Monday, January 26, 2015

Visits with old friends

Blog posting has been sorely neglected lately.  Marlin was fighting a nasty cold for a couple of weeks and I did not take pictures, or very many, on some of our trips.  However, I do have some to post.

On January the 16th we traveled back to Mission for a visit with Ken and Terry Smeltzer.  We met Ken and Terry two years ago while we were in Austin for a week.  They introduced us to some of the nightly music venues in the City that year, and last year they traveled down to Mission to visit us at Bentsen State Park where we were volunteering.  They liked that area so well, that this year they are staying in an RV park on the road to Bentsen.

 Here we have the senior "Blues Brothers"

This was the first sunny day we had had in about two weeks.  After visiting some of the attractions around Mission and a quick lunch at Marco's, we ended the day at Rancho el Chaco for a relaxing beer and good music.  This is actually a wild-life ranch where you can take a wagon tour through the extensive grounds and view an assortment of animals, including some buffalo.  During the weekend evenings they have live music and a full menu at the restaurant.  Today they were just serving beer, but we enjoyed sitting outside overlooking the man made lake.

The next evening, we met David and Selene Rodriguez  for dinner at a local Barbeque restaurant .  David is a Ranger at Bentsen State Park where we volunteered with last year.  Before our job here at Resaca de la Palma began, we stopped in to visit at Bentsen and touch bases with the crew we had worked with at that park.  When we talked with David that day, we made plans to meet for dinner one night.  David posted this picture on facebook shortly after we met at the Longhorn Restaurant and Barbeque in San Benito.

 David's wife Selene, is undergoing treatment for breast cancer.  I was incredibly impressed with her positive attitude about the entire process thus far.  Fortunately, she has been able to continue working as a Speech Pathologist three weeks out of the month, being down- and-out for only one week after each chemo treatment.  She has such a upbeat outlook on the outcome it was easy to talk with her about how she was getting through the process.  With two preschoolers at home, it is hard to express how impressed I was with this young woman.

Great picture of David and Marlin that night.

A week or so later, Ken and Terry drove down to Resaca de la Palma and we all headed for South Padre Island for the day.  In one of those "small world"  occurrences, Terry was talking about their visit to Louisiana before heading down to Texas.  She had been doing some genealogy research on Ken's family and discovered that his Great-Great Grandfather had died from dysentery at Palmito Ranch in Brownsville, Texas. This was the place where the last battle of the Civil War was fought and the same place we  discovered the historic marker and posted about earlier this month.

After the battle, all the bodies at that site were moved to Louisiana. We stopped by the marker so they could get a couple of pictures to go with their records. 

Ken and Terry brought along another nice day.  We spent the day checking out the boardwalks at the South Padre  Chamber of Commerece which provide a view of the Laguna Madre, (inter-coastal waterway) and then walking on the beautiful Gulf side beach.

This Redish Egret posed nicely, close to the boardwalk, in the marsh.

Looking out to Laguna Madre

 Public Access to the Gulf-side beach

Several fishermen out in the water.

While we were  walking on the beach, Clayton's Beach Bar was providing live music on the outside patio

We got a seat overlooking the beach and watched the fun below as the sun went slowly down into the sea

I'm sure those girls were chilly, but it was fun to watch those young beautiful bodies chasing that ball with no effort at all!

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