We held off on eating lunch on the drive from Austin until we hit the bridge heading onto the island and then decided to go ahead an use our 1 eat out fresh fish meal. Snoopys was the first place we saw on the map and headed there.
Food was good and we all kinda shared each others shrimp and fish and clams. We were still pretty early for check in when we got to our condo but decided to see if we could get in. We found our key for the main gate in a realtor style lock box out front. Once up to the our room it had an electronic keypad and the code I had worked and the room looked great so we moved in. We cleared all the room gear out but the van was still pretty full of beach and camp gear when we drove out to the beach.
Our room was right across from a burm area and we were not really sure the closest path to the beach so decided to drive the first time out. We were a little surprised to find the road just took us right onto the beach and there were cars parked all over. Right away the van got stuck in the sand. We sent the kids to play and Heath and I got it unstuck and I drove it back to the condo and walked back and then joined them.
It was a great day and I was really surprised how warm the water was. We found shells, jumped in waves, boogie boarded, people watched and saw like a dozen sea turtles playing in the surf.
Eventually we walked back (like a block or less) to the condo for a late dinner.
On the way into the condo we stopped by the pool and cooled off and got rid of the last of our sand. We had put some chicken in the crock pot before leaving so it was all cooked and dinner was quick. We were still pretty excited to be at the beach so after dinner we headed back out with our flashlights and a bucket.
We got this shot of the condo on our way out. Heath and my loft had a little balcony you can see just over my head. Here is another shot.
In the main kitchen/family room there was a big door heading out into a porch area with a table that looks out over the pool.
This interior courtyard area was part covered and part open with all sorts of nice plants even bananas.
So we headed out at dusk and found a really easy little path across the burm, right by the warning sign.
It was really nice on the beach and we went for a walk that quickly turned into a crab hunt.
They were a bit tentative at first but then Peanut and Bean got really into it and started filling the buckets with the little crabs.
We stayed out late wondering around the beach and catching crabs and had a great time. In the morning the kids seemed like they would never get up.
Eventually we got tired of waiting on them and went down to make coffee and get pancakes cooking and the noise got them going.
We had a big breakfast and transformed the room out of sleep mode and then headed back to the beach. We drove again and thought we had a good plan of driving really fast between the hard packed sand at the top and the hard packed sand at the bottom but we got stuck again. We made it close enough that we just parked it and unloaded our stuff. We also setup a canopy right behind the van and our chairs behind it. It was an awsome refuge from the sun.
At lunch we got another family to help and we pushed the van out and drove back to the room for a quick lunch then went back to the beach. We spent all day riding the waves,
looking for shells,
building in the sand
and getting too much sun
We also walked back to a rocky area and caught more crabs and watched all the turtles. At lunchtime we had left the canopy and a lot of our stuff and when we came back we just parked the van at the top of the beach in the hard sand so we only had to carry our stuff a little. Then we rinsed off in the outside showers then in the pool and then got dinner going.
The kids were beat so we stuffed our selves with Pizza and started watching Revenge of the Nerds on cable. Heath and I went for a walk while they relaxed and checked out the bar for a drink. We got home just as the movie ended and we all went to sleep. In the morning Heath and I went on a crazy run early in the morning.
Once back we got the kids up and started packing, eating and cleaning. We got the van all loaded up and checked out then went back to the beach.
We left the van in the parking lot to keep as much sand out as we could. We spent a lot of time playing in the sand and then got out a little football and played a bunch of monkey in the middle in the surf. It was a lot of fun.
Eventually we rinsed off and hit the road for a driving day. We were going to try to make it to an In N Out again but they were too far and we were too hungry so instead we stopped at 2 different Whataburgers. The first one for shakes, rings and fries and the 2nd after we were too hungry to make it to In N Out.
We also go some last minute souvenirs, like these sweet glasses.
We drove all the way up to Dallas Fort Worth Airport and dropped Heath and Peanut at the airport around 9 or so. The girls and I drove another hour, got some late night tacos and then crashed in the hotel after some much needed showers. I got them up with about 10 minutes to spare on the complimentary breakfast.
We quickly, changed, packed, ate and hit the road again. Early in the afternoon we got to the Niangua River.
We setup our campsite and and then hung in the river. We cooked up some dinner
and while we were eating our friends the Noels and some friends of theirs showed up and setup their campsites. We hung out around their campfire and the kids made some smores and played late into another night.
In the morning the girls slept and slept. Everyone else got up and ate and got ready and eventually the girls got up. A bit later Heath, Peanut and his friend all showed up and headed toward the river.
We got a couple rafts and a couple of canoes and a short time later created a barge.
It was super fun floating and climbing around and jumping in and all the normal river stuff.
We found a nice barge and had a big lunch
We found a little dirt cliff to jump off.
I had a strap on my new sunglasses but on one of my jumps the lens broke off and sank and were trash so I went back to free ones.
We never really paddled until about 5pm when we realized we had a way to go and were supposed to be done at 6. We finally got to the take out spot at 6:30 and there were boats behind us. We went back to camp and had a sleepy dinner and drank lots of water. Heath and the boys headed back and the girls and I packed up as much as we could and got to bed after hanging around the campfire a bit.
In the morning I got up fairly early and tossed the last of the stuff in the car, including the sleeping kids.
We drove home in the rain, setup the wet camping gear in the garage and went out to a giant breakfast, then went back to school shopping all day.