Once we left Mobile, our next goal was to visit friends along the Texas Gulf Coast. We headed west through the remainder of Alabama, straight through Mississippi and into Louisiana. Our first night, we stayed at a campground that we had been at the year before; Lakeside RV Park, in Livingston, LA.
We asked for a long site, seeing we had the Escape, truck and fifth wheel. They gave us their longest site, which also used to be their boat launch. If I backed up far enough, I’d get a free RV wash! It was fun to watch the swans, along with a beautiful sunrise the next morning. Livingston was also where Diana was able to find a begneit last year, so we made sure to include that stop again.
Lots of powdered sugar on top…yum!
Once we were back on the road, our next goal was Texas!
We certainly wouldn’t want to miss a chance to ham it up for the camera!
When searching on AllStays for a campground, we came upon this gem: Winnie-Stowell County Park. Free if you don’t use the hookups, or $15 if you do. Diana stopped at the county courthouse up the street for a permit and was told that the electricity probably wasn’t on yet, so they wouldn’t take her money. The woman said that if it was, just go ahead and plug in. The 30 amp boxes weren’t open, but the 20 amp electricital boxes were on, as was the water…and there was a sewer connection at each site. We ended up having one neighbor…nice!
The next morning, I was conversing on Messenger with our friend Peter about the fact that we were in the same state as him and his wife, Peg. I told him we were headed to Rockport, to which he responded “Are you taking the free ferry at Bolivar?”. Our plan was to brave Houston traffic, so I was all ears for an alternate route!
Hmmmm….this sure isn’t the Houston traffic I remembered from last year. The route took us south out of Winnie and followed along the Texas Gulf Coast.
The ferry gave me a quick opportunity for a rooftop inspection. A little dirty, but the seams all looked good! 😉
We were glad we took this route, in the fact that we saw an area we might not have otherwise seen. It did add a few hours to our day, and actually got busy in the afternoon. A touch heavy on the refineries and too many speed limit changes for hauling a fifth wheel (Peter warned me about that)…but it was still fun to see. 😎. Thank you, Peter!
When we got to Rockport, we went to see our friends George and Grace.
They are seasonal residents at Wild Cherry Resort in Michigan and they own a home in Rockport. It was nice to see their beautiful home and community!
On Sunday, they gave us a tour of Padre Island National Seashore and we spent the afternoon on the beach. Diana mentioned to the park staff that one of her dreams is to earn the right to be a NPS Ranger.
They gave her a little preview. The look on her face pretty much sums up what that hat represents to her. 😃
On Monday, Diana and I drove down to see the USS Lexington in Corpus Christi.
This aircraft carrier was built in one year, and survived many battles in WWII. After the war, she was modernized several times and ended up serving the US Navy into the 1990’s.
While the deck seemed large by ship standards, it seemed very tiny when thinking of it as a runway for airplanes. I can see why my dad chose the Army Air Corps when he enlisted in WWII. 😉
Sitting on the bridge felt like I was at the wheel of the ultimate RV!
The hanger deck, located immediately below the main deck, was massive. It had been turned into a museum, cafeteria and theater. The crew areas below these decks were left as they would have been used while the ship was in service. Diana and I enjoyed our tour but both agreed when we were done that we had our fill of ships and planes for awhile. 😉
On Tuesday, we joined up again with George and Grace so they could give us a tour of the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.
We spotted plenty of wildlife while we were there. This is a place you want bug spray, good binoculars or a spotting scope, and a decent zoom lens on your camera.
I managed to catch this vulture with the Nikon as it passed overhead.
Grace spotted an alligator, and after zooming in on it, we discovered that there was another large gator next to it.
We also spotted this feral hog. The refuge is trying to reduce their population, as they are considered an invasive species. We also saw a couple of javalina, a few whitetail deer, and a multitude of different shore birds. We were about a week late for seeing the Whooping Cranes.
That evening, George and Grace invited us to join them for a Passover Seder at their temple.
With Diana being raised Methodist and me growing up Catholic, this was a new and fun experience for us. While we were there, we met Grace’s friend Dorothy, who happens to be a Methodist minister and a friend of Diana’s cousin, Nancy. It certainly is a small world!
We really enjoyed our stay on the Texas Gulf Coast. It’s very different than what we are used to in Florida. Next stop for us is Austin to visit with family and take in some vistas we’ve yet to explore!
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