Tuesday, November 17, 2009

MissionTX to South Padre Beach TX

November 14, 2009 Saturday

It was a beautiful clear warm morning. We knew we did not have to go far today but had to decide if we were going to stay in the South Padre Beach/Brownsville area or head north to Mustang Island near Corpus Christi. We also knew we had to spend a couple hours washing clothes in the next few days. Decision was to wash here where there is a very nice laundry area. Jane visited with a woman from Ontario who was in the laundry area working on a quilt. They have come here several winters but this year are going home first of December because her daughter had twins and they wanted to be there for their first Christmas. The laundry tasks were accomplished with no problems (unlike last week when the water pressure was so low in Ft. Davis) and we were on the road by 10:45.

Our first location to visit was Palo Alto National Battlefield National Park. This site about 6 miles from the Mexican border was the scene of a decisive battle in the US – Mexican War in 1846. It had been written about extensively in Michner’s TEXAS and we also wanted the passport stamp. GPS Lady really screwed up this time as she took us to a location south of US83 which was about 10 miles from the location. Jane found the address in a travel book and put the new location in GPS and it took us to the right location. It is unusual for their system to screw up but it really did today. When I mentioned it to the ranger he said yes other people had had that happen too.

We had a picnic lunch and then toured the visitor center learning more about the history of the area. They had one very good display that showed the changes in the US boundaries from before the time of the American Evolution until it was finalized after the purchase of Alaska from Russia. They were having a memorial ceremony at 5 PM today but we could not stay that long so were on our way to Port Isabel and the lighthouse. Along the way we made a stop at Wal-Mart. This area is urban sprawl with fields of sugar cane, orange groves, and other agriculture thrown in. We arrived at the Lighthouse about 3:00 and Jane got her photos.

Port Isabela Lighthouse

After some discussion we decided to stay here tonight and move on to North Padre Beach/Port Aransas area for 2 nights. We are ready for some down time. It is about 150 miles of driving tomorrow with a stop at Kingsville for the King Ranch.

We checked into the Isle Blanca Park and have a site one row back from the gulf. We got out chairs and sat in the sun for about an hour. We walked over to the pavilion and enjoyed watching the gulls, pelicans, waves, children playing in the surf and sail boats. Jane then enjoyed watching the couple in a large RV nearby set up to stay for the winter. They must have been on a shopping spree with a new light post, outdoor flower arrangements, and recliners.

Surf at Isle Blanca

Statue to Protect Fishermen

We drove down the road a short distance to the Shrimp Haus – with 25 different varieties of shrimp plus many other seafood entrees. Jane could not resist the coconut shrimp and Ben had Pecan Shrimp. Both were excellent. We did go early- about 5:45 but there was only one other group in the huge restaurant so we were a bit unsure of the situation……but the food was outstanding and we had excellent service.
Back at camp we enjoyed a quiet evening of TV, blog writing, travel book study and reading.

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