Goin’ Coastal – A recap of our Florida winter sojourn

Comments 25 Standard

After three months of meandering along the extensive coastlines of Florida, we were eager to finally point Betsy west.  In early December we began our winter sojourn along the Atlantic Ocean, exiting on the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico in March.  This was our second winter in the Sunshine State, and we visited about half of its coastal regions, exploring many natural settings and strolling an array of fabulous beaches – all while being entertained by wildlife unique to the area.  An added bonus was the great time we spent visiting with friends old and new.

Continue reading

Final Days on the Gulf – Port Aransas, TX

Comments 27 Standard
Port Aransas Beach

Port Aransas

Along the Texas Coast are barrier islands running parallel to the mainland.  The longest barrier island is Mustang Island, where Port Aransas occupies 8 miles of its 18 mile length.  We spent a month there with Gulf Waters RV Resort as our home base, then three days just up the road at Mustang Island State Park.

“Port A” as it’s known by the locals, is a small beach community of about 3,500 people.  Although the “Winter Texans” swell the population significantly each year, the town remains uncrowded and less frenetic than many we saw in Florida last year.

The big draw at Port Aransas is of course the beautiful Gulf beaches, with easy access to great offshore bay fishing.  Thankfully, birding is right up there in popularity as well, so you know what I was doing during the few nice days we had during there!

Dave Malouf

Dave, the smoked meats expert and a diehard fisherman with his buddy whom he calls Stealafish

Great Blue Heron

“Stealafish” checking Dave’s catch

South Jetty, Port Aransas

Folks came out to enjoy a sunny day and fish at the South Jetty.  Did I mention that fishing is popular here?

Leonabelle Birding Center

Photographers and birders at Leonabelle Birding Center

Charlies Pasture Natural Preserve

A bundled-up walker getting some exercise at Natural Preserve, Charlie’s Pasture

Vehicles and buggies are allowed to drive right on the beach here, so we just had to rent a buggy to join the fun and take a ride into town for lunch.

Scenes on Port Aransas Beach:

Port Aransas Beach

Now that’s what you call camping on the beach!

Campfire at the beach

Campfire at the beach during full moon

In between our medical appointments in Corpus Christi, we visited the USS Lexington, an aircraft carrier which is now a museum on the Bay.  You can probably guess who really enjoyed all of the “self- guided tours” on this giant ship – like a kid in a candy store!

USS Lexington

A huge collection of warplanes and helicopters

USS Lexington

Food stats for the hungry sailors

USS Lexington

Museum of the Bay – USS Lexington

For a more personalized experience aboard “Lady LEX”, check Ingrid’s post – A Trip down memory lane.  Her husband Al, a navy pilot, earned his wings flying on and off the Lady LEX, so their visit was quite sentimental.

Mustang Island State Park

Our last sunset viewed from Mustang Island State Park

Our month-long stay at the beautiful, well-managed Gulf Waters RV Resort partially made up for the constant gloomy cold and windy days.  More so as our site overlooked the pond where many birdies became our free entertainment, giving me lots of photo opportunities from inside our warm coach.

Mustang Island State Park

The goofy couple bidding goodbye to the Texas Coast.  No more salt water for us for a while!

 

 Next up:  Betsy undergoes her winter maintenance



 

DO NOT TRAVEL to ALASKA, if…

Comments 6 Standard

DO NOT TRAVEL TO ALASKA, if…

1)   You don’t like dealing with unpredictable weather.

2)   You hate it when your GPS signal sometimes gets lost because you’re so far north.

3)   You don’t like people who work at a more leisurely pace than you’re used to.

4)   You get aggravated when a Bear or Moose walk near the road you’re driving on.

5)   You don’t like being in areas away from supermarkets or an internet connection.

6)   You can’t stand to drive a dirty car.

7)   You don’t like to fish, hunt or spend a lot of time outdoors.

8)   You hate it when other drivers wave Hello at you all the time.

9)   You think up to 20 hours of sunlight per day during the summer is a bad thing.

10)  You get tired of eating the Best salmon and halibut in the world all the time.

But, if like us you think these are just some of the “minor inconveniences” that make Alaska an interesting and charming place, YOU MUST TRAVEL TO ALASKA for one of the best experiences of your life!

~Steve