Monday, February 2, 2009

South Texas

The bridge swings out of the way for a passing barge and tug boat.
The Class of 2007 expresses its opinion of the service at Pepe's.
iQuad performing their kite routine.
The crowd watching the kites.
The Laguna Madre Trail and Whaling Wall with kites flying overhead.
Night Heron & Egret
King Rail
Celebrating the "six-pack" victory with Steeler fans.
The Point mural at Club Pelican West.

We are now at Long Island Village in Port Isabel where we will be for the next month. To get to the park you must cross a unique private bridge owned by the park which is a barge that swings open for boat traffic to pass. This park is like none we have stayed in as it has hundreds of sites and most have permanent trailers and double wides along over 5 miles of interior roads. There is a par three golf course, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts and many scheduled activities. We have a nice site and through our big picture window (windshield) we can see Laguna Madre Bay, South Padre Island and the sunrise if we get up early enough. So far the weather has been very good with only one day of temps in the 50's and several in the 70's with sunny skies, although it tends to be windy.
On Tuesday we drove to Mission in the Rio Grande Valley for a luncheon with several members of the Escapees Class of 2007. It was great seeing and talking to everyone again and we also met some new members. We always enjoy sharing tales of our travels with these folks. While the socialization and conversation was great, the service at Pepe's on the River left much to be desired and several people didn't get their meals. The restaurant is located on the banks of the Rio Grande and another group of diners were using the spot to drive golf balls across the river into Mexico. Whatever floats your boat! Our initial reaction to The Valley is there is no need for a fence to keep illegals out because anyone who can find their way through all the shopping malls and many lanes of traffic without being killed should be allowed to stay in the USA. It's a jungle out there!!
We have explored the area near the RV park and have been to the beach on South Padre Island, the longest barrier island in the world. The south end of the island has many eateries, shops and high rise condos but north of all this are miles of natural beach with just a few houses. There is still a lot of evidence of the island being hit by Hurricane Dolly with roofs covered by the famous blue tarps and buildings with windows and doors boarded up. On Saturday we went to the SPI Kite Fest, a great event to have here since it seems to always be windy. There were many kites anchored in the sand and a demonstration by the quad line flying team, iQuad, who choreographed their kite routine to music. Anyone could fly their own kite and, of course, kites where for sale. It was a very colorful and fun event and the kite fliers were amazing. That same day we went birding on the Laguna Madre Nature Trail, a boardwalk across the marsh that allows you to get an up close view of many different birds. We saw a large variety in a very short distance. This Spring a new 10,000 square foot birding center will be opening with a longer trail and more blinds.
On Super Bowl Sunday we went to Club Pelican West, a club that advertised "A party for Steeler fans by Steeler fans!" and had a great time watching SIX-BURGH win a classic game. The buffet included kielbasa and sauerkraut but they did not have Iron City beer. The club is owned by the band, Pelican West, whose members are from the Pittsburgh area and there is a huge mural of the Point on one wall. There were many Terrible Towels, a Pittsburgh sports memorabilia corner and a number of team jerseys and t-shirts. While there were a few Arizona fans, none of them had any team colors or shirts so the day was for the Black & Gold. If you get to South Padre make sure you stop by the club and show your support for these Pittsburghers.

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