Sunday, May 10, 2009

Seeing the Texas Gulf Coast - Day One

The last couple of days were spent on the wonderful beaches of Port Aransus and Padre Island. I have to say, seeing the coast again was bittersweet. It reminded me that I NEED to have access to the coast no matter where I live. The ocean has been a part of me my whole life. Growing up most of our vacations included the beach and as I grew older most "fun outings" were beach oriented. That being said, there was also a part of me that did not miss the salty, sticky, thick humid feel that the goes along with the ocean.

The drive down was perfect. We took Highway 181 straight down into Port Aransus. I was a little concerned that we may have a lot of red lights or city traffic issues taking the highway. The cities we drove through were so small that we only had one or two traffic lights per city to get through. It was smooth sailing with very little traffic at all. We got there in 3 1/2 hours and that included stopping off for gas and a bite to eat. We now know the quickest route to the beach. :-)

Once we got to Aransas Pass we had to take the ferry across to Port Aransus. It was such a short ride across, Toby pondered why they don't just build a bridge. Here we are on the ferry:

Once we got to the other side we set off in search of the Tourist Info Center. We located one quickly and I gathered all the maps and brochures that I thought would help us on our trip. We finally found us a room and unloaded the car. By this time we were ready for some dinner.

At Summer's insistence, before dinner we stopped at a couple of souvenir shops. After all, to a kid what's a vacation without a souvenir?

Since it has been a while since we have had some good seafood we asked the hotel worker for a good seafood recommendation. He suggested a place nearby with a good view. While the restaurant had a pretty good atmosphere and view, the seafood left little to be desired. For the price they didn't give you much food. Toby calls it beach highway robbery. Here is Summer with a Haha (laughing gull) waiting on some morsels to fall.

After our dinner it was late afternoon. We were itching to see the beach. Our motel was within walking distance to the beach so we set off on foot to the water. Here we are enjoying the Texas Gulf Coast:

Look! Prickly Pear even grows on the beach!

As far as Brandi goes, I can tell you she hated every minute of her "vacation from hell". She hated the water, the sand, and everything about the beach.

My Favorite Pic of the Day:

Around 7:30p.m. we headed back to the motel where Toby and Summer enjoyed the pool and hot tub. I went inside to enjoy the air conditioner and some cable T.V. I really would have enjoyed hanging out in the hot tub drinking some cold beers with my hubby but somehow I couldn't see us enjoying too much hot tub peace with an excited 8 year old splashing around.

O.K. now here is my critique of the Texas coastline; I say the beaches were very close in comparison to the Alabama, Florida beaches. Yes, the Texas ocean was not as green/blue and had a good bit of shoreline seaweed, but it in my opinion the water was much more swimmable. The water was shallow for a good ways out and the waves weren't strong enough to knock you down. The water was also clean and clear. The sand was also a little different....powdery and fine and more of an "antique white".

Port Aransus reminded me a lot of Panama City Beach back in the day before the big high rise condos started coming in and blocking the view of the beach. A small friendly beach town it was. I was very impressed..........

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