|Geppetto-"I need tummy rubs!"|
|Loki and Bartleby-"Wake up Mom!"|
Friday I packed up my room into boxes, clearing out every nook and cranny to prepare for my move across the building and the new computers all the faculty in the district will receive-yay, finally time to say good-bye to my floppy disk drive and hello to a faster processor! Joshua and Geppetto picked me up and we bid Room 194 farewell, time to move on.
To celebrate our accomplishments in this fourth semester, and the start of summer, our little family drove to Corpus Christi to finally see the Texas coast and the Gulf of Mexico. As we followed our GPS through the rural highways from Kyle and listened to the radio, I slowly began letting go of the responsibilities that were finally out of my hands. I got out the map and was pleasantly surprised to see that we were headed straight for a town out of our family's stories-Beeville-where Aunt Marti was stationed during her navy years and my parents, sister and I visited her, creating some of my first memories of Texas. It is still an area that time seems to have forgotten, we stopped at historical markers to read of booming periods during the frontier and railroad eras.
We enjoyed our night at the Holiday Inn with Joshua taking in the flatscreen and Geppetto loving the vastness of the King sized bed. The area was bustling with families enjoying the start of summer vacation, and, as it turned out, a Haliburton convention reminding us that we were in big oil country.
Saturday morning, we woke up early, and headed out to see the USS Lexington, which is docked in Corpus Christi Bay and is now a museum. The longest serving Essex-class air craft carrier it was commissioned in 1943 and in service through 1991, despite quite a bit of action in the Pacific Theater, including a kamikaze attack and a torpedo hit. It was nicknamed the "Blue Ghost" for its color and the fact that it eluded the Japanese for so long. Joshua and I were in awe at the absolute enormity of this vessel, and of the lifestyle that the sailors aboard endured. It gave me an even greater sense of respect for Grandpa Strope, his brothers, and the many others who have served in the navy and marines. We climbed the well-worn ladders, which Grandpa says they would slide down on their palms, swinging their legs to the side, crazy sailors...
|Joshua taking in the Captain's view|
|Taking a turn at the wheel|
|Joshua was way too excited to sit in the gunner's chair|
After an action-packed morning, we headed downtown for lunch at one of the only veg-friendly options we could find--Urban Fare Cafe--where we chowed down on falafel, daal and a mango smoothie. It was just what we needed before we headed to the beach, driving a little south, we hit the Gulf of Mexico and Mustang Island State Park. The awesome thing about Texas State Park beaches-you can drive on the beach! So, we drove through the aisle of vehicles and found our own spot, popped open the hatch back and enjoyed the sea breeze and sound of waves crashing. Geppetto got his first taste of seawater, and we can now add waves to the list of things he doesn't like/is afraid of. Even a few inches of water around his little paws was too much, so he sniffed around piles of sea debris further inland and walked up and down the beach with us, at a safe distance from the water. We took a nap in this relaxing environment, made a mental note to bring a tent, towels, and books next time, and then began the 3 hour drive back to Austin. We passed a half dozen state parks between the Gulf area and San Antonio, so we will be back...
|Petty loved the Gulf-from a safe distance|