Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Friends from Home

Odometer 25557

What fun! Joan and I have had a wonderful reunion with Jim and Sara, good friends from home in Oregon. Jim and Sara are on an odyssey of their own- from their home in Southern Oregon to Arizona to visit relatives, and present some safety training, then on to San Antonio to see their youngest son Chris. San Antonio is only about 150 miles from Rockport, so a rendezvous was a must. They arrived in time for lunch, so we spent Monday eating, drinking and walking the park introducing them around. By now Jim and Sara have celebrity status, because everyone that knows us has heard that we were expecting friends from Oregon to join us soon. After a dinner of shish-k-bobs, and some more wine we talked until we all were sleepy and finally turned in.

Tuesday dawned bright and sunny and the forecast for today was a delightful 70 degrees, so we set out in the car to see the sights. We started with a tour of Allegro Key, a nice waterfront housing development in Rockport where every house is on the water. They can do this because the developers put in miles of canals that connect each back yard to the Aransas bay.
We spotted these white pelicans, basking on the breakwater off Fulton and they kept their perch long enough for us to get a photo.
After the Rockport waterfront we took Texas 35 south to Aransas Pass and then took the ferry across to Port Aransas.
This is one of the shortest ferry rides I've ever taken, but it's fun and FREE- and that makes it cool! The reason for the ferry is that a bridge across this cut would have to be extremely tall or be a drawbridge to allow the ocean going vessels through to Corpus Christi. The ferry just makes more sense.

We arrived in Port Aransas just in time for lunch, so we pulled into Castaways for a bite to eat, and had a delightful time chatting up our waitperson, Tiffany, and getting all the local secrets. All of us ate the fried okra as a side dish to our Black Drum fish , and really liked it. In addition Sara had the pickled okra with her salad, prompting us to decide to find some pickled okra to buy and take home. More on that soon.

After lunch, we drove down to the beach to dip a toe in the Gulf waters and check out the beach.

The water was not warm enough to temp any of us to go wading, but the temperature of the air was great- and very little wind!

A mini-sub caught our eye as we were driving south along North Padre Island, and when I pulled into the parking lot where it was displayed I made a tactical error.

The sub is adjacent to a T-shirt shop that was having a big sale. We ended up with 8 shirts between the two families- but I must admit the prices were great.
The Sub is the brainchild of Bill Gifford, of Gifford Marine Inc. The sub was built in Egg Harbor Township, NJ, started in 2001 and finished in 2005. It is only 33 feet long, and has places for a crew of two. The Needlefish is designed to dive to 300 feet and cruise on two diesel/ electric motors. Bill Gifford owned Gifford Marine Inc., and was a steel fabricator and welder by profession.
No word on how the sub ended up in front of a T-shirt shop in Aransas Pass, I could not find out if the sub was ever used successfully.

We left North Padre Is. via the causeway across the Inland Channel to Corpus Christi. This town has many great shops and we checked out a few of the specialty grocery stores to see if we could find pickled okra and prickly pear cactus jelly. We found the pickled okra but the cactus jelly eluded us.

We arrived back at our RVs in Copano Bay RV Park in time to have a glass of wine and a delicious meal at Jim and Sara's, and then hustle up to the club house to take in a jam session with 11 of our local musicians. We certainly had a good time today!

Jeff and Joan

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