Chris and I had a good night’s sleep, and found the complimentary breakfast at our hotel to be quite decent. We made our plan for the day, and wasted no time in packing up the car and heading down the road.
First on our agenda was to check out some access points to the Gulf of Mexico. I had never seen the ocean, and although it was way too cold to dip our feet in, we wanted to at least stand in front for a picture.
We found that accessing the beach isn’t easy, and there are no entrances with big signs and arrows welcoming you there. Maybe if you were staying in one of those beach-front condos or hotels, you might have prime access to such. We did find a couple of vaguely-marked roads that would get us to the water, however.
We tried our hand at a selfie, however if the picture had snapped just a half-second later, the looks on our faces would have been of “surprise!” A big wave crept up on us and soaked our shoes!!
We went to a second beach access, and found nothing different there. But our third try proved to be more scenic. There was a very long pier to walk on for a better view. This spot, however, was considered a state park area, and required you to have a special permit on your vehicle. This didn’t faze Chris any, but I was less than comfortable with taking a chance.
Besides one other couple, we were the only ones there. We started walking out on the pier, when I noticed the big waves splashing further down. I told Chris I was going to be vain today and not walk out there, for I had just spent a good 30 minutes curling my hair, and I wasn’t about to undo my do!
He was fine with that, and went on by himself, while I stayed back and snapped pictures.
In the picture above, Chris looks close, but I zoomed in a good bit on the shot. It was just seconds after I snapped this picture, that I saw both arms and legs go up, and Chris went down. He literally disappeared from my sight.
This was especially alarming to me, because not only was the water very rough, but Chris cannot swim! So I immediately I took off on a run, hoping to see him surface. To my great relief, he was still on the pier, and he slowly stood, and started walking back to me.
Ironically, the birds started swooping down around him, likely thinking he was their next meal. In the picture above, you can see one flying in front of him.
Apparently the pier slopes down at the end, and the walkway is covered in moss, which can be very slick. When he slipped, he fell at the low spot, just where I couldn’t see him. His clothes, jacket, and shoes were all covered in water, and green moss, all the way down to his skivvies. All he wanted to do was to change clothes.
Being in a “permit only” area, I just wanted to get out of there. So the first place we came to that looked vacant, we made a turn and entered. It looked to be a new housing development that had not been built upon yet. There were paved streets, and little green electrical boxes in every yard, but no houses yet. He chose to drive to the farthest point away from the entrance, so not to get caught changing clothes.
As we were driving back there, a coyote came running up beside our car, almost like he was racing us. Weird, right? You just can’t make this stuff up! So Chris sped up a little, and the coyote ran with us for a couple of blocks, until changing direction into the tall grass. We then found a secluded spot, turned the car around, and Chris went behind to change clothes.
When we tried to leave, we found the entrance was blocked off by a pickup. A guy walked up to our car, and asked, “What were y’all doin back there?” Chris explained about slipping on the pier, his soaked clothes, and driving back there to change. The guy asked if we saw the “No Trespassing” sign when we came in. We told him we had not. Then with raised eyebrows, he told us how he tried to catch up with us, but we sped up and lost him?! Oh dear, that was when we were chasing the coyote, I suppose!
Just as Chris explains his way through that one, a Texas Constable pulls up. First, he questioned Chris, then he questioned me separately. And when I encouraged him to look at the wet, mossy clothes in the back of our car, he quite willingly obliged. Chris even held up his soaking wet underwear to explain just how desperate to change clothes he really was. The constable walked past my window stating, “Well, since he’s in charge of this area, it’s up to him if he wants to prosecute for criminal trespassing of government property!”
With a gasp, and eyes as big as saucers, I’m sure, I looked over at Chris and said, “Are we seriously in trouble?” Although he didn’t know, he had to admit it wasn’t looking good at the moment. The first guy explained the issues they’d had with people using the property to dump items, and theft of copper wire from the electrical boxes. They found no evidence of either, of course, and thankfully we were believed to be innocent, but not before running a check on our vehicle plates and a background check on each of us personally.
With a firm suggestion to, “Read your signs next time,” we were let go. It was frightening to think we could have been arrested, and even worse when I thought how it would have affected my nursing license; the state licensing board very much frowns on criminal records.
Although we just wanted to get out of Corpus Christi after that ordeal, Chris had really looked forward to touring the USS Lexington, so we headed that way next.
The USS Lexington, CV-16, is a World War II-vintage Essex Class aircraft carrier. Commissioned in 1943, this vessel joined the Fifth Fleet at Pearl Harbor. She was nicknamed, “The Blue Ghost,” because although the Japanese reported she sunk no less than four times, she returned to fight again and again. The nickname is said to be a tribute to the ship and those who served aboard her. In 1991, the Lexington was decommissioned, and in 1992, became a naval aviation museum.
Chris really enjoyed exploring every nook and cranny during our self-guided tour, all 4-1/2 hours of it! It is impressive when you imagine what life would have been like on one of those ships, especially for weeks or months at a time! I did enjoy much of it, especially walking around the flight deck and learning how things worked. I’m sure Chris could have hung out there all day… but this girl had her fill by the time we toured every deck, and every accessible room within it.
Chris did have to admit his back was hurting, and it was a bit swollen where he’d fallen on it. After a quick stop at a Wal-Mart store for ibuprofen, we started heading north. It was New Year’s Eve, and not only did we not have special plans, but we also had not secured a place to stay.
I searched online, and managed to find a room in Schertz, TX at a Hampton Inn for only $45, using 8,000 of our Hilton Honors points. I have to admit, signing up for those was a great idea; it has saved us a fair amount on this trip alone! If only our GPS would have worked correctly, we wouldn’t have driven around an extra 45 minutes searching for the place! Regardless, the room was, by far, the nicest one we’d stayed in so far!
Rethinking our holiday evening, we both decided there had been more than enough excitement earlier in the day. We were satisfied to just grab a nice meal at Chili’s, not more than a few steps from our hotel lobby, and settle in with a free classic of Forrest Gump on the tube.
~Check back for day 5 of “The Second Honeymoon!”