Saturday, March 7, 2015

Our Final Week in the Rio Grande Valley

We took a drive over to South Padre Island which is a barrier island along the Texas Gulf Coast.  It is only accessible via a causeway from the town of Port Isabel.  It is quite the tourist spot with all the requisite shops and reminded us of Myrtle Beach.

Driving over the causeway with.....

South Padre Island in the distance.

The beach was beautiful and certain areas allowed cars to drive and park on the beach.

There were lots of fishermen the day we were there and this gentlemen had waded out in a wet suit with his fishing pole.  Now that is a dedicated sportsman.

Lucy and Desi enjoyed the water, too.

Never having been in the ocean before, Desi tried to drink the water a few times but quickly learned.

Lucy was a little surprised when Desi went after her toy.  They had a good battle in the water before she finally won.
The Gulf of Mexico has a good deal of oil drilling going on and we saw some big drilling rigs in Port Isobel.

Berthed  in Port Isobel was this amazing oil drilling platform. This one is called the Noble Driller and is a semi-submersible drilling rig receiving regulatory inspection and maintenance before it goes back into the Gulf of Mexico near Louisiana. 

Also parked nearby was this large ship that looked like it had drilling abilities, too. 

Of course while in the Rio Grande Valley we had to take the required trip to Progreso, Mexico. I had planned on getting more pictures of the town but the Captain had the camera and he was busy!

Walking across the bridge over the Rio Grande.

Entering Mexico.  I wonder how many pictures have been taken of this monument :)

The Captain and his buddy, Greg, sitting at a bar ordering margaritas (hence the lack of pictures). 

There was even some Mexican music being played.

After much shopping, and a several more jewelry purchases :) we had a late lunch in a local cafe.  And it was 'Happy Hour' so the margaritas were two for the price of one.  Quite a bargain!!!

Cinderella Dog Rescue, where we got Desi, holds several charity events to help support the organization.  This one was in our RV park.

Many people showed up, hot dogs, chips, and a beverage were sold, there was a pet parade,  prizes were raffled, and some of the dogs from Cinderella were present looking for their 'forever home'.

We also visited La Lomita Chapel (The Little Hill Mission) which was built on this land donated in 1767 from a Spanish grant.  The city of Mission, TX, was named for this significant landmark.

Down the road we also found Juan Diego Academy. The original school buildings were the site of St. Joseph and St. Peter Seminary.
The ruins of the seminary are still present on the campus.
This is the closest we could get to the ruins which is the entrance to the private Catholic high school built in 2011.  One thing we did notice in the Mission and McAllen areas is that all the schools (public and private) have locked gates. 

Mission, Texas is the first place we have ever stayed for a month in our RV and we had a really good time.  The weather was nice for the most part and we were able to get out and do things.  Right next door to our RV park is the Bentsen Palm Rio Grande Valley State Park which is mainly a bird sanctuary although there are biking trails available.

One of many bikes rides we took.  We followed a dirt road in the state park and wound up by the Rio Grande again.  Sure is a pretty area.

Got some pictures of birds but they were moving so fast most of them were too blurry to show. Too bad because some of them were very colorful.

Wild flowers were already in bloom.

The Border Patrol was every present...

even in the parks.

We walked down to the palapa owned by the company where we stayed

and let the pups swim in the Rio Grande.

When they aren't swimming or going on walks they play on the floor of the rig.   

Glad to see they are bonding.

That's it for the Rio Grande Valley.  As I am finishing this blog we are sitting in San Antonio, Texas, where we arrived several days ago.  The temperature is around 40 degrees with 20 mph winds but the sun is shining.  Today we made a big pot of chili to ward off the cool weather!  The Captain is recuperating from his accident.......oh, I didn't mention that, did I?  The morning we were leaving Mission we had a little trouble getting one of the toppers on one of our slides to close properly. The Captain got out the portable step ladder and climbed up to check it while I stayed in the rig to press the required button.  Soft soil, a ladder leg not on solid ground, and the Captain on top of the ladder created a large crash as he fell to the ground.  He is okay but on the sore side with scratches and gouges here and there, tender ribs, and some nice bruises on his chest.  But he is recuperating each day and soon he will be able to turn his head to the right without too much pain.  Peace!

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