The Incredible Paulino (one of the main members of Team Jabroni, i.e. my friends) had a numerical relativity conference down in Brownsville last February, so everybody decided to make a weekend of the deal. This was especially convenient since Paul's parents own a large condo down in Padre - this helped us save some bucks and live in comfort.
Obviously South Padre is infested with spring breakers in March, but we managed to beat that by at least a month. That's RIGHT!!! We were hitting the beach in February - there aren't many chances to do that.
Since I am a complete geek, I had to have a look at the historical
sites near Padre - at least for a couple of hours - on Saturday. There
is actually a fair amount of maritime history in Padre. Since this
is on the border with Mexico, we are talking naval battles with Mexico,
pirates, and the lighthouse pictured here
This lighthouse is actually rather old. The Mexicans tried to blow it up, but they were unsuccessful - that's pretty pathetic. There was something else that was interesting about this lighthouse, but I cannot seem to remember it now.
Of course we hit the beach and chilled out there for the rest of the
day. Here's a picture of Larry taking a picture of me
Everybody was playing frisbee except me. I hate to embarrass myself. Hey,
I said that I'm a geek. Yafis didn't mind embarrassing himself, however. He's
a ridiculous geek:
Sarp, a.k.a. Captain J(abroni), is ripped as usual. We like to ask
him if "Sean Connery" will make an appearance whenever we go to the
beach. You'd know what I mean if you've ever seen the chest-hair. It's
Here Antonia tries to make a catch
Some of us left the beach of a couple of hours to look at fine liquors
and cigars. Then we were brutalized by this shark:
I made some use of those fine liquors, but we woke up pretty early the
next morning anyway and started heading back. Astrid and I decided to have
a look at some things along the way. We stopped in Corpus Christi to
see the old aircraft carrier U.S.S. Lexington. Here is a picture of
an oil tanker heading out of the harbor in the background
I've seen the Lexington before, and Astrid wasn't really interested, so we decided to move on. As usual, however, I have some commentary about this carrier. First, it is really cool. No question about that. Corpus Christi had a fair amount of foresight buying and preserving this piece of history. I really think that this carrier looks creepily awesome at night. It sits in an isolated harbor, so there are no lights. They shine some eerie blue lights on it... this really makes it look like a phantom ship in the harbor. This is especially cool because the old nickname for the Lexington is "the Blue Ghost". The ship's grey especially enhances the ghostlike blue. I wish that I had a picture, but c'est la vie.
On the other hand, they have almost COMPLETELY ruined the hangar deck. Instead of letting the historical significance (and cool jet stuff) speak for itself, they have turned the hangar deck into a carnival. There are video games and other white-trash spectacles there to destroy everything. In my mind the jet engines on display are far more interesting.
Also, as you might be able to see, they have placed a GIANT blemishing
concrete ramp up to the carrier. Instead of a minimalist ramp for access, now
big trucks can ferry up the fat and lazy masses. This really obscures the broadside
view of the carrier, which is a REAL SHAME! Nevertheless, it's pretty cool, and
I can highly recommend a visit (at least once). Note that the ship is protected
in the water by cathodic anti-rust sacrificial plates. This is cool since the
ship should last for a very long time.
We proceeded on home, but along the way we visited Goliad, Texas - the site of several significant events in Texas history (and two outstanding examples of Spanish architecture). That's for a different page, however.