Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Last month, I hinted that I would try to update more often. Obviously that hasn't happened. It's 7:00 pm and we just walked in from one of the residents in the park that had a happy hour and dinner party. Now it's time for the hot tub. CC is trying to do some laundry, as we are preparing for a trip to Corpus Christi this weekend to meet up with Terry and Janice, now residing in Houston. Tomorrow is SOTB Day, to stock up on a few gifts, prescriptions, and to replenish the national beverage of Mexico, a essential ingredient in CC's margaritas. With that said, I promise (?!?!?!?) to update our February ASAP. Now it's off to the hot tub. When you live this lifestyle, you have to set your priorities, and learn to live by them, otherwise minutia gets in the way.
OK, now the update.
In early February, CC and I decided on a day trip to Boca Chica Beach, which is the southernmost beach of Texas on the Gulf of Mexico; at which point, only the Rio Grande River separates the US and México. While there we saw numerous Customs and Border Patrol vehicles, as well as other surveillance operations. The following photo might lead one to believe no one was watching. Maybe that’s what they want you to think? (As usual, click on any image to enlarge.)
We have had several comments on the number of times we go SOTB, and I’ll have to admit, we do go often, but not as much as some. We have spoken to other Winter Texans that will NEVER go, fearing it too dangerous, and if that is their belief, so be it, as “Chicken Little’s” exist everywhere we have traveled. We just do not want to live that way. Make no mistake, if we thought there would be a risk, we would not go; just as we don’t visit Matamoros or Reynosa as they are undoubtedly not safe, even for the Mexicans living there. But, do as we do, and one morning our long lost friends from SPI called and said that a group of 10 were on the way, to which we replied, “we’ll meet you at the border at 11”. They actually arrived around 11:30, so after a Rita (or more by an individual that will go un-named wearing a Corvette cap), it was off to lunch at one of our favs, The Iguana house for lonches and tacos.
We averaged two trips SOTB weekly during the month. Why? CC loves to shop, we both enjoy the $2 Ritas, the food is tasty and reasonably priced, and the people we go with are just so much fun; this is life imitating craziness. On this particular trip, Ms. Banana Pants got her “beak in the creek” and ended up on the tables after lunch doing a little “Salsa”. Who says retirees are boring? Does it look like she’s having fun?
On yet another outing to Nuevo Progreso, the “sistas” (Texican for sisters) were on a mission to see who could buy the most bracelets from the many street vendors hawking their wares. Here they proudly display their hard work for the day.
Flea markets are a way of life in the Rio Grande Valley, mostly because they are THE way of life in Mexico. Almost every single town in the RGV has one, and the largest of them all is the 77 Flea Market located a few miles north of Brownsville just west of Hwy 77. Think of an outdoor Wal-Mart, K-mart, and Target combined, and you have the 77 Flea Market. The drive from Weslaco is about 30 minutes, but the line of cars exiting the highway entering the parking lot added another 20-25 minutes to the trip.
Everything from soup to nuts, as my Dad used to say, is for sale at the 77; new and used, some possibly obtained by, shall we say, less than lawful means. This sentiment is widespread by the Winter Texans, but I must say that in my dealings with the natives, I have been impressed by their work ethics and family values.
Our friends, Carl & Carla, and former park mates here at Country Sunshine moved to South Padre Island (SPI) on the first, so Carl could feed his fishing addiction, and we’re glad he did, as we were invited to a fish fry. Upon arrival at SPI, we were informed the special event was to be held at Dirty Al’s, the legendary seafood restaurant on SPI. There were four out of the group that decided to tackle the 40 piece challenge, and much to our misbelief, ate the whole damned thing, complete with fries; that my friends, is some serious eatin’.
In nearby Mercedes, the Texas State championship, Smokin’ on the Rio, was held and attracted 150 teams. The $5 entry fee was a small price to pay for sampling some seriously good “Q”. We left completely stuffed on chicken, sausage, fajitas, ribs and brisket. The smokers used by the competing teams are always interesting and fascinating, and this year was no different; some small, some large, others unique.
So, that's a summation of our February, thanks to Mother Nature, as it is in the high 50’s here today in early March. Thanks for stopping by, and until next time, take care and stay well………….