I had a very pleasant weekend. I took 107 pictures. I am tired & either sunburned or windburned or both. But it was a great little mini-vacation and I had a good time.
Friday, I wandered. I stopped in San Marcos at The Paper Bear, which is a giant card, gift, and party store that has just about everything. I got my mascot for the weekend: a greeting card with a Majestic Sea Goddess on the front. (In typical ironic fashion, turns out She was merely art for the front of a ship's menu. However, She was my guiding spirit for the weekend and all went well, largely thanks to keeping in perspective that one person's Goddess is another person's invitation to Alka Seltzer city.)
Mapquest gave me some goofy directions, but I found Dry Comal Creek Vineyards & the Poteet Country Winery, got great directions from a guy at a Shamrock (may the gods and goddesses bless him for life!) and found my way to Aransas Pass, TX.
Mapquest *really* screwed up the hotel directions. Once in A.Pass, 35 basically runs smack into the hotel. Seriously, it T's right into where my hotel is. But Mapquest insisted I go right and then right again...which was wrong. So I got lost as a goose, but then finally stumbled across the hotel, got checked in, did some quick yoga, got dinner at the local grocery store, and crashed early.
Saturday, I went out to Ingleside Faire 'round 8 a.m. I was hoping to meet up with my dear E, SIL & their rescued person/helper-person, but I never saw them. (Turns out they'd gotten to faire site at 5 a.m. and were already well inside the faire grounds, so I never saw them.)
Anyway, while I waited in the car, I finished up Excalibur, which was book 3 of Bernard Cornwell's King Arthur trilogy, which I amazingly managed to find all of them in the library as I needed them.
Then it was 9:15, I was hungry and cold so I went back into Aransas Pass where I'd seen a very promising-looking establishment for breakfast.
My SIL thinks I have a great instinct for finding wonderful, offbeat places to go, but it's really very trial and error. Obviously, since I never share my failures with anyone, she doesn't realize that for every good restaurant, shop or off-the-beaten-path destination I stumble across, I also endure some of the most embarassing, dreadful, and just plain horrific experiences imaginable. Admittedly, however, it's really nice that someone thinks I have this wonderful unerring talent. Very ego-gratifying.
But, I digress: Cafe Bakery (Or was it Bakery Cafe?) was exactly the kind of place one should have breakfast: odors of coffee, bacon, an cigarette smoke as soon as you walk in, comfortably worn carpet & seats. Not yet shabby, but lived in. Sassy waitresses with big smiles, TV turned to the news & weather station, a table of ol' boys in their camo, getting a big breakfast before spending the day out hunting or fishing. Local policeman sharing breakfast with his sister, brother in law, and niece, gossiping about the rent-a-cops at the local grocery store. In jokes & conversations where everyone is referred to by first name. Great coffee. And...
I may re-think my wicked ways and try to get to Heaven, because if I do, these biscuits will surely be waiting on His right hand at God's breakfast table.
Good lord, I'm several hundred words into this and I've only gotten to breakfast.
Faire. Turns out last-minute helper/rescuee was SIL's youngest lover. He has decided he likes me and I'm cool. Very worrysome. He says I talk like I'm on South Park. I think it was a compliment.
I didn't see much at faire that I wanted to buy. There was a lot of basic garb stuff, nothing I had to have. I did buy 4 soaps from one booth & got some good advice on making clear soap. I can't wait to give it a try--I will make some clear soap yet!
In the tavern/food court area, I ran into one of the alt.fairs.renaissance folks & we visited a bit. That was fun.
Left faire 1-ish, went to Port A for lunch. Had a miss there. It looked like a great place for fresh seafood to take home and cook yourself, though.
Walked on the beach. Collected shells.
Back to faire. Hung out until faire closing, helped E, SIL, and Rescuee a bit with putting stuff away for tomorrow.
Back to hotel, changed clothes. Off to Corpus Christi to have dinner and see the Brobdingnagian Bards, who happened to be playing an Irish Pub in C.C. the same weekend as Ingleside. Coincidences are so cool.
BUT: I got lost as a goose, drove across the bridge about 5 times, gave up, had dinner at Blackbeard's. Another miss. Rather odd live music. Loud drunk Bikers. A giant table full of even louder spoiled girls (sorority or high school? Could not tell! Agh, I'm getting old!)
Back to hotel, crashed & burned.
Sunday: Dragged E, SIL, and The Rescued Waif to Cafe Bakery (or was it Bakery Cafe?) for breakfast. Drank wayy too much coffee and got a little silly. But I think it was good. Saw them off in the direction of Ingleside, headed the opposite direction for the Corpus Christi Aquarium. I had time to kill before it opened, so I went to the marina, found where the bards had played. Found it very easily in daylight, of course. Took pictures of a piratey looking boat. Peed in the yacht club bathroom, that was swank. Walked along the water a bit. Then went back across the bridge, walked on Corpus Christi beach, made a little shrine with the shells I'd found at Port A yesterday, took pictures of my Sea Goddess shrine, walked around barefoot, then went to the aquarium.
Getting to the aquarium first thing on a Sunday is a fine thing. No people at all. The staff was very friendly. I saw water birds, petted sharks and rays, tripped out on some comb jellies & other jellyfish, and saw a really big fucking grouper who is going to give me nightmares. OH! AND a blue lobster! I crawled through the kid-exhibits, laid down on the floor of the underwater dolphin observatory and got eye-to-eye with a dolphin. I got to see one of them pee, too. That was...unique.
Then I saw the dolphins do some tricks for their actual 'show' (depressing: they are both a bit over 19 years old, and both male. I wanted to ask if they ever got female company. I wanted to ask how long Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins live. But...I am afraid I would have been more depressed knowing the answers) then went to lunch (a hit), then on back to Austin, listening to loud 80's hair bands and singing along the whole way.