Grand Children’s Spring Break & Luke’s 16th Birthday
This year all five of our grand children had the same Spring Break, although in four different school districts. All of the grand children enjoy going on Spring Break with Nana and Papa in our 5th wheel. However, this year Luke is turning 16-year’s old on March 19, so we decided to plan this Spring Break doing something we knew he would enjoy. Yes, Port Aransas on Spring Break where many of the schools, especially colleges, celebrate a week on the beach.
At the last minute we decided that instead of making one long drive on Saturday, it would be nice to split the drive over two days and get to Port Aransas in early afternoon. So we picked up Luke as soon as he got out of school on Friday at 3:30 and we headed for a one-night stay at Valley View RV Campground (https://vvrvpark.com/) in Jarrell (outside of Georgetown). The traffic was horrific getting out of Dallas and it took us 3-hours just to get out of Dallas city limits. We made it to Valley View about 10pm that night and then left early Saturday morning (March 10) to arrive at Gulf Waters RV Resort at approximately 1 pm.
Gulf Waters RV Resort (http://www.gulfwatersrvresorttx.com/) is a premier luxury resort and reviewers say one of the best in Port Aransas. The RV sites are individually owned and rented out when not being used by the owner(s). There are palm trees, nice ponds, swimming pool/spa and the showers/restrooms are really clean and well-maintained. The resort is located beach-side with a private boardwalk to the beach. We rented a beach buggy (golf cart equipped to run on the beach/sand) to use while at the park. Turn’s out that’s the best way to enjoy if you are traveling in an RV and staying at this park. However, it isn’t cheap! There are several buggy rental companies we learned after arriving, but we rented ours from the one listed on the Gulf Water’s website, Port A Beach Buggies (http://www.portabeachbuggies.com/gulf-waters/). Rental was from Saturday afternoon to Wednesday afternoon and ran $555.00 (this was with the $28.00 charge for delivering to our campground. You can pick it up at their shop and drive back along the beach to the park and save that $28..
The RV Resort provided us with a full list of strictly enforced rules to follow while staying at the park. Only 2-vehicles at RV site and the vehicles must have a parking permit in window. Fortunately, there is an over-flow parking lot for visiting friends to use). Blue-bands must be worn by all registered guests and visiting friend need to pay $10.00 per person charge for anyone who is not a registered guest for use of swimming pool. One of the rules we learned about after-the-fact, was that the golf-cart company we rented from through this Resort is the only golf-cart company that is allowed to have golf carts on their property.
Chris (brother), Kathie (sister-in-law) along with Madisyn & Mileigh, their two grand daughters, joined us staying at the Best Western in town. They rented a beach buggy too from a rental company close to their hotel. The plan was for us to travel by beach buggy between our two places during their weekend visit. When they came over to our RV site they were told by management that they could not have their beach buggy anywhere in Gulf Waters RV Resort, they had to move it from the property immediately. We actually had missed seeing this rule in their park policy and it was very disappointing because Chris would have rented from the same company we had, if we had known about this rule.
Despite the little hiccup over the beach buggy issue, we enjoyed our first weekend with Lily (grand daughter) who rode down with us, Mandy (daughter) driving from Houston, Cathy (sister) and Dean (brother-in-law) driving over from their place in Port O’Connor (just for the day), along with Chris’ family from Kountz (staying through weekend). On Saturday, March 10 we all went to dinner at Seafood & Spaghetti Works which I had read an article in the Dallas Morning News’ Travel section about Port Aransas, coincidentally the weekend before we were scheduled to arrive. The article reported that after the damaging storm that hit Port Aransas approximately 6-months earlier, it was now ready for visitors with many of the businesses back open after repairs, specifically mentioning this one.
Sunday afternoon, all the kids went swimming at the Best Western “heated” swimming pool. Afterwards, Mileigh came back with our group and spent time playing on the beach with Lily. The two of them, along with Bill actually went in the ocean for a few minutes, but it really was pretty cold to spend much time in the water. Gabby attempted to follow Greta (Mandy’s large dog) into the ocean, she started running from the shore, about the same time there was a large wave coming ashore and Gabby actually leaped into the air (agility training, probably thinking she could jump over it), landing in the wave as if she dove into it. For a second I have to admit, I was a little frightened she might have taken on more than she could handle at her size, but it really was a sight to see. It was one of those times I wished I would have had a video camera running. There were other people on the beach who were laughing also at the sight. You would have had to seen to appreciate!
Tuesday morning, 03/13, Mandy and Lily drove to Houston for Lily to spend the rest of the week with Mandy and Chris’ family left, giving Luke alone time with Nana & Papa for the remainder of our trip. The rest of the day was spent driving to town for a grocery-run, riding the beach in our beach buggy, eating dinner at Port A Pizzeria (http://portapizzeria.com/) and chillin.
Wednesday morning, we discovered our truck had been robbed the evening before ransacked with everything pulled out of the glove-box, etc. The tire-monitor, back-up camera and a small notebook computer (Christmas gift) were all stolen. Bill went to the office management to report it around 12 noon and was told that he was the only one who had reported any thefts, yet neighbors across from us had their jeep ransacked as well and the police who took our theft report said several at vehicles on our road at the RV Park had been robbed. The police officer said it was most-likely someone coming into the park from the beach hitting unlocked vehicles and taking what they could carry since there was no broken glass, we must have left our truck unlocked. Luke’s bicycle was sitting out unlocked and not taken, but we made certain to chain it up with a lock the remainder of our stay.
Our week was spent driving along the beach to/from town, playing washers on the beach, having a few meals in-town, playing Monopoly and in the evenings watching the two seasons and several episodes of “Stranger Things,” that we had gotten into early on our trip. It was cool to see military recruiters on the beach with all the college partiers, watching a few guys show-off their strength on the pull-up bars.
The last full-day, Bill decided to park our beach buggy very close to the daily gatherings of a very large group of college-partiers whom we had seen on our beach runs every day. There was heavy police presence along this area where all the partiers were located. Luke was reluctant at first, but Bill did it anyways, setting up our lawn chairs. After awhile, we decided to go back to the RV to make sandwiches and return, asking Luke if he wanted to go back with us, surprisingly he had decided he liked where we were parked. We left him there on the beach, returning in 30 minutes and he had joined a couple of boys throwing a football. Luke was left with his full hoodie jacket, long pants, sock and tennis shoes and when we returned he had pulled off his hoodie, his sock/shoes and actually was enjoying himself on the beach.
Port Aransas beaches are nice and you can actually camp with your tent or RV right on the beach. You can also just drive your vehicle along the beach with a $12.00 vehicle permit which if you do not have the permit, the police will stop and ticket you, as we saw several people being pulled over.
We talked about the next time we visit Port Aransas, parking our RV right on the beach for at least a few days to have the experience. This trip would have not been a good time to experience as there were lots of windy days, cool temps and there would have been a gross amount of sand with people in/out of the RV. We may also check-out Pioneer RV Park (http://www.pioneerrvresorts.com/), if traveling with grand children. The family on the beach whose son was throwing the football with Luke stay at Pioneer RV Park every Spring Break. They said it has an arcade room and fun-planned activities, like Bingo, etc. Also, they do not have as strict of rules as where we stayed based on the conversation with the family that stay there every year. Although, we would have to plan in advance, as they did say they make their reservations approximately 10-11 months in advance every year for Spring break.
Our departure on Thursday morning was about 9:30 am. We met up with Mandy at a Walmart in Katy (I-10, close to Grand Parkway SH99) at approximately 3:45 pm and ended up making the long trip home, driving up about 10:15 pm. We were undecided whether we could make the entire trip home in one-day or we would be stopping over to spend the night somewhere, but Bill did what we rarely do on road trips, driving that long of a day and partially after dark.
All-in-all, it was a nice time in Port Aransas. We were able to visit with family who also made the trip from various locations and it was a fun-time visiting a new area.
God is Good, He is Good All the Time!