For Ruslan and my Other Friends up North

December 10, 2008

I am amazed at how much the readership of this blog has increased. I am now receiving feedback from all over the world and people are loving this blog. I will be forever grateful to JW, of the South Padre Network, for showing me enough about technology to have made this blog possible and glad I can bring smiles to so many people’s faces, all over the world now. That is amazing. This is for Ruslan, Matvey and Ludmila in Moscow, to show them that it is beautiful down here. The people are wonderful and we welcome you to our beautiful part of the world. Keep sending me emails at padreprincess23@gmail.com and send pics of your part of the world too. Thanks for all the well-wishers. I only learned how to blog in August so I only have few pictures in my gallery of photos. These are but a few.

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South Padre Island is an island that is next to the southernmost tip of Texas. We are celebrating the Christmas holidays right now. A local sandsculpting master, Sandyfeet, created this masterpiece for the public to enjoy.

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We even have a pirate ship docked here that is guaranteed fun.

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We have a beautiful lighted boat parade that people come for miles around to enjoy.

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We are right next to Mexico so you can get great Mexican food here.

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We have areas with beautiful wildlife close by.

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But when you are on Padre, the main draw is the beach.

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This was a Valley Christian High School outing that was so much fun to be a part of.

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The island has a beach side and a bay side. The beautiful sunsets over the bay are absolutely magnificent and awe the spectator.

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The colors meld together in an amazing fashion.

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The fishing is good. Gladiator II Offshore Adventures can take you on a private, personalized offshore or bay fishing trip.

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Fresh fish is delicious and many island restaurants will prepare your catch for you. This is a typical catch when you choose Gladiator II Adventures for your bay fishing trip.

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 The fishing is exciting and a learning experience here. These fish had a real bite!

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It is a very tropical scene and the most populous tree  is the palm tree.

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I am no photographer but this place is so beautiful anyone can take a gorgeous picture.

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Especially if the model is gorgeous.

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My dog, Princess, says come on down, the water’s fine! I only learned from my friend, JW, how to blog in August and these are just a few of the pictures I have taken since then. You can see the island through his camera eyes here. All I can tell you is that the people here are genuinely kind, friendly and helpful. The food is really good and affordable here. My other project of the best things to do in this area is a project in the works but you can see it here. I will post more later on but I have to help my daughter with a computer crisis. Know that if you choose to come here, you will have made a choice that your family will love!

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Toasty the III

December 8, 2008

You would think such a beautiful placid scene would never have been the scene of a murder. 

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The victim was heard screaming, “Some legs! Some legs! My kingdom for some legs!” Sadly, this was not Richard the III; it was Toasty the II, innocent victim of the most mysterious unsolved murder in South Padre Island’s history.

It was time for good to overcome evil in this world again and Sandy Feet came to the rescue.

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From a shapeless mound of sand, she began recreating Toasty.

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 I admired the skill and talent in those hands of hers

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 and the gentle way she worked on him showed how big her heart is.

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 Just as every student is unique to a teacher, or every client is to a businessman, so must it be with her creations. 

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It must be neat to see what is in your mind come to fruition. 

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After a lot of hard work on Sandy Feet’s part, Toasty was up and providing photo opportunities for Islandgoers of all ages.

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No matter what paths life has in store for these girls, they will always have this photo to remind them of the awesome weekend they spent with us. It was the perfect topper for a weekend that included movies, pizza, ice cream, lighted boats, chocolate cake, a pirate ship, more ice cream,  learning about the history of the area at the museum, more ice cream with a pina colada cake, volleyball on the beach, a boat ride and finally, a root beer float to relax with… of course, made with ice cream. Thank you, Sandy Feet for not giving up and for having such a big heart. We LOVE you! You can find out more about Sandy Feet here.


Christmas Boat Parade

December 7, 2008

I am from the time when a mouse was a mouse and a byte was something you did to a cheesecake, so this new-fangled digital camera Santa brought me had me worried that I wasn’t going to be able to take good photos of the boat parade…

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It has something called “macro” close-up which is better than “get yourself closer” like my old camera but it still was not behaving at times because of all the separate functions and all you must program it for. Sometimes simpler is better. This camera is so new, there are instructions for the instructions and I was a little worried I’d get too frustrated and give up.

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Once people started gathering at the end of the “fingers”, the streets in Port Isabel that jut out into the water like an outstretched hand, I knew it was about that time and do-or-die time for my camera.

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Close-ups worked fine now, but it was the ‘night’ function that had me a little apprehensive.

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You could hear loud boat horns honking and carolers singing.

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Santa was “Man of the Hour.”

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It was a beautiful balmy evening.

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Some boats looked good even without the lighted decorations.

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Once the sun started to go down, I wondered if I’d be able to get the pictures I wanted. I was getting frustrated with the ugly and out-of-focus shots but when I saw the following picture through the display screen, I knew everything was going to be okay.

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 This is why I don’t need drugs. 

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 I love the way these pictures came out. 

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 The height and spiderweb-like quality of this boat’s decor was impressive.

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 Some of these shots were absolutely beautiful but the parade was even nicer in person.

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This was a good parade with many participants, viewers and it spawned many holiday parties that led on into the night. This boat parade is a tradition here and many people get together for the parade then go to each other’s homes here along the water for great food, drink and fellowship to celebrate the coming of the holiday season. We served homemade tortilla chips and excellent salsa, enchiladas, Spanish rice and a big ol’ pot of beans a la charra topped off with Pina Colada Cake, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake and root beer floats. Outside you could hear the sounds of other gatherings. Our whole street was rockin’ and rollin’ deep into the night. This parade also heralds a welcome to our winter visitors who are now in the warm embrace of South Padre Island’s and the neighboring Port Isabel. Welcome back, friends!

If you want to see what the beach looks like today, click here


Christmas Tree Decorating Party

December 6, 2008

Princess knew something was up when she heard a gaggle of giggles in the front room.

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You can’t have a Christmas Tree Decorating Party without popcorn.

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You gotta hook up the jams.

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The menu was very healthy and included: pizza, candy, chocolate cake, root beer floats, and sodas.

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These girls are the sweetest girls you could ever meet.

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Taking off the blue makes it shine in only silver now.

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We have a collection of ornaments that include family heirlooms.

 We don’t live in a fancy house or have fancy things but we have love and good friends and that is what life is all about.

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My awesome photography skills with my new camera make it look like the tree shoots lasers.

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Frikken lasers!

 This is Princess’ mom, Belle. Like I said there is lots of love in the house.

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New Camera

December 6, 2008

 

 

 I took this picture and posted it as an example of how sorry the close-up is on my camera.

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 Today my other Christmas present came…

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 I immediately went out and started taking close-ups.

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I took a shot of the house that is my Wells’ mannequin.

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Then I tried the close-up feature.

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I took a shot of a palm tree in the regular mode…

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 then a close up …

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I took a shot of the street before me…

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and really freaked out…

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so then I pointed it to the skin on my arm and got these…

          

 Just kidding, but it is very nice to have a more powerful camera. A real camera is nice to have.


Christmas Came Early

December 2, 2008

Santa Claws came early this year. Actually, I ordered this in October and waited for weeks, put my faith in “the system”, and did not call to double-check the order. I just figured I would leave things alone and they would go as they should. WRRROOONNNGGOOO! I called to track the trikke after a few weeks and the girl told me there was no record of the order. I waited for weeks and weeks and those were weeks full of good weather and warm sunshine. This lady was telling me that even after Laquisha took my order, checked my address, double checked and repeated the credit card numbers out to me and told me to have a nice day, NOTHING was put into the computer. Now all I had was the cold winter months coming and I figured the bike would come just in time for the rain and slush and cold and mud. I had to reorder but luckily, it came today, DECEMBER 1st. I hope that the weather is sunny all through December so I can ride my new toy. My next goal is to lose enough weight by March to go public in a swimsuit, but look badass in it. It can be done. I have done it before. I lose enough to look good for an event, turn heads, then the next day it is right back to my old eating habits. This time I want to go for a complete year staying in shape. December 1st is the beginning of my new journey.

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It looked challenging in the box.

 

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After some easy assembly, it was ready to go. In just a few minutes, I was rockin and rollin’ rather leanin’ and slicing.

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My new neighbor was putting a wreath together.

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The iridescent butterfly was gorgeous.

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She said, “I’m gonna have to do it in blue.” I said, “We are going to do our boat in blue for the South Padre Island boat parade. Blue and silver is beautiful.”

They gave my daughter a tour of her new house.

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It is houses like this that led my daughter to call us poor. I am a little bit older than the child and am grateful to have a place to live.

Tonight, Venus, Jupiter and the moon were bunched together and posed for a group shot.

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South Padre Island’s First Christmas Mercado a Great Success!

November 30, 2008

I read alot. I read somewhere that in blogging you are not to post more than five photos because the reader has an attention span of 3.5 seconds and I should cater to that. I also read not to make blogs too long because the reader has such a short attention span that I need to cater and accommodate him/her. I say, “Too bad.” If you have an attention span of 3.5 seconds how do you drive? How do you work? Do you begin to cross the street and then begin to wander off in another direction? I have read complete books if they interested me in one sitting. I discovered a blog the other day that I could not get enough of and I kept reading and reading and her blogs were looong. I am going to write as I see fit and if a reader drops off because they can’t handle a reading that takes more than 3.5 seconds, I hope they don’t hit their head on the keyboard as they fall asleep. How do those people finish school? I hope to never be in a car with one of those attention-span-challenged-brainiacs as they are driving.

 Today was the first South Padre Island Christmas Mercado and it was a great success.

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 Many people came out to check it out.

 I pictured this table with 6 matching chairs going into a big, spacious house with Spanish tile floors.

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 There were beautiful flowers for the outside of your home available.

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 There was lots of jewelry but these chiles caught my attention immediately. I picked one up and it was heavy. The vendor said they were glass. I said, “How beautiful.” I used to have an earring collection so big I needed one of these display racks but I never had cool chile earrings.

 

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This beautiful dancer kept everyone entranced. I walked back to my booth after taking her picture and EVERYONE’S eyes were glued to her. I walked back to my booth, right past my husband and said, “You don’t even look at me anymore. Something has changed.” and the guy close enough to hear started LOL.

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 These hand-painted glass balls looked fragile but so beautiful.

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The hardest thing to resist is the smell of barbecue. Once I was walking with my sister at an apartment complex and I smelled barbecue. I said, “Stop!” She said, “What?” I sniffed into the air. “Apartment 3406 is barbecuing on their balcony by the tennis courts.” I sniffed into the air again. “There are 2 leg quarters, some Polish sausage and some onions on the grill.” She said, “Dayum, your radar is gooood.” I said, “That’s nothing. The girl at Dairy Queen on Price Road is making an Oreo Blizzard right now.” She said, “DAyum.”

The smell of these guys’ cooking was wafting over to the main street and kept a steady flow of people going to the food area.

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This gorgeous girl was representing the Bamboo Day Spa at 1817 Padre Blvd. Right on the corner of Padre and Palm. 

Back on the main street, one of the mariachis started to get down with TWO lovely ladies.

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 I liked the guys in THIS mariachi band right away.

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 This booth got my vote for best decorated. 

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The entertainment provided was all top-notch and you had to squeeze through the crowd that formed to watch if you wanted to see or take a picture.

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This little cutie was adorable.

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 So was this beautiful lady.

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 This beautiful girl is my daughter. Everyone loved the socks.

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Thanks to the generous contributions of bottles from SPI residents and restaurants I was able to embark on a new art project.

This turtle sold immediately.

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I went to a friends house to see if she had another empty jug of wine. It was about 10 in the morning. She said, “I am sorry. I have one but it’s full,” so I looked at my watch and said, “OK, I’ll be back around noon.” She said, “WHAT?” I said, “Just kidding.” I laughed hard at the way her eyes popped out of her head with that one.

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Boy, did we stop people in their tracks as they were walking by. Everyone said, “Man, those are pretty.” I heard all the comments with my bat-like hearing.

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 I knew I would appeal to horse lovers with these beauties.

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 This parrot was my favorite because of all the colors.

 

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 I completely sold out of palm trees.  

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I almost sold out completely on my shell jewelry.

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True to form, this vendor’s catchy decorations led me to walk to her booth and check out her wares.

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This mercado provided exposure for Island businesses.

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It provided an economic shot in the arm for the slow season in what is a mostly a tourist beacon.

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It gave people something different and interesting to do. My daughter and I had a blast singing along with the Mexican singer because we didn’t know the words to the songs but we could fake it well. We have joked that we are going to compete in the South Padre Idol contest http://www.southpadreidol.com/ and sing songs that we don’t know the words to without using the karaoke machine to cheat for the words. I cracked this singer up when I yelled out, “Viva la Raza!” after one of his songs. It means, “Long live the people,” and he couldn’t stop laughing for a long while.

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 Above all, it provided fun for everyone. I heard people saying they hoped it would be even bigger next year. My hat goes off to Nancy Mardsen, Jacky Conrad, Jeanie, Diane and all the others who worked so hard to make this possible for Island businesses, residents and guests. We need to throw THEM a thank-you party. Oh, that reminds me, speaking of partying. A lady and her friends were walking by our booth and like EVERYONE else had to stop and look. I was joking with my daughter about the bottles being filled with wine and I knew the lady had overheard so to be clear I said, “These are not filled with wine.” She goes, “Okay then, we are just going to walk away then.” I loved it! How can you not love living in such a neat place?