Today is Saturday….Day of Play…lol…Guess that’s every day though isn’t it. We decided to go to South Padre Island with Cici and Larry, our neighbors. We’ve heard so many people talk about the island so we have been anxious to go. We of course had to go up to the South Hall and have our Sat. morning breakfast of biscuits and gravy, eggs, bacon or sausage and pancakes. After we ate, we all walked back and left for the island about an hour later. Its only about 45 minutes to Paradise…….lol….On the way we passed through a town that turned out to be the home of Freddy Fender…..Would you believe it was San Benito, right up the road, where I bought my Western dressing at Walmart…lol….Anyway, they had the info on the water tower. Freddy Fender was a Country singer, who died in 2006. Two of his hits were Wasted Days and Wasted Nights…..and Before the Next Teardrop Falls…..
Not to much farther we arrived at Port Isabel…
The Queen Isabella Causeway is the second longest bridge in Texas at 2.37 miles long. It is the only bridge connecting Port Isabel mainland with the Island. It also carries all the fiber optics for electrical service. South Padre Island is at its widest point is a mile and a half wide and has 34 miles of beach’s. Our first stop was the visitor center.
Fabulous Sand Castle….Then on to Sea Turtle Inc. At Sea Turtle Inc., our mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release injured sea turtles, educate the public, and assist with conservation efforts for all marine turtle species. We seen many turtles who had been rescued and are now permanent residents and some that are being rehabilitated to be released.
The first turtles we seen were in a huge pool. Merry Christmas and Allison. Merry Christmas was rescued in the late 1980s on Christmas Eve. She will not be released due to some genetic defects. She is the largest female sea turtle resident and is very friendly. Allison is an Atlantic Green Sea Turtle. She survived a predator attack on 2005. She only had one remaining flipper. She would swim in circles until in 2009, they designed a prosthesis for a rudder. That enabled her to swim with her one flipper, but she will never be released. She is a permanent resident also. She is now on her 5th version of her prosthesis. She has been featured in People Magazine, Discovery Channel and Today Show. They were so awesome to watch. They were together and needed a babysitter to watch them. Merry Christmas likes to crowd Allison sometimes and hang on to her rudder. She has had it pulled off. Then an intern is called and has to go into the water and pull her to the surface and put it back on. The sea turtles also need air to survive and if Allison looses her rudder she may not be able to surface. She is allowed swim time for a certain amount of hours in a day, and then she has her own little tank to go in that is shallow and safe.
The next resident we met was Gerry. He is in the largest tank their (20,000gallons) and Has a glass in the side for interaction from people and also be fed lettuce. We all took our turns holding the lettuce in front so he could see it and then toss it up and over into the tank. Gerry loves lettuce. He eats over 500 heads of lettuce a year. He is used as an educational turtle. Gerry is world famous and has met Johnny Carson and David Letterman. This is a fabulous place to see. They are on fb and are in the process of raising funds to build a much large educational center and hospital.
Next we went to the beach and just walked a bit. It was a beautiful day. Not a lot of people out, but it is really off season right now. There best time of the year is Spring Break and of course summer.
Our last stop was Birding and Nature Center. It is situated on 50 acres of land. It is their natural habitats, consisting of trees, streams, waterfalls, and marsh and sand dunes. It has an elevated walkway through the areas all the way to the shore line and back. We didn’t stay long, but we will be going back. While their Cici and I went in and went to the top and took a few pics.
Of course by that time my phone died. lol We did see a huge gator sunning himself. (Pic #2) I thought he was fake but Cici said she seen it move. Thought she was seeing things but finally…..She was right….He yawned….Later after we walked out, Rich and Larry had talked to someone, and we found out, that was the big daddy gator. If we had taked the walkway around to the other side, we would have found the mom and 5 babys. She had hatched 35, but daddy was hungry I guess. They have him separated now. This is a great place to go back to and just walk the boardwalk. We also forgot our binoculars. We did see many birds and butterflies.
I,m going to add just a few more pics. Some homes and the water tower. After that we were all so hungry, we stopped at an Italian Restaurant for sandwich’s and then headed home. Now we have lots and LOTS of pamphlets for the next trip. and Their will sure be one…….