Thursday, January 9, 2014


As scheduled, we hit the road south from New Braunfels come Monday morning -ish. It was closer to lunch by the time it happened. We spent the morning getting ready and spending a few last minutes with Pastor Jerry and his wife Barbara.

Although we were planning on heading to Luling City Market for the BBQ and then over to Victoria - we scrapped that idea. It was a very cold day and those destinations really took us off coarse. 

Instead it was pretty much straight south after Seguin. We weren't sure how far we would get. By 4:30 pm we were sailing past Kingsville. We could have stopped but being so cold that was a little long to be parked. We continued on all the way to Harlingen, getting in around 7:00pm. In the dark.

Traveling at night is not one of our favourite things but we do do it now and then. The HD was home for the night.

Tuesday morning didn't go exactly as planned. We hit the Walmart for an oil change and some things we needed for Mexico - like coffee. Then over to the DFW Vapor store for some new e-cig supplies for Derek - then we headed out. We stopped once again at HD because I had forgotten to get a map of South Padre Island on the iPad. While Derek was out of the van he noticed that we were leaking gas.


We headed back to Walmart who then sent us on to Pep Boys. Long story short - we needed a new fuel pump. Darn. Good news is that they did the job right away. Bad news - we may have been hosed or not - I'm not sure. The cost was $238 - $105 for a half hour job and $106 for the pump - plus taxes. Had to be done - right?! 

Finally - 2:30 pm - on our way to South Padre Island. 

The landscape over to South Padre Island is similar to the trip down to the south - expansive.

Driving through Port Isabel.

Entering onto the causeway. Watch out for pelicans!

Pretty neat - Cassia was impressed.

We're here - South Padre Island. Derek has never been. Me? Almost 20 years ago.

After driving down the strip we decided to pull into Beach Access #3. Our date wasn't until 5:00 pm so we had a few hours.

A nice big raised and gravel parking lot for us. We were going to have a late lunch but first…...

The beach! We haven't been on a beach since our last beach day in Mexico back in late February. The first thing we saw was this group of pelicans coming toward us.

A grey day but fairly warm compared to the cool weather most of us have been having.

It was refreshing, especially with the mist.

Looking right ……

and left. 
A very quiet part of the beach. I would imagine that it is like this most days during the winter. Crazy crowded in the summer I am sure.

"The sea was angry that day, my friends." My most favourite Seinfeld episode
Not really angry but that's what I thought of. 

Ahhhh - the ocean. We sure have missed you. 

Cassia was happier to be on the beach then she looks here. But she was a bit back and forth - she loved the shells and ability to run but when she got sand on her hands and wet she wasn't as thrilled. 

A funny shot. I took it just as she was losing her footing. She didn't go down though - caught herself.

What can I say - she was fun to photograph!

But there were other things on the beach - lots of jelly fish. Beautiful - right?!

Us and the jelly fish.

This shot was supposed to be of Rufus running toward us really fast.

Got it! Just in time - he moves fast.

It was quite the walk but we were all spent after an hour or so. Back to the van.

Me and my gal - windswept hair and all!

Now, you weren't thinking that we just came here for the beach - did you?

We go where the is beer - craft beer that is. True of course - but there was another reason as well.

It gave us a chance to visit with Bear8Photo. We've been online friends with him for well over a year now. Time to meet in person. This is the parking lot of Padre Island Brewing Company. I wrote ahead and asked if we could boondock in their parking lot for the night.

Derek with Jeremy of Bear8Photo. So fun to finally meet him. Jeremy is a full timing RV photographer making his way around the USA. You can check out his great work and order prints on his website Bear8Photo - he is also on Facebook. One of the great things about his photos - other than the fact that they are amazing is that you get to see snapshots of the USA.

 Jeremy's traveling companion Ink. We almost felt like we knew Ink because he shows up in many of Jeremy's shots. Great dog.

We moved our visit into the Brewery. $16.50 for a filled Growler - now that is more like it.

As I went up to take a picture of the beer brewing equipment, Mark - one of the Owners invited me to take a closer look - behind the bar.

Always nice to see behind the scenes.

Derek, Jeremy and Cassia must have been jealous because it wasn't long before they joined me. They continued on for the full tour. Padre Island Brewing Company has been in existence since 1994 - the second oldest Texas craft brewery beside Fredricksburg.  Who knew?!

Of course, it didn't take us long to order our flight. Let's give this beer a try! 

From left to right: Speckled Trout Stout, Tidal Wave Wheat, SPI Blonde Ale, Padre Island Pale Ale, and the Winter Ale. 

What we thought? We can honestly say we liked them all - of course the stout did move ahead a little. Low hops and carbonation - just right.

The least favourite? We laughed and thought that this was a funny picture. Not really fans of the Blonde Ale because it was too light - we like some personality with our beer.

Derek and Jeremy started of with some oysters. Since we all liked the stout we shared a pitcher.

Jeremy's burger - looked pretty good.

Because we'd had a late lunch the three of us shared the battered shrimp, fish and oyster basket with fries and coleslaw. 

Great craft beer and food! 

So, we had a great night. Cassia and I headed back to the van leaving those two to continue drinking beer and visiting. A late night for those two. Say no more.

The next morning we had a chance to visit some more with Owner Mark. 
Thanks for the hospitality Mark - it sure was fun. You sure have some mighty fine craft beer there at PIBC. We'll spread the word!

That was Tuesday. Following a late start on Wednesday we went back to the beach for a few more walks and to hang out for the day. 

Based on our plan we should have been making our way over to McAllen on Wednesday in preparation for our Mexico border crossing Thursday morning.

But that was not to be. Come Thursday morning (this morning) we were still in Port Isabel with all of the mist and rain - but it was warm. 

Now, Thursday night - we are close to Mexico but we are not in it! 

Nor are we going to be this year.

Plans have changed. Shocked? Probably not.

We are now calling this - the Winter of Indecisiveness. It is getting embarrassing isn't it?

Well, this is how we roll, it seems. 

And roll we have - west.

More about that - although without a new PLAN outline - next post.

Slow connections - again - strange for a Lowe's. All for me tonight.

It's January 9th today - Derek's 49th Birthday!


It's been a crazy day - at least we won't forget it and will have good stories to tell in the future.


If you are looking for more of Rantin' n Raven we are not hard to find out there in the social media world. We are on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest. See you there!


  1. Go with the wind guys, I love your freedom. Change course at will and be happy wherever you go. What a wonderful post today, enjoy the trip!

    1. Ha! Thanks for putting a positive spin on it Peter! Let's see what fun we can find out west.

  2. MMMM... your seafood plate looks divine!

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  4. Happy Birthday Derek!
    We visited the beaches there a few years ago, but did find it windy, and the weather much like what you had.
    No Mexico, not surprised, just go with the flow, our plans are changing almost on a daily basis.
    I know you will have fun no matter where you go, enjoy.

  5. Enjoyed all the pictures...I bet Rufus loved running on the beach.....he looked so happy....
    Safe travels as you head out for another plan.

    1. Nice to hear from you Kelly. Boy Derek and I sure know why you guys come to the SW each winter!

  6. Nice to see Padre Island again. We took a group of teenagers from church there years ago. (about 15 I think). It was a fun time. Glad Cassie liked that bridge, it scared me!
    Safe travels where ever it is that you area going . . . . remember curiosity killed the cat.

    1. It's a pretty neat place still. It has grown but not too much - still lots of open space. Maybe you'll get there again - hope so. Yup - it did, didn't it!

  7. Hi Guys !! Happy Birthday Derek !! Teresa, you made me laugh out loud with your Seinfeld quote !! I also thought Seinfeld was the best show ever, and the second George spoke those words, they have stuck with me forever!! I say that nearly every time I see rough water ... LOL. I am thrilled that you "get it" as well. Too funny. Our Granddaughter made her appearance Jan 6th ( Emma Faith ) otherwise, we would have been in Mercedes Texas for January!!

    1. Yaaaaa - the return of TnT!!! Thanks for writing! So happy there was someone else out there that got that, Trent. Congratulations on your new grandchild - how nice to have a baby around again. Beautiful name!

  8. Beautiful !! Thanks for sharing!


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