After seeing the kids off at the Harlingen Airport for their one-hour flight back to Houston, we spent our last evening watching the sun set on the beautiful thunderheads just offshore at Padre Island. I have always enjoyed watching these majestic clouds in their billowing form that changes from brilliant white to gold to orange as the sun sets. As a pilot, however, I can appreciate their treachery, in that the outward beauty of their form belies the violence that awaits within for the hapless aviator who would enter these cells. I'm glad I always had weather radar on the aircraft I flew during my career. It must have been pretty exciting for pilots before that invention came along.
Earlier in the day, we enjoyed a lunch of fresh seafood at Pier 19, a local island restaurant built on a pier jutting out into the causeway and providing a nice view of the water and boat traffic nearby. The food here was good, by the way. I wouldn't say it served the best seafood we had, but it is definitely worth a visit.
The next morning, we pointed Phannie northward toward Fort Worth, with en route stops at Corpus Christi and Spring (Houston) over the next few days. As luck would have it, tropical storm Bill had made landfall near Houston, and we wondered if we would have bad weather to deal with driving from Padre to Corpus. We kept an eye on the weather radar, using my favorite (but pricey) iPad app, RadarScope--which I highly recommend, by the way. Fortunately, tropical storm Bill's rain bands were concentrated north and east of the eye of the storm, leaving the drive from Padre to Corpus dry but increasingly windy as we got closer to the center of the rotation north of Corpus.
|Corpus Christi Bay View of Downtown|
While we were intending to spend only one night in Corpus, it turned into two. Heavy rains that had been lurking just offshore in Corpus Christi Bay finally moved onshore on departure morning, and the radar showed our route up U. S. 59 covered up with yellow and orange returns. Phannie would not be getting her feet wet this day, and Sandy decided to use the layover for the most productive thing she could think of--shopping! She offered some justification for this outing by announcing her assessment that the grandsons may not have more clothes than they can wear, so that would need to be corrected immediately!
Now in the 39 years we have been together, I have learned a few things. One of them is to avoid questioning Sandy's logic when it comes to any mission on behalf of the grandkids. To reap at least some appreciation reward for what was likely to be an expensive adventure, I smiled sweetly, found the car keys and offered to drive her to the mall. What do guys know about kids' clothes anyway? Why, if it were left up to Tyler and me, the boys would probably be naked before we figured out some clothes were needed.
Fortunately, I still had enough money left at the end of the day to buy dinner, this time at this place:
Now Chinese buffet restaurants can be a mixed bag, as you probably know. We haven't found very many that are worthy of note, but this one is. It had one of the largest selections of food we have ever seen, and they all appeared to be fresh--a problem in many other places we've tried. Worth a visit, in my view.
We're hoping for relatively dry travel toward Houston, as we wind up our weather delay here in Corpus Christi.
Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; please forgive me if I do not appreciate it enough each day.