It was the best of times ….

Our Texas excursion is nearing an end.  On Thursday the wheels on the RV will once again be rolling and I can honestly say I’m ready for a change of scenery.  As I reflect on our overall Texas Gulf Coast visit, these words come to mind, It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolish’.

Charles Dickens

“Dickens on the Strand” was a very fun festival in Galveston

Charles DickensThis opening line in the Charles Dickens classic A Tale of Two Cities may refer to the French Revolution and the cities of Paris and London, but as I see it, it can easily relate to my three-month stay in Texas.

I know it’s a stretch, but humor me and allow me to spin my own little tale with a recap of our Texas Gulf Coast adventure.birding in Texas

It was the best of times……
Our Texas journey began in early November when we visited Galveston Island for a month.  We were pleasantly surprised with how much there was to see and do in Galveston and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit.  We were never bored or at a loss of places to explore.  We even had the pleasure of connecting with fellow bloggers.

the best sunrisesTo read about our stay in Galveston, start with this post – click here.

From Galveston we traveled south to Mustang Island with a quick 3 day stop at Goose Island State Park.  At Mustang Island State Park we fit in more socializing and lots of explorations.

Corpus Christi and Port Aransas hold nostalgic memories for both Al and I.  Al lived in the area for a couple of years during his Navy days B.I. (before Ingrid) and has the fondest recollections of those days.  We shared a great day visiting the first aircraft carrier that Al flew on and off of ….. the USS Lexington

aircraft carrier museumsYears ago, my parents became winter Texans each year as they spent six months in Port Aransas at the Pioneer RV Resort and six months back in Illinois.   My kids and I would visit them in Port A each season either over Christmas break or Spring break.  My dad loved to fish while my mother loved to walk the beach collecting seashells.  They developed a core of friends and stayed active and happy in this part of Texas for a number of years.

When Al and I returned to this area in December, it conjured up feelings of returning home for a visit. I couldn’t help but feel a flood of fond memories wash over me;  thoughts of my mother and her exuberant joy as she walked the beach collecting sea shells.  She was always smiling as she loved digging her bare feet into the sand.  Ah yes, she is missed.where to duck hunt in Texas

After our stay on Mustang Island, we moseyed up the road 45 minutes to nearby Rockport, Texas (technically we stayed in the teeny town of Lamar), where we spent the month of January.  Why Rockport?  Rockport is a Mecca for angler’s, duck hunter’s, and avid birders.  It’s a Sportsman’s paradise.best duck hunting in Texas

You won’t find any beaches for a stroll around here. So beach goers will want to take a pass on Rockport and stick to the beautiful beaches on Mustang Island.

fishing in TexasWe rolled into the Hidden Oaks RV Park within hours of our friends on December 29th;  long time friend’s and business associates from our Colorado days.

Al’s buddy brought his boat and the guys were on a month-long male bonding mission.  Manly men, doing manly things in a sportsman’s paradise.  Ah, the real reason for our second January stay in Lamar emerges!

With hubby occupied, I’m left to my own devices and find great pleasure in exploring the area for photo ops.

whooping cranesroseate spoonbillDid I already mention this place is known as a ‘birders paradise’?  The endangered whooping cranes winter within walking distance from the RV park and the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is just across the St. Charles Bay.

There are over 25 specified birding areas within 40 miles, and then there are birding boat tours, guided birding walks, and bird seminars.  Whew, a birder could get worn out around here!

That said, hubby and I had a rather nice three-month visit to the Texas Gulf Coast.

But wait the story doesn’t end there.  I did mention it was the worst of times.  We’ll talk about that in the next post…..Panasonic cameras

Thank you MonaLiza for the above photo of me.  I had a blast birding with you 🙂

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73 thoughts on “It was the best of times ….

  1. I find it amazing every time I see your standing whooping crane photos to see how they keep their black wing feathers out of sight! Spectacular photos of them in flight.

  2. Ingrid, I enjoyed your memories of “the best of times….,” and especially your reminiscing about your mother on the beach. You painted such a lovely portrait with your words. Despite the poor weather you had for so much of your time in Texas, you captured some gorgeous images of the whooping cranes and the spoonbills.

    • Thank you Laurel. It’s been fun communing with my feathered friends. It’s also been special to walk the same beach my mother loved so much. I’m taking advantage of a couple of gorgeous beach walking weather days before hitting the road 🙂

  3. Loved your post…I am from Texas! (Houston), but living in Italy now…anyway….missing home, but your pictures made me feel all comfy, cozy… 🙂

    • We loved our stay in Galveston. Unfortunately, we didn’t get in Houston to explore. Perhaps next time. Texas vs. Italy I’m sure it’s a drastic change. Glad my photos were able to take you home.

  4. Wondering if the “worst of times” has has something to do with being sick? Looking forward to hearing the ending of this story. Meanwhile, I enjoyed your photos and gulf coast adventures so very much, Ingrid. 😀

  5. Love the reading of the travel log!
    The birds are just magnificent and seem close up! (Maybe you have a great zoom lens!)
    The photo of you by Mona is a keeper! The birds seem to just want to gravitate to you! 🐦🐥

    • Since I started wearing camo, I’ve noticed the birds don’t get as spooked and trust me when I say 2 years ago this Chicago suburbanite would not have been caught dead wearing camo LOL. Ah, but what a gal won’t do for that shot.
      I shoot with a bridge camera with a lens that is equivalent to a DSLR 600mm lens. I have a separate page sharing my cameras if you’d like more info.

  6. Ahh…what happened? Terrific post. AND you saw the Whooping Cranes. We visited Aransas a few years back and we were just a tad early and missed them by about a week. I would love to see them. AND it looks like you got real close to a Roseate…that’s wonderful. Waiting and waiting for part 2!!

    • I can even hear the cranes from the RV which is really cool. Some of the birds are much more accustomed to people than others. Plus I found wearing camo really helps. I don’t think I’m as threatening wearing the camo shirt, although hubby might not agree 🙂

  7. I just love you guys! 😃😃. You’re on such a grand adventure!!! Also enjoyed the vignette about your mother beachcombing and the nostalgia of returning to a spot with fond family memories. Beautiful!!

  8. Ingrid….You are such a wonderful storyteller. Let me know when you publish your first book. I will be at your signing!

  9. That last photo was the icing on the cake! Perfect ending… but now I must wait??? For Part 2… ?
    I will wait patiently! Glad you got to see some childhood areas… fond memories are good, all good!

  10. You really gave “the best of show” for the Texas coast! Sorry I missed at least a brief part of it but someday you show me the best of some gorgeous countryside! Happy you moving ahead…it’s always great to travel along, even from a distance. Jacks up baby….here you go!

    • There’s always pluses and minuses, but it’s best to focus on the pluses. The coast vs the desert? Such a dilemma sometimes. Glad I don’t have to pick and can enjoy both 🙂

  11. This was a great post Ingrid. Although the weather did not cooperate, it seems you made some wonderful memories. Love your photos! 🙂

  12. What a wonderful recap of your time on the Gulf Coast. Having lived there (Houston, Webster, League City, Corpus Christi) for more years than I can remember, this on earlier post about the Texas Gulf Coast was a trip down memory lane. Thank.
    PS – Your photography skills are also superb.

    • Thank you Jerry for the compliment on my photography. I’ve started playing around with some custom settings on the camera and it’s been fun. We really like Corpus and Port A and can see ourselves spending more time in that area.

    • The spoonbills are getting closer to mating season, thus their pink is starting to deepen even more – stunning. I love that photo from ML. I didn’t even know she took it until she sent it to me.

  13. Loves the recap of your time. These photos as usual are stunning Ingrid. The dock and sunset one surely could win a photo contest. Safe travels ahead. 🙂

    • There’s so much to see and do along the Texas Gulf Coast. We’ve had fun exploring it, just wish the weather had been a little more agreeable.

  14. Really enjoyed today’s post. Not only are your photos spectacular, as usual, but I appreciated the sharing of your fond memories, especially those of your parents. I look forward to your next posting.

    • Thank you. We really enjoyed Mustang Island but the Texas Gulf Coast can’t always be counted on for warm weather this time of year. This summer will have us venturing back to the Midwest from northern IL up thru WI and the UP. I’m looking forward to a Mackinac Island revisit.

  15. Oh wow… we have a post with birds that have me drooling… and yet somehow the one place makes me feel a little sad,,, a place that brings back parent memories… yet they were happy memories… why do I feel sad.?? “Ah yes, she is missed.” lovely post as usual

    • I’m finally starting to figure out how to use some of the custom settings on my camera and having fun with it. Just wish I could get in a tad closer to those birds. Thanks for your sweet comment 🙂

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