It's become a summer tradition for the Garrett family.  Every summer we load up in the family truckster and head to Port Aransas.  After going in July in previous years, we learned why it's best not to go in June.

That's a whole lotta smelly seaweed. Photo by me.

This year we decided we could get more time out of the beach if we took our new RV trailer instead of staying in a beach hotel.  We were able to stay five nights for the cost of ONE normal night at the hotel.  While it was nice having the free breakfast and people to clean up all the sand every day, it was also nice having a couple extra nights.

I was worried I was only going to get 7 MPG pulling the trailer, but luckily I got just over 8 MPG going there and just over 9 MPG coming back (all that beer weight being gone).  That's not exactly something to be happy about, but it was better than I was expecting.

Aside from the hours spent at the beach under the shade canopy and poolside, spending time with friends at the Corpus Christi Hooks game and getting attacked by pirates had to be my two favorites from this trip.  We hadn't seen our friends, James (a groomsman at my wedding) & Jennifer in a couple years, and knowing how much the boys & I love baseball they took us to a Hooks game.  Thanks to all the time spent catching up (and the tequila shots), I couldn't even tell you who won the game, but it was good times... until we got in the truck and my wife found out how much money I'd spent on ballpark tequila.

It's Mrs. Puff!! (All you parents should get that Spongebob reference). Photo by Tyler

In all my previous trips to various beaches I've never had an interest in dolphin cruises.  In Port Aransas, you can save the money and just watch the dolphins from the park.  I was, however, intrigued by pirates attacking the cruise and the kids fighting them off.  That was a home run.  Halfway into this cruise we were attacked and boarded by a pirate ship, with the kids grabbing water guns to fight back.  There were smiles all around.

My favorite part of the whole cruise had to be the treasure trove of aquatic life we pulled up in our net.  There were a few crabs that were too mean to deal with, but there were also several fish and starfish to pet.  The biggest find for me was the blowfish/pufferfish.  Whatever you call it, it's something I figured I'd never see outside of my TV, computer or a random trip to an aquarium.  I still feel like an excited kid just talking about it.

The biggest disappointment of this trip, however, was the beach itself.  I couldn't believe all the seaweed.  Our first day was a complete bust because I couldn't even stomach the smell of the rotting seaweed.  The following days we went to spots on the beach a little cleaner, but it was still a huge drawback.  I heard from some locals that it's because of the late winter.  I've heard it's because of pollution.  I've heard it's because of the BP oil spill.

Doc, I've got a problem with crabs. Photo by me.

Whatever the reason, mother nature better get herself dolled up for our next trip to the beach because it might be our last trip to a Texas beach before giving up and hitting the Outer Banks or Destin, FL.  Those are beautiful beaches.  I was hesitant to even try a Texas beach because I thought they were all ugly like Corpus Christi or Galveston (sorry to say it).  I gave in and hit up Port Aransas and loved the beach AND the town.  It's got a cool vibe, but if the beaches don't match up... oh well.  On to the Redneck Riviera!!

The injury that came with that insult had to be the very aggressive crabs (yeah, yeah, yeah, go ahead and laugh).  While trying to clear out the seaweed so we could have a path to the beach I got hit in the calf.  I didn't even feel it.  I just happened to notice I was bleeding pretty bad.  I knew immediately what the two slices in my skin were.  It forced me to stay out of the water for a couple hours.  I know it sounds stupid, but I didn't want to go into the water while I was bleeding because I've seen too many summers of "Shark Week" on Discovery.

The crab that got me the next day really got me good.  As you can see from the picture, a little slice I got from stepping on top of him or her.  I felt my big toe come down on something hard while leaving the water and then I felt something close around my big toe, leaving two slices, one on top and one on bottom of big toe.

I love the down time I get with the family.  I love camping in the RV.  I don't love seaweed and crabs, and if Port A can't get its "A" together by next summer I'm going to the mountains for family vacation.