Have you ever heard of Red Tide? We hadn't heard of it either, but unfortunately we experienced it this year.
As our Indian Summer just seemed to drag on and on this year we decided to take a little time to explore Corpus Christi and the beaches in southern Texas. The kids were so excited. We had spent the summer in and out of hospitals and doctors' offices with baby Luke, that a weekend on the beach seemed like the perfect escape.
We planned and packed and packed some more and finally set out to our destination. It was going to be F-U-N!!! We got down to the area and visited with relatives and played with cousins and had a great time! Finally our beach day came and we loaded up the car and packed sunscreen, snacks, towels, shovels, and then packed the same stuff in a baby version as well. We were loaded down...and excited to feel the sand in our toes and the sun on our nose.
We drove up to the beach and thought Woo-Hoo no crowd. We drove up to the ranger station to pay our entrance fee and were looked at rather oddly as he noticed our shovels and pails and eager faces! Mr. Ranger looked at my husband and said that it was rather hard to swim right now because of the red tide....we thought oh well we can still play on the beach.
Mr. Ranger said it might be rather unpleasant to play on the beach. We said, "Nah...can't be that bad". We wanted to feel the sand in our toes and the sun on our nose. He said there are no refunds after you pay the entrance fee. We smiled paid our $10.00 for the day and proceeded to scoff at the unadventurous ranger...we were not to be deterred from a fun day at the beach!!!!
The Corpus Christi state park is one of the only beaches that allows vehicles to be driven on the sand. We turned on the 4 wheel drive and were so excited about our day...then things started to become a little unsteady. It started out as a wiff, a slight unpleasant odor wafting up from the sea. Hmmm....that is unpleasant I thought.
We drove a little farther and then the kids almost in unison said, "what is the smell???? It is terrible!!!" I smelled it too, but thought we should hurry and get out of that area to escape the smell, we were going to have a fun day.
Then things sharply declined....in one glance we knew that there would be no sand for the feet or sun for the face. One glance undid all the planning and packing and anticipation. One glance....
...that was it. The end of a glorious idea! However, ever the optimist...I can now say we all have first hand knowledge of Red Tide....our recreational outing turned into an educational one and that should count for something...but it doesn't count for sandy toes!