A Quick Trip to Nuevo Progreso

April 27th, 2011

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As has been our practice, we head to Nuevo Progreso, MX  every week or two to shop and have lunch.

Today, our lunch stop was Garcia’s Restaurant, located on the second floor above the Canada Store, a large shopping chain in Mexico.

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The Canada Store has a large offering of gifts and trinkets.

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Garcia’s Restaurant is a very nice, upscale restaurant that is only open in the winter and spring.  As you can see by the lunchtime crowd, or lack of it, why they don’t stay open in the summer when all the snowbirds have headed back north.

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The food is outstanding and they offer some of the best flan for dessert that  we have had.

Bay Fishing, A Three Hour Adventure.

April 22nd, 2011

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Here’s a fun afternoon.  Trying to stay clear of Spring Breakers, a group of us from our park headed off on a group fishing expedition.

Located on the mainland side of the bridge between Port Isabel and South Padre Island, we met at the Dolphin Docks.

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It is located across the street from the Port Isabel Lighthouse, which was built in 1852.

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At 2:00 PM we boarded our boat for a three hour tour.  Thankfully the boat wasn’t the SS Minnow.

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We headed out and went under the bridge and moved north in the bay.  The bridge is undergoing maintenance and upgrading to a sturdier structure.  A few years ago, a barge hit the bridge and two center sections of the span dropped into the bay.  Ferries were placed into service while the bridge was repaired.

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We had a hazy view of South Padre Island. They are hard to see, but there are the constant planes overhead toting signs for the beach-goers.

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Finally we anchored and began fishing with an endless supply of shrimp for bait.   We lined the rail and waited for the ferocious bites to ensue.

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Unfortunately for us, no bites.

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Others were luckier.  No huge fish, but one lady caught a stingray that put up quite a fight.    Most of the fish caught were fairly small, but some people might have made a meal of them.

As a group we were able to negotiate a price of $8.00 a piece instead of the normal $20.00.

After we were safely back in port, we headed to the island to have dinner at Daddy’s, one of our favorite restaurant.

The Birds Are Coming!!!!

March 20th, 2011

This time of year we feel that we may have been transported into an Alfred Hitchcock flick.  Well,  maybe not that bad.

We seem to be overwhelmed by grackles of various types.  It isn’t really as bad as it looks.  They seem to stay on the power lines and don’t interfere with much else.  During the day, they spend their time in the newly planted fields picking seeds.  It’s a mystery where they are during the rest of the year.

We used to see flocks of these birds at the San Antonio River Walk, but they seem to have been reduced by some means or another.

Click on the picture below to see an interesting video of their behavior and the incredible noise that they make. The format is for Real Player.  If you need that viewer, go to http://www.real.com/realplayer.

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Sour Grapes

February 10th, 2011

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It may seem like sour grapes to everyone that has suffered a miserable winter so far.  But we, in extreme South Texas, have been really blessed with some of the best weather in the country this winter with high temperatures in the mid 70’s to upper 80’s until just recently.

That is until the past two weeks.  Here’s where the sour grapes come in.  In the past 10 days, we’ve had three nights where the temperature actually dropped below freezing.  One night we actually hit 26 degrees.  Most of the winters here only drop below freezing one or 2 times. and for a short period of time during the night.

We have resorted to covering our hibiscus and other tender plants. When you drive in all the neighborhoods everyone has covered all their tropical plants. (Click on picture to enlarge.)

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What we call extreme temperatures in this area are truly a problem for many of the local residents in South Texas and Northern Mexico.  Many of the residents homes aren’t equipped with proper heating and there isn’t a wide abundance of winter clothing.  One of the main industries is farming such as all the oranges and grapefruit, vegetables you eat and sugar cane  Thankfully, these cold snaps don’t last too long.  If South Texas has a cold winter (or a few days below freezing) you, the readers, pay for it by higher prices at the grocery stores.

It looks like we’ll be back in the 70’s and 80’s within the next couple of days.  We now hope to see a lot more crops being planted and growing.

2010 Recap

January 8th, 2011

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Personally, we are happy to see the end of 2010.  There were excellent adventures and some mis-adventures.

We had great travel experiences in the Dallas area; Ruidoso and Santa Fe, NM area; the beautiful Davis Mountains of Texas; very educating visits to Boston; side trips to Maine and New Hampshire, and a family reunion in Connecticut.  The Connecticut visit was to celebrate Rick’s mother’s 90th birthday.

On the downside, in January, Rick had a stent placed in one his arteries that showed a 99.5% blockage.  All went well.  In August, Rick had a colonoscopy and we discovered colon cancer.  Removal of half of the large intestine ensued.   Chemo therapy began in October and will continue until April 2011.  During the testing for the cancer, two masses were found in his left lung.  We assumed that these were either related to the colon cancer or a new primary lung cancer, which would be really bad news.  We were unable to probe these masses until December when the cardiologist allowed temporary stoppage of his Plavix.

In addition to these downers, Rick lost his mother in November.  She was a wonderful woman and we will miss her terribly.

We are now confident that 2011 will be better because we just returned from the doctor where he told us that the lung nodules were not cancer.  Yeah!!  Samples were sent to a micro-biologist to examine and grow cultures to figure out what the lumps are.  Probably some fungus or some kind of bacteria.  We’ll know more in about a month.  With no transfer of the colon cancer to the liver, we’re looking forward to a clean bill of health by April, upon completion of the chemo.

We generally don’t comment on health issues because it can get boring to most readers.  You can tell by the statistics below that obviously most readers are not personal acquaintances.

Readership of our blog continues to increase.  We promise a more interesting entries for 2011.  Our 2010 statistics were quite impressive. We had an 85% increase over 2009.  Visitors went from 200,126 to 370,865.

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Geography of the visitors was all over the globe.  You can click on the chart below to enlarge.

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Of the 93 countries reported, 82% were from the US, followed by Mexico and then Canada.

Our most visited articles remain those from Mexico and life there.

We look forward to continuing our travels this year with another trip toward Florida and the east coast and perhaps northern California and the northwest.

Thank you all for visiting.  Don’t feel shy about visiting our sponsor links on the right side of the blog.