A Weekend in the Sea Breeze

We took the kids to the coast last spring. Seven of us packed into my Toyota Land Cruiser. Despite its 200,000th mile being just around the corner, we took it over the minivan. We thought its more rugged nature would play better in the great outdoors.

I loaded the cruiser with enough beach inflatables to fill both the luggage rack up top and the luggage shelf that plugs into the back trailer hitch.

Ever seen an inflatable kayak? The seasonal inventory buyer at Costco has. He put about 30 “Sea Eagles” in his San Antonio stores five Christmases ago. One of them now sat on top of my SUV.

We rented a house in the middle of Old Rockport. It was a VRBVPO (Vacation Rental By Very Proud Owner).

It was a mile from the man-made Rockport beach, but by the decor inside, you’d think it was on its own island in the Caribbean. Our weekend was basically brought to us by the color turquoise.

Don’t get me wrong, “Sea Breeze Cottage” was worth the money. It just wasn’t always worth the wait.

Our kids are bigger now than when we took our last trip to the coast, but they are also more mature. We thought the two factors would cancel each other out. For the most part, they did.

Silence is golden on road trips with five kids, but it’s also frequently broken by “I’m hungry” or “Stop it!” or “How much farther?”

We played a game called “Catch Phrase” to pass the time. You’re supposed to get your teammates to guess a common phrase without using the words in the phrase itself. One of our younger children didn’t get the message.

“This is a house that’s at the beach. It’s a blank house.” (Beach house)

“This is a day we celebrate mothers.” (Mother’s Day)

“This is a pie that’s made in a pot. It has chicken in it.” (Chicken pot pie)

We got some great laughs, and his team got a nice win.

Once we arrived, coastal fishing was high on the agenda. Unfortunately, I’m not much help. Having grown up in a landlocked state, I’m basically a fish out of water.

Thankfully, the Good Lord sent an angel in the form of a retired Texas A&M marine biology professor. He had also doubled as a bay fishing guide for three decades until retiring a few years ago.

He pointed us to a green-lit pier and showed us how to bait live shrimp. We nabbed a few speckled trout.

On the way home, we took the ferry over to North Padre Island.

“Why do they call it an island when it’s part of Texas?” asked an 8-year-old on the third row. Great question. And why is that island sitting in the “Gulf of Mexico?”

“Gulf of Texas” makes better sense. I agree. Somebody call our state rep…it’s time for a referendum!

Speaking of referenda, our 6-year-old daughter decided one was in order. She polled her brothers, “Who wants a new dad? Raise your hand.” I couldn’t bear to see the results in the rearview mirror.

But then her sweet, angelic voice cast what may have been the deciding vote: “I don’t.”

With that, I found the strength to drive another mile.


Kevin Thompson can be reached at kevin@kwt.info.


1 Response to “A Weekend in the Sea Breeze”

  1. 1 Cindy Brockwell August 2, 2017 at 01:52

    I love your stories with your children. Living in Corpus Christi now, and just started following your articles again. Thanks!

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