Corpus Christi Detour and Harlingen

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!

Entering Corpus Christi.

Entering Corpus Christi.

Entering Corpus Christi.

Entering Corpus Christi.

Entering Corpus Christi.

Entering Corpus Christi.

'Whataburger Field' made me laugh. Whataburger is a chain of Texas hamburger restaurants.

‘Whataburger Field’ made me laugh. Whataburger is a chain of Texas hamburger restaurants.

The visitors' centre on Chaparral street.

The visitors’ centre on Chaparral street.

Behind the museum of science and history there is this wonderful fountain garden.

Behind the museum of science and history there is this wonderful fountain garden.

Can any of my readers identify this tree?

Can any of my readers identify this tree?

It's like a cactus tree!

It’s like a cactus tree!

With pink flowers.

With pink flowers.

More cacti in the xeriscape garden out front.

More cacti in the xeriscape garden out front.

Xeriscaping is landscaping for arid conditions.

Xeriscaping is landscaping for arid conditions.

Bridge.

Bridge.

Corpus Christ Museum of Science and History. It heavily features Chrisopher Columbus and Spanish explorers, hence the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria on the sign.

Corpus Christ Museum of Science and History. It heavily features Chrisopher Columbus and Spanish explorers, hence the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria on the sign.

IMGP5715

entrance to the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and history

entrance to the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and history

Wonderful exhibit about gems and stones.

Wonderful exhibit about gems and stones.

Another sampling of this exhibit.

Another sampling of this exhibit.

There were TONS more gems and stones to look at!

There were TONS more gems and stones to look at!

I enjoyed the exhibit about snakes.

I enjoyed the exhibit about snakes.

This is a hog nosed snake. You can actually find these in Ontario.

This is a hog nosed snake. You can actually find these in Ontario.

Loved this bench!

Loved this bench!

Harmless milk snake on the left, dangerous coral snake on the right.

Harmless milk snake on the left, dangerous coral snake on the right.

Red on black, friend of Jack.

Red on black, friend of Jack.

Red on yellow, kill a fellow.

Red on yellow, kill a fellow.

Carvings of many of earth's mammals.

Carvings of many of earth’s mammals.

Tips for being a collector.

Tips for being a collector.

Harsh words on the difference between being a collector and being a hoarder.

Harsh words on the difference between being a collector and being a hoarder.

Where is a turtle's spine?

Where is a turtle’s spine?

Inside the shell.

Inside the shell.

Beautiful detail on the shipwreck exhibit.

Beautiful detail on the shipwreck exhibit.

Beautiful detail on the shipwreck exhibit.

Beautiful detail on the shipwreck exhibit.

Beautiful detail on the shipwreck exhibit.

Beautiful detail on the shipwreck exhibit.

Plaque glorifying Columbus's 'discovery' of the Americas.

Plaque glorifying Columbus’s ‘discovery’ of the Americas.

The Aztecs had a civilization that compared to that in Europe.

The Aztecs had a civilization that compared to that in Europe.

market day

market day

typical Texas ranch house made of limestone

typical Texas ranch house made of limestone

You would have seen these houses in 1776, when Texas was still part of Mexico.

You would have seen these houses in 1776, when Texas was still part of Mexico.

Potatoes and sweet potatoes are not related, but they are new world crops.

Potatoes and sweet potatoes are not related, but they are new world crops.

The Spanish say maiz, the English say corn, the French say maïs, the French-Canadian say blé d'inde (Indian wheat)

The Spanish say maiz, the English say corn, the French say maïs, the French-Canadian say blé d’inde (Indian wheat)

New world crops fed Europe and led to a population explosion.

New world crops fed Europe and led to a population explosion.

There is evidence that syphilis is a new world disease that was brought back by Columbus and his men.

There is evidence that syphilis is a new world disease that was brought back by Columbus and his men.

What would our world be without corn and potatoes?

What would our world be without corn and potatoes?

The Texas cowboy's lament.

The Texas cowboy’s lament.

Exquisite dress.

Exquisite dress.

Exquisite dress.

Exquisite dress.

A gal would wear this if she was 'queen' of bucaneer days.

A gal would wear this if she was ‘queen’ of bucaneer days.

"We are all explorers seeking the meaning of the present in the past."

“We are all explorers seeking the meaning of the present in the past.”

Entrance to a Montserrat-style general store.

Entrance to a Montserrat-style general store.

The general store would also be a social centre.

The general store would also be a social centre.

You can get all the necessities, from beer to toilet paper and KD.

You can get all the necessities, from beer to toilet paper and KD.

There were no words to describe how exquisite this exhibit was. It was like entering a palace, with beautiful tiles on the ground and one more gorgeous detail after another.

There were no words to describe how exquisite this exhibit was. It was like entering a palace, with beautiful tiles on the ground and one more gorgeous detail after another.

The domed ceiling must have taken a lot of work!

The domed ceiling must have taken a lot of work!

I liked this exhibit that showed how a typical daily menu would have been prepared.

I liked this exhibit that showed how a typical daily menu would have been prepared.

Pterodactyl

Pterodactyl

Buffalo hunt.

Buffalo hunt.

There's a whole section devoted to the history of Corpus Christi.

There’s a whole section devoted to the history of Corpus Christi.

The Corpus Christi bayfront was conceived and developed after the devastating 1919 hurricane.

The Corpus Christi bayfront was conceived and developed after the devastating 1919 hurricane.

Marina

Marina

IMGP5773

Corpus Christi from the Marina

Corpus Christi from the Marina

Corpus Christi from the Marina

Corpus Christi from the Marina

Columbus-style ship.

Columbus-style ship.

It's gas-powered.

It’s gas-powered.

Corpus Christi from the Marina

Corpus Christi from the Marina

impressive structure

impressive structure

it's named the Nina

it’s named the Nina

Columbus-style ship.

Columbus-style ship.

Delicious dinner at Chili's.

Delicious dinner at Chili’s.

0 thoughts on “Corpus Christi Detour and Harlingen

  1. Thanks for the great tour of the Corpus Christie Museum, Rae. They sure seemed to cram a lot of info about a lot of different subjects into their space. It looks like it has some nice exhibits. Love how they did some of them. We museum-type people spend as much time looking at how exhibits are put together, how good (or bad) the labels are and other stuff as we do looking at the exhibit content itself. Loved seeing a Nina replica. I’ve been aboard one once – amazing how small it was. Safe journey. Lynn (in the Hudson Valley where it’s snowing sideways right now!)

    • Lynn, I’m glad you enjoyed my virtual tour. I did not come close to doing justice to this museum! Enjoy your snow; I’m hearing a lot about it! 🙂

  2. Pingback: I Did Something Really Stupid | A Life By Design

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *