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Weekend at South Padre Island + Packing List

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Hi, y’all! Last weekend we took Emmett to South Padre Island to celebrate the 4th and she loved the beach. Watching her play and have the best time makes my forehead sunburn worth it 😉

Here is how COVID-19 affected our stay, where we stayed, what the beach was like with a toddler and a packing list of what we actually used.


COVID-19 actually didn’t affect us too much. It’s mandated in Texas to wear a mask when you go into public businesses so we masked up at our stops during the 6-hour drive. That’s not a problem at all – I just wish I’d remember to bring the damn thing before getting to the door and seeing a “mask required” sign lol! Obviously, this new normal hasn’t become a habit quite yet.

I know that some of you may be quarantining yourselves from everyone outside of your immediate family and I respect that. We made a decision a while ago to go ahead and visit family and friends as long as everyone is feeling healthy. We ended up sharing the beach house with 9 family members and the 2 kiddos. I definitely appreciated the normalcy of sharing a beach house with family despite the pandemic’s regulations out in public.

Restaurants are included in the mask mandate but we didn’t eat out so that didn’t affect us. We never had to leave for food because everyone cooked a meal during the weekend and brought snacks. PS – I highly recommend splitting meal responsibilities so that one person doesn’t get stuck on kitchen duty for the whole vacay! Bryan and I made waffles and bacon for breakfast one morning and seasoned beef tacos for one night.

On the beach we could only bring umbrellas and those had to be set up 15 feet apart. Normally, we would have brought a big tent for our group but those have been prohibited to limit big gatherings. We simply set up the umbrellas at the required distance and put the chairs around and in-between them.

Another thing that was different for this 4th than past ones was that there were no firework shows put on by the island.

Other than those teeny-tiny inconveniences, COVID-19 didn’t affect us too much. We were still able to hang out with family, watch the sunsets, go boating and watch the kiddos play on the beach!

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With all COVID-19 weirdness aside, the weekend was a lot of fun! We stayed at a house on the bay that had 5 bedrooms, a pool, a hot tub, WiFi, a dock and plenty of room for hanging out during downtime. Our drive to the beach was all of 5 minutes or so! This picture shows off the view from the back patio.

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Bringing Emmett “the busy toddler” to the beach is completely different than bringing Emmett “the sleepy newborn”. Last year, I remember worrying about her getting too hot or getting too much sun and this year it was that plus worrying about drowning or getting lost. I think worrying 24/7 about every and anything is just part of being a mom though.

Emmett loved playing with the sand and walking stumbling through the waves. I could watch Emmett laugh while kicking at the ocean waves for hours… or watch her do a million trips hauling sand from the beach to the dump truck toy… or watch her eat Goldfish with the sandiest hands I’ve ever seen. lol! The girl stayed active the entire time and was tuckered out by bedtime so the beach was a huge win.

I had someone message me asking how we handled her diaper situation and my answer is… risky 😉 We started out with a swim diaper under her swimsuit but decided to take it off after it started irritating her. THEN WE JUST KEPT IT OFF. I really couldn’t care less about pee but I knew we were playing with fire on the #2 front. Luckily, Bryan and I didn’t have any disasters and Emmett got to be comfy at the beach!

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The trip was super short (we got there on Friday and left Sunday) and, per usual, I over-packed! Here’s our packing list of the things Emmett and I actually used for our 3-day/2-night vacay!


  • Sound Machine
  • Pack-n-Play
  • Monitor
  • Pacifier
  • “Pennie” the Penguin – she doesn’t sleep without this stuffed animal!
  • 3 Swimsuits (she actually only wore 2 but it’s good to have a backup!)
  • Swim Diaper (we used this at the beach but really I would just use this in the pool)
  • 2 Sets of Jammies
  • 4 Outfits (2 of these are backups!)
  • 1 Pair of Sandals
  • Diapers
  • Wipes (I try to pack a new pack for trips)
  • A couple toys
  • Sippy Cup


  • White Tank (I brought my maternity one!)
  • Oversized 4th of July T-Shirt (my favorite iversized tees are from Riff Raff)
  • 2 Pairs of Shorts (I wore my linen ones from Amazon and my star ones from Shop Talulah)
  • 2 Comfortable Midi Dresses (both are from Z Supply and I wore one as a beach cover-up and one on the drive home)
  • 1 Mini Dress (mine was from Vici)
  • 1 Pair of Night Shorts
  • 1 Night Shirt
  • 1 Pair of Nude Sandals
  • Bras and Underwear
  • 1 Necklace (I always wear my Kendra Scott one)
  • 1 Pair of Stud Earrings
  • 1 Wrap Bracelet
  • 2 Pairs of Sunglasses
  • 1 Hat

I truly believe that being by the ocean is good for the soul and I’m thankful for our weekend at South Padre Island – despite how quick it was. Leave a comment with travel tips for moms of toddlers. I’d love to hear them!

Have a wonderful week!

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