Monday, March 10, 1997
At 8:34 am HORRID event, a rude and extremely nasty happening!!!
The alarm clock went off!!!!!! It so happened to be a particularly nasty sounding LOUD alarm clock. And no, we did not set it!!
Carol’s arm shot out like a rocket and she slammed the ugly culprit! BANG!!! I was going to shut it off OR smash it in the attempt. Mission accomplished, must of hit the snooze bar. Ahhhhhh--quiet! All day Man has spoken in revered tones of Carol’s far flung, but accurate arm!
Next, showers, ohhhh, hot, cold, medium, brrr, hot, cold, ouch, brrr, ouch. Need we say more?? Clean and awake, but a few tender spots.
After a continental breakfast (on the house) we checked out. When asked if everything was OK, Man responded with a brisk and authoritative, “No, I had to jump out of the shower, etc., etc., etc.” Hotel clerk promptly replies, “I’ll give you a 10% discount for the inconvenience.” So now the room is $80.00. COOL!!
We left the car in the hotel parking lot and walked to the Alamo. It was 10:15 A.M., not tourist season and crowded!! More Texas lines. Unreal!
We discovered that it is unwise to park under trees in Texas, at least in San Antonio. So few trees, so many birds, so much bird doo doo, all over the new rental car. Next stop, car wash.
Drove to Corpus Christi, stopped for lunch, had Mexican. YUM.
Along the way we remarked at the starkness of the acres and acres, scrub brush, yucca plants in bloom, prickly pear cactus. Then, BOOM, an area of dark, rich, fertile soil and several miles later, BOOM, back to arid surroundings. Somewhere about one hour out of San Antonio, Carol spies 2 wild boars running across a 2 track dirt road.
Arrive Corpus Christi, first order of business, sleeping quarters, solution, Best Western Sandy Shores. Our room looks right out to the bay and we have an excellent view of the USS Lexington aircraft carrier and the downtown skyline. As it is that time of the day, we check in and crash, nap time. This is getting to be a habit.
Of course, dinner is after 8 P.M. Seafood, natch. Man waited till we got to the ocean for seafood, but NOT a moment longer!! Mmmmmm, good. After dinner, a stroll around the T-dock. We head back to the Best Western. BTW, (more computer shorthand for, by the way), a most unusual amenity in this room, a rubber ducky, all yellow and orange and waiting patiently on the tub edge.
Tuesday, March 11, 1997
The day begins quietly, no offending alarms. Then the search for FOOD begins. We cruise along the main drag right next to the ocean edge (well actually it is a bay, but bay, ocean, hey that great big hunk of H2O), alas to discover that only hotels and banks reside there. The business district is elsewhere, and so are all the restaurants. This is made abundantly clear when we find ourselves entering a naval base. Turn around. Take a N/S road till we find the other major E/W thoroughfare and not too much longer before---Shoneys!! The largest one we have been in and the biggest breakfast buffet we have seen. With bellies full and the grey skies crying (it was raining, OK??) we end up spending a good part of the morning in 2 Western Wear stores. We learn all about Wrangler boot cut britches and starch. Final score: Man, 2 shirts; Carol, 1 vest.
We wanted to venture out to Padre Island. Past knowledge of national seashores or parks tell us that food will be scarce. We do the wise thing and fueled up the bods FIRST!
Then Padre Island, or what we could see of it between rain drops. Of course we checked out the campgrounds and we must admit we were discouraged to see them full, too many campers!! Sign of good economic times I suppose.
However, the first stop once inside the seashore park borders is to pull off onto the beach, drive close to the shore (you can drive for quite a distance on this section of beach, at least 5 miles in a regular ole car with 2 wheel drive), we face the waves ( 1 to 2 foot) and the seagulls, pop the seats all the way down and snooze time. (Told you this was getting to be a bad, err wonderful habit!) It rained, almost like sleeping in the trailer on a rainy day, pitter, patter of rain drops plus the added music of the gulls. It was a nice 45 minutes. Also saw one sand hill crane. He landed, faced the ocean and tucked his head down. It was probably his nap time too. Eventually he came closer to the car, maybe 20 feet from us. A very cool moment!
We stopped at the visitor’s center and listened to a few stories of people driving cars and motor homes down the beach into “off limit” areas and getting stuck. Expensive lessons, $700.00 for a car and $1,400.00 for a motor home. More proof that intelligence can be a fleeting thing. Needless to say, we did not venture into that section of the beach.
We drove north crossing Mustang Island through some very serious rain. We’re not complaining, seems they are suffering from a serious drought. Since we bring rain, we are contemplating offering our services again next year, with a few stipulations. We’ll bring the moisture, they provide the rooms and rental car. Sounds like a fair deal to me.
Took the free ferry to Harbor Island, a whole 5 minute trip. It took longer to load and unload the ferry than to actually cross. Why is there no bridge?? It was getting late so we stopped for pizza before returning to the hotel. Once in our room, we didn’t come out for fresh air till 9:00 A.M. Wednesday. Slept 12 hours.
Wednesday, March 12, 1997
YAWN!! The bods are rested but stiff and sore from sleeping so much. Must be vacation.
Showers, breakfast in the hotel and then onward to the USS Lexington Aircraft Carrier/Museum. Since we could not arrive in Rockport till after 1:30 P.M. we had all the time we needed. And time was what we needed. It took us over 4 hours to tour the Lex. What an interesting morning. Man enjoyed seeing the inside of a carrier, seeing that he never saw ship duty while in the Navy. Carol met and talked to and questioned a pilot who actually flew 2 different kind of aircraft and landed them on the Lex. As I have always been fascinated by the catapult and hooked landings I could have talked to him for hours, but I did gain a lot of insight and information from our short discussion. Being catapulted off a carrier could be compared to a short field take off X 3. He told us that you experience between 2 and 4 G’s during takeoff and between 4 and 6 G’s during a landing. He explained that those G’s were front on, not the kind that force you down, the kind I experienced in the cork-screw dive I took with my parents over Pennsylvania. Fascinating!!
We left the Lex sometime after 2 P.M. in a soft, steady and WARM rain. We were soaked, but not cold.
We drove to Rockport, checked into the Blue Heron, a bed and breakfast that came well recommended by D and M, we quickly settled in and jumped in the car for a drive and look around. Saw red billed ducks--Cool!! Pelicans, and a few white egrets and some grey ones that Carol claims to be sand hill cranes, Man is not so sure. (They were!!) Had a nice drive along the water, gawked at the fancy homes with canals in the backyards and yachts and huge sail boats parked in their back yards. A very cool life style if you are into boats.
Drove north, stopping for dinner at Jambalaya’s. Louisiana style cooking and beer! Great corn bread!
Back to the Blue Heron and quiet hour, night, night.