Right up until we booked our Airbnb on South Padre Island, I was strictly anti-babymoon. Here’s why:
When I was planning my wedding in 2017, I got pretty frustrated with the wedding industry. There are a million forces, from well-meaning friends to magazines to apps to Pinterest boards, telling the bride that she needs to spend and buy and invest more more more into her wedding in order to achieve the most meaningful day. Some of that advice is valid, but most of it is crap that comes from a multi-billion dollar industry that is trying to make money.
And ever since I got pregnant, I’ve had the same feeling about the baby industry: there are a lot of well-meaning advice forums, but there are also a lot of companies that are simply trying to make money off of moms-to-be who want the best for their newborn babies.
So I decided that there are certain things, like perfectly-decorated nurseries, excessive amounts of baby gear, and (ugh) babymoons that I wouldn’t allow to take up any brain space.
If you’ve spoken to me in the past 6 months and asked if we’re planning a baby moon, I probably responded with something like, “no, we’re not taking a babymoon because I feel like the only reason I would do it is to give in to the baby industry, and I don’t want to do that. Besides, I like booze on my vacations. We’re saving our vacation $$ for next year.”
So…it’s a little bit funny that we did, in fact, end up going on a baby moon. And I loved it.
And if you’re someone who has a similar mindset toward the baby industry as I do, I can tell you: the babymoon is magical! It’s well worth your time and money, and even though the name is SUPER DUMB, this trip has the potential to be a memorable time with your partner.
So, what convinced me to take a babymoon? Well, Nate hasn’t taken any vacations this summer, and he had been itching to get to the beach for while. He was browsing airbnb one night and found this condo on South Padre Island, which is only a 6 hour drive from Austin. We both had a long weekend available in August, so we booked the condo and decided to call it our babymoon.
Believe it or not, this was actually our first beach vacation together! We’re really good at the big-city trips and international trips where we pack a lot into every day, but we’re not good at taking lazy, relaxing vacations. This one was a first for us with no restaurants or coffee shops to try, no museums to visit, and no social obligations. And it was absolutely wonderful.
(Ha – we both kept looking at each other during this vacation and saying, “why didn’t anyone tell us that lazy vacations with no agenda and sleeping in and binge-watching Netflix are so wonderful? 😉 )
I won’t do a day-by-day recap, because every day was pretty much the same. But here are a few snapshots:
We booked this condo through airbnb for 4 nights. SPI isn’t a super swanky island, so it’s hard to find modern, luxurious places to stay on the island. This condo was fairly modern and bright with floor-to-ceiling windows, a comfortable king-size bed, and beach access that was a 2 minute walk away.
It’s a north-facing corner unit on the second floor, so we had views of both the ocean and the bay. Since the condo is on the second floor, both of the views were partially obstructed with telephone wires, but it was still very nice to see the water from the kitchen and to see the nightly fireworks from the living room.
Most mornings we slept in, but one day we woke up early, made pour-overs (we brought our entire coffee set up to the condo with us since there aren’t any good coffee shops on the island), and watched the sun rise over the water. Perfectly relaxing.
Nate packed a bunch of his favorite Austin beers, and I drank a lot of sparkling water on the beach. I will say that beach vacations are more fun with booze and I really wanted a margarita every evening, but sparkling water and mocktails did the trick for now. Only 9.5 weeks left and counting!
The condo had a beach umbrella, chairs, beach toys, and a cart to pull it all, so we didn’t have to pack too much gear from Austin. We typically went out to the beach in the late mornings, came inside for the hottest part of the day, and then went back out after dinner. I read 3 books on this trip and we watched two seasons of Stranger Things on Netflix. Haha…
We packed some food items and picked up more at the HEB in Port Isabel, and Nate cooked a few meals in the condo, like these fish tacos with Asian slaw, and some shrimp omelets for breakfast. I loved being able to eat at home and prepare our own food on our own schedule!
We only went out to eat 3 times, and here’s where we went:
Dirty Al’s |WEBSITE| This place has all the dive bar feels, and the fried shrimp (pictured above) was awesome! If you can picture plastic Costco tables, rotating fans in the corners, and dingy cement floors, and you’ve got the right idea about the design aesthetic. I absolutely loved Dirty Al’s.
Chillito Pikin |WEBSITE| This unpretentious Mexican restaurant is small and easy to miss, but the tacos were tasty and authentic. There are clear “Tex” and “Mex” sides to the menu. It’s a cheap, casual place to fill up on yummy Mexican food.
Pier 19 |WEBSITE| This waterfront restaurant shows up on a lot of forums and best-of lists, but I was unimpressed. While the views are very good, the food tastes cheap and low-quality. The shrimp and mango tostaditos had a sickly sweet mango syrup on them that tasted like it came straight out of a jar, the onion rings were fast-food quality, and the shrimp in my po-boy was bland and dry, like it had been fried hours earlier and then re-heated.
This wasn’t a trip about diving deep into a new food scene, experiencing lots of breweries, or getting to know the culture of a new city.
It was about resting and enjoying my family of two before it becomes a family of three. My time with just Nate is quickly coming to an end (it makes me so sad and so happy at the same time.) We have seriously had the BEST 5 1/2 years together, and I love that we took this one last little trip with just the two of us as a capstone on our kid-free years.
And now, on to the next stage. Little one: I can’t wait to meet you.