When my mom was a child, her family took an annual road trip to North Padre Island, Texas. After school ended for the year, they’d load up their station wagon and head south for 10 days of beach bliss. My Grandpa loved the sea, especially deep sea fishing and swimming while searching for sea life. His love of the beach was passed down to each of his children who maintained this family tradition. While I was growing up we went to the exact same beach, and stayed in the same condos where my mother stayed. It became a family tradition with our entire extended family.
We all loved the beach and developed routines for each beach trip. However, when my sister, cousins, and I grew older we wanted to discover new destinations besides our familiar beach. We’d still take trips to our beloved North Padre Island, but we skipped the family trip to see new things. The last time our family went to North Padre Island was 2008. Both of my grandparents were with us, and we all vividly remember Hurricane Dolly visiting that year. I’d heard of hurricanes before, but never experienced one until Dolly. Though it was only a category 1 hurricane, Dolly brought incredible winds and more rain than I’d ever seen. Dolly literally chased us all the way up the coastline until Austin. Visibility was null. We could not even see the dots on the highway, and prayed we were within our lanes. Miraculously, everyone in our family made it home safely that year.
It wasn’t that long ago, but our photo collection is quite sparse for that trip. We didn’t have smartphones then, and relied on our Cannon Powershot, which we didn’t use much, apparently.
Grandma and Grandpa humored us when the family elected to visit Crested Butte, Colorado in 2010.
It was a lovely trip, and we were all glad we headed north for a change. Colorado is gorgeous in the summertime, and the hikes were stellar.
My grandparents welcomed the quads to our family in 2012, and we captured this precious four generation photo. Grandpa became seriously ill in 2013 and passed.
The kids have fond memories of visiting Grandma. In fact, Rylin periodically talks about when we blew bubbles on the porch together last summer. Grandma passed away this spring, and though she lived a full 86 years, it was difficult to say goodbye. After her passing, we all knew that it was time we return to our beloved North Padre Island to honor our family tradition. Also, it would be the first time the quads, and several of the youngest cousins would ever visit the beach. Our family vacations to the beach are part of our family legacy, which I hope will live on for many more decades to come.
We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, it’s to create something that will.
This year, 19 members of our extended family made the trip back to the beach and it would’ve melted Grandma and Grandpa’s hearts knowing that our family tradition is being passed to the next generation. Stay tuned for details about the trip!
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