7 Quick Takes Friday - South Padre Island

Aloha Friday Blog Hop
This past weekend I took my brother with me to South Padre Island for my friend's wedding. It was the first time either of us had ever seen the ocean (I saw the San Francisco Bay once from a pier, but that doesn't count!!). The beach at the bottom of the island was magnificent. We got there before sunrise Saturday morning, so our first view of the ocean was in the dark, then the sun rose and the pastel pinks and blues reflected off the water and it was just so indescribably beautiful. Here are some pictures. :)

So the trip down was horrible. I picked my brother up in Tulsa, and I missed a couple turns and had to backtrack, so the first couple hours of our trip took place in stinking Tulsa! It wouldn't have been so bad, but the trip to South Padre is so long already...and all the highways around Tulsa are toll roads...and the traffic through at least half of Texas was slow-moving...and there was a lot of rain and even hail.... I had planned to stop in San Antonio in the evening and check out the Riverwalk, but with traffic we didn't even reach San Antonio until just after dark, so we decided to keep going.
We stopped in Corpus Christi and ate at Whataburger on the Bay. It is my new favorite fast food place! (Don't worry; we don't have them here. The nearest one is in Tulsa and that is 3 hours away from me.) Then I drove down to Harlingen where we parked the car and slept for a couple of hours before continuing to the island. Longest night ever, seriously!
And THEN, Saturday morning after our first beach visit, we got in my car and started down the road to discover my rear passenger side tire had picked up a screw somewhere and was flat! But on a bright note, at the condos we stopped in front of, a man was out walking and he happened to own a lot of property on the island, and he had equipment to air up my tire and gave me directions to a good mechanic who fixed my tire right up and it didn't cost much at all! So all's well that ends well...I guess. I just got those tires new in February, so I'm pretty sure the warranty will allow me to get a new one to replace the damaged one, too. Maybe they will let me keep the damaged (but repaired) one as a spare, since I no longer have one (I'll come back to that later).
If you look closely here, you can see the abominable screw, approximately
between 2 and 3 o'clock on the tire.
It rained for most of the day Saturday, but we still explored the southern part of the island. I have never seen so much sand in my life, and am pretty sure I never will anywhere else! I think it is beautiful. And don't think those piles of grit are easy to walk on - they take some trudging, and it is much easier without shoes than with, in my opinion.

 While on the subject of sand, look what I found in the sand, carried in by the waves. I caught myself a teeny tiny jelly fish! (My brother named him Squishy.) We put him on a piece of bread with some peanut butter and...oh, wait. No. We didn't. We might be tourists, and we might even be noticeably pale tourists...but we proud we isn't stupid ones.

And the sand.... (I'll come back to that later, too.)

The wedding was Saturday evening on the beach. It was beautiful - I don't think I have ever experienced more perfect weather. And we all took our shoes/sandals off and put them together for a picture before the ceremony started, and any wedding where you can be barefooted is a great wedding in my book ;).
I met the groom for the first time at the wedding. The bride, however has been one of my best friends for close to 10 years. We met in college. My friend being the incredibly shy, quiet person she is (haha), arrived at the front of the aisle and turned around and waved and said, "Hi, everybody!!" The groom choked up a little during his vows. Sweet! :) It was a small, beautiful, casual wedding. I am so happy my friend has found her life partner!

After the wedding I got a picture of this little guy making waves along the shore :).
And here is me by the water after the ceremony too. (See a little glimpse of my fancy schmancy outfit...which I really loved...? Yeah...I'll come back to that.)
We left Harlingen late Sunday morning and headed to Corpus Christi to see the Texas State Aquarium. Maybe an hour into the trip there was a border patrol checkpoint, and I knew these existed, but because we were so close to the border I was a little apprehensive I had turned the wrong way on the highway. So the patrolman asked, "Are you both citizens?" I thought for some reason he was asking us if we had any foreign citizens, so I answered, "No," before quickly correcting myself after his question registered. Then I asked, "We are headed north, aren't we?" He very seriously asked me in a surprised tone, "You're not going to Mexico?!" I answered quickly and probably a little panicked (because I don't have a passport), "No!" He just laughed and said, "Yeah, you're headed north." Funny guy O.o.
If I had kids I would have thought the aquarium was a pretty good place to go, but since I don't, I think it was a waste of $20 per person. I have also visited the Tulsa aquarium, and for being a less hyped-up aquarium, I think it is better than the one in Corpus (and cheaper). I wish we would have checked out the USS Lexington museum next door instead.
But since I do have a thing for jelly fish and sting rays, here are a few good shots I got at the aquarium. :)

Since we were already in Corpus Christi, and since we slept in on Sunday morning and didn't get to go back to the beach before we left the southernmost part of the state, and since I found this delightful little idea on Pinterest for an inexpensive yet great souvenir and had not yet collected my sand...I decided instead of a rodeo in Austin on Sunday evening, we would just hit the northern part of Padre Island at Corpus Christi and spend a few more hours on the beach before heading home. So off we drove...and drove...to the National Seashore part of the island. It was not nearly as beautiful as the southern part of the island, in my opinion, but a beach is a beach, and it wasn't bad, so we staked out a place along the shore and did indeed spend a few hours.

And I did get my sand, along with some other things my brother found (driftwood, a coconut, and a sponge) while I laid on my beach towel :).
But not only did we acquire while at the beach Sunday evening...some benevolent fellow (or gal) decided to break into my car (I had thoughtlessly left my windows cracked and the car was out of our view) and steal several items of value and/or perceived value. Among the missing items were my brother's Samsung camera, his laptop, my wallet, my spare tire (?!), the cooler, and two backpacks of mine, one of which contained my laptop, and the other of which contained my outfit from the wedding the previous evening :(. On the bright side, when we went to the aquarium we had parked quite a ways away, and instead of carrying my wallet with me I decided to grab my money (and license and debit card) and carry them in my back pocket. I forgot to replace them in the wallet, and instead they remained in the pocket of my capris...which remained in the driver side floorboard where I changed into my bathing suit in the car before heading to the beach! The thief took the wrong clothes! :D So, thankfully, we had money to complete the trip. Also, thankfully, I had recently saved all my important files on my laptop to Dropbox, so though I lost the convenience and will have to replace it, I still have (most) of my files.
So, from my previous musical selections/recommendations on here, you have probably surmised that I am in fact a nerd. But my brother is an even bigger nerd than I am! He grabbed some of his favorite CDs out of his car to bring with us on the trip and, though he is ten years younger than I am (and I myself am not much older than a Spring chicken), he just so happened to bring an album of Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner, and it just felt right listening to them as we drove 'cross the prairies o' the Lone Star State. So here you go...a song by them that my grandma used to play for us all the time when we were kids :) (my grandma has always been a devoted fan of tragic ballads).
Oh, and here's another (more well-known?) one for good measure:

Ok, and one last one, since the host of 7 Quick Takes is always refering to the song "Somebody That I Used To Know" by Gotye. Here's what I'm betting was Gotye's influence for the song in the first place.... Just sayin'. This is where Gotye got his cool. ;)

(P.S. The trip home was much better than the trip down - I threw away the directions I had written out and just followed the signs and my own sense of direction and things went much more smoothly!)
For more Quick Takes, make sure you visit Jen at Conversion Diary!


  1. A very lovely post with the written word and pics to match. Pleased you had a good time.

  2. Once upon a time I lived in Harlingen. Once upon a time I lived in Corpus, once upon a time I lived in Tulsa. Girlfriend, I am so sorry someone broke into your car. I pray that It didn't dent up too much of those sweet memories.
    Again, I LOVE your blog. I'll listen to the music later, too.

  3. Sounds like it was an interesting trip. I've never been to a beach wedding. I'm happy anytime I can go barefoot. So sorry about the flat tire and someone breaking into your car. : (

  4. oh wow, I guess living in California, it's hard for me to imagine people not every spending time at the ocean! I am so sorry you had such a hard trip, getting lost and getting your car broken into, that totally stinks! The wedding looked beautiful, it sounds like you had a nice trip, regardless of the bad parts. Love the photos!


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