Thursday, March 18, 2010

Texas vacation

Those dusty roads were covered with snow and ice. Jack Frost was nipping at our heels, it was time to get out of Dodge. Weatherman said a snow storm was imminent with in the next 48 hours. We hadn't had much snow to date; it was going down as one of our mildest winters on record; None the less, it is always good to get a winter break.

Friends invited us to South Padre Island,Texas. We had been there a year before and liked it. This time we made our own reservations with the help of our daughter who is a whiz on bookings. She managed a package deal and everything went like clock work; a far cry from the Travel Agent we had last year.

We left our car in Buffalo, NY. Flight plans were from Buffalo to Newark NJ. to Houston TX. To Harlingen TX., pickup a rental car and drive approx 3/4 of a hour to South Padre Island and our Hotel at Blue Bay Inn. Everything went without a hitch. We left at 5am and arrived at destination at 5 pm. Blue Bay Inn was perfect with a balcony view of the bay and night views of the mainland of Port Isabel and its connecting bridge. I could sleep in a tent, but cleanliness is important to the wife and Blue Bay Inn was perfect. We had daily maid service so she was on a truly relaxing vacation. We had a Osprey that would sit most days outside our room on a pole, that was interesting along with many shore birds, like the big snowy white Egrets and a raft of redhead ducks.

South Padre Island is connected to the mainland at Port Isabel by a two mile long bridge. Our friends were on Port Isabel side so we traveled the bridge frequently. Most shopping is on that side anyway unless you want - tee shirts, beach wear, and coffee mugs. One business next to our hotel advertised 60,000 items under $6.95. That is a lot of shot glasses, a coffee mug was $12.95. Ahhh! the power of bullshit would make their nose grow.

Two of our favorite roadfood eateries were in Port Isabel. Whenever I wanted more than a free continental breakfast at the hotel, I would head for a wonderful breakfast at Fisherman's Restaurant. Or a pasta dish at Marcello's Italian. More on these places on my Roadfood junkie Blog

We attended a cookout at a fairground in a town a few miles away. Sampling excellent barbecue from competitors from all over the great state of Texas and beyond. I signed up to be a judge but withdrew when I found out there would be no Barbi or Bikinis.  

Weather in Texas was a little cooler this year, I was in shorts all but one day,but it would have been too cool to toast buns on the beach. Fishing was off, they were dredging the shipping channel and blowing water and sand miles down the beach. I am sure this was affecting the fishing, besides a red tide earlier in the year.

 The channel was being sucked clean with this Sump sucking giant vacuum. It would blow sand and water miles down the beach. They were working to complete the operation before Spring Break.

Two such water spouts kept the bulldozer busy moving sand from the channel down the beach.

They say, thousands of fish a sea-life had washed up on the beaches during the Red Tide. We seen no trace of it though. Fishing license in that area were a rip. You could purchase a one day for $15 or a season pass for $67, with nothing in between for a two week vacationer. I don't understand their logic, fishing brings in lots of revenue to local businesses.

The Jetty, where we normally fish from. But there was not much being caught, so I never bothered.

We would go down to the beach daily and watch the progress of dredging, sit and read, play cards with friends, sight see, eat out at many different restaurants, sample the odd beer wherever it was 2 bucks for a 20oz draft (which was everywhere).
Just a general relaxing vacation that helped me unwind after the death of my brother; just prior to us leaving. We left for vacation immediately following his funeral. Some may think; how could you? Plans had been made prior and it was non refundable and canceling vacation wasn't going to bring him back. I will miss him terribly, he was the best brother a person could ever wish for.

This was another trip down that dusty road of life.