Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Bonus Day

Once the leftovers had been packaged up and the mess cleaned up, Bruce and I were left to ourselves for the rest of this long holiday weekend.  No Black Friday shopping for us!  We are making use of the boat while we still have it.  Off we went mid morning on Friday to Port Aransas.  There were few people at the marina when we arrived.  It was occupied by the "locals".  Our dock specifically was occupied by this nice Great Cormorant couple.

I've never seen them sit still when we approach so I was thrilled to get a look at them.  Once Bruce passed onto the boat I kept inching closer and closer snapping pics.  They looked a little nervous but stayed put.

Finally when I was less than 10 ft away, they took off and I was ready! What a way to start our weekend. 

We had no agenda for the day but had evening plans.  What to do with this whole day alone?  Boat projects of course!  Well, the weather was so beautiful, light winds and warm sunshine... we decided to forego the boat projects in favor of a walk on the beach.  But... the boat had other plans for us.  When Bruce went aboard to drop off our bags, he noticed the bilge pump running but no water coming out.  Long story short, an hour later we were sure that the pump had given out... so the boat got a brand new bilge pump.  Funny how they do that just out of warranty. 

But all was not lost.  We cleaned up that mess then headed for the jetties.  There was still time for a walk out on the rocks.  Here we found more natural beauty in this Snowy Egret.  He was hanging out like us on the rocks enjoying this bonus day.  We went out a bit then found seats to sit and watch the people and the ships passing by.

We left the jetty and walked hand-in-hand along the beach.  The water was cold when I first dipped my toes in... but it was invigorating and before long, I was wading happily along with my love at my side. 

You just never know what you'll find on the beach...  We spotted this little Objet d'Art from way off.  It LOOKED like a turkey... but surely not.  Upon closer inspection we found... well- THIS!  I would have loved to have met these people. We would surely have become friends.

We finished our walk and went back to the boat to rest and get ready for the evening.  We checked in with Ken and Carrie, who were just arriving.  What was the plan?  We got a visit from Bill and the plan took shape.  Their boat for a leftover-swap before leaving for the Third Coast Studio.

Bruce and I had never been, so when Bill suggested we join Ken and Carrie there for the Larry Joe Taylor show with Deryl Dodd, I got busy finding tickets.  The place was small and it took some local know-how to find it... but we did.  I had been left to choose between the Friday night acoustic show and the full band on Saturday night.  I opted for the more intimate acoustic show and I think we were all happy with that.  We arrived early enough to get second row seats, but there isn't a bad seat in this very small venue.  I loved losing myself in the guitar strings and we laughed along all evening as these two entertainers worked off of one another.  It was quite a treat and Bruce and I were both hooked.  We'll be back to this place for sure. 

It was a late night for us... bed at 11 pm.  But we were still up before 6 am on Saturday with only the morning to spend in Port A, we had our coffee and made the best of it.  First on the agenda, a drive about town to find breakfast.  We ate at Beaches Cafe and Bakery.  The biscuits and Gravy, and the giant cinnamon roll were devine.  This place will do well.  Next we took a drive on the beach.  It was another beautiful morning, but we were on borrowed time.  There was a norther' coming our way and the winds were to pipe up after noon. 
Next stop for us... Charlie's Pasture Nature Preserve.  This little known Gem is coming along nicely.

We practically had the place to ourselves, just us and a few birds.  There is a pamphlet you can pick up with all of the birds you might find here listed for marking off when sighted.  I picked one up but am so unknowledgeable about the different species here, I don't know what they are when I see them.  I feel a budding hobby coming on...   

We walked the boardwalk looking for critters.  The only thing we found today were the winged variety...

It was so quiet that you could hear the flocks of ducks flying overhead... not their quacking, but the sound that a hundred wings makes as they beat the air.  There were lots of ducks flying about.  This is a Nature Preserve but the dummies were leaving this safe ground and flying away to where we could hear the sounds of Pop Pop Pop as they came within reach of the hunters out on the flats.
We spent the remainder of our free time walking this place but didn't cover it all.  We'll leave something for the next trip out as there are trails all throughout Charlie's Pasture.  It is so nice to see a city spending some money on this type of facility.  Every time we come here we vow to bring the kids out but it hasn't happened yet.  For now... it will remain ours to share and a good way to spend our Bonus Day!