive book off Amazon for learning origami.

  10. Make Slime - You can buy a slime kit or just have the ingredients you need on hand. There are endless recipes for slime on the internet. Just google it and choose a recipe that looks interesting or easy or whatever you want it to be.

  11. Bake Cookies - Our favorite ones to make come from the Magnolia Cookbook. Oddly they’re better after they cool off which is unlike any cookie recipe I’ve ever tried. A premade dough works just fine as well, but from scratch will give you more to do and can be a great family activity for a rainy day.

  12. Legos - Bring a tub or just a small set. You’re never too old for legos.

  13. Read - Grab some books that your kids can read on their own or bring along some to read to them. I went to college to be an elementary school teacher so I’m a fan of reading to kids anytime, not just when it’s raining.

  14. Seek and Find Books - Think Where’s Waldo or the I Spy books. Both of my kids love these.

  15. Puzzles - I love that this can also be an individual thing or a family thing. Bring along all kinds of puzzles ranging from 24 pieces all the way to 500 pieces (depending on how rainy it’ll be or on ages and number of participants).

  16. Jenga - Because this one also never gets old.

  17. Tic-tac-toe - This is our go to at restaurants, but why not on a rainy day in the camper too.

  18. Visit Local Indoor Attractions in nearby city- Museums, Children’s Museums, Aquariums, Kid friendly brewery or winery, trampoline parks, bowling, etc. Just google indoor activities for whatever city you are near and get out and explore.

  19. Craft Kits - you can create your own kit or buy one ready to go. This can be as simple as beads and string or that super cool dream catcher kit in my Amazon list for rainy day activities.

  20. Science Experiments - Honestly even I’d have to just google this one. I wouldn’t know where to start, but I’ve seen it mentioned in forums so I thought I’d include it here.

  21. Dominos - I haven’t played dominos in years and would totally have to figure it all out again, but I do remember having fun. Seems like a great game for kids and adults alike.

  22. Paper Doll Books - I’ve never done paper dolls with my daughter, but I’d bet if I pulled this out on a rainy day, she’d be in heaven.

  23. Joke Books - This is for when you’re desperate and everyone is getting on each other’s last nerve. Hopefully a joke or two will get everyone smiling again.

  24. Magnatiles - We don’t have magnatiles, buy I’ve almost invested in them several times. Everyone who has them swears they’ll keep their kids busy creating for hours.


Just after the sun came back out, looking at birds on the water.

Just after the sun came back out, looking at birds on the water.

Get everything you need to entertain your kiddos on a rainy day in the RV on Amazon. Click the button below to go to my Rainy Day Shopping List created specifically for this blog post.

This link is an affiliate link and I may receive a small commission for any items purchased by clicking this link. If you choose to click and purchase, Thank you! This is how I can continue to bring you quality content on a regular basis.


A cold day spent inside at Moody Gardens Rain Forest Pyramid while camping in Galveston.

A cold day spent inside at Moody Gardens Rain Forest Pyramid while camping in Galveston.

Do you camp? What are some of your favorite rainy day camping activities? Share them with me in the comments for others to see.

Thanks for reading my post!


-Monica

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Oven S'mores in Under 5 Minutes

Have you ever wondered how you can make s’mores at home in the oven? We have. We technically have 3 months between our last camping trip and our next one and we’re already missing the camping life with over 2 months to go. It’s funny really because the first time we did s’mores with our kids they hated them. I bought the jumbo marshmallows and it was just too much marshmallow (as if there is such a thing) and they didn’t like how messy it was. They’ve since come to love them and we’ve found a way to have them on any ole night at home in under 5 minutes without having to fire up the grill. This is literally the quickest and easiest s’more you ever made and I’d say it’s just as good as the ones we make on the open fire (I’m sure I’m being judged for this statement by campers everywhere and I’m okay with that). Seriously it’ll take you longer to read this blog post than it will to make the actual s’mores.

Now, I know that I’m not generally your recipe girl. I’m only sorta a decent cook. Basically I can follow instruction really well, but cooking really isn’t my thing, but also I’m not sure you can actually call this cooking so I think we’re good there. Plus this is so easy my kids can do it.

how to make s'mores in the oven

What you’re going to need

  • a cookie sheet

  • foil (optional)

  • graham cracker squares (2 for each s’more you plan to make)

  • medium size marshmallows (1 per s’more)

  • Hershey’s chocolate bar (2 individual pieces per s’more)

“Cooking” Instructions

  • set oven to a high broil (our options are high and low, but I think high is 550 degrees).

  • cover cookies sheet in foil if you’re like me and like the easy cleanup of just rolling up the foil and throwing it away.

  • set one (1) graham cracker square down for each s’more you plan to make.

  • add one (1) marshmallow to the top of each cracker.

  • Put in oven for 1-2 minutes or until the tops of the marshmallows are at your desired level of burnt (we’re all different so you do you). Just keep a close eye on it because broil can sneak up on you real fast.

  • Remove from oven and add 2 individual chocolate square to the top of each marshmallow.

  • Add top graham cracker to each s’more and give it a little squish.

  • enjoy!!!!

how to make s'mores in the oven
how to make s'mores in the oven
how to make s'mores at home
how to make s'mores at home
how to make s'mores in the oven
How to make oven s'mores
How to make s'mores in the oven

A Dreary Weekend at Lake Bastrop South Shore Park

So first things first, I’m just letting you know that if you’re showing up at Lake Bastrop South Shore Park after 4pm on a Friday with your camper, you need to call ahead and let them know. I’m not always the best at reading the fine print, but fortunately we knew our site number and the park host made sure we were good to go. In my defense, I originally planned on showing up at check in time, but life happens and it didn’t happen.

Lake Bastrop South Shore Park

Where’d we go camping?

Lake Bastrop South Shore Park (an LCRA Park)

Lake Bastrop South Shore Park is one of a collection of parks located along the Colorado River in Texas operated by the LCRA (Lower Colorado River Authority). We paid $22/night to stay in a water/electric RV site and then paid an entry of $5/day for just the adults. The park does have a dump station and I believe they also have just a few full hook up sites. If you don’t have an RV, cabins are also available for rent and of course you can bring your tent.

Site Number?

Site number 4. We made our reservations kind of late and I wasn’t actually excited about this site at the time of reservation. Turns out it’s (in my opinion) one of the best campsites in the park. It’s super spacious with a sufficient enough pad for our monster of a camper and it has a little trail right down to the water. You can actually see the water from the campsite when you’re looking down the trail. This site would be perfect for anyone planning to bring kayaks along as there is plenty of room and an area perfect for launching kayaks just at the end of the trail.

What did we do there?

So we have a running joke already in our household about my ability to choose camping weekends. This was only our 4th trip, but each trip has come with some kind of weather. The first one was cold and a little rainy, the second one was cold and super duper windy, the third was actually mostly okay, but it was a little cold in comparison to the weekends on either side of it, and this one came with the promise of legit storms, flash flooding, and potential for 2 inch hail. Yep, I sure know how to pick them. That being said we didn’t really get to take too much advantage of our time at the park this go around. I think we watched every movie in the camper at least once.

We spent some time down by the water near our campsite watching fish swim around, listening for and finding frogs, and just playing. We also explored the other community areas of the park which included fishing docks, a playground, boat rentals, and mini golf. Of course with the weather we didn’t get to do all of those things, but we were impressed with the amount of activities available. Hiking of course is also on the list of things you could do. You could even hike all the way to the North Shore of the park to the LCRA park there.

Campsite 4. This was our first night and the best weather and light of the entire trip.

Campsite 4. This was our first night and the best weather and light of the entire trip.

Pre bedtime exploration on night 1. This is the area just at the end of the trail from the campsite that would be great for launching a kayak or canoe.

Pre bedtime exploration on night 1. This is the area just at the end of the trail from the campsite that would be great for launching a kayak or canoe.

Camping at Lake Bastrop South Shore Park
Messy eater didn’t get cleaned up before setting off to explore.

Messy eater didn’t get cleaned up before setting off to explore.

Do you see the frog? This little guys were hanging out all over near the water. It was so fun to spot them.

Do you see the frog? This little guys were hanging out all over near the water. It was so fun to spot them.

Camping at Lake Bastrop South Shore Park
Looking for fish swimming around. There was actually a bass just off the shore. Would have been a great fishing spot.

Looking for fish swimming around. There was actually a bass just off the shore. Would have been a great fishing spot.

Next time bubba.

Next time bubba.

My heart.

My heart.

Fishing pier at the RV loop.

Fishing pier at the RV loop.

Part of the park playground.

Part of the park playground.

Swimming area. It was a little cold for swimming though.

Swimming area. It was a little cold for swimming though.

Love this quiet moment.

Love this quiet moment.

More from the swimming area at the main community area where the playground, mini golf, and boat rentals are located just off a large parking lot.

More from the swimming area at the main community area where the playground, mini golf, and boat rentals are located just off a large parking lot.

After this last photo we headed back to our campsite for lunch and Corbin’s nap. By the end of Corbin’s nap, the weather was starting to approach and any plans we had were out the window. We stayed inside the rest of the time and watched movies and waited on storms to pass.

Leaving the next morning was quite eventful. Check out is noon and all we saw on the radar was one storm after another. We packed up the inside of the camper and waited for a break and weather and then hooked up as fast was we could and hit up the dump station in the rain with thunder off in the distance not all that far away.

Ponchos are a definite must have to have on hand in your camper. If you don’t have them, go to the dollar store or jump on Amazon and order some now.

-Moninca


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Spring Break at Inks Lake State Park

You know what Saida and I fought about just before heading out with the camper to Inks Lake State Park? She didn’t want to go and and kept telling me we should just stay home. Homegirl junior. Not that she cares, but I had to pull the “well mommy and daddy don’t spend too much money a month on this camper to not go anywhere so do you think we should go camping or do you want to sell the camper?”

Obviously we went camping. I won’t say she didn’t cry about it for an hour and half on the way there though because she totally did.

Where’d we go?

Inks Lake State Park (and Longhorn Cavern State Park for a couple hours)

Site number?

West Loop, Site 43. I’d highly recommend this site especially if you like being right on the water and you like having the park store nearby with boat rentals and such. It is very close to the park store though and when they did fishing with a park ranger, there was a lot of foot traffic on the trail between 42 and 43. We didn’t mind, but if you do, consider a different site. And also fair warning, someone did mention to me on the Texas RV Camping Facebook page that they had seen a rattlesnake and some water moccasins in this particular area. We kept and eye out, but never saw anything.

What we did while we were there

Camped, hiked, paddle boated, made memories with family, made s’mores and hamburgers, watched movies in the camper (we’re real people), fished, hit up the park store for ice cream, made a quick trip to Longhorn Cavern State Park to take a cave tour.

Other Things you can do there

They have at least 2 playgrounds, a Kona Ice truck, kayaks, canoes, more hiking trails, swimming in the lake & events depending on the day. Also I had my eye on a winery up Park Road 4 called Perissos Vinyard and Winery, but we didn’t actually go there.


Around the campsite

Campsite 43. You can see the canoes from the park store behind the camper.

Campsite 43. You can see the canoes from the park store behind the camper.

Golden hour behind our campsite looking towards the park store.

Golden hour behind our campsite looking towards the park store.

From our campsite (43) looking out over the cove.

From our campsite (43) looking out over the cove.

Camping at Inks Lake State Park in Texas
Camping at Inks Lake State Park in Texas

Hiking

Camping at Inks Lake State Park in Texas

My kids aren’t exactly experienced hikers so when picking out a hike, we went for something that appeared manageable. We chose Lower and Upper Fisherman’s Trail and essentially made a loop. We ended up on the dark green trail for a few minutes so we walked a little further than originally anticipated, but overall this was a great trail for them. They got to climb a little, see the lake, and it wasn’t too long or challenging for them (ages 3 and 5). Corbin fell a few times, but that’s mainly because he’s a little more clumsy than your average 3 year old.

Upper Fisherman’s Trail

Upper Fisherman’s Trail

Lower Fisherman’s Trail and they were only climbing because the wanted to. This is actually just above the trail.

Lower Fisherman’s Trail and they were only climbing because the wanted to. This is actually just above the trail.


Paddle Boats

Anyone curious what happens when I ask my kids to stand next to each other for a picture? THIS! This is what happens. This is why I don’t ask them to do it. Also the only reason I have this sad image is because we were about to buy ice cream and they weren’t taking a chance of not getting it. Also this was after getting off the paddle boats which ended up being a disaster because everyone was tired and both kids (who couldn’t even really reach the peddles) wanted to be able to peddle at the same time. We didn’t even use our full hour and then when I asked Saida what her favorite part of camping was after we’d been home a few days, she said the paddle boats. Blew my mind. I’m like you mean that thing we did where everyone whined the whole time. They really did have a great camping trip overall though.

Camping at Inks Lake State Park in Texas

Longhorn Cavern State Park

Camping at Inks Lake State Park in Texas and Longhorn Cavern

Longhorn Cavern State Park really wasn’t on our list of things to do on this trip, but when we realized it was literally down the street from Inks Lake State Park, we decided why not. To be honest I really wasn’t sure what we were getting into. I thought we could explore a cave on our own for like 20 minute and then go hit some trails (because from what I can tell they have some super easy and kid friendly trails), but turns out this cavern is much more expansive than I originally thought and it’s only accessible by a 90 minute guided tour. Obviously we took the tour and decided against any hiking trails since we were well into nap time by the time we finished. The kids absolutely loved it. Corbin was a litte over it about an hour in (because it was nap time) but overall he did really well (thank goodness).


We’re only three camping trips in, but so far we’ve really enjoyed each one. I think the kids are anxious to come back here again sometime soon. My final thought is that it’s a fantastic park for families and next time we look forward to bringing bikes for the kids as well. Maybe I’ll even hit up that winery and report back.

-Monica

Parabo Press For The Win + Free Square Prints + $10 Off

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I don’t have quite as much control over things when it comes to Saida anymore. She has her own style, her own likes, wants to decorate her room according to her own taste, and all that good business. I’m hanging on to as much control as I can, but I’m also kind of a believer in letting her explore and letting her take charge of some of those things within reason.

Putting up these super cute (AND FREE because we got the smaller ones which are always free) square prints from Parabo Press is a fun way for me to let her make her own decisions while winning the battle over her room decor. She got to pick each photo she wanted to display. Nevermind that we’re still wearing Christmas pajamas with unbrushed hair (and it’s the afternoon). Scroll down for a coupon code at the bottom of this post for $10 off your first order from Parabo Press. Or if you’d rather, just order the free prints and just pay shipping. Such a fun way to have your kids interact with photographs.

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Code for $10 off your first order from Parabo Press: MNEHAE

Galveston Island Camping Trip: More of My Happy

If you’ve known me for more than 5 minutes, you probably know that the beach/bay is the place my soul craves. Our latest camping trip to Galveston Island State Park was gloomy, windy, and cold. I didn’t care. It rained all weekend at home so gloomy, windy, and cold with a bay view seemed just fine to me. The sun came out on our last morning just as it was about time to start packing up. We decided to spend just 30 more minutes exploring before we had to leave and the dunes on the beach side of the island is where we ended up. They called it their mountain. They were in thier own kind of heaven and I can’t even explain to you how overwhelmingly happy and at peace I was in this moment. It’s the kind of happy and peaceful you forget exists until it sneaks up on you. There isn’t a worry or a care in the world because in that moment nothing else matters except being present and completely soaking it in and storing it in a place to keep you content until that feeling sneaks up on you again.

Beachside at Galveston Island State Park

Beachside at Galveston Island State Park

Leaving was the hardest thing. Nobody wanted to go.

More of my favorites from our trip below.

Galveston Island State Park Hiking Trail

Galveston Island State Park Hiking Trail

Lensbaby detail in the camper

Lensbaby detail in the camper

Saki Monkeys inside the Rainforest Pyramid at Moody Gardens

Saki Monkeys inside the Rainforest Pyramid at Moody Gardens

Outside Moody Gardens Rainforest Pryramid

Outside Moody Gardens Rainforest Pryramid

Inside Moody Gardens Rainforest Pyramid

Inside Moody Gardens Rainforest Pyramid

Walkways over the intercoastal at Galveston Island State Park

Walkways over the intercoastal at Galveston Island State Park

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Hiking at Galveston Island State Park

Hiking at Galveston Island State Park

Camper window light with a lensbaby

Camper window light with a lensbaby

We stayed with our RV at Galveston Island State Park on the bayside in site 55. I feel like sites 58-64 would be ideal in terms of a killer view of the bay. That’s my goal for next time. I think I acutally prefer the bayside to the beachside. The bay has a sense of calm that is totally my jam so I think I’d do that again.

We try to keep things simple. This was a quick trip so Moody Gardens Rainforest Pyramid is the only attraction we spent money on. We did things like drive by port on Saturday while two ships were in and the kids thought that was cool. We didn’t take the ferry this time, but kids also love that and it’s free. Just do it when it’s not crowded. In the past we’ve done the offshore oil rig museum which is pretty cool and affordable and just right there by the cruise ships, just with the wind we skipped it this time. I think Corbin would love it though so I want to take him to do that someday. What I really wanted to do was the oil rig museum at 4pm when the ships left so we could wave to the cruisers on deck as it passed by. That would have been cool, but our go with the flow attitude meant we weren’t around for that. Exploring the park and connecting with nature was priority for me even though we made time for fun in town too.


Looking for an RV Park or Resort on the Texas Coast? I’ve got a list of more than 60 Parks just waiting for you to book. Click the button below to see the list.

The Picture That Sums up Why we Bought a Camper / Our Trip to McKinney Falls State Park

I promised myself I’d start blogging about our camping trips once we actually started taking them. I wasn’t sure what these blog posts would be exactly. I’m pretty sure I was thinking at some point I would become some sort of camping expert and people would flock to my blog to hear about our trips and what cool things I did/cooked that they too need to be doing, but I’m not sure this is where that is going. Big dreams, huh? I feel inspired for like 5 minutes and then it’s gone so…. Also, like, I’m never going to be that person. EVER. I don’t have my shit nearly enough together for that.

This morning I edited a picture from our trip that basically sums up our reason for buying a camper and trying to take a camping trip every month. Do you want to see it? Not that your answer matters because I’m going to show it to you whether you want to or not.

Here it is…

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You: But Monica, that’s just a blurry photo of your child swinging on her hammock. How could that possibly sum up your reasons for buying a camper?

Me: Um no, it’s not. That photo right there is a feeling.

But for real, the out of focus element of this image is giving me this out of body experience where time has slowed significantly and I’m just exactly where I’m supposed to be. It’s that thing I was reaching for when we bought our camper. It’s that thing I’ve wasted the past 6 months or so of my life anxiously awaiting. It’s that thing we’ve been missing in this life that doesn’t ever seem to slow down. It just goes faster and faster and faster and we were afraid that before we knew it we’d wake up and our kids would be grown and we would have let the opportunity for these kinds of experiences pass us up.

It’s easy to skip these things over. It’s easy to say, “Well, life is just to damn busy to stop right now.” We live in a world where we have to intentionally schedule time to slow down and so that’s what we’re doing.

Me: You wanna see more of my favorites from this trip to McKinney Falls State Park?

You: Yes, Monica. I can’t think of anything I’d love more.

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Where we stayed: McKinney Falls State Park in Austin, Texas

Campsite: 18, (1 of 12 50 amp sites with water and electric). Very large pull through campsite with one site very close by (worked out fine because they never came out of their camper) and next to the bathrooms which turned out to not be a big deal at all. In fact when Corbin pooped in his pull up we were just thankful there was a dumpster nearby.

Think of Someplace Warm

So I love yoga partly because I sometimes get to have these day dreamy moments at the instruction of my yoga teacher and nobody gets to ruin them by asking for fruit snacks or milk. It’s not every time I go, but I hadn’t actually been in over two weeks and my body and mind were screaming for some me time on the mat.

It was 90 degrees yesterday. It’s 45 degrees today so during a pre-class child’s pose Maria (my yoga instructor) asked us to think of someplace warm. 10 times out of 10 when you ask me to think of someplace warm, I’m going to think of my toes in the sand, the sun on my face, and gentle waves slowly lulling me to sleep. It’s my go to. I tried to go there today and you know what? I didn’t want to be there.

Who am I? Why do I not want to be at the beach? What other warm place could I possibly want to go?

And then I had my most favorite day dream of someplace warm to date. It was cold outside in this day dream (much like today), but I was snuggled in close on the couch in our new to us camper in front of the TV and space heater fireplace with the three people who mean the most to me in all the world. Wrapped in blankets we’re happy and warm and just soaking in all the goodness that is family confined to a small space. We’re drinking hot chocolate, the kids are laughing (I can actually hear Corbin laughing in my head and it makes me smile), Tyler and I are beaming with pride for the family we created, and I literally can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be.

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I can’t wait to start sharing our camping adventures with you. I love that we’re calling them adventures. I was showing Saida all the places we’d go and instead of asking where we’d camp next, she asked me to tell her what the next adventure would be. It was painful actually signing the paperwork for the second most expensive thing we currently own, but hearing her put it that way makes me realize I would have gladly paid even more to make these adventures her reality. These are the moments we were absolutely meant to live together and I’m glad we get to start sooner rather than later.

Stay tuned.

- Monica

Why We Invested In Memories Over Real Estate

There was this brief moment a few weeks ago where Tyler and I seriously considered buying a house. As seriously as we’ve done anything we were planning renovations for each room and really trying to understand the layout and falling in love with the sweet lot the house sat on. We’d only seen it in pictures and it just hit the market and literally every single room was going to need renovations. I’m down for renovations, don’t get me wrong, but there wasn’t going to be any money left for renovations.

That morning we’d been camper shopping so we were thrown for a loop when we saw this property pop up. Our options were camper or house, but not both. We already have a house so it’s not like we don’t have a place to be, but real estate is always a good investment, right? Campers just depreciate over time and all that.

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Sooooo, we passed up a super awesome real estate opportunity and decided to buy a camper. It wasn’t quite that simple, but it’s what we did. Here is what it came down to for me.

Real Estate vs. Memories

We got stuck in one of those time share presentations back in April in Sedona. We had no intention of buying, but there we were trying to collect the $100 promised to us for sitting through it. Side note: Don’t ever sit through one of these things for only $100. Ask them for the world before you show up and negotiate something much better than $100. Anyway, they ask you all these questions trying to guilt you into buying a timeshare because if you don’t, you obvioulsy don’t love your kids or your mother-in-law. Legit this is what the dude working for Diamond Resorts more or less told me. I wish I was kidding. The thing that made sense from that presentation was investing in memories. We’re not timeshare people, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to start making the kinds of memories I cherish from my childhood with my own children. So we bought a camper and invested in moments and memories for our family. We can buy an new house with more land later after we handle some more things financially, but I’d prefer to start making the memories now. Each day is a gift and it would sure be a shame if we let these years pass us by with regret. Something tells me we’ll never regret a single day spent with our kiddos exploring nature and making s’mores.

Galveston 2018

Just sitting here pushing refresh from time to time of the parent portal for your school district.  In just under 20 minutes we find out who Saida's Kindergarten teacher is.  Back to school night is tonight and I'm just hoping I'm not a hot mess of tears for the whole thing.  So to distract me from constantly checking the damn thing for the next 20 minutes or so, I thought I'd share some of my favorite photos from our Galveston beach trip because I still haven't done that.  

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The McKenna Children's Museum

So if you keep up with my blog you know that we were supposed to be in Galveston until today, but family issues resulted in us coming home early. This means we're home, Tyler has time off, and with Saida getting ready to start Kindergarten, we want make the most of this little bit of "vacation" time we have/had left.

We really didn't know what we wanted to do with this time though.  We just knew that we wanted to do it together.  After putting out an SOS to a local moms group on Facebook, we had a few suggestions to fill our time.  We chose to head down to New Braunfels (about 35 minutes away) to the McKenna Children's Museum.  We actually have a children's museum in Austin too that's technically closer, but we like to avoid the Austin traffic whenever possible.  


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Why we chose The McKenna Children's Museum for our Day Trip

  • 35 minutes is a cinch.  I hear the children's museum in San Antonio is great, but we left later than I would have liked and adding on an extra 30 minutes each way to the trip is just something we didn't have time for today.
  • It was cost effective.  We paid $7.50/person to get in.  The Thinkery in Austin would have been $12/person and The Doseum in San Antonio would have been $14/person.  I'm feeling like we definitely got our money's worth.
  • It's inside (mostly).  I thought about going to the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, but it's hot.  Texas is sitting at a whopping 100 degress today and wasn't about to go spend nearly $60 to hang out in the sun.  Yes you get to drive your car around, but I still have to wonder if the animals would even be out moving.  We'll save that idea for cooler weather.
  • Our kids really just seem like the ideal ages for a children's museum.  Saida just turned 5 and Corbin is 2 and a half.  Children's museums are a safe place for them to run and play without limits and we love just watching them do it.
  • It gets rave reviews from just about every mom who has ever taken their kids there.

What we found at the McKenna Children's Museum

The Grocery Store Exhibit

I'm going to be honest, I haven't been to a children's museum since I was a kid and I don't really remember much about it.  Actually the only thing I sort of remember from that experience was the grocery store exhibit.  I remember thinking this is what it feels like to be a grown up when in that exhibit.  Oh to be that naive again.  But anyway, the grocery store exhibit didn't disappoint.  I especially loved seeing the things they picked out on their own shopping experience.  Corbin basically filled his cart with cheese.  If there was ever any doubt he was his mother's child, I think that doubt is gone now.  

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The Wonder Shop Exhibit

The Wonder Shop was something Saida was looking forward to.  I showed her Instagram photos of the museum before we went and she's just always down for a good painting session.  I imagined this exhibit a little more out in the open.  I was happy to find it in a room separate from the chaos of the main space of the children's museum.  

I'm not always that mom that's going to hand Corbin some paints and let him go at it.  He's a two and half year old boy which means things almost never go according to plan and I'm typically not in the mood to clean up after what went wrong.  I love that he got to paint next to his sister.  His sister is still upset that he added green to her paper where she didn't want it, but this moment made me happy.  

Helpful Tip: Do this early enough in your visit to allow more time for your paintings to dry.  We did it about half way through and as liberal as my kids are with paint, they were still wet when we put them in the car.  Fortunatley my cargo space was pretty clear and we had room to set them down flat on the way home.  

 


The Great Outdoors Exhibit

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The main attraction outside is the water.  It's basically the ultimate water table full of fishing (for toy fish), waterslide racing (for toys), and a bunch of other educational ways to interact with the water.  My kids loved this area and we sat there and watched them while silently thanking the McKenna folks for having this space under cover.  August in Texas is hot.  

Helpful Tip:  Bring a change of clothes just in case.  My kids can be pretty timid so they really didn't get wet, but I could see how it would be easy to leave this area a bit covered in water.  Chances are you know if your kid is one of those fun loving kids who may walk away wet.

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Also outside was a music area.  Honestly I felt like the music area could have been a little cooler, but my kids still thought it was pretty cool and I guess that is what matters most.  The xylophone was definitely thier favorite instrument to play.

There are also opportunities to climb and build outside so basically this area has a little bit of something for everyone (including benches for mom and dad).  

I knew this would be one of our favorite spots and I purposely saved it for last in our visit because... water.... and kids.  

 

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Hill Country Campground Exhibit

This was a suuuuuper cute area.  I'm kind of a sucker for a vintage inspired play camper and tent.  The photographer in me also loved it because it was close to a wall of windows and natural light is kind of like my very best friend.  Also we went and looked at campers after this so this is just where I am in life right now anyway.  This area also included a little cave with bat wings to put on the kiddos.  My kids probably would have taken those bat wings home.  I smell a diy project sometime in the future maybe.  

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Destination Space Exhibit

I hope my kids explore this one a little more next time.  Saida actually really loved walking through the outter space room which is basically a pitch black room with stars.  I couldn't even see the walkway it was so dark.  For a kid who insists on a night light, I was super shocked she loved it so much.  Corbin hated it.  There was so much more in that area though that they never touched so maybe next time.

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Other exhibits not mentioned that they also really enjoyed are the Amazing Airways Exhibit, The Town Square, and The Kids Clinic.

I mean really this whole place is super adorable and so inviting for play.  A steal for $7.50 per person.  The bottom line is that if we lived even 15 minutes closer, we'd have a family membership.  A family of 4 can buy a membership for only $125 a year.  It would pay for itself in about 5 visits.


So my recommendation is YES, DEFINITELY GO!!!  And if you live close, DEFINITELY PAY FOR A MEMBERSHIP!!!

For more information on the McKenna Children's Museum in New Braunfels, click the button below.


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This is just to add another level of cuteness to the post.  Also yes, he is wearing Tito's Vodka Sunglasses.  They're his favorite.