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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Port Isabel, Texas (Jan 22 - Feb 22) 2012

Long Island RV Campsite View
Old Town Hall/ Market Square
Here Birdie Birdie!!
Swing Bridge to Long Island Resort

Inside Immaculate Conception
Mother Gorilla / 1mo. old
Some of The Kite Festival
Common Moorhen
World Birding Center
          Since we found our Winter Get Away in Port Isabel Texas and we had until Feb. 26th when we had to report for the Habitat for Humanity House.  During our stay, Mike gave the golf course a try a couple of times and Darlene played Euchre once a week with other residents of the park.  There was a large Activity room, a workout room, 2 pools (one inside/one outside), 3 hot tubs and a list of activities to keep anyone busy.  We visited the South Padre Island  World Birding and Nature Center  where we even caught an alligator near the water.  Since Texas seemed to be a bird watching state, we picked up a brochure so we could learn the various inhabitants around us.  This nature center sits on a slender thread of land between the shallow Laguna Madre and the rolling Gulf of Mexico.  South Padre Island is a crucial first landfall -- a lifesaver for birds making a crossover between Southern Mexico and Northern Central America.  There were over 4800 linear feet of boardwalks and seven bird blinds.  We were hooked because there are many unique birds located here.  Now that we were into the wildlife mode, we also visited the Laguna Atascosa 97,000 acres in 4 Units Wildlife Refuge where we took a 15 mile loop drive on the shoreline of a 3100 acre lake that gives the refuge its name.  The only thing we saw was an armadillo scurrying across the road and a lot of birds.  We did learn this was home to the ocelots, coyotes, deer and even antelope.  For history, we visited the Town of Brownsville Historic District where we saw the Immaculate Conception Cathedral built by the French missionaries in 1894 as a brick gothic structure but very beautiful.  We drove through Old City Hall/Market Square and learned that the Mexican-American War helped us win the States of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada and portions of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.  Now it was time for the kite festival on South Padre Island.  Jason had the day off so we enjoyed all the varieties of kites flying high above us.  This was an annual event and was taking place the same time as the chili cook-off at Louis Backyard restaurant which we missed.  We also took the time to visit the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville (One of the Top Zoos in the Country) and we can claim that we saw all of the animals and their surroundings.  It was a very warm day but we were able to catch a glance or watch them.  It was really neat to see a newborn baby gorilla (1 month old) with its mother and how she did everything with that baby in tow.  We also learned they ate many vegetables about 5 times per day as their diet.  Our last interesting trip was to Progreso, Mexico.  We parked in the US side and walked over the bridge (over the Rio Grand River).  So many dentists, pharmacies and even peddlers trying to sell what they made.  We walked through the town, had a drink and picked up our duty free alcohol and headed back to the US. 
1928 Brownsville Depot now Museum
Our stay at Port Isabel has ended and we are going to try another Texas State Park before our next venture of the Habitat for Humanity build.

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