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Monday, June 16, 2014

Corpus Christi: Our Engagement Spot

Hope everyone is having a great summer so far. Yes, it finally feels like summer! In the nineties this week. I've been busy with work and wedding stuff, but I have been able to do a little shopping, and we paid a visit to the drive-in this past weekend for a double feature! Godzilla and Transcendence. So...I really need to catch up with these vacation posts! 

As you know, we visited Texas last month, and I've already posted ALL about what we did in Austin and San Antonio. Today, I'm going to share all the deets about our stay in Corpus Christi. Of all of the places we visited on this vacation, Corpus Christi may have been the most memorable, because this is where we got engaged.

It started out with mixed feelings, I'll admit. We had just spent two amazing days in San Antonio, and it poured rain all night our last night there. The next day we were headed to Corpus Christi, and it wasn't raining anymore, but it was cloudy and overcast, and pretty chilly. I would say probably low seventies and windy. Since we're from Illinois, this was kind of the weather that we had been experiencing lately and we had driven to a beach by the Gulf Coast, to get away from that! We were expecting it to be just a tad bit warmer! But it ended up being unusually chilly this weekend, and it looked more like our area when the Mississippi floods in the spring:

Yep, when we got to our hotel, we noticed that not only were some of the side roads covered with water, but our hotel beach was also flooded! A little disappointing to say the least, since our view was anything but tropical.

Fortunately, it was just overcast the first day and warmed up the rest of our time here. We did like that our hotel was within walking distance of a few restaurants and touristy things by the bay. Below is the USS Lexington, an old World War II battleship that is now permanently docked on the bay as a museum. We checked this out the second day, which you'll see in a few minutes!

After we checked into our hotel the first day, we walked down to the Texas State Aquarium, which was pretty cool. It seemed smaller than I thought it would be, but it was full of some really cool stuff.

There were a lot of cool jellyfish...I especially liked this photo because it looks like a jellyfish in space. :)

We saw a dolphin show which was cool (and we got wet!).

Then we watched the dolphins swimming under the water.

When we went outside to the dolphin lookout, we actually saw some wild dolphins swimming in the bay! I don't think I had ever seen wild dolphins in person before, so that was really cool..and would not be the first time seeing them down here, either.

We also saw some crazy big sharks (in the aquarium, not in the wild)....

And had some fun with the children's exhibits...

We even got to touch a shark! It was a small shark, though. And no limbs were lost.

After the aquarium, we ate at a little restaurant by the bay, and that night we just watched a movie and relaxed in the hotel since it was kind of cold and crappy outside.

The next morning, we awoke to sunny skies! Much more of the view we were hoping for, although our beach was still flooded...

We had a nice breakfast at our hotel.

Then we walked over to the Battleship Museum!

Of course we made a couple of stops along the way...

You may not think a Battleship museum would be that interesting, but we actually thought it was pretty cool. I had never been inside an old battleship before. First time for everything.

Again, we had fun being complete and total dorks and posing with every forced photo op spot.

A cool part was that inside, there are self-guided tours, so we actually got to explore by ourselves all around the Battleship, and got to go out onto the top deck. It was windy, but there were tons of old ships, which was kind of cool if you're into that sort of thing.

We even saw a 3D movie inside the battleship. Not too shabby! Once we toured the whole ship, we walked back to our hotel and got ready to head out to North Padre Island and Port Aransas for the day. 

We drove out to Padre Island and drove down the National Seashore.

I kind of compared it to the Outer Banks in North Carolina - it was really similar, since they are both long, skinny islands full of natural sea shore and surrounded by ocean. Although they were similar, the landscape was definitely different than the OBX. There weren't as many sand dunes here - it seemed more grassy and prairie-like. Whereas the Outer Banks had much more white sand everywhere.

Here you had to drive closer to the coast to see the sand. And it was kind of dessert-like around it.

We took a "nature walk" for a little while just to explore. And we saw lots of little lizards!

Even though it was still really windy and a little chilly, we found a nice spot to hang out on the beach in Port Aransas.

It was warm enough to wear our swimsuits, but not warm enough that I wanted to get in the water! I think I put my feet in, and that's it. Trent did try boogey boarding for a few minutes, but was kind of unsuccessful. :)

Mostly we just walked around and collected seashells.

I was hoping for a longer beach stay, but unfortunately, out of our entire vacation, we just got an hour or so! It ended up being too windy to even sit in our chairs, because the sand started blowing in our faces. That meant it was time to go!


We stayed a little while longer in Port Aransas to watch some wild dolphins in the bay. We had gone into a souvenier shop, and the lady who worked there informed us of a really good spot to see them. We definitely got our own little dolphin show. It was pretty cool! I didn't get many good pictures, unfortunately!

We ate at a restaurant in Port Aransas (I think it was called Virginia's on the Bay), and then went back to the mainland via ferry. And when I say ferry, I mean an extremely short ferry that takes you across a span of water that very well could have been connected with a bridge. I think it took all of like 5 minutes! Nothing compared to the Outer Banks ferries!

We drove along Aransas Pass, and the most beautiful sunset ended our daytrip along the coast. (I didn't know that I was in for a surprise later that night, however!)

That night Trent wanted to go downtown and explore. I didn't object, since I wanted to get a good view of the harbor bridge all lit up from downtown. We parked by the bay and walked down to these fountains, which were really cool.

We took a few pictures of the bridge and the fountains (by the art museum area), and while we were walking back to the car, we walked along the bay, and the moon was super bright and pretty.

I took this picture of one of the gazebos by the water...little did I know that this was the gazebo that Trent would be proposing in!

I was not expecting it AT ALL! But of course I said yes, and the rest is history. Now I'm planning a wedding for this year! I think I was in shock for the rest of our vacation!

The next morning was another gorgeous sunny day, and our beach had finally dried up! Of course the day we leave!

It was beginning to get into the 80's and become nice again. But we were off to another city...This time Galveston and Houston!

I snapped a few photos of me with my ring, then we headed on the road again.

Even though the weather wasn't close to being tropical, I will still always have the memories of getting engaged in Corpus Christi, so it still holds that special place with me now. 

I'll be back soon with my Houston post. After that though, I definitely want to start posting house and wedding updates! Much needed. Galveston and Houston next then back to regularly scheduled posts.. :)

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