From Port Aransas, I drove about 45 minutes to the small city of Corpus Christi. I just wanted to have a look at it, so I didn’t plan to do much, especially since I still had a two-hour drive to make to get to my hotel in Harlingen.
I stopped in at the vistors’ centre and was told that the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History across the street could fill a few hours and give me a sense for the city. Perfect!
Admission to the museum is $12.50, unless you happen to be a lucky blogger and get there on FREE admission day! What a gift!
This museum MUST be experienced. It’s a treasure trove of varied exhibits, each beautiful planned and executed. From gem stones to the discovery of the new world passing by terrariums filled with turtles, alligators, and giant spiders, this museum is definitely worth a visit! I had a wonderful afternoon there.
Coming into the visitor’s centre, I noticed a class B rig in the parking lot that I had also seen parked next to me a few days before. It had Ontario plates. When I saw it at home, I thought that it had to be Marianne and Randy Edwards, but told myself that would be too much of a coincidence. When they saw my truck at the visitors’ centre, they put two and two together and waited for me to return to see if I was me that truck belonged to. We had a lovely chat and Randy gave me instructions for getting to the waterfront.
I took his advice and wound up at the Corpus Christi Marina. It was 4PM by this point, I was beat, and I had a long drive ahead of me, so I was done. I headed out towards Harlingen and stopped at the Kingsville Walmart where I ran into the Edwards again! There I FINALLY found a good pair of sandals (I love the Earth Spirit brand; very good quality, leather, inexpensive, only available at Walmart) so I have comfortable shoes this morning.
The drive to Harlingen was exciting. I had the radio on and wasn’t really paying attention to much besides the road so I failed to notice not only that my gas gauge needle was racing towards empty but also the ‘no fuel for 60 miles’ sign!!! When my gas gauge light came on, I was shocked to discover that the next gas station was 80KM ahead of me, so the only option was to turn back the way I came to go back to the last gas station I had passed. It was a very long 20KM, but I wasn’t completely empty when I got there. I really need an audio signal at the quarter tank mark!!!
That 40KM detour meant that I didn’t get into Harlingen until 7:30. I don’t like driving in the dark, but it’s easier in the truck, probably because I am higher up than car headlights and I don’t get blinded as much (even in pickup truck land). The hotel was right off of I-77 and very easy to find. It’s adequate for a one-star; shabby but clean with a lumpy bed.
There is a Chili’s restaurant literally next door. Chili’s is a huge treat for me. I’ve only been there four times before (I’m averaging once a year) and I only go if I stumble onto one (so I never ate at the one in Chesapeake). So I decided that fate was telling me I needed a good dinner! I always get their margarita grilled chicken, which comes on a bed of rice, black beans, and tortilla strips. Incredibly delicious. I ordered a beer, the server said okay, then he came back and said, “Sweetie, you are old enough to drink, aren’t you?”
I still can’t get over the fact that people think I am in my late teens to mid-20s. I look at myself in the mirror and I just see the deepening lines and fading scars that remind me that time is marching on…
It was almost 9:00 when I got in from dinner. I had hoped to update the blog, but my internet connection kept cutting out and was slooooooooooow. It was so frustrating that I shut down and went to bed around 11.
Breakfast is included, but I didn’t even bother to check it out. Instead, I went across the street to Starbucks for a bagel and coffee. Except for a coffee on the NY Thruway coming south, I have not had Starbucks since early May of 2012!
I’m getting mixed signals about how easy it will be to fill a few hours in Nuevo Progreso, so I’m in no hurry this morning. I’ll be heading out in a few minutes and should be there for 10:00, 10:30, giving me a couple of hours to find the dentist and have lunch.
Nuevo Progreso will be the furthest south I have ever wandered!