Texas Beach Life


Port Aransas beach. South Texas is not nearly as warm as you might think it would be—at least not if you grew up in Minnesota and assumed everything south of Iowa was tropical in the winter.

Mexican air-conditioning. Only kids can manage to be hot in this weather.

In Port A we got the chance to meet up with some long time Bum friends whom we’d never managed to meet in person before. This picture of Lowe at the skate park is the only evidence of the meeting. After all these years I doubt that we could be anywhere in the U.S. and be more than a few miles from a Bum friend. It’s a pretty cool side benefit of the blogging life.

Had to get rid of the way under-rated and falling apart whitewalls. In the end we decided that we actually like the all black tires better—gives Apple a more rugged lived-in look, and matches up with the Travelall better. Yeah, the Airstream has adopted the moniker, Apple, and the truck is called Plátano (banana in Spanish).

For the first time, we’ve got a refrigerator that runs on propane (or electric). That one little difference has eliminated any need we have for batteries. We’ve got one regular old 12V car battery in the Airstream, and even without charging, it’s plenty to last us at least five days. If we do throw a solar panel on the roof, we’ll only need one, and I won’t even bother with upgrading the battery. We barely use lights—up with the sun, down with the sun (old-school lights, no LED). We only run an inverter for a couple of hours to charge computers that last six hours. There is also the 12v water pump. And quite literally, that is the only power usage we have in our life. When we are plugged in we also have a toaster, and an electric kettle. I think we’ve got ourselves down to just about the bare minimum for our family of four. Though, I suppose we could get a hand pump for the sink, and some candles. [insert Ali’s eye roll]

Bird Island Basin—shallow warm-ish waters and plenty of wind.

A few shots of the inside of the Airstream. Every week it becomes a little more settled in.

To fully understand just what era this Airstream comes from, all you need to do is notice that 12v cigarette lighter next to the toilet.

We were playing catch with a tennis ball when this pelican came to investigate. He wasn’t the least bit afraid of us, or of Ouest’s squealing when he’d bump right up next to her trying to intercept the pass. For the record, we got up to 71 despite the interference.


16 Comments on “Texas Beach Life”

  1. We so enjoyed meeting you. I have one picture of Ouest and that is it. LOL! Totally forgot to take pics, but its all good because memories last longer. See you down the road!

  2. My parents spent the last 12 years of my dad’s life in Port A, 2-3 months at a time Spring and Fall. They loved it there.

  3. We spent one January in North Padre Island (with a day trip up to Port A), and you’re right, it’s not all that warm — at least not every day. Several days we were in all our fleece when the wind was blowing hard. Your Airstream looks great! I keep wondering where all your STUFF is, though: toothbrushes, etc. I wish we could be so tidy!

  4. Airstream is looking great! I was wondering how much of a hassle you guys have found it to have to convert your bed each night and morning? We’re looking at RVs (mostly just in the fantasy stage at this point) and I have this pretty fixed idea that I want a full-time bed set-up, but at the same time we don’t want to go any larger than we have to, so I was just curious now that you’d been living in it a little while, what your thoughts were?

    Love the kids’ superhero capes!

    1. Arden, the last time we had a bed that we didn’t have to convert each night was 2007. My advice? Keep it as small as possible, and spend ten minutes a day making up a bed. I can’t imagine hauling around another 8 feet of Airstream just so there would be a bed back there. Smaller is better.

      1. Thanks, Pat! Yeah, I was remembering a time in the past when I worked much of the week away from home and made up a sofa-bed in my office each night and actually it wasn’t really a problem at all. Thanks for your thoughts — I do agree that we do NOT want to haul around something huge, for sure!!

  5. Luminaid.com has great solar LED lanterns. I have 3 I use in the house at night. Dog proof too. You can read by them at night too. Two women started it…great story too.

    1. Those are pretty cool. But seriously, maybe we’re just weird, but we hardly ever have a light on. Lighting is something we give absolutely no thought at all to.

      1. You don’t read at night? Just fall into bed, exhausted?! 😉 I guess so, with your outdoors lifestyle and two active kids!

      2. Gotcha and I do get it it. When I was traversing the planet on a BMW R80G/S and R100GS, I did much the same. Up with the sun, and late in the day, find a camp site and be asleep just after sunset.

        Truly a good way to live.

  6. I had to laugh at the cig lighter in the bathroom. I had a 1972 Ford Country Squire station wagon (think fake wood on the sides) that had 7 ashtrays!

  7. Isn’t that Molly sitting on the unicorn’s lap? It’s really sweet how attached Ouest is to her little doll.


  8. I remember walking on that stone jetty in your photo. We were lucky to have comfy warm weather though – in December.
    I have replaced the OEM cigarette lighters in our ‘travel’ vehicles, with the 12v accessory sockets that dont have the springy fingers for holding the cigarette lighter into the socket until the element is hot. With some chargers and gps plugs, the metal on the sides of the plug can contact those fingers – and blow a fuse.

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