We tossed around options, looked at past camping trips around Texas, and six months out finally decided to give the Corpus Christi region another shot. At the time, Mustang Island State Park was still closed for repairs from Hurricane Harvey (the Corpus region suffered a direct hit from the hurricane), so I looked a little further north to Lake Corpus Christi State Park. It would be less than an hour of driving to get us into the city for whatever sightseeing we wanted to do and we could get full hook-up, which is helpful when we are planning a full feast and a stay of longer than two nights.
I've stopped seeing my kitchen as a place where my working mom homemaking skills go to die. Instead, it is a place where I can cook healthy meals for my family and bond with my husband or teach my children skills that will help them through college and beyond. It's a place where we test the pulled pork fresh off of the smoker or eat the leftover pieces of baked pie crust that I cut off of the chicken pot pie baking in the oven.
After years of using shopping as an escape, it has become a dissatisfying, time consuming task. I don't enjoy it anymore, and with the exception of grocery shopping (which I typically don't mind because I enjoy cooking and I'm dedicated to planning our meals around sales that I need to evaluate in person), I would rather just stay home. Because I can direct ship gifts, I do most of my Christmas and birthday gift shopping online. When I am certain about clothing sizes I try to buy nearly everything I can from my favorite online stores, only going to the affiliated brick and mortar stores when I need to check sizes and styles or return items that didn't end up working out. We make bi-weekly family trips to the big box stores and attempt to stock up as much as space and finances will allow, but if the items can be ordered with a computer or phone, we are sure to choose those.
When bedtime stories were finally read and we were able to relax outside with the kids comfortably in bed, it was fair to say that even after a long day of driving for Jeff and a long day of sitting and waiting for the rest of us, we had made the most of our Missouri stop. If all Missouri State Parks were as good as Sam A. Baker, we were sold.
We didn't want to become accidental tourists in Albuquerque, but we eventually found the charming side to the city and enjoyed it while we were there. While we would have preferred to have been on the road, it is a worthwhile stop for those who are driving through. It wasn't in the plan, but we got to extend our vacation just a little more before making the final decision to go home.