Tuesday, October 23, 2007

South Texas Part Dos

Jesse forgot to bring the cord to her camera home from work last night - so most of the pics today came from my camera except for these two that Jesse emailed to me. The first one is a photo of me at the Baker Hotel - keep in mind that we were being very silly and Jesse had me do all sorts of silly poses. If you are wondering why I did the silly poses, well, lets just say I was caught up in the moment. The second pic is of Jesse with another vacuum cleaner. We both thought it was just too funny that we would find an old vacuum cleaner at the Baker (yesterday's pics) and then find one on the beach. They were both great photo ops, and we were very silly. You will have to wait until tomorrow before I can get my hands on her camera and show her perspective on things.

Our plan for Saturday was to start the day with a good breakfast - no chain restaurants - and hopefully something better than Blackbeard's the night before (Jesse did point out the good thing about eating at Blackbeard's was that we did not stuff ourselves). We hit the town early and drove around until we found a little cafe called Taqueria Jalisco on the southeast corner of Staples and Doddridge. It was a wonderful little family place with a great Mexican breakfast. The patrons seemed to all know each other and were very friendly making us feel right at home. I had migas, of course.

Next we headed to the Lexington. We wanted to beat the crowd and the heat by getting there early. Being mid-October, the crowd was not a problem, but it was a bit warm in places (can't imagine being there in the hot summer time). We skipped the movie and went straight to the Flight Deck to see the airplanes and runways. The Lex looks just pretty big when you are standing on the dock looking up, but when you are standing on the Flight Deck thinking about landing a plane there, it is just pretty small. I have new respect for all things Navy. We climbed up into the Navigation Bridge, Pilothouse, etc and played around. We went down to the big guns and played around on those too. I am sure we entertained the other tourist while took pictures and pretended to be the Captain or pretended to shoot the guns. Here is Jesse blowing up the 99 cent margarita place. Yes, they took silly pictures of me as well, but you will have to wait to see those tomorrow - if you are lucky. While touring the Lower Deck, we entered the Barber shop, I was about to say, "Hey Jes, take a picture of me cutting Dad's hair" but there was a man already sitting in the baber's chair, and he was completely bald, so I said, "Hey Jes, take a picture of me cutting this man's hair!" The man burst out laughing along with his friends. And we made new friends who turned out to be pretty silly themselves. When we entered the Female Berthing area, there was a sign that said, "No men allowed unless accompanied by a female..." Our new friends were very silly waiting on us to enter with them. Turns out that one of the guys was an ex-Lex navy man. The other two were ex-army.

We continued to climb all over the ship, and it is a climb sometimes with all the staircase/ladders. The whole thing was very interesting and a must-see. Jesse had to try swinging down from the bar above the stairs. We watched a film while sitting in the Ready room. Jesse said the machine shop looked much like the machine shop at Halliburton. Do they have drafters on ships, 'cause I think she is ready to join the Navy.

After a long morning at the Lex, we ate a late lunch at the City Diner which had excellent food and great atmosphere - very funky. The walking and climbing plus a big meal took their toll and we had to stop for a power nap before we changed into our beach clothes and had some more fun. We drove back to North Padre where the sand and beach are much nicer than the beachfront at the hotel. The boogie board was quite fun for catching waves and riding them in. The skimmer board was downright dangerous. Jesse never did master it, and Toby fell on his head trying to skim the waves. Although we could not help but laugh at him, I knew he would be very sore - he hit really hard. Still, we had a great time playing in the waves. We played until it was too dark to see. I thought Jesse would want to find a funky place and maybe hear some music or something, but she was as tired as we were so we headed back to the hotel to clean up and relax watching a movie from the king size bed.

Sunday morning we went back to Jalisco's for breakfast. I had planned on eating pancakes, but I found my self ordering migas again. Hmm, they had great homemade tortillas, too. Then it was time to tell Toby good-bye and head north. The drive home was uneventful. I hate I-35, but it does allow you to drive 75 or more. As we drove into Wichita Falls (had to pick up the rat terrier - notice the beach towel, boogie board and ice chest) we hit the cold front coming from the north. Welcome back to OK and the cool fall. By the way, it is not wise to take a close-up flash picture of someone who is driving.


Buck Pennington said...

Great stuff yet again, Lou. You might know I liked the Lex pics the best... The next time I'm down south Tejas way I'm definitely gonna go. Not that I needed all that much convincing... ;-)

Bag Blog said...

We took other plane pictures on the flight deck, if you are interested in what they have. After reading "Flight of the Intruder" that was my favorite plane. Jesse took my picture with it - to be posted soon. The plane with Jesse standing in front (today) was huge. I cannot imagine it landing on the deck of the Lex.

Buck Pennington said...

The plane with Jesse standing in front (today) was huge. I cannot imagine it landing on the deck of the Lex.

Speaking of which... I've never asked but I assume you read Lex, one of the MOST gifted (when it comes to writing) of the Milbloggers. Being a fighter pilot in the twilight of his military career (he's retiring this coming Spring), Lex came off flying status about a year or maybe two ago. I've been reading him for well over three years now and was priveleged to read Rhythms, his magnum opus in "real time." "Rhythms" has 54 installments, so it ain't a quick read...think of it as a novel. But you can read four or five installments in a single sitting...and I've not read ANYTHING better when it comes to describing what it's like to fly a fighter off an aircraft carrier. Period. Full stop. Lex puts you right in the cockpit with him. He's really that good.

So...if you have read Rhythms, please accept my apologies for going on so. If you haven't read him...well, ya know what to do and where to go! ;-)

(Yeah. I'm a fan.)

Buck Pennington said...

PS... The foregoing was as much for Jesse as it was for you, Lou. Maybe more so. Recruiting tool, and all that.

But if she's at ALL interested in the military, she should also consider the Air Force. We have a lot to offer and our quality of life is just SO much higher! ;-)

Bag Blog said...

Thanks Buck, for the insight to Lex's Rythms. I read him occasionally (when you suggest or someone else does), but have not read Rythms. I will read it and I am sure Jesse will love it too.

At one time, we considered a military career for Jes and the thought still rolls by us now and then. She would be great because she is a courageous and upright young lady (not to mention smart), but I have some thoughts on the subject that I will have to share with you some other time or place so as not to offend anyone.

Buck Pennington said...

I have some thoughts on the subject that I will have to share with you some other time or place so as not to offend anyone.

Well, now! That sure piqued my curiosity!! You can use the comments at my place, should you desire. I'm an equal-opportunity offender. ;-)

MMC said...

Speaking of Lex, I just dropped by from his place. And I heartily concur with Buck's recommendation on Rhythms. Absoloutely EXCELLENT blogvel, best thing I've read in a long time.

Anyway, just wanted to say great pictures. Unfortunately for me, its probably about as close as I will get to the flight deck of an aircraft carrier, so thanks!

Bag Blog said...

MMC, thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. I do plan on reading Lex's Rythms. Wow Nova Scotia!

Paul Lynn said...

My Dad served on the Lady Lex during WWII. I have several pictures of him on it during war time.

Some day I'm going to have to make the pilgrimige.

Thanks for some highlights.


Bag Blog said...

Drop by anytime, Paul. There is a museum on the Lex that tells all about the Lady Lex.