Category: Travel

Blown Away in Port O

The first weekend in November is traditionally Casey’s guys only camping trip. No guys under 18 allowed so it’s a me and the boys only weekend. The boys already had Friday off school since it was the end of the first grading period, but Wednesday night and into Thursday morning we had about 15 inches of rain fall. Which led to flooding (not us, we live on top of a hill) and school cancellations. Introducing a four day weekend for the boys. We had already planned to head south towards the coast and go fishing with my folks so we headed out Friday afternoon in the Jeep, just the three of us. We arrived in Port O’Connor around 6:30pm or so and the water was as smooth as glass. No wind, no breeze, just quiet. Finally for once, we were at the coast and it wasn’t windy. Mother nature sure fooled us. By midnight I could hear the wind howling outside as I slept on a slightly deflating air mattress with my 5 foot, 125 pound 11 year old who likes to sleep way up in my personal space. No point in waking up early to go fishing.

After some breakfast we decided to hop in the boat and head down the canal to see if maybe we could try some fishing. First clue should have been all the barges stopped in the canal, angled into the sand bars and not going anywhere. We headed to a flats area to try a drift (lots of duck hunters were out there) and as I stood up on the bow and cast out a few times my shirt whipped into the wind making me feel like I was part of a sail on a boat. No luck. Thanks for trying though dad. We spent the rest of the weekend at home with my folks hanging out, cooking some good bacon wrapped shrimp. Always good to breathe some sea air in though.

The first weekend in November is traditionally Casey's guys only camping trip. No guys under 18 allowed so it's a me and...

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A Hotel Christmas

After just spending just over 12 hours in the van today (covering over 700  miles) I am typing this as I sit in a hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico. My most charming husband convinced me that leaving at 4am this morning (meaning we woke up at 3:30am) and by the time we stopped for breakfast we already had 5 hours of travel behind us.

What are we doing in the middle of New Mexico the day before Christmas Eve you might ask, well we are on our way to have a white Christmas. Tomorrow we’ll get to our final destination of Durango, CO. And we are staying at a — Best Western. Yep, you heard right. This year’s trip was something we’ve wanted to do since this summer but funding of the trip was always up in the air. Funding prayers were answered about two weeks ago and after much looking I found that staying at the Best Western was almost $800 less than a private cabin or lodge at the ski resort. This option will give us so much more money to spend on other fun things like skiing, snowmobiling, etc. We made the leap, paid for the King Suite room near downtown Durango and didn’t look back. I calculated the cost of each activity we wanted to do so we could have an idea of what we would be spending. This is our first ever Christmas away from home, about 1,000 miles away! To say the trip has added to the excitement of Christmas for the boys is a huge understatement!

We’ll get into Durango with plenty of time to go find a Christmas tree and we’ve brought construction paper to make garland and popcorn to string up on the tree. We also purchased a few small ornaments to hang as well. We’ve made sure that Santa knows where we’re staying too. At 8 and 9yrs old we’re hoping that maybe this will be a Christmas that will stick out in the boys memories for a very long time. Plus for us, it’s sure to be a White Christmas.

After just spending just over 12 hours in the van today (covering over 700  miles) I am typing this as I sit in a hotel...

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2nd Leg to Destination

Our second day of travel had us leaving Vicksburg, MS around 8am. We made a quick stop at the grocery store near our hotel to pick up a few things then were east bound. Because our hotel had a large amount of guests enjoying their coffee we ate some breakfast foods on the road and made good time through Mississippi. Arrived at the Alabama state line and visitor welcome center in time to have another picnic lunch. I had picked up a variety bag of HEB brand chips, bread, sandwich meats, cheese, pb & j, and a supply of fruit so we all had a decent variety to choose from for our picnic lunches. We ended up just shy of Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday and the boys once again enjoyed a nice big outdoor pool at the La Quinta there. We experienced Zaxby’s chicken which is a lot like our Golden Chick or equivalent, it was food that wasn’t a sandwich so everyone was pleased.

The wee one had just gotten in trouble...

Sunday morning started with the hotel’s breakfast (La Quinta has a decent one for free), an uneventful drive to the South Carolina border which again was well timed for our picnic lunch. Surrounded by large moss trees we took a quick lunch break since we still had about four hours to our destination and hit the road again. We made good time until our last 30 miles or so we hit dead stop traffic. UGH. We were all so ready to be out of the car! Turns out an SUV with a camper had crossed the divider and flipped onto it’s side in our lane. Everyone in the SUV was okay so it must have been at a low rate of speed with an over correction. We got past all that and made it to our condo around 5pm and got all checked in. More on what I thought of our hotel on the next post….

Beach from Walkway

Not exactly the view from our condo room...

**Note: I had planned to blog this all while on our trip but we had less than adequate wifi in our hotel. More on that in the review coming soon about our condo – Captain’s Quarters in Myrtle Beach. I’ll post each one in order over the next week**

Our second day of travel had us leaving Vicksburg, MS around 8am. We made a quick stop at the grocery store near our hot...

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Take Me Places

I originally titled this post “Roll On” because that’s pretty much all we did today. Also that’s pretty much what we’ll do tomorrow until we reach the coast and our destination for the next 6 days. For some reason the 7 hours in the van today seemed twice as long as the 11 hours we spent in it yesterday. Seriously sore bums were had by all. CaseyJ finally passed out somewhere in Alabama and slept for awhile. I think he seriously needed that nap, especially after losing his swimming pool time at our lunch stop.

I love Hipstamatic...

Back to the title of “Roll On” made me think of the Terri Hendrix song entitle the same. However the song is more a metaphorical “Roll On” than the literal. On the same album (Cry Till You Laugh) is the song “Take Me Places” and that song is a lot like what we are doing on our trip.

Take me to Mexico
Wake me up in Singapore
Maybe we could see Morocco
Take me where I’ve never been before


Take me somewhere exotic
Far away
To a distant shore
A quiet beach could be hypnotic
Take me where I’ve never been before

Although the lyrics lead more to a need for escape I think it works for what we are doing. I traveled within the state of Texas as a kid, mostly within a few hours of home. I didn’t leave the state of Texas until I was 21 years old. At 6 and 7 years old the boys have been to more states than I had by the time I was 30. That is cool. They’ve seen things some grown adults have never seen – the Grand Canyon, a sunset over the Missisisippi River, the mountains of Colorado, etc. I love traveling with the boys, minus the in car fights (which have been very few this trip) and the having to get them to sleep while we are trying to watch tv or relax in the hotel room, it’s awesome. I am really looking forward to all the beach time and fun stuff we’ll get to do this coming week. Photos out of my camera and not my iPhone coming soon!

I originally titled this post "Roll On" because that's pretty much all we did today. Also that's pretty much what we'll...

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Three States

The alarm went off bright, uh well dark and early this morning. We were loaded into the van and headed down the driveway just a few minutes after 5am. The new toll road makes getting around Austin a snap and since the boys ended up being wide awake we stopped near Waco for breakfast. We made good time and stopped at the Louisiana border for lunch.

Four more hours and we were on the bridge traveling over the Mississippi river into Vicksburg, our stop for the first night. The hotel we are staying at had a nice cool indoor pool that was saltwater treated (no stinging chlorine). We went back towards the river into downtown Vicksburg and had dinner at a place called Monsours at the Biscuit Company. The food was good and the atmosphere was excellent. We got the feeling it was more of a local hang out but that made it even better. The smell of old wood was intoxicating!

We missed the sunset over the river by about 20 minutes but took a few photos anyway. The boys loved the big cannons there from the Civil War battle. Everyone is pretty wiped from the long day and we are all headed to bed. Tomorrow is Mississippi, Alabama, and half of Georgia.

The alarm went off bright, uh well dark and early this morning. We were loaded into the van and headed down the driveway...

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First leg

It will all start unusually early tomorrow morning. Like I don’t even get up that early to go fishing and I like to go fishing. A right turn, then a left, and one more left turn will set us up for a few hours until we make the big turn to the right and head east on 20.After packing all the goodies there is just enough room left in the van for four bodies which is good since that’s how many we have in our family. I’ll have to be going to bed soon so I can tweet in the wee hours of the morning for any sympathy from anyone else crazy enough to be up at that hour. Hope to be posting plenty of updates from the road!!! All of a sudden I’m feeling like a Griswold…..

It will all start unusually early tomorrow morning. Like I don't even get up that early to go fishing and I like to go f...

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