A Travellerspoint blog

January 2017

Padre Island

27-29 January 2017

rain 47 °F

The Army gave me three weeks of temporary duty in San Antonio so I gave myself a weekend in Padre Island. A baptist church in the area was holding a Surf 'n' Turf half marathon to raise money for a trip to the Dominican Republic so I signed up. My hotel the Best Western on the Island was only a few minutes from the Padre Island National Seashore where the race is held. The weather was terrible, cold and raining but luckily it slowed down a little during the run. It was 99% along the water and I had a blast watching the sea birds try to help me run. The race had a pancake breakfast afterward which I ate in a hurry so I could get a nice hot shower.
After a rest I went to Scuttlebutt's restaurant for lunch and got a soft shell crab sandwich. I was thinking it would look more like a crab cake and less like a crab. I had a hard time eating it with its legs dangling over the side of the bread.
Onwards to the Texas State Aquarium which was relatively uncrowded for a Saturday. I did my best to get some photos of the fish.
This display is an example of a megaladon jaw. It is now extinct but the great white is thought to be a descendant of this animal.
The aquarium also has shows to include a hawk exhibit which somehow featured a little boy feeding a porcupine.
Also a Seriema bird that demonstrates how it kills its prey by smashing the plastic snake on the rock. Hilarious!
Next up was dolphin show which I thoroughly enjoyed before heading back to the Island.
Last but not least for Saturday was dinner at Doc's which is a waterfront restaurant set up for gorgeous sunset viewing. My bacon wrapped shrimp and orange popsicle drink were outstanding.

Sunday dawned much warmer and sunnier than Saturday so I took advantage and did one more run along the beach. I loved watching this seagull eat his breakfast from the shell.
After checking out I went back to North Beach Corpus Christi to check out the USS Lexington. Otherwise known as Lady Lex and the Blue Ghost, she is now a floating museum but was previously an aircraft carrier in WWII. I definitely am not cut out for the Navy because one portion of the tour without a hint of sunlight and I was making a beeline for the upper deck.
One of the photos in the sick call area is a good reminder that some of the older people we see at our military hospitals are not just another elderly patient but potentially a veteran of one of these horrible wars.
Currently there are aircraft on loan to display on the top deck making it much more colorful than usual.
After my tour I couldn't pass up one last meal of seafood and I was glad I took a seat out in the sun at Pier 99. My lunch was rice with peppers, shrimp and fish. It had calamari in also but just like yesterday I had trouble eating them.

Posted by ErinDriver 15:43 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Arizona Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon weekend

13-16 January 2017

The Rock 'n' Roll Arizona run had been on my bucket list for awhile and now that we have friends it seemed a good time to get that checked off. The icing on the cake was the gift of a four day weekend allowing us to get in to Pheonix by lunch on Friday. We celebrated our reunion with Chris and Christina at Los Dos Molinas with some of that good southwestern food I had been missing :)
The restaurant had an interesting clock that I just had to get a picture of with all the hours marked by scorpions.
While we were still in Pheonix we picked up our race packets and converted Christina to the Army side by getting her in an Army go cart :)
Our Best Western was in Tempe so after making it there we camped out for the rest of the night and caught up with each other. By morning and some BW breakfast we set off to find a spot to do a little hike. A lot of places were crowded so we ended up at Popagos Park which had some trails around these interesting rock formations.
I continuously see adds in my travel magazines for Scottsdale and wanted to see what all the hype was about. The group appeased me with a 20 minute drive over and lunch at Grimaldi's!!! The service was pretty poor but the weather was great and the pizza is my favorite on Earth.
We spent some time walking around the streets, checking out shops and ended in Bootslingers. It is a small bar/restaurant that had the NFL playoffs on TV. The bartender gave us a sample of the apple pie moonshine and it was so good I would have bought some if not for the fact that we did carry on only for our flight. By dinnertime we really weren't hungry and Kansas City was playing a game so we had pasta in the room to prep for the run.
Sunday morning was run morning and we used Lift to get to the run via a nice college student. It was a typical Rock n Roll race with bands spaced out along the route but other than that not particularly scenic. By the end we were chilly so went directly back to the hotel to rest and wait for Chris and Christina to finish their mountain bike ride.
Spontaneously and due to absolute hunger we stopped at Chompie's for brunch. It was originally a New York bagel place but now has full meals and they are worth it. First free course are pickles. But then we tried the mac and cheese and latkes with applesauce. This was all before the main course which for me and Christina was a egg sandwich on a bagel.

I very much wanted to see the Cowboys lose to Green Bay in the playoffs and Curt and Chris seemed amendable so we found Devil's Advocate to while away the afternoon drinking beer and watching football. We continued watching football with leftovers at the hotel and said goodbye to our good friends after another incredible weekend.

Posted by ErinDriver 05:16 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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