Catching Up With The Family

This past June, we had lots of company. Tina, Miley and Austin came down again for a visit. Ed couldn’t get out of work. My Niece Julie, and daughter Jaylea, also came for a short week. It was her High School Graduation, and her 18th birthday. We all had a Great time. Tina and the kids arrived first.

They boarded a Southwestern plane in Chicago at Midway Airport. They had a stop in Houston but without a plane change. They went to get something to eat and drink and on the return the Captain invited them in the cockpit.

Of course Tina was shocked. The pilot actually left them alone for a few seconds and Tina was afraid that Austin would do something and push some buttons…..lol. That would be just like him too. Way to curious on what things do. But it was so nice of the Pilot to let the kids do that. I’m sure it seldom happens. Tina was so excited to get here. She loves the sun. We did quite a bit of swimming in the pool. They all love the water. She took Dad shopping for Fathers Day. She bought him New Shoes, A Blackstone Grill, and Accessories.

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Caption says “#1 Daughter and Son in Law” Shoes and Grill…..Yes, she is a Character….
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These were all the accessories to the grill for cooking.

Rich has been cooking on it ever since and loves it. He said it was the BEST FATHERS DAY present she ever bought. Rich and Tina decided to go to Progresso. She had some dental work to do and also pick up some meds. The border is open to essential travel. So as long as you are going for medical, dental or meds, they don’t bother you. I stayed home with the kids and we went swimming and also got out the electric trike.

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The kids love my Electric Trike. They were racing it with the golf cart.

Julie and Jaylea finally came on the weekend. They drove almost straight through. They had never been down here before. This was actually the honeymoon period of the Covid. We were through our initial lockdown and were opening. Our restaurants had just opened at 50 percent. I kept Julie and Tina informed ahead of their arrival as to the changing rules and our counts. We all felt safe enough to still have fun but be careful. We tried to cram in as much as possible. Julie wanted this to be a very special vacation for Jaylea. She was a Senior this year and had missed all her activities and Graduation parties because of the Covid shutdown. Furthermore, she was going to be 18 while they were here. So we headed to South Padre Island.

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We boarded this boat for the Dolphin Watch and Eco Tour
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We rode clear out beyond the breakers. You can see the white beaches on the other side.
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A Family of 3
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They dragged a net to the bottom for about 15 min. Then they showed all the fish and things….lol… they caught. They gave a description of each one.

I always enjoy the Dolphin Watch cruises. It is always so interesting to see what they find. They cruise around for a long time trying to find the dolphins. They are usually pretty successful. After that we went to Pier 1 to eat. It is a restaurant built on the closed pier. This is where we decided to celebrate her birthday to her surprise. When we were done, The waiters and waitress’s brought out a piece of cheesecake and candle and sang “Happy Birthday”.

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Jaylea was so Embarrassed. We all enjoyed the surprise
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Happy Birthday Jaylea…..#18…. A Big Step. Now your an Adult. Your parents don’t have to be responsible for your any more……lol
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This is the doorway to one of the touristy shops. We went shopping for beach toys, and souvenirs
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View from the inside…..lol….
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We stopped at Claytons to have a few drinks. Julie, Jaylea, Miley and Austin went to the beach.
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Julie and Jaylea at the edge of the mat at the Beach Patrol truck was coming by.
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From Claytons we drove down to the end of the road. The sand is always blowing and drifting on the roads. They use snowplows to keep them clear. It is so beautiful. Many people just park and walk over the sand dune to the beach. The public beach access points cost now. So that’s what we did.

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They all had such a great time. everyone has fun at the beach.

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The beach was busy that day with many of these trucks running up and down the beach selling soft drinks and ice cream.
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Down the road aways, is the horse stables. You can rent a horse and go for a ride. They come across the road and ride up the beach and back. Its a very popular thing to do

Now their was one thing Julie really wanted to do. Parasailing. Tina wanted to do it also. I was not sure, and we thought Jaylea would go also. We had to wait for the weather to be good and the wind to not be to strong. Finally after being canceled once, our chance came. Julie actually parachutes out of planes. She is not a novice either. She belongs to a club in Illinois. She holds a “Class B” license issued by the United States Parachute Association. Student License are rated A-B-C-D and continue from their. She even holds a license # B48666. She has already done 216 SkyDives. She is amazing. I could never even begin to do that. Julie was so excited to do this. So we set out on the shuttle boat to take us to the boat that would take us up. We all had life jackets on. We decided Tina, Miley and Austin would go together and Julie and Jaylea would pair up. I chickened out and decided to be a spectator. We arrived on the boat and climbed aboard. Tina and the kids strapped into the harness apparatuses that you wear.

They release the shoot and the boat takes off. The Parachute gently takes you back and up and Awaaaayyyy…..

You ascend to 350 feet I believe. Now when the kids went up, I thought Tina had wanted to get dipped. I told the boat driver to dip them in the water. So we watched and they gently came down and Yes……They were dipped. When they were reeling them in Austin was crying. He lost one of his water shoes….lol….OMG. He had other shoes in the car, but he wanted that one. It turned out, Tina didn’t want to get dipped….lol…..To Late……...So Now it was Julies and Jaylea’s turn.

Julie was ready, but as the girl was putting the apparatuse on Jaylea, she got scared and so no. We tried everything……but no…she didn’t want to do it. So last minute decision…..Julie said “Do you want to go”? Yikes….Quick thinking…..Now or Never….”OK”….

So up we went. I was so glad I did it. It was fabulous. I will admit I felt a little sea sick, but it was fun. I would do it again. Julie was just elated with joy. She was giggling and laughing. She loves the heights. But I guess for me, its another check on the bucket list. We had 1 more important trip I wanted to show them. Boca Chica Beach, a beautiful untouched beach on the gulf. On the way is what’s left of Boca Chica Village.

In the 1967 the town was founded and called Kennedy Shores. Around 30 small ranch style homes were built. The settlement was devastated by Hurricane Beulah later that year. It destroyed the restaurant and public utilities. Electricity was restored but the water system never was. They have huge storage containers and have water trucked in at each home. In 1976 it was renamed Kapernik Shores. By 1990-2000 the population was only 26. As of 2008 only 6 people were permanent residents. Many of the houses were seasonal or some were rented out for seasons. In 2014 Space X owned by Elon Musk, selected the Boca Chica area to be the location for their new Space Port and Control center. Little by little, they are trying to buy out all the residents. Many did not want this, as this was their forever retirement home. But Space X is slowly getting their way. The sleepy little desolate town is now surrounded by a growing construction site. The Launch site is up the road several miles.

One of the rocket pieces in the Construction yard.
This is the Spacehopper. It was their first successful flight on August 19, 2019. It flew up to hover altitude and then moved sideways to land on a landing pad. Entire flight was 57 seconds.

They have moved the Spacehopper to the side of the road, so everyone can see it as they pass. It reminds me of a flying silo or grain bin. Something out of Wizard of Oz and the Hurricane. Their is a great Video on You-Tube. Now just a block past the launch site is the opening to the Boca Chica Beach. We parked on the sand and spent the next several hours playing in the water and sand. Many people were out their fishing and spending the day.

Pretty picture of Jaylea

Some of you might remember, Miley got stung last year by a Jelly Fish. It happened again.

Miley was in the water and came running up to me saying she was stung again. We went down by the water, and their it was. They can sting even when they have just died, so that is probably what happened. It was washing up on the sand and had just died. So what do you do with a Jelly fish if your Austin? You put it on your fishing pole as bait.

What a kid. It tolerated several casts of the line until it finally fell off and disintegrated.

Finally the morning came for Julie and Jaylea to make that 24 hour drive back home. We managed to be able to do many of the things I wanted to show them. But theirs more adventures for the future.

The girls look really happy.

The girls had to be exhausted. We crammed so much into their days. We even made it to the “Wall” at the Mexican Border. Now that is something everyone should see. They had a safe trip home, and Hope they had a good time…..

Please Come Back Again…. Their so much more to see and Do…..

Austin managed to get more fishing in. He so loves to fish. He really thought he would catch a shark….So Tina and I made 1 more trip back to Progresso.

We got up early one morning and left the kids at home with Grandpa. We didn’t want to take the kids with the Covid situation going on right now.
She so enjoyed eating in Arturo’s…..Illinois had their restaurants closed when she came down. So this was a treat to eat inside.

After we purchased the last of the things we needed and we ate at Arturo’s, we got in line to leave. Of course, being the Rotary person she is….and President now actually, at her home club….She spotted a Progresso Rotary Garbage Can.

Who knew they had Rotary in Progresso Mexico….I’m surprised she didn’t want to go to a meeting.

We spent the rest of the time swimming, shopping and packing the Motorhome for our trip back to Illinois. We were all heading back for a month.

This is the sight you see as you Float in the pool…..It is hard to see, but the leaves just glisten and twinkle in the sun as the wind blows……So pretty. So relaxing to float in the pool and look up to this beautiful site as the clouds slowly drifty by….

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