A Neighborhood Visit

I don’t have the time or money to travel as much as I would like, so I try to be a traveler in my town and areas near by. I’m planning a weekend trip to San Antonio next month, there are some trails I want to watch and I would like to see the new exhibit at the zoo, but when I can’t really go anywhere, I’m trying to see areas around my home. My goal is to explore all the parks here in Corpus Christi.

I started by downloading a list of the parks here in town. I don’t have a very organized way of choosing the parks. Basically, I pick ones I’ve never been to or look interesting on Google Maps or their reviews. Its almost like throwing darts at a very specific dart board. I’ve visited about half a dozen parks since I started, some I wasn’t impressed with, they were just parks with a walking track and playground. Not that that’s a bad park, it meets the needs of the people and families that live in the neighborhood, just not what I was looking for. My favorite were the parks with something to actually explore. Lakeview Park and West Guth Park were my favorites.

Lakeview Park had a lot of trees surrounding a lake or a very large duck pond, because there were a lot of ducks. It took me about an hour to walk all the way around the lake. Probably less, I did stop a few times and venture a little closer. There were lots of birds nesting around the lake, mostly ducks and geese, but there were some ibis, cormorants, turtles and even a few chickens that had made a pit stop there. At least I think the chickens had just stopped there, I never imagined chickens living there, but now that I think about it the neighborhood surrounding the lake didn’t really look like a place you would raise chickens. I had a grand ole time that afternoon, and isn’t that what everything is about.

While I like Lakeview because of the nature, I enjoyed West Guth Park because one spot in particular gave me the greatest sense of nostalgia. There was this old, stone foundation (I don’t know what was there) among a copse of trees. I could imagine me and my friends playing there when we were kids. We always played on the edge of the woods (we weren’t allowed to go in). We used the dirt and threes and roots to create backdrops of all our games. West Guth also had a small duck pond surrounded by trees with exposed roots. The roots made the perfect little seat.

Last weekend, my sister and I went to Blucher Park. I normally visited the parks on my own, but I took my sister with me because as much as I wanted to visit this park I was a little hesitant. I had read a lot of reviews describing a homeless population living in and around the park and a shelter on one side. I’m not saying that homeless people are dangerous, but since college I have a hesitation on being alone in an area where there was anyone who I thought might be homeless. Most homeless people I have met have been perfectly wonderful people who are just down on their luck, but I had a scary experience the summer between my junior and senior year of college.

That summer my car broke down and I had to walk from my apartment to work for about a month. I would usually walk or ride my bike, sometimes my friends or roommate would give me a ride. One afternoon when I was walking, just after I crossed the street from my neighborhood to the next a homeless man approached me from behind on the sidewalk. He told me that I was coming with him. I’m not really a screamer, usually my brain goes to how I can get out of the situation so I didn’t move and didn’t say anything. He repeated that I was coming with him. I looked around helpless. A man driving down the road stopped and asked what was going on. The man walked away in the opposite direction and I continued on to work. I never told my family about this, but I did tell me friends and roommate. They didn’t let me walk to work too my after that and my car was fixed soon.

I don’t like to let things like that stop me from living my life, especially since nothing happened to me. But it still makes me nervous. Blucher Park was beautiful and I think I would have enjoyed it more if 80% of the people I saw didn’t make me nervous. The park had beautiful groves of trees, where it looked like I could curl up and read a book and spend a wonderful afternoon. The weather was beautiful (which lately the South Texas weather has been cold and wet) and the bugs weren’t biting, it was a great day to be outside in nature.

I was a bit disappointed though. They had a map of the park before you went in, but no way finding signs within the park which made things a little confusing once inside. I can see both sides, you don’t want to ruin nature with a sign, but it makes it less visitor friendly if your lost. The map showed a little bluff, I was in disbelief. I thought a bluff, really, but it was there and big enough that I wouldn’t have wanted to fall in. It lead down to a little creek. The park was smaller than I thought it would be. Overall, I was disappointed, I don’t know if its because I had hyped up this park or because I didn’t really allowed myself to enjoy the park.


The Haunted Ghost Tracks

In San Antonio there is a legend, a legend of the haunted ghost tracks. They sit at the end of Villamain Road as you are turning onto Shane Road. What are the ghost tracks you may ask? Well, they are a section of railroad tracks in south San Antonio that are said to be haunted by the spirits of the children that died there.

The story goes that in the 1930s (or 1940s, depends on who’s telling the tale, but does that really matter) a bus was carrying a group of children home from school. There is an alternate version that says they are coming home at night from a field trip. But when they reached the intersection of Villamain and Shane Roads, the bus stalled out on the tracks. One tale says that when the driver noticed a train coming, they tried to get the kids off the bus, but didn’t make it in time, while another says they driver tried to unsuccessfully restart the bus. In both stories the driver wasn’t successful and the bus was crashed into killing the students. But the story doesn’t end there. The bus driver, so distraught over the accident decides to commit suicide, by parking on the tracks and waiting to get hit by an oncoming train. Unfortunately for the driver, they ended up having to live with the guilt, because it’s said that the little ghost children pushed the car off the tracks keeping the driver safe and alive.

Today you can visit the tracks and, if you are brave enough, park on the tracks and the little ghost children will push your car to safety. Some people have even gone so far as to try to catch evidence of the children. They will sprinkle baby powder on the trunk of their car before they park. They have said that after they are pushed off the tracks, they have found little hand and finger prints on the trunk of their cars.

Well today I decided I wanted to try this. The ghost tracks are only about five miles from my house, so I grabbed my wallet, phone and water bottle and headed to the car. As I was driving out there, I realized I had been here before. I drive Doordash part time and had made a handful of deliveries here, so I had driven across the ghost tracks before and never realized that’s what they were as I only discovered this story about a month ago.

The tracks are on a slight incline. Its more pronounced on the Shane Road side than the Villamain Road side. I check to make sure nothing was coming, cars (people live out here) or trains (don’t actually want to get hit by a train) and I drove onto the tracks and put the car in neutral. Now I have a Jeep so there isn’t a flat surface to sprinkle baby powder on and I just got my car washed they day before, so I skipped that part of the ritual.

If you were reading earlier, I mentioned that the decade the story happened didn’t really matter and for a very good reason, there have never been any accidents recorded happening on the railroad tracks in San Antonio. There was a fatal accident that occurred in 1938 with almost the same circumstance, but that accident happened in Salt Lake City Utah about 1300 miles away from the ghost tracks here in San Antonio. Even though there is no record of the accident there are countless people, I work with some, that have been pushed from the tracks at Villamain and Shane and that said they had ghostly prints show up on their cars. Is it physics? Or some little ones trying to keep everyone safe?

If you are visiting the San Antonio missions, there are five, and are interested in experiencing a little San Antonio history visit the ghost tracks. They are just down the road from Mission San Juan and it’ll only take a little time out of your day. Whether they story is true or not, the tale is part of San Antonio’s many haunts to add to your list.

My First RV Park

After Puerto Del Sol didn’t have any openings, I found Sea Breeze RV Park and Resort. It was closer to my apartment than Puerto Del Sol so it was easier to commute back and forth to clean out my apartment.

I moved in the first day I had my RV. When I pulled up, I was a little confused at where the check in was, but that was because the office looked like a little house. It had a porch that wrapped around two sides of the house and the landscaping around the office was decorated with lots of yard ornaments. I didn’t see any gnomes, but lots of little ceramic and wooden animals, decorative flags, those glass yard orbs and even a little covered wagon. The whole place is so cute and homey – very reminiscent of the yards and barns around my grandmother’s house.

I got a pull through spot, which was nice because it was easy to get into the site. I was right across from the laundry rooms. A short walk from my site was Nueces Bay. It was a really nice walk that circled a little inlet complete with an island where birds would hang out, a fishing pier and dog park. I don’t really fish, but it looked like it would be comfortable. I have cats so I didn’t have any use for the dog park.

I spent the first week and a half moving my things from my old apartment to the RV. It took longer than it should have because I got a little lazy, but my sister helped me get back on track.

I became a little obsessed with checking how full my tanks were. Every time I left the bathroom, I would check the levels, so I emptied my tanks pretty timely.

My kitchen is just like my kitchen in my apartment, except no dishwasher, but I’ve never really minded doing the dishes. And I missed having a gas stove like I had before I moved into an apartment. I haven’t used my oven yet. I have to light the pilot when I want to cook something in the oven and It makes me a little nervous.

I wanted to stay until the end of February and ended up having to move sites at the beginning of the month. I was in the pull through area and had to move to the area they called the valley. It took about an hour to break down the RV and move it. I unhooked the sewer and water hoses, moved in the room slides and unplugged the RV from shore power. Since we weren’t going far I put all the cats in the bedroom and shut the door and bungee corded Ande’s cage in so it wouldn’t roll and drove over to the new site. My car still wasn’t able to be towed so I walked back over and got it, then set camp back up.

When I opened the bedroom back up, I could only see two cats because one was hiding under the bed spread. It was the first time they had been in the RV with it moving. All the animals seemed to have adjusted okay otherwise. Ande seems to like the new envirnoment and his ability to get closer to me, even when he has to stay in the cage. Creepers and Mo like sitting on the dashboard and sleeping in the driver’s and passenger’s chairs. Salem took a little longer to settle in, she spent the first week of the move in the bedroom.

Although I did have some problems with the cats. Creepers has always liked to try to get outside, even though she is afraid of strangers, and she continues to try now. She was successful once when I was trying to do the laundry. She went out under my feet and got under the RV. She was exploring and wanted to climb up under the RV. I had to go under, pull her out and take her back in.

Because of Creepers, I had to “baby” proof the stove. I came home one night to my LP alarm going off. It took me a few minutes to figure out what it was, because I’d never had it go off before. But once I found it and silenced it (really muted it) I couldn’t figure out why it was going off. I turned off the propane and aired out the RV. I took off the monitor and it looked like the monitor was about six years old. I Googled and it said another reason the monitor could be going off was if it was nearing the end of its life. I turned off the monitor and turned the propane back on. I turned the stove on to make sure I hadit back on correctly. I only lit one burner, but two lit. I came home a few nights later to the same, but saw how it happened. Creepers hit the burner knob with her foot. I used some cap erasers to stuff under the knobs until I could get some stove knob caps from Target.

As obsessed as I was about checking my black and gray tank levels, I paid no attention to my propane levels. It was completely empty before I noticed. Luckily I still had access to my apartment and a hot shower. But I still had no heat in early February. The propane company for the park delivered on Thursdays and my tank went out on Sunday. There was one night it got down in the 30s. I gave Ande another blanket, gave myself another blanket and three cats cuddled up next to me. And two of them run very hot, so we survived!

I really like this place, I’m here for another week. I wouldn’t mind staying longer, but the rent seems higher than what I remember being quoted on the website. Its completely worth it, its a great place, great location, has great ammenities and the staff is so nice and acccomadating. Just more than I expected.

Trying A New Way

During a thunderstorm, do you ever look out the window at the storm and take comfort that you and yours are warm, safe and dry. I don’t always take the time to look out and think about it, but it always satisfactory when I do.

Its a nice feeling, until I realize that I left something in my car. Then I have to debate how much I really need whatever I left in the car and either go out in the storm or go without. Its a weird jump but I remember telling a friend that one day I wanted to live in a motorhome and carry my house with me whereever I go. Her reaction was to laugh and ask me if I wanted to be a hermit crab.

This was a few years ago, but when I realized people actually do this, I decided this would be my goal for this year. I wanted find something and move in, in the fall of 2020 or spring of 2021. I have three cats and a parrot, one of the cats beeing a nine month old kitten I found on the side of the road last Memorial Day. He’s a good little kitten, but very much a kitten and I need to get the the kitten and middle cat used to a leash and harness. I thought this would be plenty of time for Mo, the nine month old, to settle down a little and find a home with space to put Ande’s, my parrot, cage.

I looked at floor plans online, but unlike a house or apartment its really hard to see how much room you really have. Even if I didn’t find a motorhome with enough room for Ande’s current cage, I needed to find one with space find a smaller one and then find a smallerone. Just before Thanksgiving I thought I would actually go out and look at motorhomes. I live in a tourist town near the beach so there are a lot of RV parks around and a handful of dealerships. Turns out most dealerships, or at least the ones in my area, don’t sell motorhomes. Only two dealerships had any on the lot and even then less than five.

About a week before Christmas I looked at one that was a great fit for everything I needed and was half the price I had looked at. I couldn’t help but to jump at the opportunity. It was a used motorhome so it needed a couple of cosmetic need from the mechanics. Normally this style has a couch, but I guess the origional owners didn’t like the couch and had it removed. They put in two recliners, which I still haven’t figured out how they had enough room to recline them where they ended up placing them. I thought I would just unbolt one of the chairs and put Ande’s cage there. I picked up the rig about two weeks after I signed the papers. They needed to fix the awning over the living room slideout.

I was excited but dreading all the work it takes to move. I’m still moving, so still have that feeling of dread. My other fear was that I wouldn’t be able to figure out how to run the motorhome properly. One of the mechanics, Tony, walked through everything on the day I signed the papers. But over the course of the two weeks I was afraid I’d forgotten everything he told me.

About three days before I picked up the RV, I started looking for an RV park to start out at. I really wanted to start off at Puerto Del Sol at the north end of North Beach in Corpus Christi. I figured this would be a great place, close enough to my apartment to take my time moving in, close enough to work that I it would still be convient and with great views. Although its not in the best part of town. I called them during my lunch break. They were very abrupt with their “no”. I asked if they had availability; they asked how big my motorhome was, they immediately said “no” without hearing the dates I wanted to stay.

I had bought a 31′ home. The kitchen has more counter space then my apartment. From inside it seems so big, but when I park it next to another motorhome, it looks small. I like it, its small enough for me to feel comfortable driving (with cameras) and large enough to live in comfortably with three cats and a bird.

After my rejection at Puerto Del Sol, I called the Sea Breeze RV park in Portland, TX. They had an opening, not for the full amount of time I wanted to stay, but were willing to work with me to get me a slot. I moved in that Saturday afternoon after picking up the RV.

Like I said earlier, I was a little nervous about hooking up and running the motorhome. Tony gave me a review, I bought a couple of hoses and RV toilet paper. Apparently septic safe toilet paper isn’t enough, and I’m not about to take a chance stopping up my black waste tank. Ick! My sister drove over to the park with me and things were pretty simple to set up. Plugged in the RV into the 30amp plug turned it on and hooked up the city water hose.

We moved all four animals over which took a little bit of time. I let Ande take his time to get into the carrier on his own. Creepers and Mo, the oldest and youngst of my cats, loaded into the kenels quickly, but Salem, my largest cat, fought me hard. We got everyone over and took some clothes and other things I needed over in two trips and went to dinner. We were exhausted.

My problem arose when we got back and it was cold and I had no hot water. I live in south Texas, so since it was hot during the day I hadn’t thought about the propane and I couldn’t figure out how to turn it on. We consulted the owners manual, but couldn’t figure it out from the instructions (no pictures or diagrams). There were more warnings than instructions. I didn’t want to play around with it to much and have a potentially dangerous accident. Around eleven pm, I found a YouTube video that showed me how to turn it on. Success, I had heat! But it hadn’t been on long enough to have hot water, so I had a cold shower.

Three of the animals seem have settled in, all except Salem. Ande and I read a story or part of a story every night which she likes. She came out when I read to Ande, otherwise she mostly stays in the bedroom and is ususally hiding when I come home from work. She’s never moved before, so hopefully she settles in soon.

Sea Breeze RV Park is right on the bay. I want to walk around and explore the park, but so far its been dark or quite foggy when I’ve gotten home from work. Its still on my to do list. Maybe tomorrow or this weekend.

A Better Life

Last weekend I went to Cole Park. Cole Park is a park on the bay front of Corpus Christi. I’ve been there many times usually to watch a movie. They have an amphitheater there that sometimes they show movies on the wall in the summer. I’d never been and just enjoyed the park. It boasts a playground, skate park, a garden (I never actually found the garden) and a walking path along the bay. Part of the water area is lined with sand, but most of it is lined with rocks.

The park is mostly a large grassy area with a few palm trees, otherwise not much shade. So I walked down the path by the water, I thought this was the best way to see the whole park and get a breeze. They were setting up for some event when I got there, not sure what the event was but there were tents and food vendors arriving. I’m not sure how wise it was set up the event this early on a Saturday, because they kept driving on the walking path without much regard to others.

There was a nice breeze by the water so I thought I would have a seat on the rocks and just watch the water. There were a couple of families playing on the beach and in the water, I saw birds flying over the bay and even a two small sea turtles coming up for air. It was very hot but otherwise a very nice day. My plan was to find a nice place and just sit and kind of zen out, do some thinking. Unfortunately I got distracted and couldn’t stop thinking about it.

When I walked down to the beach, I thought I might walk down the water front along the rocks. Then I remembered my balance is no where good enough to do this so I climbed back down. What I saw on the beach was disgusting though. There was trash everywhere; straws, Whataburger cups, half of plates and so much small random plastic that there was no telling what it used to be. And those families were playing in it, the animals were living in it and feeding in it. But the people didn’t seem to care, they were letting there children play in it and were splashing around in it themselves. Its like they were desensitized to the trash like it was supposed to be there. I guess in a way it is, most of us have spent most of our lives going to the beach, to the park, walking down our street and seeing bits of trash in the sand, the water or grass.

The only places I really saw garbage cans was near the areas where the most people would gather: near the picnic areas, the playground and skate park; but only one near the water front and no recycling. People only do what is convenient and going a few extra steps or even holding on to trash is inconvenient so what do we do? We drop it where ever we happen to be. The way I see it we have two solutions for the future, let the Earth become a landfill (that we have to live in, because there isn’t any place to move to and start all over) or do what we can to keep our planet livable. I choose do try to do my part to help with the second option, but why doesn’t anyone else?

If any of our leaders cared more, and I don’t really mean politicians because they are and they aren’t part of our daily lives. I mean the city leaders, the CEOs, our parents and elders should take more responsibility. That also means each of us who can think for ourselves. We need to make clean up and taking care of the Earth easier, add more garbage and recycling bins and take the extra steps, the simple steps to do better. Disney has it right a trash can about every ten to fifteen feet. Come up with more reusable products and make them affordable to the average person. The average consumer is not going to buy a $40 water bottle. We aren’t the only animals, beings or lives on this planet, but we are the only ones that can help (I’m pretty sure of that, I think).

A Little Rescue

He’s been with me for about two weeks now.

On Memorial Day I was heading to work, driving about five (probably ten) miles over the limit, when I saw this thing move along the side of the causeway. I slowed down and pulled over. I had to walk back to this little thing who was walking toward me. As I got closer, it went into an alcove on the highway where the water drains into the bay. I got down on the road and saw this little gray kitten.

He was quite scared of me and kept going deeper into the crevice, at one point he almost fell into the bay, but he pulled himself up. My arms would only reach about half way to him and my short legs and arms couldn’t pull him out over the top of the cement rail. I hate to say this but I scared him away from the edge and closer to me so I could get a good grip on his little hind end and pull him out. We walked back to my car and went home. Needless to say I was late for work, but how can you compare being about half an hour late to a little life.

The little one, I decided to call Mo, got to stay in the bathroom with a bowl of adult cat food, water, a little milk (he was small, I guessed about 8 weeks) and of course a litter box. I have two litter boxes because my adult cats are weird and they think they need two, well they had to deal for a day. When I got home from work after picking up some kitten food, I found him huddled behind the bathroom trash can. That evening was spent with Mo napping behind the entertainment center watching me, as long as he could see me he was fine, and then under the bed, sleeping near Salem, who hadn’t growled at her yet. Creepers had already let her feelings be known.

Over the next several days Mo got friendlier and even curled up under my chin to sleep. But it is mainly because he followed and still does follow Salem around. Over the past two weeks, Mo is still skittish. He doesn’t like to be approached, but will approach me when he’s interested. During this whole time I tried to find Mo a permanent home, which is harder than I thought. Granted I’ve never had a male cat before, that seemed to be a deal breaker for everyone who said let me ask my wife/boyfriend. Maybe I don’t know what I’m getting myself into with a male cat.

Mo still lives with me. I took him to the vet last week. They confirmed that he was about 8 weeks old and they sent him home with a little bit of medicine which he has already finished. He still follows Salem around and sits on her. I can’t imagine what type of people put a kitten or animal that young out on the highway. He could have gotten run over, dehydrated or fallen into the bay and drowned, I try not to think what may have happened to the rest of the litter. Mo will stay with me until I find him a home I’m satisfied will care for him. I’ve learned a lot of people don’t want to take on an extra responsibility of a kitten of course I’m relearning how much work they are.

My Trip to Oso Bay Wetland Preserve

Today I went out to Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve. I’d been wanting to go out there for a few weeks but something always just kept being more important.

As I was driving out there, I saw a large metal sculpture of a heron with a fish in his mouth looming on the horizon. As I drove up, it turned out, it was a welcome to the preserve. The parking lot was well landscaped and clean.

The learning center was closed, it being Sunday, but I could still walk the trails. There was this cute little crayfish climbing out of the marsh and under the porch of the learning center and there were lots of little fish swimming in the pond.

Around the back side of the building was an open area with some low balance beams (which I did cross), some plastic stumps (which I did walk across), a cute bench with woodland creatures carved into it and a small man-made waterfall. I sat on a bench and watched the waterfall for a while. A painted bunting came for a drink of water and a rest before taking off to finish his day.

I got up and started down the trails. The ground beneath me was a clean brown gravel that crunched when I walked (it was a very satisfying sound), all the trees where green and lush and ready to hide any small creature, and the sky was blue with fluffy white clouds floating, a beautiful day. I started following a gecko down the path. Every path I went down, there seemed to be a large brown bird flying across the path. It was always too far away to see what type of bird it was. I did see vultures, black-necked stilts, pelicans, cardinals, egrets, herons, sea gulls along with the painted bunting. There wasn’t much water in the bay, but still enough for he animals to get what they needed. I want to go back when there is a little more water.

I cam across a crossroads and took a right along a yellow, “cobblestone” (sort of) path. I got the feeling this path was wet a lot, there was a bit of mud. I had to dodge large fire ants, bees and wasps and keep my footing in the mud. But I made it to the prairie outlook and the end of this yellow brick road.

On my way back from Pelican Porch, the furthest outlook I walked to, on my way to the playground, I was looking at a small tree. In one of the branches, there was a small mess of twigs. I looked closer and it turns out it was a bird’s nest and it had a baby bird in it. It raised its head, I guess it was waiting for its mom to bring back with dinner. The walk back was full of little ones, more geckos to follow back (so I didn’t get lost), mocking birds flying around and a Texas tortoise eating the plants along the side of the path. To top everything off on the way back to the car a caracara flew over the lot.

I spent about three hours out there. It was about a thirty minute drive from my house, but I would definitely go back. I would want to go back when it was a little wetter and earlier in the morning so the temperature is a little cooler, although it is south Texas. I suggest bring a hat and water bottle and make sure you look around and take everything in.

A Peaceful Morning

Last Friday, I packed up and drove up to San Antonio. I had plans to explore around Brackenridge Park and one day and visit the zoo the next.

I got up and over to the gas station around seven for some gas and a little breakfast. After about a two and a half hour ride, I parked by the zoo and walked into the park. My goal for today was to walk from the park to the Pearl Brewery. From maps I had seen, it looked like it was possible. They are only a few miles from each other and it looked like if I followed the river I would make it.

I took the foot path behind part of the river on the right side of the zoo and followed the river toward the golf course. I didn’t stay of the sidewalked path, but took the trail along the river bank. It wasn’t a real path, but one that had been worn away by traffic. There were a few places to park back there with a few cars, but mostly no one else was back there.

It was a beautiful day. The temperature was in the low 80s and there was a lovely breeze. Because I was on the bank, I was in the shade most of the time. I stopped and watched a couple of squirrels do their squirrel thing, one even watched me back. I saw ducks swimming and napping and a turtle snacking on some nice green algae. It was a peaceful way to spend a morning; quiet, fragrant, pleasant temperature.

I tried to keep the river at my side and with the help of Google Maps I was able to, until I hit a residential area. I could see the highway on the other side of the houses. I turned back here. I could have continued on but I would have had to walk on the street. I didn’t make it today. I won’t say its not possible, I might have followed the wrong street after I crossed the railroad tracks. I may not have made it to the Pearl, but I enjoyed my morning, getting a little glimpse into the way of the river.

I ended up back tracking toward St. Mary’s Street. There were several school buses, but so far I hadn’t run into any kids yet so I kept going. Later I found out the students were in San Antonio for a band and choir competition and they were mostly in the zoo and the open area of the park, not where I was spending time. I decided instead to go to the Japanese Tea Garden.

I had been there before, but hadn’t spent much time. The gardens were breath taking. The whole time I kept thinking it was like what being in Alice’s Wonderland garden must look like. I trekked up and down before deciding I was thirsty and wanted a snack. I went over to their restaurant and ordered a bubble tea and a brownie. I’d never had a bubble tea before. I like black tea, but I accidently sucked up a couple of the bubbles (not really certain what they were made of), but they didn’t really sit well and I only drank half the tea. I really enjoyed the brownie. It was big, but not sickeningly sweet.

It was only about one p.m. and still too early to check into the hotel, but I was getting tired. The only thing to do was to take a ride on the San Antonio Zoo Eagle Train. The train was not inside the zoo, so I only had to walk up to the train station, buy a ticket and wait for the next engine. I got there right as the train was pulling out so I had to wait on the next one. It was fine with me, I sat on the bench and enjoyed the peace of the day as others came up to wait for the train as well.

I was joined by about 20 members of the Deer Park Choir. They sang for about half the trip around the park. They kids could sing so it wasn’t bad, but they did put a damper on my good time when they saw some of their friends that weren’t on the train. Their friends kept running up to the train to give the riders high fives. While it might have been fun, it was very dangerous. The chaperones didn’t stop it. I hope they said something to the kids when they got of the train.

After the I got off the train, it was still a little early to check in, but I called and they said I could come over a little early. I know there isn’t much parking downtown San Antonio. I had read on the hotel’s website that they had valet parking, but I had no idea where to park while I was checking in or where the valet area was. I went around the hotel block twice before I just found a spot. I checked in and went up to my room. It was a small room, barely enough room to walk between the bed and desk, but it had a nice large window facing Travis Park and a good sized bathroom. The bathroom only had a shower, I would have liked a tub to soak, but you can’t have everything.

After resting a bit, I walked over to the Alamo and then to the river walk to get some dinner. I hadn’t been to the Alamo in years and was a little disappointed. They did have some nice actors showing what life was like then, but the barracks museum was closed for restoration. But the Alamo was free and a beautiful green space. After a quick dinner on the river walk, I was back in the hotel and showered by 7:30. I was pooped so I watched a little Walking Dead on Netflix and went to bed because the next day I was off to have breakfast with the hippos at the zoo.

Earth Day/Bay Day

Corpus Christi is situated on a bay, Corpus Christi Bay, so they have and Earth Day/Bay Day celebration. It was held this past weekend. Since I moved to Corpus, I had always worked on Saturday, currently I have Saturdays off so I am taking advantage of festivals and other events. I had never been to Earth Day/Bay Day, so this year I went.

The celebrations were being held at Heritage Park. This area is a grouping of some of the oldest homes in Corpus Christi. Most have been restored, are Texas Historical Landmarks and many support the cultural diversity of our area. I have to admit when I was checking the Earth Day/Bay Day website, I was a little surprised that the event wasn’t being held at the bay. But Heritage Park is a beautiful place and there is plenty of room for all the tables, presentations and food.

When I walked in, the end of a falconry presentation was going on. As I walked around at all the tables, I hadn’t realized we had so many environmentally friendly organizations in Corpus Christi. Especially since conservation isn’t a priority in the everyday behaviors of the majority of our population. Reduce, reuse and recycle and other environmentally friendly actions are usually only performed by college students and if its convenient. In other words they won’t usually bother.

There were booths there from government agencies like TX Parks and Wild Life and the TX General Land Office to commercial organizations like the NEC to public health agencies and even nature organizations like the Texas Zoo and the Texas State Aquarium. I had fun walking around all the booths and seeing all the different way you can do better for the environment. The best part was I saw a lot of people I hadn’t seen in such a long time and getting to catch up.

I do have one complaint. Those running the booths seemed to completely ignore adults and only pay attention to the children. Adults need to and want to learn and experience the ideas too. And they have to power to make the changes in their households. It seemed just because I didn’t have kids I didn’t count. I even had one guy that I was talking to about sea grass beds end our conversation in the middle and start talking to a little girl when she and her dad walked up. He told me, “maybe she’ll grow up to be a marine biologist.” He was to only one to outright turn away, but other booths just acted like I wasn’t there.

I was talking to a co-worker today about it. She had a booth at the event. She told me that she had been taught that children were more important and that if an adult wants to learn, they are supposed to ask questions. The problem with adults asking questions is that they are paying too much attention to the kids to let the adults get a word in. I have a problem with thinking the children are more important. You as a stranger are not in the kid’s lives. They see you for two to three minutes, whereas they know, look up to and emulate the adult in their lives, parents, teachers, neighbors, etc. So why aren’t you paying attention to the adults too. Yes, children are the future, but unless we talk to everyone to start conservation in the present, there isn’t a future. Teach the kids, but teach the adults especially in a community that doesn’t put much faith in conservation efforts.

A New Perspective

Lately our weather has been very hit and miss, gray and ugly one day, clear and pleasant the next. This past Saturday was one of those clear and pleasant days. The temperature was right with just the lightest breeze and a clear sunny sky. I decided to visit Artesian Park in downtown Corpus Christi. I’d driven by this park many times and always wanted to stop, but never took the chance.

I drove downtown and since it was such it was such a nice day, I parked several blocks away from the park. I thought I would have a nice walk too. I parked across the street from the Executive Surf Club, a restaurant and bar sometimes with a live band playing in the courtyard, and started walking down the street. There weren’t a lot of shops open, but still had a few people out. I realized that I didn’t think I had been out and about downtown during the day much or at all. I had gone out downtown to meet friends at restaurants, bars or clubs, but otherwise I’d never spent much time there. To me downtown was always just a run down, shuttered place with nothing to offer, just bars, restaurants and a tattoo shop. While this is mostly true, there is an obvious attempt to change that. And when I took the time to look around, there was a beauty there too.

On the way to Artesian Park, I passed alley ways and storefronts (mostly closed on the weekend) and cross streets. Yes, I did have a destination but I also didn’t want to be so concerned with seeing everything or getting where I was going that I saw or experienced nothing. I had the time so I didn’t limit my trek so while I did continue on to the park but I stopped and checked out what I could along the way.

I finally made it to Artesian Park. Its supposed to be the first park in Corpus Christi created when Corpus Christi’s founder, Henry Kinney, donated the land to the city as a park in 1854. The first thing I did when I got there was to check out the commemorative stone to General Zachary Taylor’s army, they camped here from 1845 to 1846. Then I walked into the rest of the park. It was a nice green space within the concrete, brick and glass of downtown. I sat down on a bench and listened to the birds twitter and watched the squirrels run. The tree tops were home to a handful of grackle nests. One even ran off a mocking bird.

Next to the park was a boutique. In the past, I had always thought the building was a children’s home. I was half right as it was a house, but it contained a clothing boutique. They were having a pop up fair, there were vendors on the front lawn and porch. I walked around all the vendors and wandered around inside for a while before buying some jewelry. I probably shouldn’t have bought anything, but I could afford it and I really liked the pieces.

I took a different route back to my car. There are some really cute views of downtown, who would’ve thought. I found more street art than I thought there would be. And as I was walking, almost everyone I passed was staring at their phones. I was so curious, I peeked at someone’s phone as they passed me. They were playing Pokemon Go. I thought people had stopped playing that game a year ago. Shows me. I don’t know that everyone staring at their phones was playing Pokemon, but at least a few were.

The last place I stumbled across was the World War I memorial. I guess you could say I knew it was there, I’d driven by it before, but I don’t think I would have remembered it was there. It was just a large open green space on the hill leading from downtown to uptown. In Spohn Park, a wide open space before heading back to the car.