Travel

The Hidden Gem of Corpus Christi, Texas

So the weather has been incredibly fabulous for the month of March. April-February are horrific, but March is really amazing. This weekend was so nice, I met a friend to explore the Oso Bay Wetlands Nature Preserve.

My first 11 months living in Corpus Christi, Texas, I was super lucky to live just a few blocks from the Oso Bay Wetlands Nature Preserve. I came across this gem fairly early into our residency, but it took me probably 10 months before I truly explored all this place had to offer.

When you first arrive in Corpus Christi, you are more than likely going to drive in on South Padre Island Drive (SPID). SPID is lined with pretty much every chain restaurant, retail store, and fast food restaurant you’ve ever heard of. It is also home to two malls, and multiple car dealerships. You would not expect to find some of the views and wildlife which can be found at the Oso Bay Wetlands Nature Preserve, which is not far off from SPID.

When I first started visiting this place I would walk a straight line down the trail from the entrance by the road, down to a really great overlook point on the Oso Bay. I did this for months because I thought it was the only finished trail, but I was so wrong! As I would find out many, many months later, there are multiple trails with various unique and worthy scenic points that I highly recommend. There is also a nature center open during the week, and a playground for the tiny humans.

I can’t help but feel like this experience can be a metaphor for life. We can go through life with blinders on, only seeing the path directly ahead of us. And while there may be a worthy destination within view, life can take you in many other directions also with equally fantastic, if not superior, experiences. We only need the courage and willingness to venture off the main path so we can be pleasantly surprised.

There’s also the possibility to meet a rattlesnake or two along the way, which did happen to me on my last visit, and scared the bejesus out of me. The snake was actually really chill and just slithered away into the brush like I was boring and it was time for a nap though.

Do you have any great trails near you?

Military · Travel

Moving like a PRO

The move was a success! And by success, I do not mean it was smooth, enjoyable, nor would I recommend it. Fortunately we received our orders to move to Florida a week in advance which was enough time to wrap up a few loose ends, finish packing, and book a moving truck; however, it was NOT with enough notice to avoid the price of my plane ticket returning to Texas to double in price. I guess you can’t have it all. Some lessons learned from this move:

  1. You cannot trust Google Maps to accurately predict your ETA to your destination. Driving a 26ft moving truck does not allow you to go highway speeds and your time WILL increase significantly. And by significantly I mean it will rise from 12 hours to 22 hours once you include gas stops, gas stations being out of power and/or gas, traffic, accidents, and a 2 hour power nap.
  2. If you are traveling with pets you will NOT get to enjoy that 2 hour power nap. Especially if your pets are like mine and will be crawling all over you as you try to get some shut eye at a sketchy truck stop. Below: Landon giving me the stank eye for trying to move my foot. Further below: Hailey and Chit Chat looking super cute. 
  3. You WILL second guess whether you need any of your material items or if you should burn everything except your underwear to make the next move simpler.
  4. Despite your best intentions to eat healthy, it’s not going to happen. Let it go and embrace the multiple pizza orders, Chinese food, and complimentary 5-10 lbs.
  5. The exhaustion will subside and with time you will forget how much of a pain in the ass it is. Just in time to do it all over again in approximately 9 months time.

I am currently regretting my decision to stay in Texas to finish the school year while most of my worldly possessions, my three kittens and husband continue life in Florida. Fingers crossed the time flies. I have a few things on my Texas Bucket List to make things a tad more enjoyable! These things include a rodeo, camping, visiting a sea turtle rescue and of course the Selena Festival. Stay tuned for recaps on all of that as they occur between now and June!

Military

Inconsistency is Key

  1. Be flexible.
  2. Keep your expectations in check.
  3. Don’t drink all the wine.
  4. Breathe more.
  5. Woosah.

I am trying to keep each of these tips in mind, but the struggle is proving to be very real. I have thrived on controlling as much of my life as possible since I was probably 16. This has a lot to do with the lack of stability I had growing up. I grew up very poor. Not as poor as some, but probably poorer than most. The kind of poor where you didn’t know if you would have electricity when you got home from school. The kind of poor where part of the food at your house came from a food pantry, and part was bought with food stamps. The kind of poor where your family didn’t have a vehicle for transportation, despite living in a rural area lacking in an abundance of public transportation.

This upbringing was the perfect condition to build resilience though. Which would definitely come in handy at the age of 16 when my last standing parent decided to move to the other side of the country in a rented minivan. What didn’t fit in the mini van didn’t go, which included me. Ever since then, I’ve planned and scheduled my life down to the minute as much as I possibly can. Anything I can control, I do. When I was working my way through college, I had my entire course schedule planned out as soon as possible. I took as many credits as possible (even getting special permission from the dean to take additional credits exceeding the normal limit). I excerted the same control over my career once I completed college. I currently spend a great deal of time planning out my day to day life, as even my short term life is very much in limbo.

I’m currently anticipating a move to Florida from Texas in 8 days. However, nothing is official in the military until you have hard orders, which we have not received yet. Soooooo there is a chance that our move date could be post poned. I’m told it isn’t likely, but there is a chance. This lack of reliability is driving me insane.

  1. I have a plane ticket I’m waiting to book.
  2. I have a moving truck I’m waiting to reserve.
  3. I have a vacation I postponed because of this.
  4. I have a career I’m trying to build.
  5. I have a life I’m trying to live. Inconsistency is key

I think that rant will hold me over for a few days. I am not currently the smiling smiley face. Fingers crossed we get those hard orders soon, preferably before airfare prices increase-really that’s my biggest concern.

Health

Weight a Darn Minute

Yes, I am aware that I used the homophone for wait. It’s my attempt at being punny.

My struggles with healthy living and weightloss are an ongoing battle. I haven’t written about it recently because I’ve had so much more fun writing about my travel obsessions and also preparing for this wonderful move I have coming up in less than two weeks.

But, I have made some progress in getting to a healthier weight for myself and I have 5 reasons why! Weight a Darn Minute 5 tips for consistent weightloss-2.png

  1. Money Incentive– Remember my post about using Trump to motivate weightloss? Well refresh your memory here. I’m doing a little bit of this again, in partnership with my best friend and my brother. I sent my brother a check that he will get to cash and then donate the money to somewhere less than desirable if I do not lose 5 lbs monthly. We started this in December and every month we have consistently reached our goals!
  2. Daily and Weekly Weigh ins– Every Friday we submit a photo of us on the scale with our current weight. It’s the one on the 1st of each month that really matters, but the weekly weighins helps to keep us on track. I actually weigh myself daily, because I’m a tad obsessive. It works for me. Don’t judge.
  3. Weight Watchers– I joined weightwatchers again. I did weightwatchers for about 6 months last year, and was very successful with it. I decided I didn’t need it anymore and then I gained back 3/4 of the weight I had lost. I’m back on it now and steadily working towards my end goal. Love weightwatchers.
  4. Getting Physical– I’ve tried a myriad of different excercise routines over the last 3 months. Walking long distances, at home work outs using Tone It Up’s app, and C25K interval training app. I’ll stick to one for a period of time, and then switch it up to another. I canceled my gym membership to save myself the $50 monthly bill. I do miss some of the classes, the pool, and especially the sauna, but $50 dollars……. money talks.
  5. Lists– I make a list everyday of my meals for the day and my to-dos. This includes workouts, and chores that need to be completed. There are few things in this world that I love more than being able to cross something off of my list as accomplished.

I’m pleased with the progress I’ve made so far. I’ve lost over 15 pounds since November. I also just booked a trip to Europe in July and I’d like to have a more comfortable flight by being a more comfortable size. That’s really my motivator in losing weight. Smaller clothes, means easier packing for travel, and also a smaller body, means easier traveling on public transportation! ha!

Military

Moving on up

27 years in Delaware.

4.5 months in Florida.

11 months in Texas.

The time has come to bid Texas adieu and move on. As it turns out, moving on, actually means moving back… to Florida.moving pt 3

Moving is, quite frankly, the pits. As much as I love new experiences, there are just some significant downsides that stress me out.

  1. Security deposits– there’s a window in between leaving one place and entering another where we’re paying double the bills and then waiting to get money back.
  2. Purging unnecessary items– I love downsizing, but trying to coordinate with potential buyers is not my idea of a good time.
  3. Packing– trying to strategically box items so they’re organized and also not going to be destroyed in the move.
  4. Unpacking– is there even a point to unpacking anymore?
  5. Job hunting– this should be number 1, and then magnified x a billion. Job hunting is horrendous. And doing it over and over and over again makes me want to assume the fetal position and stress eat and explode all at the same time.

Fortunately I have become quite the experienced packer, mover, and shaker. Shall I share some of my awesome tips with you?

  1. Small moving boxes fit perfectly in the ikea or better homes and gardens cube bookshelves. This helps save space in the moving truck, a safe place for items that are more fragile, and gives extra stability to these bookshelves so they aren’t completely wobbly and worthless when you unload!IT245bTvSjCMoDhaptM5TQ
  2. Trash bags suction in your hanging closet clothes so they don’t fall off the hangers in the closet boxes and you can fit more in each box! Shoes can be packed in the bottom of the closet boxes to save even more space!- I haven’t packed these items yet, but I will get a photo for reference and add it once I do.
  3. Color coordinate your labels with a room. Example: All blue stickers are for kitchen.  All green stickers are for office. All yellow stickers are for living room. Then when you get to your destination you can sticker the appropriate room, and everyone will know all these blue stickered boxes go in the kitchen, all these green stickered boxes go in this room, all these yellow stickered boxes go in the living room, and etc….. Makes for easier unpacking.
  4. Books are super heavy and can be moved in suitcases with wheels so you don’t break your back and again, save on space!
  5. These sterilite 30 gallon totes are the perfect size for moving. They aren’t too big to not fit through doorways, yet they’re big enough to fit more than one or two items at a time. They stack very nicely and the bottoms don’t slope so far in that it’s obnoxiously smaller than the top. Win. Win. Win.RP7oO0EfQIC+9q+I8oaGtw

As I continue to prep for our move in a couple weeks, take my last bit of advice as well: there’s always time to take a break for a very big and very strong margarita to get you through. Cheers!

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