Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Life’s a Beach-Padre On!


We took grandkids Maya and Ben to South Padre Island for their first trip to the beach and the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. AJ and Erin went too; Erin had only known  the cold water and rock-lined beaches of Santa Cruz, California, and AJ had not been back to Padre since he was about in the sixth grade, so those were good reasons to go. Never mind that I had just made a trip to Wyoming that traveled four states for a total of 1386 miles. This round trip turned out to be 1775 miles- and we never left Texas.

IMG_5068Texas A&M Kingsville

Bill and I met when we were students at Texas A&I University in Kingsville, now Texas A&M Kingsville, and since Kingsville was on the way, we  took a nostalgic tour of the campus which is still lovely and quiet, and looked pretty much the same, except bigger. My dorm, Lewis Hall, was even still there, as were all the buildings we remembered.

IMG_5073Lewis Hall

We stayed at the Isla Grande, which used to be the Radisson. The grounds are covered in palm trees, oleanders, hibiscus, all manner of tropical plants, and has two  swimming  pools to enjoy before you ever make it to the beach, which is right there behind the hotel.

The view from our hotel balcony.

We ate shrimp every day we were there, spotted dolphins from a boat that had a dolphin-loving dog, watched newly-hatched Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles make their way to the surf, visited the sea turtle hospital, stood at the top of the Port Isabel lighthouse, shopped a few  junk stores, but mostly spent hours floating on the waves, boogie-boarding,  swimming to the second sandbar, walking the beach, and, considering all the time we spend in the sun, miraculously not getting sunburned beyond repair.

IMG_5319Maya, Ben, and Gorkie watch for the dolphins.

IMG_5335And there they are!

IMG_5232Baby turtles begin their big adventure.

IMG_5237Almost there.


Port Isabel lighthouse.

IMG_5148Maya and AJ catching the waves.

IMG_5143Ben riding the surf.

IMG_5187That’s AJ and Ben in the middle of the picture.

IMG_5152Ben, Erin, Maya, AJ.


In the distance you can see  the causeway linking the island to Port Isabel.


The sea gulls are always on the lookout for a handout.

IMG_5182This may be why Bill didn’t come home sunburned. He spent a fair amount of  his  time on the beach just like this.


We watched for pelicans as instructed. They are in abundance during the summer.

IMG_5395If you like the beach, South Padre is the place to go-just not during Spring Break…

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