Smoking meat and sucking shrimp!

Padre Island National SeashoreOur ten minute ferry ride took us from the mainland near Aransas Pass onto Mustang Island and the town of Port Aransas, Texas, or as the locals call it; Port A.  Port A is a cute little beach town with plenty of restaurants, shops, lodging, and of course beaches.

After a couple of turns, we were headed south out-of-town about 10 miles to Mustang Island State Park where we quickly set up home for the next 2 weeks.

I wouldn’t put this campground high on the list as far as accommodations go, but the location is pretty sweet.

And let’s face it, it’s all about location.  Just on the other side of the dunes is the beach.

Mustang Island

Mustang Island State Park campground

PintailThe campground with electric and water hook-ups is pretty much a parking lot style layout.  The restrooms and showers are there, but leave a lot to be desired.  That said, we did enjoy our stay and even extended it another three days.

It wasn’t busy during our visit but that was over the Christmas holiday when most folks spend time with family.  The state park does seem to fill up over weekends.

RV socializing

Al, Ingrid (me), Steve, MonaLiza, Faye, Dave

smoking meat

Dave smoking meat

So while most folks were hanging with family, we spent our holiday season socializing with friends.  Shortly after our arrival to Mustang Island we enjoyed our first get together with fellow bloggers.

We were invited over to Faye and Dave’s place where we all watched Dave smoke his meat.  Nice job Dave!

A few days later, we had Faye and Dave over to our place to help us lighten the load in our freezer.  I needed to make room for Christmas cookies after all.  Awfully nice of them to be so accommodating and help us clear out some freezer space.

RV socializing

blogging pals – Faye, MonaLiza, Ingrid

They also had no problem being my guinea pigs for my Bananas Foster.  Although I’ve made Bananas Foster more times than I can count, it had been years since I last made it and never in the RV.  I needed a practice run before our Christmas guests.

Beach campingAnd speaking of Christmas guests, we had MonaLiza and Steve over for Christmas day.  Our RV is only big enough to entertain one couple at a time.  So we had to do our entertaining in stages since the weather was too inclement to hang outside.

As a side note; while we were camped at Mustang Island State Park,  our friends were camped just seven miles away at a beautiful RV Park – Gulf Waters RV Resort.  My folks used to winter at neighboring Pioneer RV Resort.  There’s also camping on the beach and slightly off the beach at I.B. Magee Beach Park which is right in the town of Port A.  We liked the idea of staying there in one of their electric sites, but before the cold snap the mosquitos were terrible and a paved parking lot at the state park was preferable over a mosquito invested grassy campsite.  However, the location looks quite fun… walking distance into town.  We’ll leave it as an option for a future visit.fishing on Mustang IslandBack to our cavorting….  Al joined Dave a couple of times fishing and Dave showed Al how to suck shrimp.  Thanks Dave for enlightening us on the ways of smoking meat and sucking shrimp.  The sucking of shrimp occurs on the beach at low tide using a contraption that exposes shrimp that the guys will then use as bait for fishing.  Sorry, no photos of the guys sucking shrimp 😦

birding Mustang Island

I know I said let’s go shooting…… I meant with cameras not guns !!!

Mustang Island photographybirding center Port AransasSo while Al was out fishing, MonaLiza and I managed to get in some birding.

We visited the Leonabella birding center and Charlie’s Pasture, both located in the town of Port Aransas, Texas.

Even if you’re not into birding, I still recommend a stop at these two places to take in the beauty of the area and enjoy a stroll on the boardwalks.

However, no trip to the Corpus Christi area would be complete without a visit to the Padre Island National Seashore.  Al and I scored a gorgeous day for our visit.

Padre Island National SeashorePadre Island National SeashoreWe checked out the two campgrounds to see if this is a place we’d have any interest in staying, and although we liked the campgrounds, we opted to extend our stay at the state park with electric hook-up during this particular trip.

It’s dry camping only in both campgrounds at the Padre Island National Seashore.

You can click here for more information on the Seashore.

Yep, our seventeen day stay on Mustang Island was over before we knew it.  But we have one more stop to share …. a stop down memory lane……fishing, hunting, birding Mustang Island

Port Aransas, Texas — Fun on the Texas’ Coast

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63 thoughts on “Smoking meat and sucking shrimp!

  1. Pingback: It was the best of times …. | Live Laugh RV

  2. What a title!! I had heard of sucking the heads off crawfish but not shrimps… must be a Texas thing : ) You guys in the camo shirts… what a hoot! Sounds like a fun time with MonaLiza and friends. I hadn’t heard of wearing camo for birdwatching but I have been in birdwatching blinds before… I guess it’s the same idea but the shirts make you more portable?! Enjoyed your post and photos immensely.

  3. Yay! How fun! I am definitely putting Leonabella birding center on my bucket list! That looks absolutely stunning! So glad you learned so much in Texas. Smoking meat and sucking shrimp! Oh yeah!

    • Plenty of room to maneuver any size rig at Mustang Island SP. It’s not the ideal kind of set up but works very well for us. We really enjoy the Texas Gulf Coast even though the weather can be a roller coaster of a ride 🙂

  4. I’m not sure when we will get back to this part of the country but you have made this area very enticing to me Ingrid. It sounds like you and Al had a lovely holiday with blogger friends. Love those photos of you and MonaLiza in camo! 🙂

    • ML wasn’t sure about those shirts until she managed to get closer to the birds than ever before. And besides, this is serious camo country so we fit right in. The area works for us but I’m not sure I would recommend it to most. I’m so pleased to hear all is going well for you two in CA. Seems like it was the perfect remedy 🙂

      • I must admit I am pleasantly surprised with this resort. There are so many active people here and there is so much to do. Enjoy the rest of your time in TX. BTW, did you submit the picture of the 4 of us that is in the January Escapee magazine?

        • Oh, so they did decide to use the photo. I was contacted by Escapees asking permission to use it and I gave them your contact info as well. Since we moved a lot of our mail to our sons address, he hasn’t sent us any of the magazines. I should have a pile when we return to Phoenix. I’ll go online and check it out 🙂

          • We don’t get our mail except once a month so we haven’t gotten our copy yet but I have had several people come up to me asking for my autograph (too funny) and then someone showed me the photo. It is a full-page spread and luckily a good photo of all of us. We are celebs (lol). 🙂

  5. Looks like y’all had a great time! I can’t believe I live in TX and have never been further south than Houston, I will have to make it down there! Sorry out weather wasn’t more accommodating, it’s really been unusually cold. BTW, you captured a beautiful image of the Roseatta Spoonbill on your last post, they pink guys are hard to miss! 🙂

    • The spoonbills at the Leonabella Turnbell birding center in Port Aransas are very accommodating much to my pleasure. We loved our month stay on Galveston Island in November. However, never made it into Houston as we stayed so busy on the island. We’ve enjoyed Mustang Island equally. And as for the weather, oh well…. if we had stayed in Phoenix we would haven encountered snow LOL.

  6. We enjoyed seeing y’all too, glad you enjoyed the smoking and sucking. If you need more guinea pigs let us know…those banana fosters were absolutely fabulous. When the weather warms we’ll have to plan another get together.

    • We’re game…. oh and also have plenty of game – wink, wink. Can’t wait for this weather to improve. It’s put me under the weather a tad. Catch ya before we leave Texas 🙂

  7. You camo girls are scaring me :O) Keep jumping for joy…and thanks for passing on those nice landings to overnight. I think I’m off for some shrimp today…ready to try some coconut crunch!

    • Coconut crunch shrimp? Oh, yum. I’m making Grouper today…. fresh of course. Next winter you’ll need to venture further west and join the gang 🙂

  8. Ingrid it certainly looks like you were having an amazing time with friends. Love the photo of you jumping especially. Happy New Year and looking forward to following you in 2015 wherever your road leads.

    • I haven’t sat outside in the evening since early December…. burrrr. The camo really does make a difference in getting closer to the birds. ML noticed it after I made her wear the shirt. It was a laughter filled day for sure 🙂

    • You know, it’s not a bad gig splitting our time between CO, AZ, and TX. So I’m not complaining. I’m sure my new attire would have me fitting in just fine in LA (Louisiana) or LA (Lower Alabama). Perhaps the Robertson family will adopt me LOL

  9. We stayed at IB Magee the week of Thanksgiving 2011. No mosquitoes then, guess we were lucky. It is a great location to walk or bike to Port Aransas, and just over the dunes to the beach. We did have mosquitoes in other parts of south Texas, though, so we aren’t sure we will ever go back there. And as you said, there are way too many gray days!

    • Texas has had a LOT more moisture this year and the mosquitos were bad near all dunes and any grass. I guess the cold snap did create some positives as they are no longer a problem. I’m working on hubby to stay in the west next winter but we both have personal reasons for returning to Port A so we’ll see.

  10. Haha, you and ML are adorable in your camo! I never thought of wearing camo for photography, but maybe I should consider it. The only problem is that I don’t look good in that color green. 🙂 Eric and I loved birding at both Charlie’s Pasture and Leonabella birding center — lots of Roseate spoonbills when we were there a couple of years ago.

    • I enjoyed a couple of great visits to Leonabella. I keep the camo shirt and green hat in the truck all the time so I can just throw it over when I want to get close to birds. Never in a million years did hubby or I think I’d ever be caught dressing like that. Just shows ya what I’m willing to do for that elusive shot. ML noticed it made a difference. One convert down……. LOL

    • Thanks Gene. I appreciate the compliment from an accomplished photographer. BTW… your gravatar is not linked to your NEW hosting platform. If I click on your name it goes over to your blog from last March.

  11. Next time you go into Port A, stop in at “Shortys”, professed to be the oldest and friendliest bar in Port Aransas..We had a great time, with the Irish bartender…and a gazillion hats covering the ceiling…Also there was an old painting of Mustang horses on the wall…highly recommend it..but be advised this is no fancy phoo phoo bar…lots of locals and local wannbees, like us!!

    • Sounds like a fun little hole in the wall place. However, we rarely go out for drinks preferring to stay home for that glass of wine or beer. Don’t ya just love Mustang Island?

    • Hey our birding ‘attire’ works and you know it. Al and I went out to lunch today and more than half the place was dressed in camo. The duck hunters are here in full force and the shooting starts just after sunrise. Shall we go ‘shooting’ again LOL

    • There’s more bird species along the Texas Gulf Coast than anywhere else in the states. This year the duck population is high partly because of the early cold snap up north and partly because Texas isn’t in severe draught conditions anymore. I can’t believe how much more water there is around here than last year. Good for everything. Happy New Year to you as well 🙂

  12. Sounds like a very relaxing holiday with blog friends making your own warmth:) Love the camo attire you and MonaLiza are sporting!! Not sure about that gun though:)

    • Hey, we fit right in here in Texas. Camo and guns are the norm. I’m in Rockport right now and the guns start going off shortly after sunrise – it’s duck hunting season. I had to really work on ML to wear camo and she noticed she was able to get much closer to the birds for better shots…. with the camera that is 😉

  13. Oh, we had such a great winter on Port Aransas last year. I think it’s a perfect wintering spot. Never knew that what those guys were doing on the beach was called “sucking shrimp.” Live and learn.
    Happy New Year Ingrid!

    • My folks used to be winter Texans spending six months out of the year on Mustang Island. So we were exposed to the sucking of shrimp many years ago. Interesting process. This is a great place to winter when the weather cooperates. Wishing you a great New Year…. However, I’m not sure you could top your 2014 adventures 🙂

    • We enjoy the area very much and then add great company… doesn’t get much better. The fishing is pretty good around this area. As a matter of fact my dad, an avid Wisconsin fisherman, came to prefer the salt water fishing on Mustang Island. The variety of birds along the Texas Gulf Coast is known to be the best…. Texas Coastal birding trail.

  14. Looks like you had a fun time and got some great shots. Cooking BBQ and eating crawfish is a way I enjoy spending some time as well.

    • Ah, once you’re in the west EVERYONE has a gun or didn’t you know that? 🙂 When I see you this summer, I’ll need to share the story of our daughter going skeet shooting in Sydney, Australia.

  15. Happy New Year, Ingrid! I so enjoy your blog posts. Know that you continue to be an inspiration to me in regard to my own blog and the RV lifestyle, which is very new to me. This particular blog post is so warm, filled with friends, fun, and good food. I love your bird pictures! Blessings for 2015 and safe travels!

    • Thank you Pat for such a lovely comment. The beauty of this lifestyle is we get to make it what we want. Sometimes we feel very social and sometimes we embrace our solitude. Some how we manage to find the perfect balance BUT it did take that first year of adjusting. Wishing you a wonderful New Year!

    • Lots of mosquitos. I was beginning to look like a teenager and NOT in a good way. A gal in her fifties should not be sporting large red pimple looking blotches on her face. Not a pretty sight! We won’t even talk about the itching. Ah, what I won’t do for a photo op!

  16. I am so happy to be following along with you in the Port Aransas area. I have tried to get Don to go there for a visit but he balks at the idea. Other RVers have convinced him that it’s always breezy there. Please tell me that’s not the case. Maybe with your blog, I can convince him otherwise. By the way, the phots of you & Mona Liza with the gun are a hoot. Happy New Year Ingrid.

    • Mona and I always have a fun time together. The Texas Gulf Coast can get some wind but no more than we see in the west. The weather issue for us – too many gray Midwestern skies. We left Illinois 20 years ago and are used to 300 days a year of sunshine.
      I was never into birding until last year. I’m still not serious about birding…. just like taking pictures of pretty birds. My folks used to winter here and thus the place holds a special interest to me.

      • Ingrid that wasn’t what I was hoping to hear. Ha Ha guess I’ll just need to find some other way of persuading him. I admit I wasn’t big on birding either until we started full timing. Now I enjoy it a lot. Maybe it’s because I finally have the time to observe & appreciate them now.

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