My Day Off

December 19, 2008

I was driving through Port Isabel, TX on my day off and noticed people in the lighthouse tower. We pulled over to get a picture and I noticed Port Isabel’s got it going on.

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Visitors are greeted with well wishes.

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The lighthouse district was full of cars.

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and people were visiting the shops.

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Winter Texans are already down enjoying the 80 degree weather.

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A large crowd had gathered and I wanted to see why.

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The crowd was enthralled by this pirate’s incredible feats with fire.

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This guy was making big fireballs and swallowing fire then lighting torches with the flames in his mouth.

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This enthralling pirate had everyone entertained

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and amazed.

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I did not get pictures of the big flames because of … a technical error, yeah, that’s it.

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Everyone’s attention was then called to the cannon.

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The lady pirate hid from the inevitable, “BOOM!”

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It was an Earth-shattering KA-BOOM!

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So this is what Port Isabel is doing while I am working, you need to be down here in the great weather having fun with everyone else. For more on the winter fun click here.


The Fog Has Lifted

December 19, 2008

When a blast of cold, bad air comes into contact with a warm pocket of air, the weaker, warm pocket of air says, “Oh, hell no!” and runs down the street with its high heels clicking.

This is the cold, bad weather rolling in and establishing its turf on Padre Blvd. on South Padre Island at the southernmost tip of Texas.

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The fog was so thick that the highrises seemed to vanish into thick air.

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If you paid extra to stay at the Bridgepoint Condominiums’ penthouse that day, you got gypped.

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The fog moved in and established its presence on the main drag, Padre Blvd.

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and on the bay between the island and the mainland.

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The fog made it hard to believe that this building

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barely visible as your eyes rose

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is the same as this in this picture I took today, Dec. 18, 2008.

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Looks like a postcard, doesn’t it? I told you the island lends itself to great pictures. I am no photographer as this picture I took at a recent parade will prove.

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That picture is in the hall of fame already and quickly becoming one of my favorites.

This magnificent building, The Sapphire, will be opening in 2009.

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I went to the jetties area to get a shot of the boat that was stuck out there on the rocks and the salvaging process.

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but I like focusing more on the people there.

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You can see South Padre Island’s beautiful beaches here.


South Padre Island Christmas Parade 2009

December 14, 2008

What a beautiful picture!

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 If only I was doing this on purpose.

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Who gets a shot of two legs running down the street? WTH? Where did the torso go?

 It was party time on South Padre Island again.

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crowd

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 The crowd had gathered for yet another great community event.

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 Everyone was in great spirits and there were great spirits around.

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These guys had it going on.  They stood in front of all their supplies for the picture.

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 This picture came out great – look in the background.

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The kids were adorable.

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Surfer Santa… Why not?

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 Everybody was looking good.

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 Real good. 

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RRRrrreal good with a capital “R”.

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 The island was lit up like a beautiful Christmas village in some areas.

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 Every year this parade grows bigger and better.

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 Everybody loves a fire truck.

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  There were beautiful floats

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the people on the floats were tossing out candy and beads to the crowd

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 Even the smallest ones came away smiling.

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 I am having problems working this new-fangled camera so what does this guy do?

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 start to show off for me.  

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Way to go, dude. 

These mermaids were tossing beads out to the crowd as well.

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This pair of Santas was the most traditional.

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 The ultimate topper for such an evening was an outstandingly beautiful walk on a moonlit beach.

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If you want to see what the beach looks like right now click here.


Tropical Beauty

November 6, 2008

I used to live on a highway that was lined with palm trees.

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Perhaps that is why I like them so much when they are lined up.

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Whoever planted these had gobs of flowers blooming around the base.

 

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 The kite in the background was just too tempting. I had to capture it.

 

 I thought this was so funny. It seems to be saying “This is how handicapped-friendly we are.”

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 I want to start collecting pictures of palm trees that are lined up. 

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Sandcastle Days ’08

October 21, 2008

 People came from all over the world to see this amazing sandcastle exhibition.

 The making of the sign.

From glittery sandcastles made of real sand and baked to a crispy goodness  to tropically-themed cards, you could get it all at Sandcastle Days ’08.

The woodwork was exquisite. The fish in the top center is called a mahi-mahi, or dolphin, and is caught in these waters offshore.

 

 

This young man told me he just started making stuff out of tires til he came up with this idea, which blew me away. These planters were beautiful, colorful and rust-proof, which is what you need down on the coast with all the salt around. “What an excellent idea!” I told him.

The Jolly Roger crew is a wild, fun-lovin’ one.

 

 The cool part of going early is being able to see the works in progress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Masters of the craft worked with kids to instill a love of the art in them.

 

 

 Many people showed up to watch the day’s festivities.

People stopped what they were doing to watch this huge monster head out to sea.

 EVERYBODY stopped what they were doing.

 Face painting was provided by Island Princess Face Painting.

 

 

 This is why we do it.

 

 

 So many little boys asked for green dragons that we ran out of green paint, so, of course, they wanted blue.

We took our mascot, Princess, and the kids LOVED her.

 A product of the public schools.

This was my favorite, ZZ Top.


Another Beautiful Day in Paradise

September 27, 2008

87 degrees. Warm and breezy. That is how it is here practically year-round. Need I say more?


Hurricane Ike’s Destruction

September 20, 2008

Now that it has been a week since Hurricane Ike has come and gone, I am grateful that it bypassed us but sad that it did cause so much destruction to people in Galveston, Texas. It was as scary as Katrina in that people had to find out whether family and friends survived or not. That area of Texas will now be dealing with hurricane-related things as we, Louisiana and Florida residents did this year as well. I hope many Florida residents choose to become Winter Texans and come visit our neck of the woods. It is gorgeous, warm, virtually no crime compared to other places and the people are genuinely friendly and helpful here.

Dealing with FEMA and having your claim rejected, being without power for weeks at a time, having lost all or most of your possessions are things that many people in these storms’ wakes now have in common. One popular thread in the forum I like to go to was even about “Things You Learned From Dolly.” I learned to clean EVERYTHING out from the fridge before you leave because you WILL lose power and you WILL come back to a stinky mess of a freezer and/or fridge. I learned to get the phone number of a neighbor who can tell you the status of your house while you are gone. Now, in the aftermath of Ike, there is not much people can do but wait for their FEMA claim denial letter and work with that. Good luck.

South Padre Island was spared Ike’s wrath and the beaches are open, business ready and waiting for visitors and fishing is good. Black and red drum trips are soon going to be offered by the local fisherman.