We had a fun day in Progresso Mexico and then headed back over to the US side. We headed for South Padre Island which is about a 45 minute drive. Rich and Cameron were in our car leading the way, and us girls in Tammy’s Jeep. We arrived after dark at our motel and settled in. Now we had a number of things planed, but the weather was going to cause us a problem. Cameron wanted to do a Deep Sea fishing Trip in the Gulf. We also wanted to take the Port of Brownsville Tour and see the ship yards where they dismantle the decommissioned Navy ships. The USS Ranger is their and the USS Independence just arrived last May. The weather has not been stable at all this season. The forecast changed from the 70s to the 60s with some rain. We had tickets lined up for both but they were both cancelled because of the weather.
Tammy did manage to take several drives up the beach. The first one she was very excited to finally drive up to the end of the road. South Padre Island has only one main road down the middle. It continues north until it turns into sand. It passes all the beach access points, the hotels, condos, restaurants and bars. It also passes a Zip Line area. They also offer horse rides on the beach. It is the farthest north facility on the island. Then it turns into sand a ways up the road. It gets so windy the road is always blowing over. The plows regularly have to plow and maintain the road. As you see it was sputtering rain on her windshield, but that didn’t stop her. She drove back to Access 6 and entered the beach. She said she drove a number of miles north. On the way they passes the horses out for a ride.
It was chilly to be on the beach. The wind blows in from the ocean constantly.
But I guess if you love horses and the beach, it doesn’t stop you. It probably was a dream come true for some of those people. The weather just didn’t cooperate.
Along the way Tammy stopped and they looked for shells. She actually found some large Conch shells. They probably had washed up from the storm that had just come in a day before. Carly brought her fish net and loaded it up with all her special shells she found. They loved ridding on the beach. Its such an exhilarating feeling as the wind blows and the sea gulls fly and chirp. The feeling of peace, tranquility and Freedom. Mother Nature at her best.
The next trip we did was the Dolphin Eco Watch. The boat is a double decker. It holds quite a few people. It is around a 2 hour trip in the bay, looking for dolphins. They also drop a net to the bottom and drag it to catch different types of fish. It was so cold. We bundled up in our sweat shirts and jackets and boarded. The girls had so much fun….Even Tammy. We seen the dolphins many times just swimming around near us. They would surface and then go under and come up a ways ahead. The deck hand had dropped the net and reeled it in. He had quite a few different variety’s of fish. He cleaned them out of the net and put them all in a bucket with water. He took them out 1 by 1 and showed them to the kids and adults.
He actually caught a Sting Ray. He explained the danger and how to react when near a Sting Ray. He also showed a Puffer Fish and several others. Finally he dropped them all back into the bay. Then they took the boat clear out past the Jetty’s of Padre. The wind was blowing, the waves were blowing high and splashing against the Jetty Rocks.
It was so beautiful to see all the hotels at a distance and the beaches. We also seen Dolphins clear out here. Finally after almost 2 hours we went back to the docks.
Now we were all hungry. We decided to go to Pier 19. It is a restaurant out on a dock. Very cool atmosphere. Every table is by a window. It is a long and narrow restaurant as it is built actually on the pier. We had seen Dolphins near the restaurant when we were on the boat, so decided it would be a great place to eat.
They had some great food. I had a Hawaiian Burger. It was awesome. I can’t wait to go back. The next day we decided to go to Brownsville to the Gladys Porter Zoo. It is situated on 31 acres. The zoo houses about 400 animal species and over 250 tropical and neo-tropical species and subspecies.
We didn’t see to many animals as it was still so cold. But we sure seen Flamingos. It is such a beautiful unique zoo. The animals are all housed in areas that are natural to their habitats. You don’t see many in cages, as they are all in natural out door settings. But since is was so cold, I think they were mostly brought into their indoor areas to escape the unusual cold weather. Just Carly, Tammy and I went here and we had a great time. We also took another side trip out to Boca Chica Beach. It is on the south side of Port of Brownsville. It is a desolate beautiful area just a stones throw from the border. After a 20 mile drive it dead ends into the beach at the Gulf of Mexico. Several years ago they anounced that Space X had bought some ground for a new Missile launch area. It is being built now, but we were told it would take another 2 years before the first launch. That night ate out at Louies Backyard on the Bay side. Tammy and Carly stayed at the hotel as they were tired.
Glen and Kathy from the park came down to spend a nite. They had spent the afternoon at another Club listening to the singer “Leslie”. After she was done their, she came to sing at Louies. We had some good food and fun times.
The next morning, Tammy wanted to go for another drive on the beach. Rich and I and Cameron stayed in the room. Awhile later, Tammy called…….”Dad do you have a tow rope in your car?“……lol….Oh no…..They had driven into Access 6 again and drove for miles up the beach as it was low tide. They had a great time until they came back and tried to get back through the Access area. In these areas the sand accumulates into drifts. If not cleaned out regularly with a plow, it is like snow drifts up north. You simply get stuck and end up bottoming out if you keep trying. Well that’s what happened. The other thing was, all this time she thought she was in 4 wheel drive. Cameron had showed her to put the switch in 4 wheel but neglected to show her the other part of the process. She was lucky she never got stuck earlier. Well “Dad” didn’t have a tow rope…….Rich and Cameron drove out their and their was a whole crowd helping her. She had of course bottomed out trying to get out. Several vehicles tried pulling her but to no avail. Finally another Jeep hooked up and pulled her right out. She was so excited that she never took any pictures. She was disappointed when she realized others were taking pictures but she didn’t get any. So another Adventure for her to talk about…..lol….But no pictures. Later she had to wash the Jeep as she was so full of sand.
Our stay at the island was coming to an end. We had nice rooms. Cameron stayed with us in ours so the girls could have their room to them selves. Our room was obviously quieter. When you went into Tammy’s room it was a disaster. Clothes all over, and Carly always had her little toys out on the table playing with them. She always has to have play time with her little toys. We had a great Breakfast every morning down in the Lobby. All the cold cereal, donuts, bagels, and toast as well as eggs, potatoes, waffles and juices. Anything you could want for breakfast.
We left the Island to go home, but Tammy was still staying another day or two. We both drove and headed for Brownsville, 77 Flea Mkt. This turned out to be a beautiful day. The Flea Mkt is huge. Rich and Cameron took off and us girls started to slowly make our way through. The girls had fun, even Cassidy. We found a cheap stroller to put Carly in. She would have never walked the whole thing.
Cassidy found quite a few things. Several pairs of slacks, make up brushes, and her best item was a blue tooth speaker with disco lites on wheels. It was made like a rolling suitcase. Great for taking to her friends or wherever she wants to go. Tammy found a rolling suitcase for herself, and many other things and food items. We were half we through and I was tired. I mentioned, are you getting tired yet, but…… NO…..she wasn’t…..So we finally did the WHOLE FLEA MARKET. I don’t think I ever walked the whole thing before…..Now we were very hungry. We ate at a Chinese Buffet. Good Food. So we finally went back to Harlingen and Tammy went back to Padre. That nite they decided to go fishing by the Causeway.
Would you believe Cameron caught a Sting Ray. It was being chased by a Puffer Fish.
He finally pulled it on the dock. A Mexican who didn’t speak much English helped Cameron get it off the hook and finally sent it back in.
Now that is something you sure can’t catch in Illinois. More memories were made. The next morning they decided it was time to leave. The kids wanted to go home. They arrived back at our camper around 11:30. Tammy come flying in and said….”Dad, Dad, take me to Mexico one last time….Please?” Cameron said ” No, you don’t need to go”…..Tammy looked at Cameron and said….“I’m the mom your the kid…..You can’t tell me what to do”…..Then she looked at Dad and said ” Please Please, I want to go back one more time”.….So of course, Tammy, Cameron and Dad went back to Mexico…..I took Cassidy and Carly and went to Mr Gatti’s. Its a Pizza Buffet. It also has Pasta, Mac and Cheese, Baked Potatoes and the fixings and a great Salad Bar. We went back to the park and I had 2 more things to do with the kids. My friend Gail Rollo has written a Children’s book. She is selling it in certain book stores and on Amazon. She has been doing some book signings also.
Its a wonderful book of a dream that she had when she was a child. After all these years, she has written the book and Published it. Were all so proud of her Accomplishment.
I wanted Gail to sign one for Carly so we stopped at her house. Gail read the book to her and then signed her very own book. Carly loved it. She held the book with 2 hands against her chest when we left. It was very special to her.
Our next stop was Roberta’s. Roberta and Ken have 2 Parrots. Maui is a Beautiful Red and Blue Parrot.
Cassidy met her 2 years ago. At that time Maui was the only one she had. Since then, Roberta has been given Benny. His owners had passed away and he desperately need a family.
Benny is a beautiful blue and yellow Parrot. Roberta is so good with birds, animals of any kind and has a wonderful green thumb. She can grow anything. So Carly poised for this picture with her doll and they had their matching dresses on, that they bought in Mexico. Finally Rich, Tammy and Cameron came back around 5. They drove across this time. Tammy had to walk almost the whole length of the shopping area that we stick to in Progresso. She shopped and shopped and made sure she had her Margarita. She loved it.
But now it was time to head out. I thought they would be to tired to drive, but they wanted to go. The kids sleep at nite and travel better. So around 5:30 the left. I figured they would stop and sleep. It is a very long drive. But with Cameron and her driving, they made it straight through in 22 hours. They pulled into home in Illinois before 4 pm the next afternoon. …. OMG….No way.
It was a great time having Tammy and the kids here. We didn’t get to do everything we wanted but we did a lot. We never had a dull moment. It was so nice after going on 4 years that one of the kids have finally came down and seen where we live in the winter. Their is so much to offer in the Rio Grande Valley. It is such a different life style than back home. Harlingen area has so much to offer. So much to see and do. It never gets old. Much history and many things I’m sure I haven’t discovered yet. It is a life style that is so unique, and so hard to describe to anyone up north. It is an area the Winter Texans come back to every year to enjoy the warmth of the weather, the beach, and the culture of the Southern Texans……It is so nice to think, the beach and the ocean are just a short drive away.
…….We Made So Many Wonderful Memories…..