Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Cool & Unique

As we wait for better weather for fishing on the Gulf we are enjoying some of the simple things in life on South Padre Island.  We came across this particular item on an app called “Field Trip” that gave us the idea for this Blog post titled, Cool & Unique.

It was the World’s Largest Fly Rod & Reel that caught our attention (imagine that!).  The towering yellow rod points skyward, angled to hook an equally large Gulf tarpon.  The 70 foot long fly rod was certified as World’s Largest in 1999 by the Guinness World Records.  It is a functional fly rod made of fiberglass with a working, 4 ft. diameter reel.  In fact there is a tarpon that can be seen leaping out of the water just off Pirate’s Landing Fishing Pier nearby.  A sign in front of the fly rod says that the operation of the fly rod would require the combined strength of two dozen strong men or one large Texan!  But, first they will have to repair the fishing line and the upper portion of the rod which appears to have been neglected along the years.  Still, it was something pretty unusual.

We met our good friends, Chip & Daisy, for lunch in Port Isabel at Joe’s Oyster Bar. They ordered oysters on the half shell to start and then followed that with fried oysters.  We  ordered their 8 pc grilled shrimp which was absolutely delicious.  Other menu items include flounder and fresh crab cakes – fried, grilled or baked per your liking.   What an awesome get-together with friends.

On another particular day that was not good for fishing we took a road trip to Port Mansfield.  From the RV park where we are it is pretty much 120 miles round trip.  Not much has changed since we visited this area 3 years ago - but the ride is always fun.  Port Mansfield is famous for the miniature deer that roam the town, but still excels as a major marina for this area on the Gulf.  We met a fellow back at the RV park that charters his 25 ft. fishing boat through this Port and calls it, Reel Therapy.  We hope that he'll be able to take us (plus two other people) fishing for Red Snapper.  How awesome would that be?  Time and weather permitting will definitely dictate that for us before we leave.

It’s always fun to visit a Mexican bakery and here in South Texas is no different.  I think the best one we can honestly say that we’ve been to is Ornela’s Bakery in Rio Hondo.  Fresh and delicious pastries of all kinds are attractively displayed that will make your mouth start to drool.  Keep in mind though that most of their baking is probably done with Lard, so it’s not on the top of the “healthy for you” list.  Not extremely sweet for pastries but entirely reasonably and the variety is awesome.  The little market attached features Mexican Coke (in bottles), homemade tortillas and other Mexican snacks.  The ladies were so sweet to let us take some pictures.  We’re still working on the apple fritters here at home . . . they are the size of a saucer and very sinful!

Horses on the Beach and a Wind Farm in the distance.




A mini rainbow to end a perfect afternoon . . .
Live your best life.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Miles to Travel from Minnesota to Texas

Header Photo - Sunset over the Gulf of Mexico at Port Lavaca

We did something that we have never done before and that was to go to an RV rally that shares a commonality with the Newmar brand.    An invite to this rally after we purchased our new home on wheels was the 6th Annual Quartzsite ~ North Rally at Steinbring Motorcoach in Garfield, Minnesota.   This is definitely a northern twist on the infamous Quartzsite extravaganza held in Arizona in January.   Held the weekend of September 11-13 this event brought together some 40+ rigs – all of whom had purchased their coaches from this particular dealer – most from in and around Minnesota with a couple from Nebraska who made the 10 hour trip.   
At the Rally, we couldn’t pass up the tour and wine tasting that was set up for the group at Burr Vineyards.   It was a beautiful day and provided some interesting conversation around the table.

Our new home does take us to some interesting places where we park to rest, enjoy family and friends and seek out new adventures.
Travel stop . . . Baker Park Reserve, Medina MN
We stayed at this campground on two separate occasions this past summer when the camping season was coming to a close.  A very nice park.

. . . Karen & Ron’s, Mondovi WI
Our good friends who shared their home for the six days that we were back in Wisconsin to see family and friends.  We had a super time and Karen surprised us with breakfast on the morning that we were going to be leaving.  What an awesome couple.

. . . Cabela’s, Owatonna MN
From Wisconsin we headed back to Minnesota for our final goodbye's to more family and then down the road we went.  Because we usually do not travel on the weekends, our first stop-over for an overnight was in the parking lot of Cabela's.  And of course, a walk into the store in to see if there was anything we need in the fishing department. 

. . . Kansas Turnpike, Travel Center at Emporia
On this day of travel, we can say that we pushed ourselves to put on some miles but it really was the wind that did that.  We are so glad that we have Comfort Drive Steering (auto centering) on the coach that compensates for gusty winds as you are driving, easy turning and backing up when needed.

Quite a beautiful sunrise the morning that we left after getting some much needed sleep.
. . . Lake Murray State Park, Ardmore OK
At the suggestion of our good friend, Richard, we decided to check out this State Park.  Located right off the interstate and close to the Texas border, it proved to be a very nice place to set up our home for what we thought was only going to be a 2 day stay.  Unfortunately, Hurricane Patricia was just then becoming news-worthy so 2 days turned into 6 days.  The the Rio Grand Valley was getting pretty drenched and we just didn't want to be in it at all.   So glad that we waited at this park.

It was raining pretty good here too!

. . . Magnolia Beach, Port Lavaca TX
Our first time at this beach was 3 years ago when we were headed to South Texas for our first winter as retirees.  We thought it was a unique place so we decided to put in our reservation right down on the beach again.   It is so soothing to hear the waves from our open windows, and the beach which is made of up shells does a perfect job of maintaining our home on solid ground.  When the tide comes up. . .we move out!
. . . Holiday Out RV Park, Los Fresnos TX. . .WE HAVE ARRIVED!
This is our first time at this park and very close to South Padre Island for travel.  By Jeep the Gulf is about 20 miles (one way) with an additional 6 miles to Beach Access #6 where we enter.  With all of the rain that fell in this area it was quite a sight to see all of the flooding in the fields in this area.

After entering this access through some initial soft sand there is another 25 miles of beach to the north, available to find just that right fishing spot.


Right now we are having fun fishing and will investigate other fishing opportunities if time permits.  It's great to see some of the people that we met when we were here previously, catching up on each other's lives. 

So you ask, how many miles did we travel from Minnesota to our Texas destination?  It was 1,496.

Live your best life!