07 February 2008

Rio Grande Valley

We made it into the Rio Grande Valley around 4pm on Monday. We arrived to a great meal put on by mom for us and several friends of my parents. Joe and I went to the Outlet Mall in Mercedes to get a quick overview of what money we could drop at the stores on Tuesday later in the evening. We did make stops at Jockey, Banana Republic and Burberry for a few things before heading home...

On Tuesday, we headed to South Padre Island to get some sun. It was supposed to be as hot on Tuesday as Monday was (around 32C) but the wind was howling and the temps only got up to the high 20s. It would have been a nice day if the wind hadn't been blowing so hard. It was even a hard day for he windsurfers and parasailers. We went for lunch at a small cafe along the beach off Gulf Blvd, then tried to get onto the beach but aborted the mission and decided we could do our sunning by the pool instead. Disappointed, we headed into Academy Sports in Brownsville, bought a bunch of shoes (including my new Asics 2130s!) and headed to the Outlet Mall in Mercedes again before heading back to Weslaco. There we dropped more money at Calvin Klein, Guess, Sketchers and Ecko, but didn't find anything at some of the other stores like Adidas, Perry Ellis and Nike where I was hoping to find some deals. Needless to say, Joe did buy a new gear bag at Nike to take home our new eight pairs of shoes...and it's full already....I got two pairs of leather dress shoes at Sketchers for 50 freaking dollars!! How could I resist?

But we didn't just come here to shop. This morning, I went out for a nice 13ker around 7:30am before we headed over to Progreso, Mexico to check out the sights, including that marvellous 'Crazy Bird Room' at El Disco Supercentre. Joe bought a couple of blankets, we got some candy and duty-free (of course), lunch at Arriba, then headed back to Texas and to Pepe's By the River in Mission. We went into McAllen for a few things then to a Golden Corral Buffet in Weslaco before heading home. These buffets are famous for having an incredible selection of food and attracting some very serioud customers at a very reasonable price...so...full...

Tomorrow is supposed to finally be the pooldeck day. Every day has involved driving of some sort, so after going for a run in the morning and watching my dad's baseball game I plan on spending the afternoon at the pool reading my book. We had discussed heading to Corpus Christi tomorrow night since it is only a couple of hours from here in anticipation of the 4.5 hour drive back to Houston/Galveston on Friday. I really want to check out the U.S.S. Lexington in Corpus Christi and I don't want to cheap out time-wise on the chance to get on board an aircraft carrier just to get to Galveston in time to find a decent hotel. I think we'll be okay to leave for Corpus Christi very early on Friday morming, do the tour, get on the road again by 2-3pm or so, then roll into Galveston around 7pm and get a room and food. Our flight back to Calgary is around 1:30pm on Saturday so I would like to be at the airport no later than 11am to drop off the rental car and get the shuttle to the terminal and then do the rest of the normal check-in crap.

I'm having connectivity problems with the wireless on site here, so I've been running around the campground looking for a good connection and not having much luck. I got enough connectivity to find out that Air Canada was having another seat sale for flights until April 30th and discovered I could get a not-so-good-connection indirect flight to Phoenix for the end of March for around $480, but since I haven't been able to confirm getting the time off of work to go for the Tucson Bicycle Classic, I wasn't able to book at that price before the end of the day. Here's hoping they throw another sale out for both a trip to Tucson at the end of March and another one (direct or bust) to Chicago for May. I still have to book flights for the IBM Blue Horizon in Toronto for the April 20th weekend, so there's lots to do and flight sales to look out for over the next few weeks. Of course, as soon as I get back I've got meetings Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night so Sunday's definitely going to be a down day. I just can't believe that after spending a week in 30C weather I'm going to be going back to -20C or whereabouts. I'll just have to work at not thinking about it until I have to face it!

I've been taking lots of video on this trip, not so many photos. But Joe has...

I'm looking forward to finally getting to work on all the long-overdue-to-post videos that I still have saved on the video camera. There'll definitely be lots to edit together and post from the holidays and this trip too.

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