March 1 Padre Island

Goodness, I just looked at the Web site to see when I wrote last, and it was over a month ago. Guess it's time. We left Houston on Feb. 10 and headed straight for Padre Island with a short detour up to Austin to return the floor polisher to Richard & Bev. We were ready to be beach bums again and so we have been ever since. Our lives are not very exciting here on the beach, but we do enjoy it and both feel very relaxed and happy.

Saying Goodbye: Riley, Margie, Mom & Aubrey, February 10
We take fairly long walks on the beach a couple of times a day and and do our desultory bird watching at those times. Our camera is not good enough to take good pictures of birds--no matter how close we get, it's not close enough. We took a couple of lousy pictures of a great blue heron and then he took off right in front of us--not too bad a picture. Usually though we don't even have the camera with us. The other two bird sightings that we thought worthy of mental pictures were a group of royal terns, each one sitting on a separate piling (fence post?) facing out to sea, and flocks of migratory brown pelicans in single file returning north after wintering in Mexico. Very impressive!

Riley and RV on Padre Island beach

Great Blue Heron in flight

There is a gas well several miles south of us and inland from the beach. The company that owns it is working on the road from the beach to the well and as a result there are huge trucks and heavy equipment going up and down the beach at least twice a day. This results in some fairly major ruts that are at the least inconvenient; at worst, vehicles get stuck in them. Evidently, the government has never owned the mineral rights to this island--too expensive, as it has long been know to be a gas-producing area--so it can't stop the drilling. There are also several off-shore platforms and evidently lots of undersea pipeline. Maybe the reason we never see any shells on this beach.

Last year the beach was covered with the beautiful but dangerous blue Portuguese Man-of-War (even dead they can still sting you), but this year we have seen only one, along with a few of the plainer cabbage-head jelly fish. Another difference this year is that we have had lots of rain. The good weather days are beautiful but two rainy days in a row and this RV starts getting smaller! We've gone into town (Corpus Christi) to go to the movies twice: "Hitch" and "Man of the House." Both funny and a good way to pass part of a rainy afternoon. We also bought a lot of $5 DVDs at Wal-Mart, many of which we had not seen. Most turned out okay though we did get a couple of stinkers--most notably a movie called "Hope Springs" with a good cast that was mostly wasted on a bad plot. One notably good one was "The Whole Wide World," starring Vincent D'Onofrio and Renee Zellweger, about 2 years in the life of Robert E. Howard, the writer of the Conan novels. D'Onofrio and Zellweger were both outstanding--a gem of a movie and neither of us had ever heard of it.

One particularly bad weather day, we decided it was time to watch all 3 of "The Lord of the Rings" series, back-to-back; 9 hours of movie watching. I, of course, worked on the quilt while watching and Riley did some computing. But even to think of doing such a thing shows how desperate we were for entertainment. We finally left the beach for 2 days, running errands in town and staying at an RV park where we had cable and watched the Academy Awards. I thought that Clint Eastwood should finally have gotten the acting nod, but I guess what with his winning both best director and best movie, the Academy thought that was enough.

Speaking of quilting, I have finished the top for Justin's quilt and am working on girls & fans for Alyssa's top. See "Quilts in Progress." When I finish it, I'll have to find a place where I can lay out the backing, batting and top to pin the three parts together for quilting. There sure isn't room here in the RV.

We are now back on the beach and the weather is beautiful, though it is supposed to rain again tomorrow. We are planning to go into town then and visit the State Aquarium. We will probably leave the first of next week and head down to the Rio Grande valley of south Texas for a while.

Love to all,
Margie & Riley

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