Corpus Christi Summer: Retreat From This Summer Helliday

Corpus Christi Summer
I am naturally an optimistic person. I believe in the importance of checking our perspectives, which can make a huge difference in our daily experiences. In fact, it’s my No. 1 tip for thriving in a new city. However, I would never advocate for false positivity or deny difficult emotions. Sometimes we experience painful situations, and it’s OK to not feel OK. For me, I really struggle with finding anything positive about living in Corpus Christi during the summer. To be frank, it’s miserable. And I’m not going to beat myself up for not being able to find a bright side. So please indulge me in my hatred of Corpus Christi summers, which by the way, is from May to December (according to a Midwesterner like me).

Problem #1: The Heat and Humidity

I have always expected summer to be hot and humid. I thought I was used to it. But nothing comes close to the Corpus Christi summer heat, and especially the humidity. Last year, I tried dragging the stroller out at 7 a.m. to beat the heat, but around mid-May, the temps were in the 80s with the added misery of high humidity, and I just couldn’t hack it. And there was no way I was going to wake up my baby just to get outside earlier. After living here for a little less than two years, I’m starting to get more used to this problem, but in comes problem #2.

Problem #2: The Monster Mosquitoes

The last few months I’ve been doing afternoon walks instead of morning walks, and I was so proud of myself for my heat tolerance. Then it started getting too hot and I decided to switch to mid-morning. The first few days were fabulous. But soon came the troops of mosquitoes who decided to wage war on the city. The mosquitoes here are like another mutant breed. They are giant. They attack in swarms. They’re out all day long. And they seem to be resistant to all types of insect repellent. There is no chance of winning. Just this week, I decided to spray myself and my daughter with strong, smelly bug spray so we could go for a toddler walk around the block. Just around the block. Not even halfway through, we get attacked by a swarm of mosquitoes. I freaked out and tried to swat them away from my daughter’s body, but my hands couldn’t swat fast enough. Then I did what any soldier would do for a compromised comrade: I threw her over my shoulder and ran. Of course, a couple of neighbors saw the whole debacle, and I’m sure I looked ridiculous. That was the last time we attempted to go out. So now, like last summer, I resigned to just not go outside. Ever. This is very hard for both me and my daughter since we love being outside a lot. Going outside helps lift a lousy mood, and it really helps with transitions throughout the day. But now going outside just makes our moods lousier.

Problem #3: Flies

Flies are an expected annoyance in the summertime, but there seems to be triple the amount of flies in Corpus. There’s not a single day that goes by where we don’t have to kill less than two or three flies in our house. Last November (NOVEMBER!), I thought it would be a good idea to have my daughter’s first birthday outside. Little did I know, it would be blazing hot, extremely windy (goodbye cute balloons and milestone banner), and very buggy. Between the heat and the flies, I couldn’t keep the food out on the table. So much for the picturesque party, I envisioned. Forget about summer picnics and eating al fresco. The flies will eat more food than you.

Problem #4: Ugly Views

In my experience, summertime is supposed to be lush and green, and beautiful. Not here. There are barely any trees in Corpus. It can only be described as flat and brown. Yes, there are a few flowering trees that are pretty, but you have to seek them out. There are some palm trees, but for some reason, they’re not as romantic-looking as the palm trees in California. The summer vibe on the island is a little better, but that’s a drive for me. And the island is SO BUSY in the spring and summer.

Problem #5: Hurricane Season

Summer is also hurricane season here. I don’t think I need to elaborate on that.

Corpus Christi Summer Expectations

For me, typical summer activities include going to the park, spending days at the swimming pool, going camping and hiking, catching fireflies at night, and dining al fresco as much as possible. Forget about all of that. In Corpus Christi, those are considered winter and early spring activities only. The splash pads opened on May 1st, but thanks to the heat and mosquitoes, we probably won’t be able to go until September or October, and then they close at the end of October.
Instead, I will try to focus on fun, indoor activities to define our Corpus Christi summer. This will probably take form in more library trips and a unique, weekly trip to an indoor place like the aquarium. I also plan on getting a few things to create a “summer kit.” No, I don’t think a summer kit in Corpus includes typical items like bubbles and sidewalk chalk…you’d need to be outside to use those. My summer kit will include activities that my toddler can do inside.
  • Child-sized kitchen and cleaning tools that she can use to help me with daily activities, which she always wants to join in on
  • Age-appropriate arts and craft supplies
  • More supplies for indoor sensory bin activities, which is the best distraction from an “I want to go outside” tantrum
  • More items to inspire imaginative play and role play
  • More books

For me, a Corpus Christi summer is like a Midwest winter in that everyone tends to stay inside the majority of the time. It’s a complete lifestyle and mental shift, but I think flipping the year around in my mind is the only way I can stay sane during this difficult time of year.