Friday, May 6, 2016

The Clown Car Heads to Galveston

I've been meaning to write a post about our trip to the Bolivar Peninsula in Galveston since we came back a week ago, but I've been so insanely busy with post-vacation life that I haven't had one single second to myself with my computer. I'm trying to get this in before the memories fade because it was an excellent trip, one that is certainly worthy of blogging about.

Jon and I made the bold move to pack up our clown car family and take our six kids on an airplane and on vacation for a week on the Gulf coast of Texas. The purpose of this trip was predominately to introduce me to Jon's family, and give Jon and his kids the chance to visit with their grandparents, something they hadn't done in a very long time. Now that we are a combined family of six kids we have come to the harsh reality that it is impossible to visit anyone else in their homes, it is just too crowded. The only way for us to travel and visit people involves us renting our own house and bringing everyone else to us. So we rented a sweet little beach house in the charming residential area of Crystal Beach.

Each travel day took us a solid 13 hours. A two hour drive on either end of the four hour flight, it was definitely an ambitious way to spend our first week all together. Shockingly, our kids were practically perfect during both travel days. A seasoned traveler, Sofie led the way as we marched through the airport, while Jon's kids looked at everything with wide-eyed excitement. I love the look on a child's face when they experience something new, such innocent delight. We made it across the country without incident.

Jon (a native Texan) warned me about the beach in Texas before we arrived, but I did not actually believe him. This has to be the ugliest beach on the face of the earth. With Gulf water as brown as sewage from the unloading of silt from the Mississippi river, and sand akin to a New England riverbank, the beach in Bolivar is anything but gorgeous. However, sunset was always pretty sparkly and spectacular, and the water, albeit unattractive, was warm and clean for swimming. Our kids didn't even seem to notice that the beach wasn't all that nice, they immediately got to work burying each other in the sand and diving into the brown abyss.

The trip was really not a vacation, I don't think any trip where your kids outnumber you is, but it was a great jumping off point for us for future family travel. Our kids bonded in their week together, hopefully some good insight into what it will be like to live together in just a few short months. I was almost dreading the trip before we left, thinking for sure that it would be a week of kid fighting and arguing, but it was almost the complete opposite, they got along better than ever.

It was wonderful to meet the family that raised kind and caring man who has changed my life, and I was not surprised to find that I loved each member of his family, also kind and caring, lovely people. His parents may be two of the most adorable people I have ever met, and I kind of wanted to put them in my pocket and take them home with me. I feel very fortunate to have been welcomed into such a great group of people. I can't wait to get to know them better.

This trip made me incredibly optimistic for future travel as a family, although it definitely gave me some eye-opening reality about the cost of traveling with such a huge crowd. We may be looking at some serious close to home camping for many of our family outings while we save our pennies for the next big adventure.

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