With only a few weeks left in 2021, Dan and I decided to take advantage of a few more days of R&R. We loaded up the truck and RV and drove from our Official World Headquarters in San Angelo and hit the highway to make our way to Port Aransas on the Gulf Coast.
While visiting Port Aransas, we did some exploring in town. We also visited Mustang Island and Corpus Christi. Though my Nikon camera has seen better days, it still has some life in it after 10 years and around 80,000+ photos. Here’s what we saw.
We watched the Port Aransas Ferry boats transporting vehicles from Port A to the road leading to Aransas Pass, Ingleside, Rockport, and Fulton. Dolphins entertained us from the shore, seeming to lead the giant freighters out to see.
I’ve been to Port A a few times but never stopped to check out the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center. The pelicans, egrets, ducks, herons, and other birds were plentiful and a joy to watch and photograph. I’m not a birder but do enjoy watching and photographing them. I didn’t see a whooping crane at the birding center, but when we stopped at the Port Aransas Nature Preserve at Charlie’s Pasture, a whooping crane flew over me, providing some excitement.
A little over five years ago, we purchased a lifelong membership pass to the National Park system for only $10, taking advantage of a special the parks were promoting. Even at the $80 annual fee, the park pass is worth it, if you like to travel. With pass in hand, we headed to Padre Island National Seashore. There’s a beautiful visitor center, an area called Bird Island, and a beautiful place called Laguna Madre. Pelicans had a major presence when we were there, floating on the water, while looking for the catch of the day. We saw many a pelican fly then dive into the water for lunch. The water in the Gulf was crystal clear.
We stopped at Sweet Swirl Frozen Yogurt for an afternoon treat and then grabbed dinner to go from Padre Island Burger Company. I can honestly say it was the largest burger I’ve ever had. Neither of us could eat the whole thing so we ended up with two meals. Even the dogs got a hamburger, plain and dry, to split. Delicious!
One morning, we drove over the John F. Kennedy Causeway Bridge to Corpus Christi for a day trip. Ocean Dr. and N. Shoreline Blvd. is a wonderful way to see the Gulf and the community. The city offers a number of parks for picnics and enjoying the day. Dan had never seen the shrimp boats coming in so we parked on Lawrence St. to wait as the shrimpers made their way to the dock. You can purchase shrimp right from the boats, as I’ve done it before on my way home from a conference. Shrimpers seemed to be a bird’s best friend. They anxiously await any ‘scraps’ the fishermen might have, very similar to what Angel and Sadie do with us.
We passed by the Selena Memorial Statue. I highly recommend a stop to see it. Morgan, Debra, and I spent time there when we were on day three of our perimeter tour of Texas in 2020. We didn’t have time to visit the Art Museum of South Texas, the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History, the Texas State Aquarium, or the USS Lexington Museum on the Bay. Dan has actually driven his motorcycle up the ramp to the Lexington when he was a member of the Combat Vet Motorcycle Association in the Hill Country. It was a great treat for him at the time.
One stop I would have liked to have made but our time was limited the Texas Surf Museum. I’d visited a half dozen years ago. The first time I went, I admit to going with doubts. When I think of surfing, I think of California and Hawaii, not Texas and the Gulf of Mexico. You can learn a lot about the surfing world in the Lone Star State. Who knew?
We are fortunate in Texas to have so many nature-based tourism options from the mountains to the pines and the plains to the gulf coast and beyond. I hope you take the time to explore them. We only have one life. Make sure you live your dash. Safe travels!