Thursday, January 21, 2016

Two Weeks in Port Aransas (1/7-1/21/16)

We made the 280 mile trip from Lake Georgetown to the Pioneer Beach RV Resort on Thursday (1/7). The distance is longer than we usually travel, but the weather was nice and we stopped for lunch at a roadside picnic area along I-37. We also stopped near Corpus Christi to fill up with diesel and the price was a $1.89 per gallon. On the way down to the coast we listen to an audio book that our friend Fran Vaughn had given us and it made the trip go faster.

Entrance to the Mustang Island State Park. 
We arrived at Pioneer, checked in and were assigned to Site 68. We had asked for a site close to the hot tub and the one we were given is only a few steps away. We have stayed at Pioneer several times before and are very familiar with the campground. It is a large RV park with over 320 sites with a boardwalk over the dunes to the Mustang Island beach. The beach this year is very clean with no seaweed unlike the last time we were here and the beach was covered with seaweed. We got the Duchess set up for our stay here and took a walk around the park. The park is almost full with a lot of license plates from winter Texans who will spend several months here in Port Aransas.
Our site @ Pioneer Beach RV Resort

Looking at Gulf from boardwalk

Looking at campground from boardwalk

Pioneer Beach from the sand dunes
During our first week here we spent most days taking it easy in the park. We took long walks along the beach, spent time in the hot tub and enjoyed reading in the sun. One day we ate pizza for lunch at The Brewery in Port Aransas. The place used to be called Port Aransas Brewery and we had enjoyed their pizza and beer on our previous trips here. The place in under new ownership and they are changing out the types of beer that will be brewed. So we had the supreme pizza but no beer.

Our supreme pizza. It was very good.
One day we went on a 2 mile wildlife trail that takes you into the salt marshes along one of the “cut throughs” located between the mainland and Mustang Island. The island is named for the wild mustangs that used to run free on the island. The area we visited is called Charlie’s Pasture after a rancher who ran cattle on the land for most of the 20th century before the land was donated for a wildlife/birding preserve.

Picking up a map of the trails.

View of the salt marshes.

View of Salt Island.
One day we took the ferry from Mustang Island over the mainland to do some grocery shopping at the HEB in Aransas Pass. The ferry boats run all the time (depending on the time of day and month of the year).

Sheri Jones and two of her friends, Karen & Laurie, came to visit us on the second Saturday we were in Port Aransas. Karen and her husband have a house in Rockport and the three of them were having a girl's weekend at the coast. We gave them a tour of The Duchess and then walked on the beach.
Sheri Jones
One of the nicest days we had during our two weeks

Karen, Sheri & Laurie
The second Monday we took a trip over to Rockport/Fulton and made a quick visit to Goose Island. We drove through several RV Parks in the area to see if there were any we would want to stay at if we came back to the area next winter. Rockport is much larger than Port Aransas, has more stores and activities, but does not have the sandy beach like Mustang Island does. We stopped and had lunch at the Paradise Key Dockside Bar & Grill. Connie had grilled fish while I had the fish & chips. Both were very good.

 On Tuesday we went to Corpus Christi and had lunch with our good friends and fellow full-timers, Fred & Bonnie Lee. Fred and Bonnie are spending a month at the Corpus Christi Naval Base. We met them at the Water Street Seafood Restaurant where we all ate seafood.

Mike, Bonnie & Fred
We then took a stroll along Corpus Christi Bay before stopping at the Green Light Coffee Shop for coffee. We had a great time visiting with the Lees and getting caught up on our adventures during our first year of full-timing.

We have had a good two weeks here in Port Aransas. The weather has been a mixture of great days along with days of fog, mist and wind. On Thursday we will be headed to San Antonio where we will be spending two weeks before heading back to Austin.