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Trip Report S Padre Island Trip Report

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I went to S. Padre Island the first week of June and had a great time. Here is what we did:

Day 1: Drive from Austin to S. Padre Island. This is a long 6.5 hour drive, not the most scenic either. Got to the island in the evening and checked in to our hotel then went to find a dinner place. At at Louie's on the Bay and had the seafood buffet. I enjoyed the stone crab claws and the baked potato there, but the buffet line is a bit crowded and disorganized. My son absolutely loved having the crab claws.

After dinner we went to the go cart race track next door to get a double racecar that we could race. The track is very interesting, with multiple levels and such. We had a blast - I felt like I was a kid again :)

The hotel (Travelodge) is a decent one, nothing too special but the rooms were nice. The floors are tile which I presume they have to make it easier to clean the sand out of. There is a refrigerator, in-room safe (important), and flat screen TVs. They have a carb fest free continental breakfast (no fruits or protein, just carbs like waffles, donuts, etc.. but it was fine for us).

It is not exactly on the beach, but it has private beach access through a boardwalk that goes in between another property and some homeowner's properties. I presume they bought the narrow strip from their hotel to the beach to claim that they had beach access.

Day 2: Day at the beach

Beautiful day at the beach, sunny without a cloud in the sky from dawn to dusk, temp in the low 90's, perfect beach weather really. The water temp was around 80 degrees, so perfect for swimming.

I had been to S. Padre when I was in college, but only for Spring Break so I don't even believe I set foot on the beach back then as I was in party mode. I didn't really remember anything from that timeframe to be honest.

Needless to say, S. Padre is far different in the summer than during Spring Break. I had vaguely remembered Louie's being a wet t-shirt type facility during spring break but during the summer it was a whole bunch of families eating dinner on the water.

My son absolutely loved the beach and I did too. I tried skim boarding but quickly learned that I'm not very good at it. I ended up injuring my feet (plantar's fasciitis) from doing skim boarding, I guess I'm not as young as I used to be. Kids were taking to it like birds to water, however. I think I'm just going to try to learn how to surf to be honest. Falling on a wave has got to be better than falling on the sand :)

That evening we took a dolphin cruise, they depart right next to AmberJack's. I highly recommend this. One caveat, we went to book the cruise, not knowing the times and all, but having remembered the cruise when we had eaten at Louie's the first night. So we asked them and they said that there was a cruise in 20 minutes but that it was a 2 hour cruise and they didn't serve dinner, so he recommended I pick up a bite to eat and be back before they departed.

Not wanting to wait in line, I just went to the DQ next door and got some fast food there. Normally I would have planned for something better but I didn't want to miss the cruise. We got back to the boat and got the food on the boat with time to spare.

The boat cruised from the Bay out to the Gulf. When you got out to the Gulf, you quickly realize how much choppier the seas are. They had trouble finding the dolphins, but they colluded with their rival company and found out where they had seen the dolphins. Apparently they help each other out - when one company sees dolphins they notify the other.

My only complaint was that there were some people that brought a cooler and got totally wasted by the end of the trip. The mother was actually tripping on the ladder from the bridge to the stern, quite embarrassing I must say. She made a pass at me which I declined, she was obviously drunk as her husband was very closeby.

Next up, Day 3: Schlitterbahn

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