Sights of South Texas

This has been a tourist week for us. It’s really handy having a local resident to show us around or at least point us in the right direction. LeRoy’s cousin Rodney Sayers took us to Corpus Christi to see the USS Lexington, an aircraft carrier that has been permanently docked and made into a museum. 

That’s  Rodney standing by the cannon with me as we were leaving.When I knew that we were going, I sent a text to Heidi and Tim, since I knew Tim served on a carrier. Heidi texted back “Tell Dad to duck!” and that was definitely a requirement. I can’t imagine how Tim managed, since he’s a couple inches taller at 6’2″!

Remember when I posted a picture of me driving the bus? Well, this one shows me at the wheel of a MUCH larger vehicle. The Lex, like the bus, was actually sitting still at the time the picture was taken.

This area has been a big producer of offshore drilling platforms and still is responsible for repair of some. Can you imagine that they float them back for repair work? On our way to Corpus, Rodney took us past a place where one was in for work. It was small by comparison to some that had been produced there in the heyday of the oil boom.

The cranes they used were mammoth!

On the way home, Rodney took the scenic route across the causeway and Padre Island and we road the ferry back across the quarter mile or so of the waterway. I don’t remember riding a ferry since I was a little girl, in Washington state, I think. Now I’m not saying that was a long time ago, but I think I was going on 7 or 8 that summer.

Rockport has several interesting stops, so we checked out a few. Their aquarium is very small, but the price was right. It was free! Seahorses are so cute. I’d never seen real ones.Today we saw the Texas Maritime Museum and the Fulton Mansion. The museum covered not only nautical history but offshore drilling as well. It was very interesting. One part of the building was made to look like a lighthouse and we went outside on the open pathway around it to look at the bay. It was clear enough today that we could see the barrier island out a ways. Later in the day, we even dipped our feet in the water along the free beach and met a fulltime couple who are headed back to Kansas City, MO for graduations.

The Fulton Mansion is a beautiful, stately old home that belongs to the state and has been restored to much of its former glory. It has quite a history, having served as a restaurant at one time and a trailer park, with 40 some trailers on what are now the lawns and garden.

There are three floors and a basement. It can’t be more than a couple hundred yards to the waterfront, so you can imagine that the basement was ill-advised. Every time the tide came in, the water table would rise into the basement! It did hold the kitchen, though, and the cisterns which provided running water, hot and cold, long before this part of Texas had ever heard of such a thing. The third floor is used for their offices and one of the second floor bedrooms is now the gift shop. The walls and floor in that room have mostly been left in the deteriorated condition in which the state bought it because it allows the construction of the building to show. The walls are autographed by anyone who had an extra quarter to spend after dinner when it was still a restaurant. It was originally built for $10,000, I think, and the state spent $1.6 million on just the renovation!

We will be leaving sometime tomorrow if the wind isn’t too ferocious. Today has been calmer than the last few, so maybe we can get a headstart before the wind kicks up.

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