Tis The season

The weather is a changing.  For the past few days we have had cloud, wind and fog.  The wind seems to be pretty constant, the clouds and fog, not so much.  We could be completely fogged in and then in 10 minutes the fog can be lifted and we have partly cloudy skies.  Wait another 10 minutes and could be sitting back in the fog so thick you can feel the water collecting on your skin.  Today there was no fog, only complete cloud cover to completely blue skies.

There is a heliport on the resort.  It is probably operated by the Coast Guard.  We are not sure, as we have not seen any activity there.  However, yesterday we heard a helicopter flying around.  But the fog was so thick you could only see it as it descended onto the heliport.

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All along the beach there are red flags flying.  These give an indication of the safety of the water.  We have seen them before, whenever we visit the ocean.  They have constantly been RED, which normally mean danger.  You can check out the other colours here.  Even though there are red flags flying, we are still walking around in shorts.

The other day we went on a road trip.  Boy did it turn out to be a road trip.  We were interested in maybe staying at Falcon State Park.  Google maps told us it was about 2 hours away so we thought we could spend the day and have a visit before we actually booked a camp spot.

When we plugged the park’s location into the truck GPS we were surprised to learn the trip was going to be just over 3 hours for the quickest route and just about 3½ hours for the shortest.  What the heck, we picked the shortest and embarked on a 4½ hour journey.  We went through every little town that was just off the highway.  Speed up, slow down was the way we had to go.  Slowing down to around 30 MPH and speeding up to maybe, 45 MPH. There wasn’t really all that much speeding up, only between towns.  Unfortunately, the towns were mostly one right beside the other.  We didn’t know when we left one and entered another if it weren’t for the signs.  In contrast the highway speed was 70 MPH and only a short distance to our right. The Mexican border was only a short distance to our left.  We saw many signs indicating an international bridge or ferry.

While traveling through these small towns we noticed some similarities.  We noticed in each town people sold things on the side of the road out of their trucks.  You could buy anything from fruit, clay pots, rugs, even parakeets and puppies.  Who would have thought, birds and puppies? There were also many, and I mean many, shacks set up to sell fireworks.  We could see 5 or 6 different vendors in a ¼ mile or so.  There was even one vendor “Mr G” who offered to give you 5 free when you buy 1.  These places were still open after dark when we made our way back to South Padre Island.

All of these towns had cemeteries along the main road and they were all decorated. They were adorned with flowers, banners, wreaths and colourful ribbons.  It was like a party was about to break out at any moment.  Bev thought she had seen a TV program on the “Day of the Dead” that might explain what we were seeing.  However, a little research pointed the “Day of the Dead” to a celebration around Halloween.  The only thing that I could find was that, in some cultures, graves are decorated at this time of year to show that those departed are not forgotten during the Christmas season.

This road trip took a lot longer than we wanted so we didn’t stay long in the park. We left around 4 PM after a quick and late lunch.  We travelled back on the fastest route, having learned our lesson.  We were back home in about 3 hours.  This wasn’t bad considering there was a multi car pile-up that delayed us 30 minutes.  Three lanes don’t merge well into one.  Especially when there was an additional lane entering the highway right by the accident.

I had mentioned the huge wind farm just outside of Port Isabel in a previous post.  When we drove by this time it was dark and the red blinking lights on the tall towers were all aglow.  In fact, they were all blinking at the same time, something I have never seen before.  It almost looked like they were signalling a landing strip for Santa.

Today we went down to the water after our afternoon bike ride.  The sun was out and there was only a slight wind.  The surf looked mean and the red flags were flying.  Even with the warning, there were surfers and kite boards on the water.  From the beach as well as the RV all you can hear is the roar of the ocean. If you didn’t know better, you would think there was a storm brewing.

While we were at the beach I snapped a photo to commemorate the season.  Bev and I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

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2 thoughts on “Tis The season

  1. Merry Christmas to you guys too. What do they do to celebrate Christmas in that area of Texas? Do they have turkey dinners? The decorated cemeteries seem to be one tradition. Have you noticed any other traditions different from what we do? Nice to see the sun out after so much fog and clouds.

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    • We suspect the traditions aren’t much different than ours. There was a Christmas dinner at the park’s recreation hall. Unfortunately the tickets were sold out by the time we arrived. Instead we had a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. We did notice the small towns we travelled through don’t believe in bilingual signs. Most of them we didn’t understand. We certainly felt like the minority.

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