Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Corpus Christi Day Trip

I took a little day trip to Corpus Christi on Friday. I had been there once with the kids almost four years ago, and with a friend during the snowstorm of Christmas of 2004, but decided to do some exploring on my own this time. I was going to include photos I took on the way there and back, but decided to make that a separate post since my posts can get a little overwhelming with WAY too much information/photos for one sitting. I need to learn not to put all my eggs into one basket. So here I am on the way to Corpus. It's about a 2-1/2 hour drive from New Braunfels...and not the most interesting one I might add. This is the view you get the whole way. It would have been nice to have auto-pilot, but I had to be satisfied with cruise control.

This is what you see when you get into Corpus. There are LOTS of refineries on the outskirts of the city. I took these as I was speeding by at 70 mph.

When I got to Corpus I just drove around a bit to refamiliarize myself with the city. This is a shot of the shoreline.

They have some VERY nice homes on the shoreline...many of which have a Spanish flavor. This one backs up to the shore. (By the way, MANY of these homes had "For Sale" signs in the front yards, so if you're in the market for shorefront property in South Texas, this is the place to come.)

While this one is across the street from the shoreline.

Just a little sidebar it just me, or could they possibly find a more aesthetic way to hide the underground electrical connections/wires/whatever than that cylindrical "thing" across the street?? They can design beautiful buildings and houses, but can't think of anything more attractive than that, excuse me very much??? Just my humble opinion.

Here's part of the big marina which is right across from the downtown area.

This is the USS Lexington aircraft carrier, which is a museum now. My sons and I went "aboard" when we were here four years ago...kind of interesting, but not worth a second visit.

Okay, so then I got into the Isla Mujeres "comparisons." I know, I know...every place is different and you can't compare everything with Isla. But I couldn't help it on this trip. Now I love the east coast and the towns along the shoreline there. Bar Harbor, Maine, is a wonderful spot (as are most of the towns along there). And my aunt lives in Niantic, Connecticut, which is another great New England area. And I would never compare those places with Isla. So why Corpus? Because it was boring. There was no personality to feeling of, "Wow, what a great place to visit!" After I was there for a couple hours, I was bored. Photo opportunities were minimal, so bear with me on this visit.

After driving around for awhile, I parked and walked. First stop...the beach. I went down to the shore and was immediately disappointed by this.

Dirty brown water with "stuff" in it. I put my feet in just to see what the temperature was. The water was comfortable, but I didn't have any desire to go swimming.

And the sand. Brown and coarse.

Compared to this.

This is a relatively nice shot along the main swimming beach there.

As opposed to this much nicer shot of THIS swimming beach on Isla.

Umbrella shot on Corpus.

Umbrella shot on Isla.

Now we get to the gift shops...which there are VERY few of from what I could see. They have the obnoxious ones with all the really cheap "crap." This is the only one that looked like it was individually owned.

Hmmm...what would I rather have? Cheaply framed cowboy corrogated steal "artwork," or pretty colorful plates from Mexico?

I kept thinking there should be some cute restaurants or shops, but there just weren't. This was one of them...I didn't go in.

This one had a recording of everything it had to offer...the flavors and prices blasting from a speaker as you walked by. Very unappealing.

This was one of the few restaurants along the beach. I walked inside thinking I might have a beer, but there was a high fence along the outdoor dining area, so that you couldn't even see the beach!! It's like, "Why even have a restaurant along the beach if you can't see it?!?!"

Which reminded me of Picus on Isla. They have the right idea.

This was one of the more "picturesque" souvenir shops.

And, you have to admit, Isla now has one of its own.

They have their own "malecon." It's "nice."

And the view of the sailboats is "nice."

But ya' know what? They all look the same. There's just not the color that Isla has to offer.

I was getting hungry, and since I couldn't find anything unusual or interesting, I opted for Joe's Crab Shack, only because it was out at the end of a pier...closer to the water than anything else.

Walking out to the restaurant, I passed by the shrimp boats.

Which have nothing on the fishing boats on Isla.

Another sidebar... This sailboat had a "For Sale" sign on it for $9,850. Now I know absolutely nothing about boats or how much they're worth, so I didn't think much about this.

Then a few boats down the pier, I see this one. $160,000!! Like I said, I know nothing about boats, but does air conditioning and a generator make this one worth $150,000 more than the sailboat?? Geez, you can get a pretty nice new house for $160,000 in the San Antonio area (which I know is much cheaper than most areas of the country). But it doesn't seem like it's very new...or attractive. Well, just my opinion.

A shot of some gulls while having dinner.

I was able to sit outside when I had dinner and got some more interesting shots. No "toes in the sand" kind of deal here at Joe's Crab Shack. Most people were seated inside with the blaring music. I sat outside with my camera and laptop enjoying what I could of the view and the sunset.

(I like my sailboat shot on Isla better.)

I had breakfast at this place the next morning. I'll have to admit, this was a cool little place. Definitely not huevos motulenos, but a BIG breakfast of eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast. I do like that diner atomosphere. Didn't get a picture of the food, but I'm sure everyone knows what that looks like. Total bill, with tip, $14.00. That would have bought two breakfasts on Isla.

And not once did I see these guys.

I'm thinkin' they're smart and have decided to stay in Mexico.

So that's my little trip to Corpus. Hotels are VERY expensive there. If you're on the beach, they're between $150 to $300. And some of them aren't very well maintained. One of the reasons I compared this to Isla is because you can stay on Isla for less and get more. Between the hotels and the great restaurants, I would go to Mexico before I would ever go back to Corpus. My dos centavos.

My distractions along the way and back will be my next report.


islagringo said...

Excellent story! I have been sad for the past 5 years because when I drove the Jeep here from Mn, I stayed a night in Corpus. The next day I decided to just continue on...even though I had always wanted to see Corpus. Not anymore! Thanks for allowing me to move on and stop regretting it!

p.s. some great photos!

Isla Deb said...

Hey, glad I could help out! It really was disappointing. No open-air restaurants with that laid-back island feeling...and too expensive for what you get. You didn't miss anything.

barry said...

Now you Did It!!!!,,as I sat here reading your blog, comparing the pics,, I am seriously thinking a trip to Isle and PDC is a much better plan,..lets see,, paints .. brushes ...sunscreen ..hat..shades.. passport... Somethins missing,,, Oh Yea native Guide..(reaching for the yellow pages), Super Isle Pics Deb

Isla Deb said...

Thanks, Barry. There is no comparison between Isla and Corpus regarding artistic opportunities. I have never been to PDC but know it is MUCH more commercial than Isla. I was going to take a day trip to Tulum and PDC when I was on Isla last May and never made's just too hard to get off the island once you're there. Maybe next time.