This past weekend the Sparkles Family headed to the beach! We got our swimsuits and towels (and a few hundred other things- see photo below) and headed down to Port Aransas, Texas (a neat little resort town about 20 minutes outside of Corpus Christi. The kind of place it’s okay to grocery shop in your swimsuit and cover up- or for some no cover up. Hmm.). We were due for some fun in the sun, family time, and to just get away from it all for a few days. Nothing but relaxation was on the agenda so I even planned to keep the meals simple and had a few ideas for foil recipes. The kids were great on the four hour car ride down to Port Aransas and it was a bit of a sentimental journey as I used to make the same drive with my parents every summer to visit my grandparents who lived in the area and this was my first journey there with my own kids. Miles of cornfields whizzing by, a few questionable gas station restrooms, one purchased pair of Duck Commander sunglasses for The Quiet Man, and Princess Sparkles’ 20th announcement she was “stuck” in her car seat later we were ready to get our vacation on!
1. All packed and ready to go. I think if you look really hard you can see the kitchen sink.
2. Dinner on the water. The children were happy on the inside. 🙂
3. Boats and a beautiful day. You wouldn’t have to twist my arm to do this every day.
4. A boat came in at the restaurant while we were there. Fish doesn’t get any fresher than this, folks.
5. Fin’s. One of the nicest seafood places on the island. Also one of the only seafood places on the island. Haha! Seriously cool place though.
That dinner was one of my favorite memories as a family. Yummy crab cake sandwich, on the water which is one of my favorite places to be, a great classic rock band playing, and made it through a meal out with no meltdowns. Things were looking good for Family Vacation 2013!
Then came the night…..
1. After dinner we checked into the Sand Castle. A one bedroom with an ocean view balcony, living area, and kitchen. Just like home right?
2. We woke up to a sky that didn’t promise fun in the sun. Rain and dark clouds more appropriate for umbrellas and rain boots than swimsuits and sunscreen. Mother Nature, did you not get the vacation memo?
3. Well, Princess Sparkles didn’t think our cozy condo was just like home. At least not the first night. As you can see she made her opinion of going to sleep in an unfamiliar place loud and clear. For hours. We were tempted to drive home. Seriously.
4. In the end, one cranky little redhead and some rain wasn’t going to spoil our vacation. We chose to make the best of it by playing cars.
5. And Skyping with Grandma and Grandpa in Ireland and watching Food Network.
6. And making it a point to just relax. Bleary eyed from little sleep and rain outside or not, I was pulling a Clark Griswald and we were going to enjoy our vacation! 🙂
Stay tuned to find out if we were able to get a little sand between our toes.
One thing we enjoyed for sure was the meal packet we had for dinner the second night. I had done a little research on foil recipes for vacation or camping thinking they would be a perfect low maintenance dinner- and bonus you can eat in the foil and so no dishes! I came up with my own recipe and it was ready to go in the oven in 5 minutes and after he finished his The Quiet Man asked why I didn’t make more! I think it’s a keeper for future trips and for nights at home when I need a no brainer but yummy dinner.
- 1 Link Pepperidge Farm smoked sausage
- 8 Mini Yukon Gold Potatoes
- ⅓ Red Onion
- Olive Oil to coat sausage, potatoes, and onion. I used Pompeiian.
- Tony Chachere to season as desired
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Cut sausage and potatoes into bite size pieces.
- Chop onion into pieces about 1 inch long.
- Tear Reynolds wrap into 2 12 inch by 12 inch pieces.
- Divide the chopped ingredients in half and place one half on each of the foil squares.
- Pour enough olive oil on each packet to give a light coating to ingredients. Stir them around to make sure they are fully coated.
- Pour desired amount of Tony Chachere on packet ingredients and stir to coat evenly. I gave each packet about 3 light shakes.
- Tent the foil squares around the meat and vegetables and fold over at the top and ends leaving room for heat to circulate within the packet.
- Place packets on a cookie sheet and bake for 45-50 minutes.
- Shake packets halfway through cook time to prevent ingredients from sticking to the foil.
- Can be served in the foil packets.
I used Tony Chachere but you can use any seasoning or seasoning salts your family prefers. You can also add mini broccoli florets and peppers as I saw in other foil recipes. I wanted something to cook in the oven on vacation but this could be adapted to a grill for camping too. Or as I mentioned I see myself putting this in my arsenal of quick go to dinners.
Stop back later this week to see if the beach vacation troops rallied and how I got in on the beach decorating trend!
I Instagrammed our little road trip so I’d love if you followed me there and I follow back so I can see what you’re up to as well!
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