We took the Winter Ranch bus heading toward the Port Isabel Lighted Boat Parade. Our usual bus driver, Jack Hulsey, didn't drive tonight so we had a real driving experience. Bob French took this trip and we should have known it would be exciting when he swiped the mail box as he pulled in to pick us up.
We all boarded the bus and I have to tell you I was nervous because I thought he drove too fast on corners and he jumped a few curbs. It may be that he hasn't driven for awhile because our park won't let anyone drive the bus that isn't a certified for passengers CDL driver. Anyway, we arrived at Port Isabel and he pulled into the parking lot at White Sands Motel, Marina and Restaurant where we were supposed to watch the parade and have dinner. The parking lot was totally full and it didn't even look like there was room for him to pull in but he did. The owner of an adjacent property had his hands in the air and his eyes rolling when he saw him pull in. Like "What the H' do you think you are doing." That was his expression! That was my thought too. Anyway, Bob got out and went in to see where he should park. He came back telling us that the restaurant didn't have room for us so we would have to go elsewhere.
The only choice now was to back the bus out of the parking area and onto Highway 100, the main drag and a very busy stretch that leads to South Padre. I just wanted to jump out and catch a cab if there were any. We were lucky though because the guy that was rolling his eyes at us came to our rescue. He went out on the road and stopped traffic for us so that Bob could pull out. The guy probably just wanted us out of there! But, still he was a life saver, literally!
So, we were off again and Bob asked us where we wanted to go and we told him, he was the driver so he pulled out without another word and leaded toward South Padre. We ended up at Louie's Back Yard on the island and I have to say it was the right choice! They were able to handle a whole bus full of people without a blink of the eye. They had us all seated in less than 10 minutes out of the patio where we could watch the boats come in.
Louie's has a buffet special for $12.95 and lots of foods to choose from including many types of shrimp dishes and all the crab legs you can eat. I was in heaven with the crab legs! They also had a drink special. $5 for a Blue Margarita or a Tropical Rum Tsunami. Lee and I decided to share the Tsunami. It was really good! Donna Jenkins tried the Blue Margarita but said it was too sweet for her which means I would have probably liked it. Liquor has to taste like pop for me to like it. lol
We ate until we were all stuffed and then we watched the ships come across the bay toward us. They actually landed at Louie's Backyard so we were able to get some pretty decent pictures. I'd say next year they should just come to Louie's Backyard!
Then, of course, we had to drive back and I have to say I had white knuckles all the way home. Bob still went rolling around the curves on freeway too fast and sometimes I would swear we should have tipped over. I told our Activity Directors that they need to post who is going to be driving the bus because I'd rather drive with Jack!