16 December 2011


Back in October, after I was through emptying my bank account on bulbs and plants at the Houston Bulb Mart, Karen and I packed up her car for a road trip to Corpus Christi.  I had been really excited about this trip because in all the years I’ve lived in Texas I have only driven through or around Corpus on my way to somewhere else.

We stopped in the little community of El Campo, Texas and paid a visit to Prasek's Hillje SmokehouseIt’s not just a smokehouse.  It’s a HUGE place with a cheese shop, meat market, smoke house, wine shop, a Czech bakery, a restaurant, convenience store and so much more.

Karen is a regular at this place as she goes to Corpus on a regular basis.  We picked up some fresh bread stuffed with sausage and jalapeños, and other snacks like jerky and cheese.  Their jerky is great.  They have so many types to choose from.  We got some turkey jerky and some venison jerky.  Great traveling food.

The bathrooms were my favorite.  They had hammered copper sinks and the most clever water spouts I’ve ever seen. 

Karen drove.  Thanks Karen!  That was so thoughtful of her.  She wanted to make sure I would enjoy the sights of the country side;

like this.

The first order of business once we hit town was to make a visit to the cabinet shop that is making Karen's and her husband's cabinets and kitchen island for their house.

 This is their island. 

They have a beautiful piece of granite to go on the top.

The shop is super impressive and the owner of the shop was nice enough to give us a tour and show us a huge piece that he was building and putting together the old fashioned way, by hand.

 This is one side of a three sided gazebo.  It is ginormous.  I think the gazebo is going to be larger than my house.

Karen drove me around town to show me how beautiful it is.

Next on the agenda were cocktails and dinner.

 Here we are at a little place on one of the T-Heads.  Food was good, service lacked a little but the worst was serving me my wine in a juice glass.

 Shrimp Cocktail, with pico de gallo rather than cocktail sauce,

 Panko crusted shrimp, and

(warning, the following photo is tremendously un-appetizing - but it sure tasted good!)
 fish tacos.

After dinner we sauntered over to Landry's for an after dinner drink and to enjoy the weather, scenery and music. 

The next morning we got up for a walk on the beach.  There was an awful red tide occurring so there were a lot of dead fish on the beach. 

And birds flying around with, what I'm sure are fish guts, in their mouths.

 We still managed to get a nice walk in despite walking over and around dead fish.

I love the ocean as much as I love the mountains.  I could have walked for hours, picking up shells and watching the ships.


But it would soon be time for lunch which meant shrimp, shrimp and more shrimp.  Karen wanted to take me to one of their favorite out of the way spots that has great shrimp.

 Laguna Reef Restaurant

 It's not much to look at and it sits at the end of a very long road off a main highway.  

It shares a cove with a business that looked to me like you could dock your boat there and also a place where you could rent a boat and guide to take you fishing and when you came back from your day of fishing you could get it all cleaned up for you.

The food proved to be just as great as Karen has always said.
 Fried pickles - these had the crispiest crust; there was nothing soggy about these puppies.

 I ordered the fried shrimp and okra

Karen ordered the fried shrimp and french fries.  The okra had the lightest, tempura-like crust on them; Mmmmm.  But the king of the day were the shrimp.  They were so fresh they literally popped when you bit into them.  I could have eaten my weight in them.

Off for a little more sight seeing. 

 Did you know Corpus was the Home of the National Little League baseball???

 Corpus is also the resting place of Selena, the pop Hispanic singer who was gunned down in 1995 by some really bad lady that worked for her.

 At the time of her death I had never even heard of her.   She was extremely famous with the Hispanic community here in Texas.  Jennifer Lopez played her in her first leading role in a movie.  Just a little entertainment trivia for you.

Someones modest little beach house, HA!  We also went to some really cute gift shops in town.
Saturday evening was spent at the house relaxing and putting together a jigsaw puzzle.
The next day, before heading back to Houston, Karen showed me this cute little building. 
 It used to be a Sinclair gas station owned by her grandfather.

 Now it serves as a drive through cleaners.  I think it is absolutely darling and that Karen should keep her eye on it and if it ever came up for sale she should snatch it up and turn it into a cute little restaurant.  Then I would go work for her.  She would pay me the big bucks and I would be able to retire early.

Over the bridge and off towards home.  Hmmmm.  Once we get back to Houston I still have a 4 hour drive back to Fort Worth.  Thanks Karen for a fun weekend!!

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