Saturday, September 7, 2013

Spontaneity, Meredith Style

Spontaneity has never been my thing. Don't get me wrong. I wish I was more this way, but I think being the oldest, responsible child, I could never quite achieve it. However, in the past few months, it's been my goal to relax a little more, plan less, and take life as it comes. The funny part is that I've been planning to do all of this with military precision. Ok, small steps. One of my inspirations in this department is my friend, Kylie. She is one of my fellow, truly awesome, Marine Corps spouses and I've always admired how easy going and generally content she is in her life. Perhaps she isn't, in which case, she can correct me in the comments. :) Our lives are very similar and our husbands have had the same jobs (and crazy demands) at the same times for the past ten plus years. So, I want to be the Meredith version of Kylie when I grow up.

One thing I did do, was see an opportunity on our calendar to get away for Labor Day weekend and in an instant decided to book a vacation rental in South Padre Island, Texas. Ok, it wasn't entirely spontaneous, since I booked it a month in advance, but in the moment it was. I called the Major up and said "hey, how about it? Do you like this place?", and I booked it. True to my new goal, I didn't put together a specific plan, nor did he, and we woke up and left when we felt like it, stopped when we felt like it, ate when we were get the idea.

We had the best time making our way casually down to the coast. We listened to some good music, discussed the politics of the day, had a few fun conversations with the kids and stopped in some interesting towns.

We stopped here, in Goliad, and took in some rich, Texas revolutionary movement history at the Presidio - La Bahia, and a good meal at The Hanging Tree. I'm always blown away by the kindness and politeness of the people here. The people here are also so genuine. After a few minutes, you feel like you actually have a good start on really knowing who they are and where they come from. By the way, the irony of meeting nice people in a place called The Hanging Tree was not lost on me. Hey, this is Texas.

I love old doors. In my dream house, all my doors might be old, historic doors like these.

The other thing I love here in Texas are these awesome Live Oak trees. They are the most magnificent climbing trees, don't you think? Ok, this one really was the hanging tree outside the courthouse, which is a little creepy, but they are still pretty fantastic for a tree house.

We spent the rest of the weekend taking in the Gulf of Mexico from the Texas shore. It was a great beach for kids with warm water and a gently, rolling tide. While the Pacific has a majestic and beautiful coast, we loved this beach for it's laid back nature (see a theme here?). Again, we ate when we were hungry, had dessert before dinner, slept when we were tired, watched was glorious.

No, we didn't make this, but these two sure are trying to take credit.

Sweet freedom

One of the kids' favorite stops was at the Sea Turtle Rescue. Isn't she a beauty?

Early morning shell search
This is me channeling Kylie, chillin' by the beach and taking in the glorious scenery of my loved ones and God's great creation.
On our way home, we stopped off in Kingsville, Texas to check out the King Ranch museum. This ranch girl loves to check out a good ranch, especially one of the largest and most famous in the world. Unfortunately, it was closed, but we met some really nice "folks" in Kingsville. No surprise. We will definitely have to check that amazing operation out again sometime in the future.

We headed home and talked about what a wonderful, laid back trip it was for our family. Mission accomplished. Thanks for the inspiration, Kylie.

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