Tammy & Tina, Their Trip Down Boca Chica Beach…..Part 3

We packed up all our stuff from our fun day at SPI Beach, our shells, towels, beach chair, and tent, etc. Rich, Connie, Cassidy and I went home. We were tired. The girls and the 3 little ones decided to go for a drive on the beach in Tammy’s 4 wheel drive Jeep. Last year Tammy found Beach Access 6, and drove on the beach for miles. On the trip back she got stuck in the sand trying to exit the access. She had to get help to pull her out. So now they want to do this again.…..Crazy…..Tammy drove all the way north on the main and only road passing the last of the hotels and restaurants, horse back ridding, Zip Line and all the beach Accesses.


Eventually the rode ends, and it becomes just sand. Because of the winds, the road blows over and covers with sand. The plows have to plow every so often to keep it open. They found beach Access 6 and found they are charging now to gain access with your vehicle. So they decided against that. But of course their is another place to drive on the Beach. Boca Chica Beach is further south, the other side of Brownsville on the Mexican Border. It is probably about a 45 minute drive from Padre. They have to drive around the Port of Brownsville which is a 17 mile man made deep water sea port. This takes you into Brownsville to get to the other side. Then you follow the Port on the south side all the way back out to the Gulf. This area is very large wildlife refuge, full of Wildlife, Dunes and secluded beaches. Their is 1 small Village, Boca Chica Village that was built in the 70’s. It consists of 1 street with a boulevard of Palm trees down the middle. The ranch houses on each side are falling in a state of disrepair.


A hurricane came through many years ago, and destroyed all their utilities. Now the homes that are occupied have generators and water tanks. It is quite a unique little village that is simply standing still with time…………...until now.


Stargate Office

Right next door we have a new development. Space X, owned by Elan Musk. Several years ago we heard of the possibility of this being a Space Launch site. Finally this past year they have started building. Their are 2 sites. The first one is just west of the Village.



The Launch site is further east past the Village and almost to the Beach. They have been building what they call a Hopper. It is not the actual rocket ship, but a test vehicle to test the engines. It is tethered at all times. Last January we had severe winds and the tethers broke and it fell over. Really rather funny I thought. The nose cone was broken. Several weeks before the girls came they started testing. They fire up the engines and keep it tethered to the ground, running their tests. When this happens the road coming out of Brownsville (the only road) is closed to all traffic.



Right past the Launch site is the opening to the beach. The road just dead ends on the beach on the other side of the dunes……Absolutely beautiful……Now Tammy was on the beach. She decided to head south…..Oh No…..What is south????,………Mexico, mouth of the Rio Grande River. I‘m not sure if they thought of that at first. On the way down they stopped and the kids collected shells.



Dead Jellyfish like the one that stung Mileys leg.


Kids had a great time. Finally they arrived at a point where the beach ended. They looked across the river area and seen cars and people walking around. It didn’t register with them yet that they were at the mouth of the river and Mexico was on the other side.



As they sat their watching, a car drove up and parked in front of them. Suddenly they seen a boat appear on the shore. 2 women got out and got in the car……OMG….It suddenly hit them…….They just witnessed 2 illegals crossing the river to the US. They better get out of their. They turned around and high tailed it back up the beach. Suddenly the car was right behind them. They were worried as to what their intentions were. Tammy got over to one side and the car flew by them up the beach…..Whooow….They were safe. They drove all the way back towards Brownsville. Several miles before you enter Brownsville, their is a Border Check point. As they approached they seen the car stopped. They stopped for the officers to check them. They seen one of the ladies being escorted into the office. The girls told the agents what they had just seen. The officer asked, “Was their just one lady?” They said “No their was 2 that got out of a boat”.….the agent said……“Ohhhhhh, Thank You, Have a Nice Day” Away they drove back into Brownsville and civilization and back home.


Now theirs 2 reasons I would not have done this. First the obvious one is the Illegals. They were crazy to be near that desolate area, …..ESPECIALLY IN THE EVENING AND OUT OF STATE PLATES...….and a pretty red Jeep with 2 women and kids in it…..Who knows what could have happened to them. Secondly, …...THE TIDE….If you look at those beach pictures, when the tide comes up, their is no where to go as their are high sand dunes. They had no idea when the high tide comes in. It is around 5 miles or so down the beach to the Rio Grande. They could have been marooned.

They finally returned home after dark. The kids came in whimpering. Suddenly they realized they have gotten sunburned. As the moms took off their shirts, the whimpers became crying…..lol….Then out came the lotion and spray. The crying escalated into some screaming……lol….Miley took it pretty well but Carly was really hurting. They were so red. They all slept in the living room on the sofa recliners. In the morning the lotion and spraying process was repeated. Poor Carly’s ears looked like Dr. Spock. They had a huge blister on the top of each ear. We decided to keep them home for the next 2 days. We broke out the Adult Coloring books and pencils. They played Airport in the bedroom. I walked in and Miley was selling tickets to Austin. He bought a ticket, and Miley told him to enter and board the plane.….So Cute…..



The kids spent lots of time in Grandpas new Man Cave watching TV. I stayed home with the kids while the girls went to Walmart, the outlet mall, and several flea mkts. Rich went back to Progresso with them, and Tina bought several MK purses for her friend. We finally let them go back into the Spa. They sure heal fast.



Austin sporting his new Deer Head…..Crazy Kid….

Back home Tina is a member of her local Rotary Club. I contacted our local Rotary that has adopted our park for the Flag Sponsorship Program and arranged for her to attend a meeting as a visiting Rotarian.


She brought a flag from her Club and a Flag exchange was done at the meeting. I was invited along, and found it very interesting to be present. Thanks to the North Harlingen Rotary Club, Landon Jennings for inviting us. Finally Tina and the kids week was over. She was flying out on Wednesday. It was such a fast week. Tammy was staying until Sunday.


We drove them to the airport and let them off at the door after hugs and goodbyes. They had had such a good time. The kids didn’t want to go. Tina was hoping the plane was overbooked and she could take a voucher. The week before she heard they were offering $1000 Vouchers..But no such luck….The Plane was full but not overly full. We drove back home and Tina said the kids wanted us to take a picture of their plane. We are only a mile away so we patiently waited and their they went…….


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Back in Chicago with Ed picking them up….and of course, DEE DEE

facebook_15584762163481756897153604411883.jpgDeeDee and the Kids sure Missed each other….so did Mom

Now we have a few more days of fun with Tammy, Cassidy, Carly and Aunt Connie.

.……Its Not Over Yet…….



Progresso Mexico,….A Day After A Shooting…Double Murder on the Side Street

Rich and I planned to go to go over to Progresso Mexico on Sunday to refill his Meds.   Some really great deals on them if you don’t mind buying their brand.  They have the Mexican name and then also the American name on the bottles.  You can save a whole lot of money and get most of your regulars meds with out prescriptions.  We were going to go on Saturday but plans were changed and we went Sunday.  Sunday morning we heard their had been a shooting and murder the day before.  Rich had coffee with our friend from McNabb, Bob  (Staying at Paradise Park) and he pulled the news article up.  Apparently the shooting happened just a block or 2 over from the International Bridge.  It went on for about a half hour and 2 people ended up dead.  The shooting occurred early, around 6 am.  No reports on if it was domestic or cartel related.  There is a lot of drug and cartel activity going on, but Progresso is viewed as a safe town to cross.  Matamoros Mexico is just across from Brownsville, and the US Consulate recommends that US citizens do not cross their.  It is to dangerous. We decided to go anyway.  It wasn’t the greatest weather, rather cloudy almost damp but not quite drizzly.  We needed jackets as it was a little chilly.  We made the half hour drive to the border and parked in the parking lot by the bridge.  They charge $2 to park your car in the lot.  From their you walk over the bridge.  It is 50 cents to walk over and 30 cents to come back.  On the berm of the Rio Grande River was a Border Patrol SUV.  Other than that we did not see any extra guards or policemen patrolling.  We really felt safe.  If we had not heard the reports of the shooting, we would have never known.  So we crossed over under the covered walk way to do our shopping.

As you see, according to the sign, Mexicans really do appreciate and depend on the Winter Texans.  Most of their sales are at this time of the year.  They even host Winter Texan Festivals.   When we got on the bridge, we looked out over the river.  No one was on the US side, but on the Mexican side, you could see a few people walking the river edge.  Their was also several campfires going.  The closer we got, you can look through the cracks on the side rails and see people sitting, standing, or just camped out asking for a nickel or dime.  The would have their little kids or babies with them in strollers.  The closer you got the hats would be held through the cracks for us to through in change.

The shopping begins as soon as you cross the bridge.  It seems people only go about 3 blocks in and stay on the main street.  I don’t think it is wise to venture down the side streets.

The sidewalks are lined with vendors and many Pharmacias and dentists on every block.  We walked down to the Pharmacia that Cheryl, our friend from Illinois, had taken us to in Dec.  We made our purchases, and then shopped all the way back.  I bought 2 little plastic mesh shopping bags for 50 cents each….lol…cheap enough…..I needed one more to put my wood carving stuff in.   Then we went in another store to shop.  I noticed on the entry way stone floor, it was called a supper center.   I chuckled to my self,…..really……I of course was visualizing “Walmart”….lol…..We went in and started wandering, and ….wow…..it really was sort of a SUPER CENTER…..It was really several store fronts and went really deep into the back. It also had an upstairs that we never went to.  Their was the Pharmacy dept., the candy, soap, household items dept.

Then if you looked up, the ceiling was lined with HUGE PINATAS…..

I think that we will be buying a large one to take home……This summer we will have a big Birthday Party for all the Grandkids…..They all love Pinatas….

In the back, you could purchase a saddle for your horse and deck yourself out with a huge colorful Sombrero.  They had so many Mexican blankets of different quality.  Ponchos, dresses and blouses.

Now if you were in the market for a beautiful Mexican fiesta dress, they had so many to chose from.

Another interesting section was all the hammered silver section.   You could buy so many different plates and accessories, but the Harley emblems were very impressive….

Walking by the children’s games, I seen the Mexican version of Bingo ….and Chutes and Ladders….It read “Serpientes and Escaleras …..Now upon Goggling it, I found out it is called Snakes and Ladders.  Really don’t know if it is a child’s or adult board game.  But interesting.wp-15856930275648193588259538144167.jpg

Walking back up front was a restaurant bar.  They had an entertainer singing and playing keyboard and guitar…..wp-15856930950982632301022738132661.jpg

Then we started looking at the ceramic pots and figurines.   Most were all the traditional ones you would see and then we seen a really awesome one…..This huge vase was fabulous, it was 3 dimensional on the outside.

Then we seen the really cool skeleton on a tricycle and the lady skeleton in her evening dress….lol…

Beside the Skeleton on the trike was this beautiful big black Dog.   Looking up in the air was many eagles flying over head……lol….They were really fascinating to see, and very expensive.   I don’t remember the prices but were out of my range.   Finally we were done….Crossed over the other side and walked back to the Bridge.   Payed our 30 cents to cross over, and then had to go into the building to line up.   Their is guards their that check your passports and ask what you have bought.  After that you proceed to another small building on the way to declare the alcohol you have bought.  That is another thing for sale, many different kinds of Tequila and alcohol.  Many people go over just to purchase it.  But you have to pay tax on it on the US side, and their is also a limit.  So I really don’t know if it is any cheaper buying it in Mexico.

We returned back to the truck and headed back home.  Stopped at a newly remodeled restaurant in Harlingen that Rich had heard being advertised on the radio.   They served Mex and Amer.  food.  It was as usual very colorful.  The outside was painted in reds, pinks greens and blues….lol…as well as the inside.  That’s what I like about down in the south west, the colors are beautiful…..Up north, everything is beige and neutral….No life….just dull….lol……Well guess what I ordered,….After I looked at the menu, and all the things that I don’t understand and all look alike anyway when they are served, ……….I ordered a cheeseburger and fries……..lol….and It was so SO GOOD….I would go back again….So back home we went.   Rich sat down and started getting all his little pills organized for next week.  He has to split some of them, and then we sat down for TV Time…..

TV Time is getting better Again………WED …...SURVIVER…. is back……….FRI…..AMAZING RACE…..