July 29, 2012

I'm Still Here(Warning Pic Heavy Post)

The beautiful and wonderfully warm Gulf of Mexico

Entrance to the Texas State Aquarium

A "Laughing Seagull" taking a break from his mockery

Brown Pelicans are as plentiful as Seagulls on the Texas Coast

Shrimp boats go out every morning

The "Harbor Bridge" links Corpus Christi to Portland Tx.

Beautiful pottery at Wildseed Farms-Fredericksburg Tx.

Pink Zinnia happily growing in the sun at Wildseed Farms

Colorful birdhouses all in a row-Fredericksburg Tx.

I took a little whirlwind vacation-just a wee little break, but as it turns out even a small break can be so cathartic and for me this trip was about accomplishing a few firsts and ticking some items off my "bucket list."

I've been married for over 20 years and I can count on one hand the number of times I have driven anywhere out of town by myself, as a rule- my husband always drives when we go out of town whether it's 2 hours or 10 it's just a given that he will drive(I think he's afraid for me to drive.) This time a few special circumstances came into play that caused me to have to step up to the plate and drive 10 hours to the Texas coast. Ummm, I have never driven farther than the 6 hours to Dallas, and after my Dallas experience I have been a little less than enthusiastic about navigating about in busy metro areas, but this time it was about 1) a daughter who desperately wanted to see the ocean 2) a  husband already at the coast waiting for us 3) desperately needing to get out of town at least for a short break.....so off we went. I am happy to inform you that with the aid of my daughter,Google maps and a Garmin we made it thru San Antonio and on to Corpus Christi without a hitch. Bravo!! A huge accomplishment for me-it made me wonder why I had been afraid of venturing out on my own- gah, all the time wasted.

Let's see, there were also a few other "firsts" with some being "bucket list" items. Upon arriving in Corpus Christi we ventured out to find not just the Bay, but an actual ocean and ended up at the Gulf of Mexico,and not to travel all that way and never get my feet wet-  I immediately waded in clothes and all. You CAN NOT go to the Gulf of Mexico and not get in-so I did. I didn't really realize this was a "bucket list" item at the time, but in fact it most certainly was.The Gulf of Mexico is incredibly beautiful and amazingly warm-perfect!

On the first full day of our trip to Corpus Christi my daughter and I went the Texas State Aquarium where my daughter goaded my into touching a Stingray and a Shark, and well you can't let the 12 year old out do you. So, for the first time ever I touched a Stingray and a Shark. What do they feel like you ask? Because Stingrays are scavengers and feast on dead things they are covered in mucous-so you can just guess how that feels-right? Sharks are very different they are slightly bumpy like used sandpaper. Very interesting!

The evening of the first full day we allowed ourselves one very nice meal-of course at a restaurant where seafood was the fare as I was very excited to try my first " oyster on the half shell." Yes, I know it's hard to believe I have reached "midlife" and had never had a raw oyster-it's absolutely sinful. However, living in Lubbock,Tx. we aren't exactly privy to fresh seafood, and so I refused to try them until I was somewhere coastal.Oddly enough,trying a raw oyster was an item on my "bucket list" and so I was determined to make this happen. I am happy to report that I did try them and found they do in fact "taste like the ocean"-you always hear that, and it's true-they taste just like the Gulf of Mexico smells-briny and fresh.

Needless to say, we packed as many experiences into the few days we were there-we made another trek out to the Gulf of Mexico where once again I played in the ocean in my clothes (I don't own a bathing suit). I left soaking wet and satisfied even though I had to travel back to the hotel in soaking wet clothes-I wouldn't have missed it-for me this was a trip about accomplishing goals and experiencing firsts.