Southern California, 2012 Trip 2: South Carlsbad to Dana Point

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My first two days, in San Diego and Julian, were commemorative of  our 30th wedding anniversary, which fell on June 6.  I devoted my last post to those years so central to my life and my heart.  When Thursday rolled around, and it was time to move on, I started the day in South Carlsbad Beach, then moved on to Oceanside and Dana Point.

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    Yes, I can’t seem to get enough of ocean beaches lately.  I walked near the Main Pier at Oceanside, near the south side of the Rock Walk.

                 

    Dana Point, as scenic beaches go, is serious business.  The Promontory has at least two miles of nature trails, of which, given my morning’s agenda, I walked one.

    The town is named for Richard Henry Dana, who wrote an account of his experiences as a young Cape Horn-rounder in “Two Years Before The Mast”.  Richard described this area as “the most beautiful section of the entire coast.”  It certainly is scenic enough.  Richard’s statue welcomes us to the waterfront.

    Before going up onto the Promontory, I looked around the harborside park.  Boats sat safely in the estuary, while California Ground Squirrels quibbled over scraps.

                                 

     

    The Promontory delivers a fine view of town and beach- and a small bird rock.

       

       

    As you can see, there was a minimum of June Gloom last Thursday.

    Next up:  Revisiting Laguna Beach.

Looking Back, from Square One

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In this case, it was San Diego, June 6, 1982.  Our wedding photos were taken in the garden of the San Diego Baha’i Center, while the usual Sunday morning faith activities were conducted.  At 1 P.M., I was allowed in, to set up for the beginning of Penny’s and my life together.  At 2 P.M., my mother-in-law sang a wedding song, while Penny and her dad walked down the rose-petal strewn aisle.  She wore white and I, a black tuxedo.  That was about as traditional as it got.  My father read a selection from the Baha’i Writings and my mother, from the New Testament.   We exchanged the simple vow “We will all, verily, abide by the Will of God.”, and our rings.  The Secretary of the Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of San Diego certified our marriage, and we began the real business of growth into a unit.

After a Persian musician played a lovely piece on a santour, we welcomed our 50 or so guests into the reception hall, and all enjoyed a buffet meal.  Around 3:30, a couple of men walked in, looking for the regular Sunday afternoon meeting.  They received a warm welcome, a free meal and some explanation of Baha’i marriage.  Then, my siblings-in-law tied tin cans to the back of our car, we had some confetti thrown at us, and our parents shooed us along on our honeymoon.  I think I drove about 50 yards or so, then stopped and removed the trail of cans- to a chorus of groans.

This, my friends, remains true, 30 years later- and will be true for all eternity.

I visited the San Diego Baha’i Center last Wednesday, as part of a thirtieth anniversary.  It was closed, but I contented myself with meditating on the quotations such as the one above, which are mounted at the garden’s entrance.

The previous night, I went with Aram to Filippi’s Pizza Grotto, which was the first place I ever ate in San Diego, in March, 1979.  Now, as then, la cucina si bellissima!  The family has now established a chain, along the California coast- at least there are “branches” in South Beach, in Jacumba and in Napa Valley- probably elsewhere in the Golden State.  Anyway, Penny and I had a nice meal there in January, 1982, when we went whale watching.  I had to throw that in, now back to the narrative.

Penny had  yearning for beach camping, our first night, so we headed to South Carlsbad State Beach- in time to meet a crowd of beach regulars who were gathering grunion.  We were given about a dozen to put in our cooler, and we prepared them two days later, as Penny had to return to work for the last three days of school.

Beach camping offers a special form of camaraderie, and all get enthralled by sundown and sunup, alike. 

We spent our second night together at Julian Hotel.  The honeymoon suite is a cozy affair.  I lit a nice fire in the fireplace that night.  The Julian is still very much a presence downtown, and now has a Bed and Breakfast aspect, as well as the traditional overnight stay.

The last day before we left, we walked around town during the morning, enjoying lunch around noon at Julian Pie Company.

After one last long look at the mountain scenery, we left for Tuba City, AZ, and our first four years together in service to the Navajo and Hopi children.

Tuba, as those who knew us when will attest, was our laboratory for marital and personal growth.  Penny learned delayed gratification about some things and I learned that not every mistake I made was the end of life as I knew it.  I also learned that being a man did NOT mean fixing every problem that arose, but processing together, so we could get a better solution.  That last one took me until our son was born, to really figure out.

                                                              

Does the high desert look like a good place to grow together?  For us, it was. (NOTE:  These photos are file photos, from the Navajo Times.)

A late night phone call, answered by a tired yours truly and confirmed by my equally tired wife, led to first her getting a job at Cheju National University, in South Korea’s island southwest, in Fall, 1986.  I got my job there, after a fashion, in March, 1987.  Our son, Aram, began his life there, in July, 1988.  We stayed, in a struggling, but exquisite, semitropical environment, until March, 1992.  (Photos below are file photos, from Google Earth and the Korea Ministry of Tourism.  The last photo is a self-portrait by Imstress.)

Cheju has all the things that make Korea great, and beautiful:  Shoreline, mountain, ancient culture- and vibrant, beautiful people.  T

Volcanic beach on west side of Cheju.

Summit of Halla-san, the highest peak in South Korea.                                                                                                                                                                           

Hand-carved ceramic warriors at Mok-sook-wan.                                                                                                    

Imstress, with a Dol-harubang (“Stone Grandfather”).                    

Penny’s folks knew us well enough to realize that we might well have stayed in Korea until Aram’s maturity.  He is their only grandson, and thus the pleading and their emotional stress brought us back to Arizona.  We spent the next seven years in and around Jeddito, a small Navajo hamlet that provided a school for rural Navajos and Hopis, replacing an older school in nearby Keams Canyon, where Penny had taught in 1980-81.  Aram was friends with a fair number of Native children, but on terms dictated by their emotionally hurt, and sometimes angry, elders and older siblings. There is where he got a sense of the cost of Man’s inhumanity to Man.  There is where it was made clear why we need the unification of the human race.

(These photos are also file photos of the Navajo Times.)

  Sunday church service.      

A meadow near Jeddito.                          Pongsikvi (“Keams Canyon”)

As Aram grew into middle-school age and Penny started to show health problems, we moved closer to the metro area of Phoenix.  I served three years as a school principal, in three different locations.  In the end, Money-Politics was on the mound, and I struck out.  Penny and Aram learned Tae-kwon-do, she began a series of naturopathic treatments, primarily with a traditional Chinese acupuncturist and herbalist, who doggedly kept her alert and productive until 2010, when the neurological ravage known as Polyglucosan Body Disease began to get the upper hand and she had to be placed in a rehabilitation hospital.

From 2001- 2006, she was able to work a fair amount of wonder, with her students in the West Valley town of El Mirage.

I was pretty much on call, working as a substitute teacher in a couple of school districts, but mainly being ready in case Penny had an emergency.  When she was no longer able to work, she reverted to working on yet another Master’s Degree- this one in Educational Technology.  She never did get to put it to direct use, but it kept her on track for another four years- and she mentored younger women at Arizona State University- West Campus.  Here, I must thank Dr. Michael Desvigne and the staff of Trillium Specialty Hospital, for their gargantuan efforts at largely overcoming the ill effects of Penny’s four years in a wheelchair.

She was released from Trillium, largely healed of her pressure wounds, in November, 2010.  Other infections took root, though, and by February, 2011, she went to her last place of residence- Odyssey Hospice.  On March 5, 2011, her spirit contacted me at 6 A.M., saying it was time.  As Aram and I pulled into the Odyssey parking lot, a small gust of wind blew upwards from the ground, in a spiraling motion.  I found her physical frame, lifeless for about three minutes and still warm, waiting in her bed, for a dignified burial.  This we, her loved ones, did for her on March 9.  As she was the spouse of a veteran, her body went to its final rest in Arizona Memorial Cemetery.

We traveled alot together, as this 1984 photo of Penny in Guyana will attest.  So, it’s no wonder her spirit has set me on several journeys, last year and this.

We were a hard-working, struggling and sold little family.  In many ways, Penny beat her demons-especially the external ones.  She helped me greatly in confronting and beating mine- especially the internal ones.

I have been moving on, outwardly alone, but knowing she’s right alongside, 24/7.  I’ve made many friends since last Spring, and am glad for being able to give and receive friendships with people of both genders, all ages and a wide variety of backgrounds.  As I mentioned in my last post, if and when I meet another special person, it’ll seem, the way it did with Penny, to happen out of the blue.  There was no force or contrivance, either way, between us- it just was.  So, too, will it be next time.  I am not afraid of either being “just friends” with women, nor of meeting someone with whom I can share the rest of my life- but it has to be a mutual feeling.  I am, solidly, for the time being, on Square One.

 

Texas, Day 10: Chihuahuan Outposts, El Paso and A New Mexico Interlude

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I recovered nicely from the long drive yesterday, thanks to the restful night I had at Town & Country Motel, in Fort Stockton.  

The Chihuahuan Desert region supplants the Permian Basin around these parts, and is just as arid.  Yucca is a dominant succulent here,and many of the same cacti as are in the Sonoran Desert, further west, have found their way here also.

The sere beauty of the Davis Mountains cannot be overlooked.

I also stopped briefly in two Chihuahuan Desert outposts:  Van Horn and Sierra Blanca.  Both are friendly and architecturally- rich communities.

Here are Van Horn’s El Capitan Hotel and an old school, which houses the town’s historical museum.

The town is named for an Army lieutenant, James Van Horn, who fought the Confederates in 1861.

I continued, after about a half hour, to Sierra Blanca, which is named for a local mountain range.

Here is the mountain range, Sierra Blanca.

Our Lady of Miracles Mission graces Sierra Blanca, the town.

The last metro area on my itinerary was El Paso- Las Cruces.  Despite it being a Sunday (5/27), I found El Paso relatively busy, streetside.  I did not remain in this anchor of West Texas for very long, as Phoenix was in my sights for the evening.

Still, here are a couple of scenes of this interesting city, worth 1-2 days’ visit, by itself.

Here is Mt. Franklin, “The Southernmost of the Rockies”.

As one heads towards downtown, St. Patrick’s Cathedral presents itself.

El Paso has a couple of Spanish missions that invite visits, but for now, I will be content with a view of downtown.

I needed a place to indulge in the last of my summer sausage and fruit, so I stopped about an hour west of El Paso, in the old Spanish market town of Mesilla, just south of La Cruces, NM.

Mesilla remains a popular market for Las Cruces area residents.  Its centerpiece, though, is the Church of San Albino.

 

Across from the church, there is a gazebo, where an older couple was singing traditional northern Mexican songs.

The original architecture of Mesilla still enchants.

Whatever your needs, though, there is something colourful in a traditional  New Mexican market town, for everyone.

The long, sweet Texas journey was over.  I drove over the mountains of western New Mexico/eastern Arizona to Phoenix, enjoyed a hearty meal and camaraderie at Texas Roadhouse, in the Metrocenter area, and rested comfortably at Premier Inn.  Memorial Day found me at Penny’s grave site and then heading back to Prescott, for a “don’t blink” week or so, before my second Southern California trip of the year.

Texas, Day 9, Part 2: Carrizo Springs and the Southern Texas Hill Country

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Those who think Texas is uniformly flat, are in for a reality check at both the north and south ends of the Hill Country.  The southern segment throws the landscape into even higher relief.  It looks like the water has had longer to erode the surrounding terrain more deeply here.

I started the afternoon buzzing through Carrizo Springs, an oil boom town northwest of Laredo.  The area is quite arid, but riparian enough to support a  great deal of greenery.

This was taken just west of the Border Patrol check station, just outside Carrizo.

Crystal Springs is a funky little town about forty minutes west of Carrizo Springs.  It has an artistic flair, as one might gather from the following four photos.

Above is a shrine to unborn children.

Uvalde, about twenty miles further west, has wide streets and very stately architecture downtown.  It was also home to U.S. Vice President John Nance Garner, who served during FDR’s third term.

Once outside Uvalde, the Hill Country’s rugged character takes back over.  One may either head north, towards Junction or west, towards Del Rio.  I chose north, this time.

This is a view from the overlook off Hwy. 281.I encountered a couple whose car was overheating.  They had a family member coming from Junction, about forty minutes away from the overlook, so I enjoyed the view and moved on.

I pulled into Junction, TX, which brought me to I-10, around 6 P.M.  Junction has several amenities for hunters and fishermen, and is generally a pleasant-looking town.  The South Llano River runs through Junction.

Junction’s Chamber of Commerce has a good sense of humour.

I continued on, into the Chihuahuan Desert, spending the night at the very pleasant Town & Country Motel, in Fort Stockton.

Next:  Day 10- Chihuahuan Desert scenes, El Paso and a New Mexico Driving Break.

Texas, Day 9, Part 1: Laredo

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She was stunning.  The young girl glanced up at me, doe-eyed and with a deceptive air of innocence.  As I went about my business, the head-over-heels-in-love 14-year-old boy excitedly leapt for joy; then they embraced.  They were still in lip-lock when I came back around, with another load of stuff for my night’s stay.

I have often wondered about the real state of Texas border towns.  Horror stories sometimes make their way onto my news feed.  While I was in Austin recently, a young man told me  he was from Laredo, and that many of the stories were true.

Naturally, within the reasonable bounds of caution, I decided to check out Laredo for myself- during the day.  I did stay the night at a raucous and down-at-the-heels place called Monterey Inn, but the characters were just partying, and posed no threat to me.  The police sirens were constant, but also distant.

Laredo, by day, at least on Saturday morning (5/26), is as vibrant and happy a place as I’ve seen anywhere.  When I first parked at the Public Library, so as to check my e-mails (Wi-fi at places like the Monterey is nonexistent.), two men across the street made note of my presence.  When I left and put the laptop back in the trunk, they stood and watched as I briefly pondered walking downtown from there.  Seeing their interest, I decided to drive off and park closer to the Plaza San Agustin.

St. Augustine is the patron of Laredo, and his cathedral stands vibrantly on the east end of the Plaza.

La Posada Hotel sits on the south end of the Plaza.  It is Laredo’s grand hotel, and is on the site where the Republic of Rio Grande was declared, briefly, in January, 1840, by opponents of Mexican President Antonio de Santa Anna.  They did not meet a good end.

Now, as then, there are many jockeying for position along the border, and in Mexico itself.  I chose not to approach the river area this time, having satisfied my curiosity on Friday (5/25), at Boca Chica.

Here a few other shots around downtown and midtown Laredo.

This is the County Courthouse, in midtown.

Here is some of Laredo’s lovely tile and wrought iron work.  Below are a couple of other samples of  the city’s exquisite Castilian architecture.

I headed northwest, towards the southern edge of Texas Hill Country, and briefly said farewell to Laredo at the Texas Visitors’ Center, a grand place by itself.

There are several gardens- and koi.

So it is that life on the mid-border is not as sketchy as some see it- but as with anywhere there is conflict, prudence works.

Next:  Day 9, Part 2- Carrizo Springs to the Southern Hill Country

Texas, Day 8, Part 3: Port isabel

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There is something about an anchoring outpost, at the far end of any of the four directions, that continually fascinates.  People of all walks of life, ethniciities, orientations and creeds can appreciate the ambiance and raw challenge suggested by a human settlement  at the very edge of  a landmass, or even of a political unit.  Someone once posited, rather indelicately, that “Key West and Provincetown aren’t just for Gays anymore”.  True enough- a die-hard “straight” person like me would enjoy such places perfectly well.   I think my “gay” friends would agree.

The appeal is in the edge; but I digress.

Port Isabel lies at the southeast corner of the Texas mainland.  Though the small settlement of Boca Chica is just a tad further to the south and east, Port Isabel has the role of  welcoming anchor, with its lighthouse that once guided thousands of ships to safe harbour.   Today, “Isabel” is the gateway to the beaches and boat slips of South Padre Island.  Its school system serves island children, as well as its own.  The town has three museums, which complement one another and operate in unison.

Here are some views of this surprisingly complex town.

First, a look back towards South Padre Island.

Next, I visited the Port Isabel Lighthouse.  It’s no longer serving its original purpose, of course, but kids of all ages can challenge their acrophobia and claustrophobia by climbing up the narrow stairs, and cramming into the veritable crawlspace that is the tower.  It holds two adults at a time, comfortably.

Next, I walked over to the Port Isabel Historical Museum.  It  does a fine job of chronicling the cultural contributions, and relationships to the land, sea and river, of the Coahuiltecan indigenous people, of the Spanish, Tejano, and American settlers. This area was vital to the cotton trade, and as I’ve said before, the mercantile Tejanos of the lower Rio Grande Valley were more ferocious in defense of the Confederacy than even the cotton barons themselves.

Here are a few shots of the Historical Museum, starting with the front garden.

Children of Victorian Port Isabel were taught the finer things of life.  Girls learned manners through play with intricately-made dolls.

Like any maritime community in North America, Port Isabel had ties to, and a fascination with, the culture of eastern Asia.

The last museum on this circuit is Treasures of the Gulf.  I took no photos inside, but the museum does have marvelous murals and artifacts of Spanish and Civil War Era shipwrecks, as well as hurricane memorabilia.  A Children’s Discovery Room will make this a great place for visiting families to beat the heat.

It was getting to be time to leave the Gulf region, so I headed up the Rio Grande Valley, past the farms and thriving communities of Cameron and Hidalgo Counties, to:

Day 9, Part 1: Laredo

Texas, Day 8, Part 2: Andy Bowie Beach Park and Boca Chica.

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I had the opportunity to see and savor the Gulf of Mexico twice today.  After saturating my senses with SPI’s Birding Station and Wildlife Sanctuary, I headed across the road to  the city’s Andy Bowie Beach Park.  The basics are all here- rolling dunes, vegetative windbreak, a roiling surf and strong undertow- but with a shallow sea level, as far as five miles out.  This gives the surf a sandy, brownish tinge.  It doesn’t feel gritty, though. Truth be known, I was glad to be back in the water.  It has been 21 years since I was last in the ocean- that was in Korea. I’ve been around it, in SoCal, Massachusetts and New Jersey, but to put on a swimsuit, beach shoes and full-body sunblock- not since 1991.

So,  on Thursday afternoon, I went to a swim shop, and got two new swimsuits,  and beach shoes.  Friday morning (5/25), I was one with the surf, for thirty five or forty minutes.  Then, I walked along Bowie Beach for about 1 1/2 miles,  just letting the surf do its thing on my feet- perfect.  The Gulf is a comfortable 75 degrees.

Here are some things I saw at Bowie Beach.

The dunes here are well covered, a good plan to avoid erosion.

Here’s a casualty of  a short attention span.

The tide was slowly coming in.

These condos are a risk for a low-lying, hurricane-prone island, but are better-built than some of their predecessors.

I took this shot of the South Padre Island- Port Isabel Bridge, from Pier 19, at the island’s southern tip.

Here’s Pier 19, where I indulged on more seafood enchiladas.

Across the narrow channel from South Padre’s own southern tip, is Boca Chica.  The peninsula is about four miles, north to south, and ends where the Rio Grande empties into the Gulf.  Part of me wanted to see this, but when I got there, it was thirty minutes until sunset, and security concerns kept me back.

I still got to see Boca Chica’s rather primitive and captivating beach.

Boca Chica’s dunes are more highly sculpted than those of South Padre.

The surf towards sundown was every bit as feisty as earlier.

I was able to get a shot of the Rio Grande, about three miles shy of its confluence with the Gulf.  Across the river is an area once known as Bagdad, Tamaulipas.

A sidelight to the story of this border region is the last battle of the Civil War, fought AFTER Robert E.Lee surrendered at Appomattox.  Tejano cotton traders, led by Santos Benavides, defeated a force of Union regulars at Rancho Palmito.

In between the two beaches, I spent two hours in the delightful town of Port Isabel.  Its treasures comprise Day 8, Part 3.

Texas, Day 7, Part 3 and Day 8, Part 1: South Padre Island Birding Station and Wildlife Sanctuary

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As I headed south on Thursday afternoon, my intention was to go into Brownsville, get a room, and check out the mouth of the Rio Grande at Boca Chica.  Sometimes, the angel on my shoulder can gently get me to change direction.  When I got to the turn-off to South Padre Island, a whisper told me to turn left and go over the bridge.  I did so, and was rewarded with an affordable motel room at Island Inn, and visits to both the western, or Laguna Madre side of the island, and to the eastern, or Gulf side.

South Padre Island was detached from the rest of the barrier island by the dredging of Port Mansfield Channel in 1964.  It’s relative isolation spurred economic development as a beach resort.  The presence of condominiums along the Gulf side increases the risk of hurricane-induced damage, both to the structures and to the sand dunes that lie in from the shore.

The island is nonetheless captivating, though, and I spent about an hour Thursday afternoon , and two hours on Friday morning,  taking in the SPI Birding Station and Wildlife Sanctuary and its attendant boardwalk, which takes the visitor out onto platforms overlooking serene Laguna Madre, on the bay side of  the island.

Birds, fish, crustaceans and four American alligators, may be seen below the boardwalk, at work and at play.

The facility is a five-story wonder.

Here is a view of the Boardwalk, which juts out into Laguna Madre.  There are 7 viewing platforms and 8 sections of Boardwalk, overlooking both bay and marsh.

Pintails like both marsh and bay.

Alligators have found their way to South Padre.  A family of four is here now, with more eggs preparing to hatch.

Great blue herons, gallinules and egrets top the list of shore birds who enthrall birders by the dozens.

The glistening bay may be appreciated, both at eye level, and from the fifth floor lookout.

With all of South Padre Island’s natural wonders, the greatest and dearest wonder is the strength of its people.  The community has organized a Memorial Park, just north of the Birding Station.  Great local leaders, and lost youths, are commemorated here.

Among the fallen, Alyson Marie Knight, 18 at the time of her passing, stood out to me.

I trust the people of this beautiful island may always have Alyson’s stars to hold.

Next, Day 8, Part 2, Andy Bowie Beach Park and Boca Chica

Texas, Day 7, Part 2: Blucher Park

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Corpus Christi has made a concerted effort to preserve the semi-tropical forest in its midst, thanks largely to George Blucher.  He was a son of Felix von Blucher, an early settler of the Corpus Christi area, and with his siblings, managed his father’s ranch and coastal properties, until his own passing in 1929.  His house is still maintained as a Bed and Breakfast and is registered with the Texas Historical Commission.

The park is across the street from the B & B.  I post these photos, without further comment, so that you get a sense of the serenity, even in the midst of a busy neighbourhood.

After this delightful walk, I headed south on US 77, towards the Rio Grande Valley.  Along the way, I passed through the countryside that was home to John G. Kenedy, the benefactor to Corpus Christi’s Catholic diocese.  His ranch is a Texas Historic Site, near Falfurrias.

Here is a glimpse of the area.

Next-  Day 7, Part 3:  South Padre Island Intro.

Texas, Day 7, Part 1: Corpus Christi, Gulf and Downtown

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I hit a few internal speed bumps on this part of the trip.  Stopping at a motel, thirty miles outside of town, on Wednesday night, I encountered my first, and only, cockroaches- in the refrigerator, of all places.  Fortunately, I had my cooler for the food, and kept my smelly clothes and shoes out of harm’s way.  I let the owner know right away, the next morning, that I had killed 7 little scavengers that night.

The second bump was my own doing- forgetting that surface roads along the Gulf in Corpus are TWO lanes each way, I gingerly started making a left turn from the inside lane, until screech-and-beep let me know I wasn’t alone.  Fortunately, there was no harm, unless the kid had a heart attack afterward.

As to the good parts of the morning, Corpus Christi has two standouts- the Gulf and Blucher Park.  This post focuses on the former, and on some of Corpus Christi’s finer downtown features.

The city honours its indigenous people, the Karankawa, with the name of its main north-south downtown  street:  Carancahua.  On this pleasant street is Czech-Mex Bakery, where I again indulged in kolache.  These were stuffed with apple, and were every bit as good as the ones in West, TX.  Czechs just take their baking seriously, as they should.

Here is the busy intro to Bayside- Corpus Christi is not on the open Gulf, but it’s close.

Crossing carefully, I spent about fifteen minutes taking in the glorious salt air of north Corpus Christi Bay.

A permanent fixture here is the USS Lexington.  Along with Texas State Aquarium, the  UT Marine Science Institute and Texas Museum of Asian Cultures, this will be a major part of a more focused Corpus Christi visit.  Then, I would also spend two or three days on the main part of Padre Island.

After disturbing the sea gulls and napping fishermen, with the click of my camera, I headed up hill to the downtown area.  Here are two notable houses of worship:  Corpus Christi Cathedral and St. Patrick’s Church, near Blucher Park.

The cathedral was built in 1940, to replace an older facility.  Some of the stone from th eold building was reused here.  The land was donated by John G. Kenedy, a South Texas rancher who figures quite prominently in the history of Texas’ southeast.

St. Patrick’s is the home church of a Catholic school on Alameda Street.

After visiting the public library, to post my work for that Thursday, I happened by this delightful place for lunch.

It seems all of north Bayside was here, but I had good service, and well-made seafood enchiladas, with okra soup, a generous side salad and fresh sourdough bread.  I hadn’t had sourdough west of the Pecos, until then.  It was just marvelous.

I know, I missed the statue of dear Selena.  I loved that girl, and will be here again.

Next:  Day 7, Part 2- Blucher Park