We entered the beach through the dunes at South Padre Island where the sign said, Thrive.

It was a great find and great motivation for the day.

Or was it?

If I could describe a Portuguese man-of-war, I would used words like neon, iridescent, purple, bubbly, cheerful, and beautiful.

In reality, they are quite dangerous, venomous, even when dead. They are not jellyfish as I thought and instead known as a siphonophore, a colony of organisms working together. There is a gas-filled float, two types of tentacles, and the reproductive system. They look and sting like a jellyfish, but they don’t swim. They travel with the wind and ocean currents, sometimes in legions of 1000 or more.

Swimming was out.

If I could describe the makeshift boat that washed up on the shore, I might start with… impressive, creative engineering, or…fun for kids. In truth, my words would come in the form of a prayer with hopes that they made it.

And the uncertainty was made clearer with a balloon’s message, eerily juxtaposed with the sea-life.

If I could describe our stay on the beach it would have to come with dialogue.

She (that’s me): “This sand is too thick and the tide is incoming. We are going to get stuck.”

He (While he drives another two miles down the beach): “Babe, we aren’t going to get stuck. The Jeep is meant to do this. We are good. I will never take an unnecessary risk.”

With the biggest bite of my tongue, EVER, we got stuck!

And like everything else in life, there is a hidden treasure inside every situation. Some times you have to search a little harder for them. First and foremost, I will always be privy to the words: “Cool, thanks for proving me right”. With that out of the way…we made some new friends, found a campground nearby, and like many adventures in the Jeep, we gathered new memories and gut-wrenching laughter.

To thrive? That looks a little different to all of us.

Be reminded…There are people who would love to have your bad days.

Wind Kisses, Donna