Tour of the Gulf

Texas

To break in our new Winnebago (Itasca Sunstar 35b), we decided to escape some of Winter with a 27 day trip to the Gulf of Mexico and back.
We first stopped in Waco to visit the Magnolia Store (off the show Fixer Upper).  There was a really long line to get in!

As we headed south through Texas, we stopped at a rest stop so the kids could see a cactus up close.  Tripp said it was the best part of his day!

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Port Aransas, TX – Gulf Waters RV Resort

After Waco, we traveled on through San Antonio and stayed a nice and clean RV resort named Greenlake RV Resort.  The following day we made it to Port Aransas (next to Padre Island and Corpus Christi), where we stayed for a week at Gulf Waters RV Resort.  We LOVED it there!  Great view of a nice pond, well landscaped, and a boardwalk to a wonderful beach.  We rented a beach buggy and drove into Port Aransas (6 miles up the beach) a couple of times.  We ate at Moby Dick’s (awesome!) and watched dolphins in the bay at Robert’s Point Park.

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Houston, we have some Habs….

After an awesome week in Port Aransas / Corpus Christi, we headed to Houston to visit the Johnson Space Center.  What a cool place!  The Saturn V Rocket was definitely the highlight of the trip!

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After a day in Houston, we spent a whole day driving to Gulf Shores, AL.  Louisiana woods in the evening:

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Gulf Shores, AL – Sugar Sands RV Resort

Once in the Gulf Shores area, we’d stay for a week a Sugar Sands RV Resort.  It’s a few miles from Orange Beach and Gulf Shores Beach, but not bad.  Very clean and nicely landscaped.  I did want to shoot a nocturnal bird of some kind that wouldn’t shut up all night long.

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While in Gulf Shores, we went on a dolphin and nature cruise by Cetacean Cruises (http://cetaceancruises.com/).  Absolutely amazing experience!!  We saw tons of dolphins, and the captain took us to some very remote swamp waters toward the back of Wolf Bay, where people are not allowed to be on the land.  There was no wind, and our captain powered down the motors almost completely so we glided through very narrow waterways.  We saw a pelican diving for fish, and an osprey high up in a tree.  Really pristine scenery!  Alligators live back in the area we were in, but since it’s Winter they are not active so we didn’t get to see any.

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We took a recommendation from the captain and ate at Butts on the Beach BBQ, which was really good!  You can write on the walls also!

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If you’re ever in Gulf Shores, you’ll see Pelicans diving into a waterway right next to the main road at Wade Ward Nature Park.  It is so neat!!  If they catch one, you can see the fish wiggling around in their throat as they swallow it.

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Destin, FL – Camp Gulf

After a week at Sugar Sands in Gulf Shores, AL, we drove to Destin, FL to stay for a week at Camp Gulf.  It is so awesome to park right on the beach!!  When we got there fog had just rolled in, but it was a neat look and feel.  The waves sort of disappeared into the fog the farther out you look.  The kids immediately jumped out of the RV and started playing in the sand, which is so much whiter and finer than all the other beaches we’ve visited in the past year (California beaches, Myrtle Beach in NC, and Port Aransas, TX through Gulf Shores, AL).  It’s like sugar!  I told the kids it would be neat if were actually sugar…we could eat the beach!  We noticed lots of younger families staying here, which we liked to see.

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And the sand…..it’s impossible to keep it out of the RV…

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So we came up with a system to keep sand (mostly) out of the RV. We staked down our outdoor rug as our initial quarantine area.  When the sand people (our kids) approached the quarantine area, we stop them in their tracks and brush the sand off them from head to tow while they stand on the steps.  Once inside, they wipe their feet on a mat once more.  By then, only a small amount makes it inside.  We had to be entertaining other RVers while we figured all this out.  I’m sure they were laughing, thinking “they’re going to be wiping sand off those kids all day long!”.

As you can see below, one of the sand people is slowly approaching….stealth mode..

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We spent some time trying to spot dolphins in the ocean, but no luck.

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The fog stuck around all day again, but we still had fun playing on the beach.

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Sand angel!  It was fun watching him make this, but at the same time we were cringing at how much sand we were going to have to get out of his hair and clothes!
We lucked out and had reserved a site that has no one right next to us (for now anyway).

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Avin and Daddy walked around the park tonight.  It’s neat how they’ve lit up most of the palm trees with color changing lights.

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It’s 70 outside today, but a storm rolled through. It did wash away the fog!

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we went to Walmart today and it’s funny to see bodyboards right when you walk in.

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We cheated the rain by extending the awning and driving up next to it to load our family in the pouring rain. It beats walking to the car in really wet sand!

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The rain finally ended last night and we woke up to sunshine and clear air (no more fog!). The water is much calmer also.

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After V got off work we played on the beach until sunset. Had to make up for the rainy day yesterday.

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The funniest thing happened today. Avin took his lunch outside to the picnic table and Sea Gulls came down and ate it all! Poor kid!

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Really clear water today (Sunday)!

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We head home today! It has been a lot of fun, but we are ready to be back at our home base for a while and to see our families and friends before the next trip (somewhere where there are mountains and tall evergreens). Until then, we will leave you with some ridiculous speed limits we’ve seen in Florida.

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heading out of Destin

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Southern Alabama woods. Saw a bear caution sign!

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We just crossed over into Mississippi. Taking a break at a rest stop and charging the battery on the CRV.

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Nothing like driving your living room down the highway at night!

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