Friday, February 8, 2008

Saturday

I couldn't think of a title for this one, so figured "Saturday" was good enough. We're liking this place better and better. It was warm yesterday, in the low 70's, but the wind was warm. It smells like the beach here. It gets pretty chilly toward sunset and at night, but otherwise, it's been very pleasant. There is a constant breeze, but nice. We went over to the pool yesterday. There is one lane roped off for lap swimming with a lane line on the bottom of the pool. It's always nice having the line for lap-swimming, or it's very difficult to tell when you reach the wall. There were some people there when we arrived and they were doing aqua jogging in the lap lane. I just waited for them to finish. The water isn't terribly warm, but I got in the hot tub until I was really warm, then got in the pool. It made the pool feel refreshingly cool. I swam a little, but I didn't want to get TOO carried away. It might seem too much like work.

Aside from that, George and Krissy got walked yesterday. We have trailers across from us and to either side, but behind us are dunes with beach grass growing over them. We have a small patch of grass to call our own. We've started picking up George and taking him behind the trailer so that he can't see people and dogs walking by. There are also a couple of short palm trees and some oleander bushes for him to hide under. He's kind of getting the hang of walking here and he snuffled around in the beach grass yesterday. He still hates the harness and hides under the chairs when we offer it to him. Sometimes the desire to go out gets to be too much for him though, and so he submits to the harness. We sat in the sun yesterday morning, and then he got too warm and so moved into the shade of the oleander bush. All-in-all, we were probably out about 45 minutes which is a new record for George. Krissy isn't bothered by all of the things George is, and so she goes out walking in the morning and the evening (and she's quite insistent about that).

Today we may make a trek into Corpus Christi for groceries and cat food. When we drove into Port A, we crossed the bay, which looked like a mud flat to me. Nevertheless, there is a big bridge (a bridge to you and me), and it's called a "causeway" in Texas. This particular one is named for President John F. Kennedy on the map, and everyone calls it the "Kennedy Causeway," but when you approach it the sign says something else. Go figure. But to get back to what I was saying, we'll cross the causeway and then we'll be in Corpus Christi where all of the "big box" stores have lined up on either side of the road in their quest for the first crack at customers coming into the city from Port A and Padre Island.

We drove into the little town of Port A day a couple of days ago. There isn't much there but a bunch of ramshackle stores that would most assuredly blow away if a hurricane struck this area. Certainly the larger businesses are set up for a big blow. Most of the larger buildings are built of concrete. Mike was discussing the engineering of these structures. Some are wedge shaped with the point of the wedge facing away from the ocean. Some are just the opposite with the wedge facing into the ocean. Clearly, the latter is better for taking on a big wind. The structures on the island (with the exception of the little town) are few and far between. Since the whole place was leveled less than a century ago, I suppose it has taken businesses a very long time to decide to rebuild out here on the island. Those that have are either built to last, or built cheaply so that they can rebuild just as cheaply. It has us thinking a lot about hurricanes out here. I went through a hurricane when I was six, and what I remember most was the absolute deafening and relentless roar of the wind.

I'm going to try to get you some pictures of the oil rigs just off shore. They are out a long way--maybe a mile? I'm not very good with distances. We can see them, but the day we pulled in it was rather hazy and all but the largest of them was obscured. When we walked out on the beach a couple of days ago it was very clear and we were amazed at just how many structures are standing out there. A dozen or more, I'm guessing. There is also a shipping lane through the bay and into Corpus Christi and so there were a lot of ships out there as well. Mike counted nine. We weren't sure if they were anchored or moving. It's kind of cloudy today, although it is warm, and so if it's clear on the beach, I will take some pictures.

The beach itself is very nice. When we pulled in it was at high tide, and only about 12 feet of beach were above the water line. Then when we walked a couple of days ago, the tide was out revealing a nice wide beach. There are an impressive number of perfect scallop shells to be picked up; and there are also an impressive number of Portuguese Man of War jellyfish lying on the beach. I recognize them from when I lived in Hawaii where they also line the beach at Kaneohe Bay (the Marine Corps base).

I guess that's all I have for now. I'll try to get some pictures between now and the next time I write.