2020 has been something else, even for a Llama. With very few exceptions, Llama has hung around the hometown. But enough is enough. We found an Airbnb in South Padre Island that accepted Llamas and dogs and in the words of Hawaii 5-O, “Book it Dan-O”.
Llama’s travelling companions planned out the trip and packed the car the night before. Not only was there Karol and Michael, but Kent and Ottr were along for the trip as well. Everyone was limited to one bag and backpack. Ottr had his crate and his bag as well. Adding in a cooler and food, pillows, and other random stuff, the car was pretty packed but Karol and Kent are efficient packers and there even seemed to be extra room.
Everyone was up before the sun to get started on the 10-11 hour drive to the coast. The reward for leaving in the early morning was a magnificent sunrise. Since we were heading south and east, it was beautiful. Couldn’t complain.
Except for gasoline and fuel stops, there wasn’t much diversion for most of the trip. Llama did hop up on the dashboard to watch the downtown San Antonio skyline to go by. The San Antonio Riverwalk is a wonderful place to visit – food, culture, history. One of Llama’s favorites. To learn more about the fun there visit to https://www.thesanantonioriverwalk.com/.
The drive out of Lubbock is flat, but the drive between San Antonio and SPI is a different kind of flat – coastal plain. Since the drive is 10+ hours, we saw a sunrise and a sunset on the drive.
Llama’s dog friend, Ottr, had never been to the coast before. Llama already knew Ottr wasn’t a water dog, but Ottr did love running the beach without others around.
South Padre Island is filled with kitschy shops basically selling the same things. To attract customers? A giant shark mouth!
One afternoon of the break we participated in an online escape with Go Ahead Tours. This one was all about make traditional Hungarian Christmas mulled wine and candies.
For one dinner we drove across the bridge to Port Isabel. Yelp said 5 ✴ for Joe’s and it did not disappoint. The inside reminded everyone of Ole Tyme Grocery in Lafayette. So good.
The best part of staying in an Airbnb is being able to whip up a yummy brunch for everyone. Kent brought the pancake mix and Llama had the fruit and some syrup. It was a great way to use up what we had at home and save a little money for other things. Plus, probably healthier all the way around.
SPI is located less than an hour from the International Bridge to Nuevo Progreso, Mexico. We love going over for some food, shopping, and semi-annual visit to the pharmacy, Jessica’s Center. We have a couple of necessary drugs that would basically bankrupt us if purchased in the USA. For the cost of 1 month in the USA, we can pick up 6 months plus some extra things. Arturo is the pharmacist who runs Jessica’s Center. He is wonderful and knows his stuff. If you email him a list before you visit, you get 5% off your order. We won’t go anywhere else. https://www.facebook.com/Jessicas-Center-560267757406653/
As you walk across the bridge, there are women below asking for a few coins. We don’t carry cash, so I never have anything to toss down. On this trip, we watched a family carry bags of toys from the US side. Looked like they had been purchased at Family Dollar or Dollar Tree. Not far from the border crossing, they stopped and started tossing down the toys into waiting arms. Puts things into perspective.
Jessica’s Center is wonder and when you drop $500 in medicine, they treat you to margaritas and nachos.
Upon returning to SPI, Llama, Ottr, and Karol took at walk on the beach. They met a few friends along the way. These birds basically ignore humans. Smart birds. They also stopped to admire this sand castle. Someone took a long time to construct this majesty. We were impressed.
It was such a beautiful evening, Llama and companions headed over to the Laguna Madre Trail to enjoy the sunset. https://www.sopadre.com/listing/laguna-madre-nature-trail/1079/ It is so beautiful here when the clouds cooperate like it did tonight. You find the entrance to the left of the Convention Center. A nice boardwalk takes you around the trail. You can see ducks, flamingos, cranes, fish, and crabs.
The last clear morning we heading north up the island to the County Parks. You literally have to crawl up the dunes to get over to the beach. Very few folks were there and Ottr loved running around.
After the beach, Llama and company decided to indulge in a little “junk” shopping. There are many shops on the island and Llama thinks they all basically carry the same stuff.
Before bad weather set in, Llama and friends rang in an early New Year on the deck of a local restaurant. Nice to kick back and relax with your hooves up sometimes.
Across from the restaurant was this spectacular Sand Castle Holiday display. How do these artists do it?
On a cold last day, we visited Sea Turtle, Inc. They rescue and release sea turtles. In 2021, they save thousands of cold shocked turtles when the big freeze hit the Texas coast. https://seaturtleinc.org/
Good night South Padre Island and welcome to 2021.