Happy Hour (s)

I’m sitting in a new location looking out my rear window enjoying a great view, and although I’m looking forward to exploring my new surroundings, there’s a part of me that’s sad.  Normally I’m ready to move on to a new location after a 2 to 4 week stay in any one spot, but not in this case.Rockport Fulton Texas

Ok, maybe I was ready to change the location of the RV, but I wasn’t ready to leave the area.  Perhaps its my newfound infatuation with the endangered whooping cranes.  Maybe its the serene sunrises or sunsets.RVingHappy hourOr maybe it was a culmination of things that lead to one heck of a good time.

The beauty of staying in one location for a month offers us the ability to scope out local shops, local eateries, and make connections with fellow RVer’s and bloggers.

Al and I found ourselves returning to Moon Dog Seaside Eatery several times during our stay and enjoyed introducing new friends to this fine establishment.  Great food, $2.50 margaritas during happy hour, a table near the water watching dolphins swim by, and Fido is welcome…..worth at least one visit.

So speaking of happy hour and fellow bloggers, when Donna and I realized we were camped just down the road from each other, it didn’t take long for us to set up a time to meet at Moon Dogs.  It was fun meeting Donna and her husband Dennis for drinks at my favorite hole in the wall joint.  Small world sometimes…..turns out, not only did Al and Donna grow up in neighboring small towns in Illinois, they actually dated in high school.  Unfortunately, Donna didn’t dish any dirt from those high school years….perhaps more alcohol was needed 😆Moondog Seaside Eatery

Fun times and the fun continued…. The next day, Al and I were out riding our bikes around the neighborhood.  Another couple were riding their bikes in the opposite direction (with the ladies in the lead of course).  As we approached each other, our pedaling slowed, glances were met….. “Are you Faye?”  “Yes, are you Ingrid?”  Sounds like it’s time for happy hour at Moon Dogs again.  The four of us had a great time sitting outside watching the fishing boats, the birds, exchanging tales, and enjoying good food and drinks.  I know our paths are bound to cross again as we’ll be traveling around to similar locations.

happy hour

Al, Faye, Ingrid, Dave

Between the birding, the exploring, the socializing, the eating, and the drinking we had a fabulous month in Rockport, Texas.  I think I’ll let my photos do the rest of the talking…..don't mess with Texas

whooping crane

I loved tracking down the endangered whooping crane and found myself observing these beauties at every opportunity that presented itself.  To hear their unique sound click on this short you tube video;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTWOnLst0-4&feature=youtu.beBlack Bellied Whistling Duck

Snapping a photo of the Black Bellied Whistling Ducks in flight was a treat.  The Pintail ducks are especially pretty.

pintail ducks

pintail ducks

And then

Heron & Egrets

Great Blue Heron & Great Egret

there were the various Herons and Egrets…….

great egret

great egret

The Long Billed Curlew and Cormorant were a treat…….

As were the Seagulls and Pelicans…..

Turkeys, Vultures, and Spoonbills….oh my!

But my favorite were the cranes.  I was duly entertained by the sandhill cranes and whooping cranes and can’t wait to return to this part of Texas next winter to revisit these magnificent birds.  Farewell Gulf Coast – until we meet again!

Sandhill crane

Sandhill Cranes

whooping cranes

whooping cranes – mother, father, child

whooping crane
whooping crane
Bushnell Powerview 16×32 Compact Folding Roof Prism BinocularNational Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, Sixth Edition


76 thoughts on “Happy Hour (s)

  1. Moon Dog looks like the perfect patio! I get why you wanted to stay. Every time I visit a place I enjoy, I want to stay for a month. And I love to return to places for vacation. We just got back from a second trip to Vieques. My friends think it’s weird that we don’t always try new places, but once you’ve scoped a place out and know what to do, where to go, and how to get around, etc… it makes the next trip so much more enjoyable and EASY!

    • I totally understand that pull to return. We already have plans to return to some of our favorites; Moab, Ridgway, Crested Butte…. ah, that list keeps getting longer.
      I do hope you’ll post about your trip to Vieques. I’d love to hear about it 🙂

    • Yep, love finding those quirky little places to enjoy a good meal, fine drink, and great company. Glad you enjoyed a good laugh…..we could all use a little joy and laughter in our lives 🙂

  2. Hi Ingrid,
    I just spent a long hour (as opposed to a short one, I guess) catching up with you and “Live Laugh RV.” It’s really been fun watching as you became surprisingly charmed by the Rockport area, and Aransas, and especially by the whooping cranes and all the other critters.

    And of course, it’s been amazing watching you become a whooping crane photographer! Very good for you!!

    I look forward too, to following your next adventures, whatever they may be – I’m so pleased to have made your blogging acquaintance. I guess you’re kind of a “craniac” now, and I know you’ll stay tuned into various channels for whooper news. It may seem like a long time to wait to see them next year in Aransas again, but I bet you’ll keep tabs on them, and will be surprised by how close you’ll still feel to those Big Birds! You’ll hear more about them from me, too.
    In the meantime, I’ll be looking for your next post. To be continued!

    • I have family in northern IL and friends in Marshfield WI…..I told my husband on our next visit to the Midwest we have to go to Baraboo for the whoopers. I have definitely become a ‘craniac’ and am shopping for a better camera just so I can capture these beauties on print better. I will most certainly keep up on all things “whooping cranes” and will rely on you for additional info 🙂

  3. Oh my gosh….I just love that photo of you and Donna on those stools. How darn cute is that!

    To me it is a no brainier why you love that area. Because of your lovely photos, I am in love with it too!

    • It was a really fun place to meet for drinks and sit in bar stools “complimenting” our bottoms. It’s all about the birds in that part of Texas and I know we’ll return next year 🙂

  4. Looks like great times, those little joints are the most fun! And love the Kim K and J Lo pose. And my favorite photos are the long-billed curlew with her “ballet foot” and the whooping cranes about to take off in flight. You are loving the birds so much, you really should check Florida out some day.

    • Yes, I am loving those birds. I had trouble tearing myself away. On the road again, making our way back to Phoenix. Nothing prettier than a desert sunset. And fortunately I left my new fashionable bottom behind LOL!

  5. Was great to hang out with you and Al, look forward to our next meet up. Brazos Bend State Park was cold too, now that we’re in Houston the temps are a little better. Safe travels and send some warmth eastward when you find it.

    • San Antonio was cold our entire stay, but we did manage 2 days of explorations. Warmer temps are forthcoming. We’ll be back in Phoenix next week – a little quicker than originally planned. Did you enjoy the RV Show?

  6. Since I too want to see a roseate spoonbill up-close, along with whooping cranes, I have already added Rockport to our list of places to stay in Texas. Your bird photos are fabulous, particularly those that you captured in flight.

    I have to tell you, you need to get out there and get some more exercise. Your butt could use a little work (lol)! 🙂

    • Thanks…..I started getting a little frustrated with my camera – it having trouble focusing. So I was extremely pleased that any of my photos with birds in flight turned out. Still learning how to shoot these quick moving objects.

      I seem to recall you having a similar problem with your bottom…..I thought we were going for the latest Kim K look LOL.

      • You nailed that one – Kim K it is! 🙂

        I have had the same issue with my camera, particularly when we were at the refuge. Many of my bird photos were not crisp when they should have been, given the distance. In my case it is most likely user error. 😦

  7. Love your comment to MonaLiza! Definitely a Kim Kardashian butt going on there…haha!

    What a social butterfly you are with meeting all these bloggers! But how cool to meet on the bike path.

    Ingrid, you did an awesome job with your bird photos. I really enjoyed the ones in flight…beautiful:)

    We also enjoy staying for a month. You really become part of the area and have time to relax and enjoy the surroundings.

    • Thanks for the compliment on my photos. Those birds made my stay so enjoyable and entertaining.

      We’ve decided we like to stay in one spot a minimum of a week or two with a max of a month, but I could’ve stayed longer in Rockport as long as we’d moved the rig to another place. Ah, but the west is calling. We’re on the move and I left my Kim K butte behind 😆

    • Thank you, that is quite a compliment coming from such an accomplished bird photographer. The whistling duck photo was a real surprise and treat 🙂

  8. Such amazing photos of the beloved birds. I’m sad to see you go too. Margaritas for $2.50? Yes tough to leave for sure 🙂 I look forward to new posts and more of your amazing photos.

  9. You are definitely turning into an excellent birder and getting some marvelous shots! Welcome to the club! Glad to see you’re having so much fun. Well…. except for a few yucky days. Those, too, will pass. 🙂

    • We had a great time, but the RV Parks around Rockport could use a little improving. The only two I think I could recommend would be Pioneer RV Resort (although some of the sites are tight) or Gulf Waters RV Resort; both are on Mustang Island, Port Aransas. We’re camped now at a COE at Canyon Lake near New Braunfels and love it. 45 minutes to San Antonio and an hour and a half to Fredericksburg. We’re loving Texas 🙂

      • Thanks, I will look into those RV Parks/resorts. We have looked at so many online, but those don’t ring a bell. More to look at and decide from 🙂 Enjoy!

  10. Dang, I did not know you have nice …behinds. ha ha, stop baking those yummies brownies! I love all your photos, excellent and magnificent, and that spoonbills are really elusive for me. We will definitely be there next year, your photographs are inspiring me to get my butt there next winter!

  11. The bar stool pic reminded me the photo that LuAnn post it 😀 I love these wildlife photos! After seeing your photos, I want to visit Fulton in March 🙂 Hill Country next?

    • Yes, LuAnn and I laughed about that…..she in Cedar Key FL and me in Fulton TX on the same style bar stool. I wonder how the birding will be in March in Fulton. Loved Fredericksburg, just have to get that post written. 🙂

      • If we don’t get to see birds, will eat a lot of seafood for sure 🙂
        I didn’t know you went Fredericksburg already. Hope the weather was kind when you were there. It was at around 25F last Thursday and Friday, crazy!

        • Well you sure have the right attitude. We went Wednesday and it was 35 and windy but dry. We knew bad weather was coming in. We brought home a box of assorted pastries from the Old German Bakery…yum. It’s finally nice today but now we have to leave tomorrow…. grrrr.

  12. I really enjoy your bird shots and meeting with fellow travelers is such a treat. One of my favorite parts of traveling is finding the local hole in the wall places – now I’m off to check this one out.

    • Moon Dogs had some of the best fish tacos ever. The fish was grilled and seasoned to perfection. Sitting outside watching the dolphins and boats go by was icing on the cake. We tried some of the other hole in the wall places with so so experiences. If you were to visit the area I would recommend Mustang Island and the Gulf Waters RV Resort.

    • No, no, no….don’t get that song stuck in my head LOL. But you are right, this RV blogging community is smaller than we think and it is fun running into each other 🙂

  13. Great wildlife pics, Ingrid, including those ‘big-bottomed’ girls on the bar stools. What fun! 🙂 Thanks for the link to the ‘Whooping Whoopers’, it was nice to know what they sound like. I see that the Cormorant also dries its wings like the Anhinga does. Gorgeous capture. xx

    • I am totally enamored with the whooping cranes. What’s funny is the first couple of days walking past them and photographing them I had no clue what they were. I also had no clue about all these birds drying their wings. Fascinating!

  14. Yep, more alcohol may have helped..and I DO have a high school prom picture lying around in the basement back home…maybe..?? We had a great time too. Got some oysters from Pop’s..You left just in time, the weather turned sucky last week. Love the pics of all the coastal birds. We have hardly left the Hiker and normally I do that bicycle ride around Lamar too…maybe this week. We leave Wed. for Goliad, and are becoming “short-timers” here!! GOOD TIMES!, THANX!

    • Hmmm, probably good we didn’t have more time together…. trouble LOL.
      Our 8 days at Cranes Mill wasn’t much fun due to this weather. We did manage 2 outings but the rest of the time was spent hunkered down in the rig. We’re leaving tomorrow and will high tail it back to the desert for some sun and heat 🙂
      It was great finally meeting and whenever we return to IL you can count on a visit from us 🙂

  15. The longer we’ve been fulltiming, the longer we tend to stay in the same place. Took awhile to get out of that vacation mindset, but it’s nice to get to know an area by hanging around. We only passed through Rockport on the way to Padre Island but it didn’t look inviting. You have made it look like someplace we’d like to spend more time!

    • Agree, definitely doesn’t look inviting. I like to use the term ‘rustic’ – kind of rough around the edges so to speak. This area is all about the birds. All the restaurants are ‘dives’ and the RV parks aren’t much better. We have an attitude….we get to move whenever we want so we take it for what it is and find the positives. I would definitely recommend Mustang Island over Rockport, but Mustang Island doesn’t have whooping cranes 😉

  16. Great stuff Ingrid. Lovely photos and a fun post. The only people that would recognize me are the FBI. Just kidding, I didn’t do it.

  17. You have had such a great time here that I am inclined to add this to my “must see” places. Great photos! You seem to have put on a few pounds, though! 😉

    • What….you don’t like my new Kim K look? We had fun, but I assure you it’s not everyone’s cup of tea….it’s all about the birds around this part of the Gulf Coast.

      • I am totally hooked on pelicans (in flight) and hawks. When the wind currents swirl around the high rises, the hawks come out by the dozens and dance and flow with the current. They enjoy themselves so much…I have a blast watching them.

        • Pelicans make me smile. I could be in the worst mood and then I watch a pelican and boom…. smile. I could probably watch those hawks soar for hours myself 🙂

          • At the right angle, flying pelicans remind me of pterodactyls and I’m trying to capture that image…for my grandson.

  18. These are just magnificent photos Ingrid showing a beautiful spot to stop and definitely one to return to…. my only concern is the photo of you and Donna… I must actually address this to Al… get her of the chocolates Al she’s getting a spread…

    • I really embraced those birds and had more fun photographing them than I ever imagined. Yep, Donna and I may have indulged in one too many chocolates or was that cocktails 😆

  19. What a great wrap-up of your very fun month in Rockport. It’s a place we love and plan to return to, as well. (I was wondering if you had seen that hilarious sign posted by the Lamar Women’s Club—I laughed every time I biked past it!) Wonderful photos; excellent capture of the black-bellied whistling ducks in flight and the whooping cranes taking off (or landing?).

    • The whistling duck photo was such an unexpected fluke. I didn’t think any photo would turn out as clear as they did. I loved riding my bike around that neighborhood and did so several times throughout the day. Did you stay at the state park? I had a great time in the area but also realize it’s not for everyone. Definitely lacks polish. FYI – whoopers were taking off 🙂

    • I’m enjoying every aspect of Texas…..well except for the crazy weather, but I realize nothing about this winter has been normal. I know we’ll return next winter and spend more time exploring. I hope to hit a lot of the Texas state parks during our future excursion. And I know just the person to turn to if I have any questions 😉

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