Saturday, April 27, 2013

Saturday, a "trip" with Gypsy

Well, we survived our first night on the main drive into the KOA and to Pier 19 and the Osprey Fishing Vessel and a restaurant. . . and we didn't hear a thing, fortunately.  We got up and started trying to decide what we wanted to do for the day.  I had 4 things I want to do down here.  One of them is just if we happen to find a flea market I want to go, looking for "hand drills" (at least I think they're called hand drills).  They have a metal tubular handle with one or both ends having a "chuck" to put small drill bits in and tighten up to hold them in place.  The drill then is hand turned and works great for enlarging cord holes in Polymer Clay Pendants.  At the Carol Simmons workshop (see previous post) she had the main 4 sizes of drill bits permanently inserted in the handles so she didn't have to be constantly taking them in and out as she changed sizes.  I thought that was a great idea, but don't want to put a lot of money into it and at home (Illinois) they often have large "tool" areas with small hand tools of all kinds at the flea markets.  I thought while we were out if we happened to find a flea market, we'd look for some of the hand drills.  We saw that there was a flea market in Brownsville (about 20 minutes from South Padre Island) on the weekend.  In fact there were 2, but one was easier to get to.

We also needed to get Diesel Fuel for the truck and some groceries (we plan to cook most of our own meals here in South Padre Island (SPI) as it's called here).  There is also a Golden Corral in Brownsville (there are several within an hour).  So we decided we'd "go to town" today.  We figured the beach might be crowded today with it being the weekend, and that's the only other thing we had planned for today.  So we took off back across the bridge through Port Isabel (which is on the land side of the bridge to SPI).  As we drove over there we passed what looks like a fun time.
A Pirate restaurant and "show" thing.  Mr. C seems to want to do it.  We would for sure if we had the grands with us, but just for us, I'm not so sure.  We'll see, though.

So we drove, following Gypsy's directions and got to Brownsville, after passing huge shrimp places with boats etc., these two pictures below that we don't have a clue what they were, something somebody was building with lots of cranes etc.  There were lots of "tidal flats" for want of a better term with lots of birds of all kinds.  We even saw a Spoonbill, but didn't get a chance to stop and take his picture.

  Gypsy got us to the flea market just fine (with one turn around, as we are having trouble not getting into the far left turn lane to make a turn from one of the frontage roads, when that far left lane is a U turn only lane to go back the other direction).  But we managed and got to the flea market.  First surprise was no fee for parking.  Next surprise was no fee for attending.  Other flea markets we've gone to had a fee for either one or the other or both.  There were 3 "roofed" buildings (no sides, just roofs) and a fourth with a roof and one wall.  There were also lots of people set up not under the roofs at all.  We walked up and down each row and through each building.  The buildings were huge, I'd guess roughly 1/4 mile long each one.  So we certainly got our walking in today and made up for the past couple days we didn't walk as much.  There was just about anything you could want there, from baby red eared slider turtles to huge iguanas to clothes (both new and used) to sun glasses to fresh fruit and veges.  Not too surprisingly, we were definitely odd "man" out, as we didn't speak the language or look Hispanic and EVERYBODY else did, LOL.  Surprisingly, we did not feel at all out of place or threatened in any way.  We felt very comfortable.  I really wanted to get a little canary (I've been wanting a canary for awhile now) and these were very healthy looking birds with very clean and smooth legs (no lice or mites), and if I had heard them singing, we might have gotten one.  But,  it was too noisy and busy for them to be singing, if they were males in the first place and we still had other places to go and it was too hot to leave one in the car.  There was so much food and drinks, foods I wanted to know what they were, but failed to ask, LOL.  The one thing we didn't find/see there was, of course, any hand drills.  That's okay, it wasn't something I immediately needed or anything.  We walked for about an hour and a half with only one stop and that's really a huge thing for me.  Then we went back to the truck and the fun began.

We asked Gypsy to take us to Golden Corral and checked and the address Gypsy has was the same address we had gotten on the Golden Corral website.  We followed Gypsy's directions to the letter and ended up in a housing area, and then further back into a new area of the housing area when suddenly Gypsy says, "Navigate OFF-ROAD for 300 ft".  HUH!!!???!!!  We've never had her do that before.  She's tried to drop us off a bridge (in the Smokies, at the Cherokee end where a road crosses the Blue Ridge Parkway our last 2 and our son's GPSs have all told us to take a left or right off that bridge at one time or another (and I mean directly off that bridge onto the road below), but I digress. . . No, we weren't going through a fence into somebody's field to please Gypsy, so we turned her off and back tracked until we got back into the business area.  Low and behold, when we turned her back on, she told us to get back on 77 South and then proceeded to take us exactly where she should have taken us in the first place.  We'll never figure it out, but it sure gave us a frustrated laugh or two.  Apparently Gypsy just doesn't like Texas or something.  Our son says his GPS does not like Texas, either and they think it's because there are so many frontage roads and so many roads close together (in cities) that the satellite can't pick up the correct car or road???

Anyway, we made it to Golden Corral, finally and had the pleasure of hearing an older Hispanic woman serenaded by two older Hispanic gentlemen.  We weren't sure if they were actual employees of Golden Corral or something set up by her family (3 young women and children were with the older woman).  We think it was her birthday, but it wasn't Happy Birthday they were singing.  It was quite beautiful and the guitar playing was really good.  This Golden Corral is an older GC and we would probably only rate it about a 3-4 in our personal rating system (I've told you before, we LOVE Golden Corral and have been to them everywhere we go.  So far, Springfield, IL, Albuquerque, NM, and Branson, MO have the best we've been to.  I wish they'd use us as "secret shoppers", LOL.  I know our eating habits are boring and are indeed HABITS.  I read other people's blogs about all the places they try but we just aren't adventurous eaters, we like what we like and in general, it's plain old "home style" cooking and we find that at Golden Corral (at least most of the time).

Then we went across the street to Walmart, got fuel and some groceries and I got a present. . . I love my big Sony camera, especially for taking "action" shots as it has a sports mode, but. . . it's so big and heavy, you can't just slip it into your pocket and take it along.  It's cumbersome, and not good for places like the beach etc.  Yes, we do have a water tight camera for places where we plan to get ourselves and the camera wet, but for quick walks along the beach or other places,

I really wanted a smaller camera.  So. . . this is the result:

Here are the first three pictures, right out of the box before I bothered to read the instructions, of course:

No, he wasn't after me with the knife, he was cutting up a watermelon we had just purchased.
Followed by Snuffles our 3-year-old Shih-Chon "puppy".  She's such a good traveler and so happy to go anywhere with us.  She's also potty trained to use a box with a puppy pad in it, so we don't have to go out early or late to "take her out".

"Huh, what's cha want?" Snuffles says.
The next picture is of our Snot Cat Coco Puff.  She is a straight haired variant of a Selkirk Rex and is a long haired chocolate brown cat and she is a snot.  In the dark in bed she'll come cuddle us, but other wise doesn't want anything to do with anybody.  All she wants is to look beautiful and disdainful of any body or anything else.  Then there's one last picture of Snuffy doing what she does best, looking cute while watching out her favorite window.

Tomorrow, after a morning at the beach, we have planned to take a Dolphin Watch/Sea Life Safari from Pier 19, here at the KOA.  It's 2 hours, hope we see lots and have a great day.  We're also planning to visit the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center one day (weather permitting) and plan to visit the Sea Turtle's.  I'm sorry that we're here too early to see any Sea Turtle releases.  They say we might see turtles on the beach laying eggs but by the time they hatch, it will be June or later.  That's okay, we'll just go see the facility and see what it's all about.  That's all for tonight, I'm off to take a shower and then head to bed.  Hopefully I'll get tomorrow's post up before Monday.  Have a great night/day.  Smiles, Sue C


  1. Gypsy is being a real pain it sounds like. Weird that she doesn't deal well with Texas, but reassuring that Nick's doesn't either. It is misty rainy today, But not too bad right now. Looks like you have some fun things planned for today. Question" can you buy drill bits the size you need and cut dowel rods, or make clay rods as handles? Just a thought. Otherwise I think Hobby Lobby has them in the models area, or the wood area, not sure which. If you buy one and then make your handles for the other bits it would be cheaper. LY


  2. Another interesting day. Your new camera takes wonderful and clear pictures. Glad Verle didn't 'use' the knife on anything but the watermelon.

    Today sounds like a fun and interesting day. Glad the weather is cooperating. LY