A late spring visit to South Padre Island
Last weekend I found myself making a late spring visit to South Padre Island. After a particularly rough April at home, a long weekend on the Island with a friend seemed like the best medicine.
We lucked out on accommodations by staying at the vacation home of a friend of ours at no cost. It was right on the beach with it’s own pool and private walk to the sand. The second floor balcony was the the perfect place to sit and read, listen to the surf, talk and maybe even take a nap. The access to the beach made it easy to sneak quietly out of the house for an early morning run along the shore. Dodging jellyfish, seashells and a coconut was a little more exciting than my suburban neighborhood at home.
We decided to venture away from the bliss of the beach house a few times. No visit to South Padre Island, Texas is complete without a visit to the Sea Turtle Rescue Center. Make sure to visit their website to check on feeding and presentation times to get the most out of your visit. The presentation teaches adults and kids alike about the 5 different types of sea turtles and what we can do to help this endangered species. Entrance to this covered outdoor pavilion is only $3/adult. Once you see the place, you’ll want to donate a little more. If you find a sea turtle or nest on the beach, call Sea Turtle Inc and they’ll take care of the rest. After you get the chance to name it of course. That’s why you’ll find turtles there with names like Merry Christmas. You can guess what time of year she was found injured on the beach.
Their mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release injured sea turtles. However, there are some permanent sea turtle residents due to one reason or another. Allison is a permanent resident with a unique story. She was injured by a predator and lost all but one flipper. The prosthetic was built since she could only swim in tight circles without it. They even hold public hatchling releases at sunrise that melt your heart when you watch those baby sea turtles working their way to the water.
While we are on the subject of animals, we also stopped by the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center. Let me just say that I am not a bird enthusiast at all. But on an overcast day, their boardwalk through the marshy area pushing out into the bay was a great diversion. The boardwalk, birding film and crows nest views were worth the $5 admission per adult.
And even though we did see some beautiful birds, I was more captivated by Alligator Alley. We lucked out and the mom and dad alligator were both within viewing distance of the boardwalk. The boardwalk is over 3200 feet if you do the whole thing like we did. That exercise meant it was time to head back to the beach house to take a nap. We earned it, right?
Next up on the blog, all the great food we ate on our lazy late spring trip to South Padre Island. Stay tuned…