“Travel. As much as you can. As far as you can. As long as you can. Life’s not meant to be lived in one place.” ~Unknown
Over nine months ago we drove to South Carolina from South Padre Island, Texas, dragging our massive travel trailer behind us. You can in fact drive from one planet to another or so it might seem from destination to destination. I love the newness of it all. We are not full-time RV travelers but move from location to location and find jobs along the way. Six month stays were always the planned timeframe for each location so needless to say I have “hitch itch” as RVers like to say. I have failed on this blog with updates but before we begin a new adventure I feel like I should share our journey here.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. Albert Einstein
While working during the lunch shift at Blackbeard’s restaurant, on the island, it wasn’t a strange thing to see a table of four occupied by two humans, an impressive camera and a great set of binoculars. When we first arrived in January, the island was flooded by Winter Texans, people escaping the frigid cold of the north. Who can blame them? That’s how we ended up in South Padre Island. South Texas is a mecca for “snow birds”. I always envisioned our first winter in Florida, with all the other people running from the cold and snow. The type of weather which leaves you with a desire to hold up inside your camper until spring arrives. Turns out south Texas became that spot for us, while others were freezing I was wearing shorts and enjoying a nice cold beer at a beach bar. I spent a good bit of my time working to save money when it was available but when it came time to play there was a plethora of activities in the great outdoors. So “Getting Wild Around South Padre Island” is all about the wildlife! We will save the other “Gone Wild” for a discussion about Spring Break.
South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center
The Rio Grande Valley is a hot spot for birdwatching. On South Padre Island you can stroll the beach in the morning to watch the sun rise, bird watch by day, then be ready for dinner, live music and dancing by light fall. The nature center features 3,300 feet of boardwalk and will also give you an opportunity to see one of the many SPI sand castles. I bought a set of binoculars for my 35th birthday, own a decent camera but I am by no means a “birder”. Maybe one day… it seems like a super cool hobby. Yes, I said super cool. Flash forward 30 years and I’m an expert birder, having lunch with people I met on Facebook, and rendezvoused with, in SPI to bird watch. True story, just not mine, you hear great stories while waiting tables. A visit to South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center is guaranteed to give you a front row seat to a variety of different birds, with glimpses of turtles, fish and alligators.
I feel at ease and, in an indefinable way, at home, when dolphins are around. I now know when they are nearby before they appear. I dream after they leave.~ Virginia Colye
It was just a normal day in April, on South Padre Island that three full time campers decided to play tourist, we had a great time but one of us was forever changed. Okay, it was me and honestly, typical me, but I fell for the dolphins at the cove. After the dolphin cruise I realized I could just walk over to the cove which was part of our campground at Isla Blanca.
Travel becomes a strategy for accumulating photographs. ~Susan Sontag
I love taking photos, and overtime as I watch the numbers of photos stored on my laptop rise, I “try” to make better choices. Yes, I can sit and delete, delete, delete which I do often but when I look back on photos from years ago I really have to ask what significance that had. To take my time to frame, snap, store, then just review to delete. I fear the delete key. I might never see that person again, what was their name? I might never return to that location so I must store hundreds of photos in case my memory fails, did I really enjoy it that much? Where am I going with all this? Good question, I have tons of photos of memories still left to get out there in blog land but I also want to get caught up to current life. That being said I had planned to just dump some photos here and then I felt compelled to tell a story. But In an effort to catch up to real life, have fresh stories and share the real me… here is South Padre Island, Texas from the deck of a boat for a dolphin watch with Breakaway Cruises.
The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. ~ Oprah Winfrey
Tabby out on the prowl. This cat is the energizer bunny of cats, she turns 17 this year. When I met my husband he had a Doberman and I had three cats, the story has always been interesting since Sadie, our Doberman, hates cats. We managed to survive living in a house and unfortunately over time lost two of our cats. Tabby the lone survivor and the oldest was blessed with the chance to go on the road and become a traveling cat with her beloved Doberman sister Sadie. To this day we still keep them separated which always keeps life interesting.
Our memories of the ocean will linger on, long after our footprints in the sand are gone. ~Unknown
Moving to South Padre Island, Texas we quickly jumped into the work force but always tried to squeeze in a stroll on the beach before work or head to a great spot to watch the sunset and grab a beer on a day off. Our campground Isla Blanca Park offered great beach access and our sunset bar of choice was Laguna Bob’s. Continue reading
I got my toes in the water, ass in the sand
Not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand
Life is good today. Life is good today.~Zac Brown Band
When we first left Asheville, NC, where we called home, we had jobs lined up with Amazon before we left and I swore I wouldn’t move somewhere without a job lined up. Never, say never because here we come South Padre Island, TX, jobless. The island is a hot tourist destination and home to a ton of Winter Texans so we crossed our fingers and winged it. We had made reservations just in time, the park was almost full months in advance. We stayed at Isla Blanca Park which was located on the southern tip of the island, surrounded by water on three sides and offered over 600 sites. Continue reading
It is life, I think, to watch the water. A man can learn so many things. ~Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook
The last stop of a trip always brings excitement of what new life awaits us. Trying to enjoy the moment, torn with not wanting vacation to end, but anticipation on getting settled in. We stayed at Lake Corpus Christi State Park a beautiful park not far off the road , great pull through sites and close to the lake. Shortly after setting up, the deer arrived and thankfully these deer weren’t as camera-shy as the last few we encountered. We saw deer stroll through our campsite in Waco and saw multiple deer in Austin but the lighting and or distance just never made for a post worthy photo. One day I will break down and upgrade my equipment so I don’t have to make this excuse in the future. The first female emerged and then three more followed, I was so busy watching them exit the brush and run across the field that I almost missed the male, wow what a sight! Continue reading
There will be a few times in your life when all your instincts will tell you to do something, something that defies logic, upsets your plans, and may seem crazy to others. When that happens, you do it. Listen to your instincts and ignore everything else. Ignore logic, ignore the odds, ignore the complications, and just go for it. ~Judith McNaught
We arrived to our campground without any story to tell except we enjoy these short trips and we made it down the very steep mountain in Austin. Happy to know the brakes work well and the truck seems to be fine after the short check engine light issue that the dealership couldn’t find a reason why it had come on. We don’t normally do too much after a travel but when we arrived we learned the river walk was being drained so if we were to even catch it with water, we needed to get a move on. Good news, the bus picked up right in front of the campground so there was no need to drive, find parking or try to navigate a new city.
A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike.
And all plans, safeguards, policies and coercion are fruitless.
We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. John Steinbeck
“Okay babe, we are headed to Austin, TX, so how do we get there?” Jamie is in charge of driving and I’m co-pilot. What would we do without directions obtained as easy as just picking up our cell phones? My Dad is a retired truck driver and I remember him always mapping out his trips the night before I have no clue how he managed. Granted I still look at a map before we head out but I leave the majority of the planning to my GPS. Continue reading