Sunday, January 22, 2012

South Padre Island, Texas, part deux!

Friday morning we had breakfast in the hotel and discovered there were "Market Days" on tap at the Convention Center just across the road. It was supposed to be a big craft type flea market. So we drove over and were there when it opened. We did a walk through. It wasn't really all that large, but it was interesting. Most of the craft sales we see around this part of the valley focus on costume jewelry--something I was never into. But it was interesting to look at. I did buy another small purse that I can take when we go to flea markets.

From there we went to Isla Blanca, a county park at the south end of the island. There is a very large campground there and there were spaces available. It was nicer than we had remember, however. I think they may have done some upgrading. You can actually book a site there for the season and it is not that expensive. In some areas the sites were much larger than in the other areas. We also drove around to the the Statue of Jesus. The Statue is a plea to watch over and pray for the souls of the lost fisherman who have sailed from Port Isabel and never returned.

We drove over to the beach area and parked so we could walk out on the beach. It isn't crowded on the island right now, but that will all change in a couple weeks. When the spring breakers get here, it will be a wild time. We planned our mini-vacation so we would miss all that excitement.

We left the island and traveled back across the bridge and parked right in front of the Port Isabel Light. We didn't make the trek up, mainly because Terry can't and I didn't want to do it alone. So we walked around the block and visited the many shops in the area. We got a coupon for ice cream, so before we left we went to the ice cream shop and got a dip of Blue Bell. Hmmmm mmmmm good!

Terry had always wanted to visit Arroyo City which was just 15 miles to the north. Something about the name has always intrigued him, so we drove up to the town. It is an interesting area. There is a ditch that appears to be dug and it goes from the coast down to Harlingen, or near there. Since there is a Port Harlingen, we assume the ditch will handle some large boats which carry supplies down to Harlingen. We didn't see any, however. We did see some boats called scooters. They are actually flat. . . much like a raft with a motor on the back. Actually water comes up over the back and it appears the boat sinks in the back, but it stays afloat. The nose sticks out of the water. They are for navigating very shallow waters, of course, but would be useless with waves I would think.

We saw pelicans which were curious about us. I guess they thought we would have food for them. There was a fish cleaning station there on the pier, so they must have been waiting for something to clean their catch. As we were leaving the area, we cross over the ditch on this really cool lift bridge.

We traveled on to Harlingen because there is an Iwo Jima monument there. I have seen brochures about it and wanted to visit. Wow! What a surprise. It was HUGE! It is on the campus of a military prep school and it is the actual plaster model which was used to create the bronze casting of the actual monument which is located in Washington, D.C. Since it is plaster, it requires some maintenance, but the atmosphere in south Texas is not as destructive as some other climes would be. The sculptor gifted the model to the military academy and they care for it now. There is also a Marine museum on the grounds which is small but has a nice collection of memorabilia from various wars. If you are in the area, I would suggest you take time to visit the monument and the museum.

We packed a lot into the two days we were gone, but we had a very nice time and it was good to spend some time at the island and places in between.

Till next time. . .


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