|Visitor's center - note the plant in bloom.|
|Climbing on the jetty|
|Pelicans doing a flyover!|
|Portuguese man o war|
|These were washing up all along the beach - we also saw them down on Padre Island|
We continued south into the Padre Island National Seashore and went about 10 miles to the visitor center, where we spooked around for a while. It was another 100 miles or so to south Padre Island, which was described to us by Yardbird and Gisele Baldwin as driving on the Outer Banks of NC, until you come to a town similar to Virginia Beach( this is the famous spring break beach, about eight miles from Mexico ). Bird and Gisele left us in New Orleans and went all the way south on their motorcycle before going to Arizona, and he gave me a good scouting report. By the way, happy birthday Bird! With this scouting report we decided that we didn't want to drive all the way down there, so we headed back to Oysterfest in Fulton/Rockport.
|Blow fish at the visitor's center|
|There was a pond in the park that was covered with ducks!|
|Bad ass cow!|
It turned out to be a GREAT decision! The place was right on the Gulf, and the oysters, beer and music, as well as the atmosphere, was fantastic. They were expecting a total of 35,000 people over four days, but it was done in a very small town sort of way. We ate oysters and shrimp right off the boat, drank Lone Star and Shiner Bock, and listened to a band called Riptide. The band was lead by an Elvis look alike in a wife beater t shirt, and they played great 50-60's music (the Ventures, the Surfaries [Wipeout!], Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, etc), but the song that brought them all to their feet was Sweet Home Alabama! We had fun, and the party was over by eleven.
On Saturday we went back into town and watched the Oysterfest parade at 11 am, and went into the festival and ate, drank, and listened some more. We also got to see the men's oyster eating contest, where the defending champion, an older smaller guy, defeated all the big bubbas by eating 239 raw oysters in five minutes, winning by one oyster, a $200.00 prize and a huge trophy. They had a five minute waiting period to make sure he didn't yak them back up, then presented him the check. Tomorrow we are gonna miss the female contest, and the oyster shucking contest worth $700.
OH Yea- the belly dancers that we saw both days were the surprise event of our trip. These fat old women who couldn't belly dance worth a crap got out there and people loved em. I expected, maybe a lasso contest, not belly dancers! AND- we learned how to say yee haw in Greek. OPA! That's what they said while they danced. I learned how to say yee haw in CoonAss Cajun last week. Po yie(pronounced poo yea). Now I can say yee haw in three different languages!
|Everything in Texas is BIG! Including the beer mugs!|
|The festival was next to the marina. These burlap bags are full of oysters , just unloaded from the fishing boats. Can't get much fresher than that!|
|Under the big tent at the Fulton oysterfest!|
|If you wanted raw oysters, you went to this line. These guys were schucking oysters all day long.|
|One of the floats in the parade - yes, they throw beads!|
|And of course.....the belly dancers!|