Monday, June 11, 2012

Our Summer 2012 RV Vacation - Part 2 Mother Neff and Corpus Christi

Now for part 2 of the Summer 2012 RV Vacation (click here if you missed Part 1).  In this post I want to share about our time at Mother Neff State Park and our time in Corpus Christi.

We started our vacation at Mother Neff State Park.  We visited this park last year and fell in love with it and were excited to go back again!  On Thursday night we were the only ones there and it was great (just like last year).  Our 2nd night though the park was full and we realized that it is not as nice when you have neighbors.  The sites are really close together (too close when you have someone who is constantly yelling right next door).  But we still enjoyed our time there regardless.

Here are the kids at the sign at the front of the park!  We were setting off on our trail walking for the day! 

The great thing about Mother Neff State Park are the trails!  It is still the cleanest and most well kept state park we have been to!  The rangers here take great pride in their park!

The kids right away remembered how last year they earned jr park ranger badges and wanted to do it again!  Of course the rangers were happy to let them!  :-)  One of the things they had to do was find an animal to focus on.  They had to tell one thing why they think that animal liked that habitat and then draw a picture of the animal in its habitat.  Seth chose a red dragonfly that he saw at the water hole.  He decided that the red dragonfly liked that area so that she could lay her eggs in the water there.  (said he learned that from Dinosaur Train LOL).  We found out from the ranger that he was correct!! GO SETH!!

Here is the picture he drew of the dragonfly at the water hole.

After our walk that day the kids wanted to paint with the watercolors (I stocked the camper with all kinds of good art supplies for this trip and they enjoyed using them!!)  Here is a picture of the kids working on their projects.

Here is my watercolor drawing of our camper!  I thought I did a pretty good job!  :-)

Alyssa loved making paint strokes!

Here is Seth drawing a Star Wars picture!  He thought that was more fun than drawing nature...oh well.

We enjoyed some yummy meals but I will highlight those in part 4 (got to keep you wanting for more, right?!?! LOL!)

From Mother Neff we headed to Lake Corpus Christi State Park on Saturday.  This park is located north of Corpus Christi in the little town of Mathis!  We chose to stay here because it was full hook-up (when you are spending 5 nights somewhere we decided this is a must!) and we had more room than we would have if we had stayed on the beach!  This was a nice park.  The area is still under a drought so the lake was down (only at 52%) and it is a very popular place on the weekends.  But it was a nice park and as of Monday we pretty much had it to ourselves!

Here is a pic of Aaron eating a moon pie on the way to Corpus!  The boy LOVES moon pies.

The boys LOVE fishing!  So we made sure to get in some fishing time at Lake Corpus Christi!  We went to the area where one of the park workers said that catfish bite all day long...but of course...they were not biting this week :-(  The park people did not know why...figured it was something to do with the weather. 

But the little fish were biting!  Right off the bank too!! 

Here is Aaron's fish he caught all by himself!

Daniel caught a fish and left it in the water and let Alyssa reel it in!!  She was so excited to catch a fish all by herself!

Seth caught the biggest fish! 
Oh and notice in the picture above the pier!  That is suppose to be a fishing pier...shows you how low the lake was!

The kids got filthy dirty!!  There was a lot of sand around the camper and they had so much fun playing in it but man did they get dirty!!

On Sunday evening the kids were wanting to swim in the lake so we thought it would be fun to take our hamburger fixings and go find a picnic table by the lake to grill out supper and let the kids swim.  The only problem was the whole town of Mathis I think was out there!!  We finally found an empty table right at the swimming area!  The kids had fun swimming while Daniel and I grilled hamburgers!!  We got some fun pics of the "drowned rats" eating LOL!!

On another day we took the kids swimming in the lake!  Daniel and I had one of the scariest moments of our lives!!  The boys were in the lake, about 20 ft or so away from where Daniel and I were fishing.  They were wrestling in the water.  We told them to be careful or someone was going under.  Next thing we knew we did not see Aaron!  He was under!!  Seth was struggling as well!!  Daniel dove in fully clothed and rescued both boys!!  Apparently right where they were playing was a ledge that dropped off to a depth that was over Daniel's shoulders!!  I about had a stroke!!  Thankfully both boys were ok, just a bit choked up!

Afterwards we came back to the camper for peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.  We decided that everyone needed a rest!  I made a pallet in the floor for the kids to lay on and watch a movie.  I laid on the couch to read and Daniel went to the bed!  We were all down for 4 hours!!!  I don't think the boys went to sleep but they were still the whole time.  Alyssa slept the WHOLE time.  I read a bit and probably slept a good two hours.  Daniel said he probably slept between two and three hours.  Needless to say we had trouble going to sleep that night but I guess it was obvious that we needed the rest!

Ok - on to the beach pictures!! Several days that we were there we drove down to Corpus and the beach.  We were about 45 minutes from Mustang and Padre Island.  We decided to go to Mustang Island State Park.  With our pass we didn't have to pay to get in and they had a parking lot.  (all of the public beaches had you parking on the sand...Daniel said our truck would be stuck like chuck if we tried to drive it on the sand!)  Plus the crowds were not as bad since you did have to pay to get in (if you did not have the pass).  We had fun here 3 evenings of our trip!

Here is a crab we found.  He was dead...we found him in a wave washing up on shore - but he was still fully intact!  At least we were able to get some cute pictures with him.

We realized our 2nd night that this thing in the below pic (a portuguese man of war) is NOT your friend!  Seth stepped on one!!!  He started screaming and we ran over to him.  He thought he had been pinched by a hermit crab, but when the welts started showing up on his foot we realized that it was probably a jelly fish!  When we got to the truck trying to figure out what to do (he was SCREAMING like I have never heard before) a lady (no, actually an angel) came running over to us with a bottle of meat tenderizer!!   We put that all over his foot.  Her son joined us and he just happened to be a doctor!!  He observed Seth for a bit, looking for all the signs of a bad reaction.  Thankfully Seth didn't have any!  The lady (should have gotten her name but didn't) also had benadryl and children's tylenol.  When there was nothing else that they, or anybody, could do we started heading back to the camper.  On the way Seth threw up all his supper so we stopped to get him cleaned up.  After that though he calmed down tremendously (it was about an hour after the incident happened) and was fine!

We went back to the camper and did some internet research on jelly fishes and man of wars.  I will tell you this - we will never go to a beach again without meat tenderizor and benadryl!

The next night we went back out there and that is when I got this picture.  We saw these all over the shore.  We didn't notice any the night before - but then we really didn't know to watch out for them.  After seeing the shore we also realized we would never go barefoot  on the beach again!!  We will ALWAYS wear our water shoes!! 

We had fun making sand castles too!

On one of our outings we drove over to Goose Island State Park in Rockport!  This was a really cool state park!!  If you are an avid fisherman this is the place to be!!!  There are spots where you can actually park your camper right on the bank of the bay and fish off your front porch!!  If you don't want to be that close to the water each of the other sites are surrounded by trees so no matter where you camp you are sort of secluded from your neighbors!!  There is no swimming because all of the banks are clam shell covered but they have a LONG fishing pier you can walk out on and they also have birdwatching piers you can walk out on!  It was just a neat neat place!

Also right outside the park is a 1,000 year old live oak tree called 'Big Tree'!!  It's trunk is 35 ft in diameter!  It was worth the trip over just to see that tree!!!

Here is a picture of 'Big Tree'!

On Part 3 of the post I will tell of our trips to the USS Lexington and Texas State Aquarium that we visited in Corpus! 

But this is enough for today!!

Stay tuned!

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