It was October 1996 and ever since moving to San Antonio, TX back in ‘93, we had heard so much about the beautiful South Padre Island (SPI is at the southernmost tip of Texas, right near the Mexican border at Brownsville, TX). We decided to take a few days off & enjoy a long Fri-Mon weekend down there.

We booked a condo at the gorgeous Marriott Resort. Many of these condos were privately owned, but maintained & sub-let by Marriott.

Perhaps we were in a partial fog (figuratively speaking), but when we set off for SPI (normally, a 5 hour drive), we didn’t realize that Tropical Storm Josephine was about to ravage the southern Texas coastline.

We had clear sailing for a couple of hours as we headed east toward Corpus Christi. But as soon as we turned south onto US 77, a straight shoot down, we started to encounter some bad weather.

Pretty bad weather. And it was getting worse.

We strongly contemplated getting off the highway & waiting it out, but we heard that the rain was going to last quite a while.

But we did see one good sign on the highway…there were a number of tractor-trailers still heading south.

We decided to join the caravan.

Wedged in between a couple of these monsters, we rode that right-hand lane at a nice steady pace. There was no passing nor getting frustrated at the slow pace as we were in a blinding rainstorm.

It wound up taking us much longer than originally anticipated, about 7 1/2 hours in total, but we finally arrived.

And, most importantly, safe & sound.

It was still pouring steadily when we checked into our suite.

And it never stopped raining…all damned weekend!

South Padre Island had a sun? Really? Where was it hiding?

It finally made an appearance on Monday morning & of course, it was soon time for us to check out.

We just hadda rescue whatever remnants of the weekend remained so we headed downstairs onto the back patio to enjoy an early lunch.

And things turned a little interesting…

We were just sitting there enjoying the weekend stranger…the sun…and munching on some goodies.

There were a whole bunch of small birds flying in & out of the area, looking as if they, too, had been suffering from their own version of cabin fever.

Chirping happily, they merrily went about their way.

Then, suddenly, a seagull comes torpedoing down from the sky & snatches one of these tiny guys in mid-air…no more than a few feet right in front of us!

We were startled to say the least & Heather was upset at what we just witnessed. Yeah, of course, this stuff happens all the time in nature, but to witness it right before our very eyes was, er, pretty shocking!

Soon after, as we were getting ready to
leave, a young man with a guitar set up a microphone here on the patio & began playing. He was obviously hired by Marriott to provide some entertainment for the guests at lunchtime.

“What the heck?”, we thought. We’d been prisoners in our suite all weekend, slaves to Mother Nature so let’s take advantage of whatever little fun & entertainment that was available to us.

We sat back in our chairs as this young man played his guitar & sang a number of his own songs.

He was quite excellent! In fact, at his first break, he brought out several of his tapes to sell.

I picked up one for Laurie, as well as a tee shirt & left him a nice tip.

And we stayed for another set as well before heading back out on the road.

Over the next few month, Laurie played that tape to death! I was shocked that it didn’t wear out from overuse.

Several years later, we actually started to hear some of his songs on the different country music stations. I believe his name was Jamey Johnson and he’s released a number of albums, had a couple of Top 10 hits & has co-written songs for the likes of George Strait, Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson!

Thanks so much for listening!

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