Saturday, January 17, 2009

Rockport, Texas

From Here To There


We arrived in the Rockport , Texas area on January 2nd , after a grueling 9 day trip from the frozen northland of the Peoples Republic of Massachusetts.  We have pledged that we will not again drive the motorhome south in the winter.  Next fall, we plan to drive the motorhome from the PRM to Texas in October, then store the coach while we drive the toad back to New England for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Highlights of our trip South were Christmas Eve with the Brown family in Taxachusetts, Christmas dinner with the Sheffler/McCormack family (sans Will & Larissa) in Pennsylvania, a couple of nights at the Rubenstein driveway campground in Maryland, then a series of truck stops to Foley, Alabama, where we paused a couple of nights to catch our breath, and a couple of throwed rolls at Lambert’s.  We departed Foley the 31st, and spent new year’s eve at the Isle of Capri casino in Louisiana.  Excellent buffet, and well patrolled free  overnight parking in their oversize vehicle lot.


IMG_0214_1 Christmas Eve in Massachusetts



After Dinner Christmas Nap With Keith’s Sister in Pennsylvania



Home of Throwed Rolls in Foley, Alabama



Isle of Capri Casino in Lake Charles, Louisiana



Passing Through Houston

We are camped at Waters edge RV Park in Rockport, and will remain here until February 1st.



Our Campsite at Water’s Edge RV Park



View from the Campground

The park is located across the street from Aransas Bay and is very scenic. There are warm breezes and many palm trees. Keith says this area reminds him of south Florida around the Jupiter area. Pelicans , herons and sandpipers play in the bay and are very entertaining to watch.



Windswept Oaks Line the Rockport Waterfront



Pelican in Flight



Pelicans at Rest



Rockport Waterfront Statuary

We both arrived here sick with some type of flu and we spent most of our first two weeks recuperating, so we have not dome much exploring so far.

Because this is a popular destination for many retirees during the winter, the area abounds with many dining opportunities. We have enjoyed several local restaurants:

The Boiling Pot, which is a Cajun style restaurant we will rate in 2 different ways. The gumbo and key lime tart merit 4 COWS while the boiled seafood was only 2.5 COWS.



Lunch at the Boiling Pot

We had lunch with a couple of former caravanning acquaintances, Jim and Gaye Hull, at Charlotte Plummers Seafood restaurant . It is located on the water and has a nice view of the working harbor. I had flounder stuffed with crab meat (4 COWS) while Keith had crab cakes which were fried and not exactly to his liking; 2.5 COWS.



Jim & Gaye at Charlotte Plummers

For lunch one day we stopped at the Diner. This is a small place that we passed several times and decided to try because there are always cars there. We did and now we know why! We had a very tasty and filling lunch (grilled fish and fried shrimp)for a little more than you would pay at McDonalds. We give it 3 COWS and an extra star for value.

Another restaurant that we both enjoyed immensely was Las Camales, a Mexican eatery on business Rt. 35 in Rockport. We both rated the Mexican food 4 COWS. There were many unusual items on the menu and the food was the best Mexican that Kathy can recall eating. Authentic Mexican is somewhat different from Tex-Mex. It is less spicy and seems more “down home”. Keith likes both equally well; Kathy clearly prefers the real Mexican cuisine. We will definitely go back before we leave the area.

Yesterday we took a ride to Corpus Christi which is about 30 minutes from Rockport.



Bridge Art Spotted on the Road to Corpus Christi

We visited Barnes and Noble, and lunched at Catfish Charlie’s, which turned out to be somewhat difficult to find. We saw an ad and had directions but it was hidden and away from the road. But we did manage to find it and it was worth the difficulty. The parking lot was mobbed and we had to wait about 15 minutes for a table . The food was excellent. The fried oysters were light and crispy while the cat fish was very good. Hush puppies in a basket are served before the meal and are very tasty. The only disappointment was the gumbo, which was not to our taste. 3.5 COWS.



Catfish Charlie’s; At the Corner of

McArdle and Airline Roads, Sort Of



A Small Boutique Near Catfish Charlie’s (note name)

This morning we got up early and headed out on our first tourist expedition. We visited the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Austwell. Austwell is located about 45 minutes from Rockport. The refuge encompasses the tidal flats and salt marshes of the Blackjack Peninsula on San Antonio Bay. Inhabitants of the refuge include alligators, armadillos, white-tailed dears, raccoon and Javelinas (sort of a pig). It is also the winter home to more than 400 species of birds, including the endangered whooping crane.

We spent 30 minutes at the visitor center where we viewed a short video on the whooping crane and then we drove the 16 mile auto road through the refuge. On our drive we saw a flock of turkeys and many white-tailed deer. We did not see many of the birds, nor any gators.



Aransas National Wildlife Refuge Turkeys



Bird Roost at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge




On the drive to and from Austwell we saw miles and miles of cotton fields being cultivated for planting. This area is referred to as coastal prairie, which we think is kind of neat. We love the prairie, and the addition of salt water is a real bonus. A sign at Aransas Visitors Center warned of snakes. We didn’t see any, but the very pleasant volunteer hostess told us that the cotton field workers all wear high top leather boots in these fields. We did not get out and walk about.



Cotton Fields on the Coastal Prairie

Stay tuned for more exciting adventures from the second half of our month at Rockport.

1 comment:

Rockportdee said...

Keith and Kathy, So nice to come across your website with all the nice comments about Rockport area. Gary and I moved to Rockport in late 2005 and we love it. I went to Rockport-Fulton High '68 and left for Michigan for 37 years. Gary is from Washington State and also loves it on the coast of Texas. Hope we can meet someday. I would guess you are headed back up north. Have a great trip and enjoy the summer. See you next winter. Dee and Gary Ytreeide,