Tuesday, November 25, 2014

South Padre Island --- Closet in November

Roger here...  Please disregard the apparent misspelling in the title.  "Closet" will be explained later.  

My brother, Dick, and sister-in-law, Pam, flew down from Ohio for a week to see our new casita and enjoy some sunny time on South Padre Island.  Lucky for them that they were missing cold and snowy days in Ohio.  Hopefully, they could find some warm weather in the Rio Grande Valley where the average high temperatures in November are in the 80s.  

We spent the first couple of days at our casita at Retama Village.  We intended to go to a Lumberman's meeting (guys drinking beer and solving the world's problems) at the palapa on the Rio Grande River --- too cold and windy to go.  We intended to host a happy hour so Dick and Pam could meet our friends.  Chilly weather and threats of rain forced us to cancel that event.  

We (Dick and I) were able to join the ping pong guys at the clubhouse where (alas) he managed (despite a recent hip replacement) to dominate the games I was in.  I should have known he would show off when he insisted that I take him to Academy Sports to buy an appropriate paddle.  Sigh.

We also had fun near the Mexican border at El Disco, a huge warehouse store full of Mexican merchandise.  Lots of cool and relatively inexpensive stuff that they would have bought were it not for the cost of shipping it to Ohio.

After a couple of days it was time to drive 60 miles to South Padre Island.  Dick was able to secure a unit at Sun Chase IV.  

The unique two-story units in this complex provided views in two directions.  

The bay bridge and Port Isabel on the mainland are visible from the first floor bedrooms (when it is not too foggy).

The Gulf of Mexico dominates the view from the second floor living area.  (A view we became very accustomed to during brief and frigid visits to the balcony).

Nice living area with a full kitchen, washer-dryer, etc.

We made good use of the dining area with views of the Gulf.  We decided to eat out for lunch and have light meals for breakfast and dinner --- spent a lot of time here.  

The views of the pools and hot tub from the 7th floor balcony were also nice.  The gray clouds are invisible when you look straight down onto the pool area.

The weather forecasts were not great for the rest of the week and it was fairly nice (60s --- not 80s) during our first full day so we headed to the beach for a walk and a little photography.

As we looked to the sky, we hoped that the blue hole would expand.  Not to be.

The pounding surf made the walk intriguing.  Fun to watch.

After the morning walk we hopped in the car for a quick tour of the island.  We drove through the drifting sands to the point at which the paved road ended before turning around and finding a farmers' market.  Dianne bought some VERY expensive pecans before we made our way to Clayton's (the largest beach bar in Texas) for lunch.  

The sky actually turned blue while we were there and the sun did indeed come out for a little while.  Ahh, sunny beach time --- the last we would see.

During the remaining days Dick and I enjoyed the ping pong tables and the sauna during the times that the weather was bad.  We also spent time drinking bloody marys, watching Big Bang Theory reruns, figuring out the best places to eat lunch.... 

... and finding the "sunny" spot on South Padre Island.  

As it turns out, the sunny spot was actually in the half bathroom on the second floor of our condo.

This bright, sunny, orange and pink place was a great spot for Dianne and Pam to figure out our lunch plans.

It was also a fun place for Dick and I to chill.

The only concern in the bright, uplifting bathroom was the strange open pipe in the ceiling over the sink.  A little scary.  What is that?

We had lunches at Pier 19 and  Blackbeard's --- both good places.  On one particularly ugly day (weather-wise) we drove to Brownsville.  We walked the Sunrise Mall (Dianne and Pam made purchases) and had lunch at Rudy's, a Texas BBQ place --- a first for Dick and Pam.

On another crummy day we had nothing else to do but go on a billboard tour.  South Padre is the place to go if you want to see a neckless shark.

You can also buy a sweatshrit for 5.99

Oh, and Big Boy's Bar and Grill is evidently closet in October.  

In fact, most of South Padre seemed to be closet in November, as well. Not many people there.

If anyone wants a billboard job, you may send your resume' to the chamber of commerce.  Don't worry about misspellings on the resume.

The weather was a little better during our last full day on the island.  It was not raining and the temperatures were in the 60s.  We decided to walk 3 and 1/2 half miles on the beach to revisit Clayton's.  The surf was great.  Unfortunately, Clayton's was closet.

We were able to stop at "Wanna Wanna" on the beach for a couple of beers.  It turned out to be a nice stop.

I have not mentioned our nightly evening entertainment --- Mexican Train with Blue Bell ice cream.  Pam was the overall winner --- so Dick finally loses at something :-).  

The pools were closet during much of the week, eliminating visits to the hot tub (except for one day).  On the last morning of our visit, Dick went down, removed the cover and enjoyed a soak --- who cares if it was closet.

Despite the disappointing weather, we had a wonderful time.  We do not get to see our families all that often, so this was a truly memorable trip, even though the weather was crappy.

I will close with a shot from our bedroom balcony of the sun setting over the bay.  Kinda nice.

The pet picture of the day....  Our friends, Jim and Sue, took care of our dogs while we were at South Padre.  Here is a picture of Bandido and Tequila with their two whippets, Gabe and Klick.

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