Island Breeze - Valley Morning Star
A product of the Valley Morning Star, A Freedom Community Newspaper
news | video | fishing | tourist | island images | web updates|

Fri Oct 19, 2007

Tourist Spotlight

Island Breeze Image
(Photo and story by: Carl Phillips / Island Breeze)

David Clark of McAllen was putting the finishing touches on his first sand sculpting project in the free lessons tent Friday on South Padre Island. A retired engineer from the California Highway Department, he paused to talk about his creation.

“Being an engineer helps, I think,” he said.

More...
Posted by: Ryan Henry on Oct 19, 07 | 2:45 pm | Profile

[0] comments (0 views)| [0] Trackbacks [0] Pingbacks

Thu Oct 18, 2007

Tourist Spotlight

Island Breeze Image
(Photo and story by: Carl Phillips / Island Breeze)

As sure as sculptors play in the sand for Sandcastle Days, Gloria Hendler will be on South Padre Island to see the action.

Actually, she said, she was coming to the Island regularly even before Sandcastle Days was an event here.

“I’ve been working as a nurse in Dallas for 26 years,” she said. “One of my patients told me about this place, and I had to come see it for myself.”

Hendler began coming in October when the last of her children went off to college. “I get a bunch of my friends together, and we come the week before Sandcastle Days and stay until it’s over,” she said.

On this trip, she and a brother-in-law joined in the sculpting fun. They started a sculpture on Thursday in the shade of the tent where amateurs get free lessons.

“We’ve been coming to Padre forever,” she said. “It’s my all-time favorite beach.”

Posted by: Ryan Henry on Oct 18, 07 | 2:11 pm | Profile

[0] comments (0 views)| [0] Trackbacks [0] Pingbacks

Fri Oct 12, 2007

Tourist Spotlight

Island Breeze Image
(Photo and story by: Carl Phillips/ Island Breeze)

John and Margarita Silva of Edinburg came to South Padre Island for the BikeFest Roar by the Shore.

They rode their Harleys down, and brought daughter Amanda and son Jacob.

“We rent a condo with a garage we can keep our bikes in,” Silva said. “We never miss this show — it’s great.”

The family plans to ride in the parade tonight, and then ride back home Sunday night.
“We come to the Island about six times a year,” Silva said. He said it was a great place to relax. “When we come down between shows we fish and spend a lot of time on the beach.”
Their favorite two restaurants are Dirty Al’s and the Texas Moon, he said.

Silva and his wife own their own service businesses. Silva runs a rehabilitation center and accepts referral cases involving personal injury and workmen’s compensation. Margarita owns her own beauty salon.

Posted by: Ryan Henry on Oct 12, 07 | 2:55 pm | Profile

[0] comments (0 views)| [0] Trackbacks [0] Pingbacks

Thu Oct 11, 2007

Tourist Spotlight

Island Breeze Image
(Photo and story by: Carl Phillips/ Island Breeze)

Tyrone and Sarolyn Morgan brought their three children, Tyler, Jonathon and Dorothy to South Padre Island Saturday to enjoy a week’s vacation.

The children were on their fall break from school, and Morgan and Sarolyn were able to schedule their vacations for the same time.

Morgan was enthusiastic about the Island. “This is great,” he said. “We’ve really enjoyed it. We’ve had a wonderful time here.”

He had heard that fall was the best time to come, he said. “And it’s true. Last Sunday we had the beach all to ourselves. I went scuba diving and the water was so clear I could see at least 10 feet in front of me.”

The family has also done a lot of fishing. “Deep sea, we caught red snappers and a kingfish,” he said. “Tyler and Jonathon took turns reeling in the kingfish.” They had also fished in the bay, and fished from the pier, he said.

“We ate the kingfish — most of it, anyway. We still have some left over. The restaurant at Fishbones Pier cooked it for us.”

They also visited Sea Turtle Inc. and learned about turtle excluder devices for shrimp boat trawl nets.

Posted by: Ryan Henry on Oct 11, 07 | 2:55 pm | Profile

[0] comments (0 views)| [0] Trackbacks [0] Pingbacks

Sat Oct 06, 2007

Tourist Spotlight

Island Breeze Image
(Photo and story by: Carl Phillips / Island Breeze)

David and Padmie Reynolds are ecotourists from Eustis, Fla. who came to South Padre Island to do some serious bird watching at the nature trail near the SPI Convention Centre.

They arrived Saturday shortly after noon and plan to leave today. The two retirees are on an extensive nature trip that will continue to the west, with stops at various places along the Rio Grande.

Reynolds said the pair is accustomed to travel. “We’ve lived and worked all over the world,” he said.

The couple is happy to see more places tying their ecology to tourism. “Being an ecotourist is a good thing,” Padmie said. “People interested in those things are pretty good people, quiet people who don’t make trouble. And they spend a lot of money everywhere they go.”

Reynolds said they hadn’t seen enough of the Island to form an opinion yet. “Right now, we’ve got to find a place to bed down tonight,” he said.

Posted by: Ryan Henry on Oct 06, 07 | 5:13 pm | Profile

[0] comments (0 views)| [0] Trackbacks [0] Pingbacks

Fri Oct 05, 2007

Tourist Spotlight

Island Breeze Image
(Photo and story by: Carl Phillips / Island Breeze)

Austin criminal defense attorney Janet Stockard can’t get entirely away from court-even on South Padre Island. While vacationing Friday, her cell phone rang with a call from a judge in whose court she is scheduled to appear next Tuesday.

Stockard, who was born and raised in Beaumont, graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1968, and has lived in Austin since.

She visited South Padre Island for the first time one spring when she was in college. “My friends and I camped out on the beach,” she said. “We had sand in our food, in our bedding, in our clothes-even in our hair. Now that I’m older, I don’t think that’s really the fun way to go. I need a lot more than beach and sand.”

This week, she and her family bought a condo here.

“We’re coming back for Sand Castle Days next weekend,” she said. “Now we’ve got our own place to stay.”

Posted by: Ryan Henry on Oct 05, 07 | 1:20 pm | Profile

[0] comments (0 views)| [0] Trackbacks [0] Pingbacks

Thu Oct 04, 2007

Tourist Spotlight

Island Breeze Image
(Photo and story by: Carl Phillips / Island Breeze)

Dave and Cindy Roberts have the best of two worlds—living six months in Brownsville and another six in Spirit Lake, Iowa.

“I guess we’re Winter Texans or Snowbirds or whatever you call people who come here only for the winter season,” Cindy said, visiting South Padre Island Thursday.

Cindy is a registered nurse who signed a six-month contract to work at a Brownsville hospital before coming to the Valley.

This is the first of what they hope will be many years to come. “Friends we worked for back home told us about South Padre Island,” Cindy said. “They come down for three months out of the year.”

Dave was glad to say goodbye to snow and ice—“forever, I hope,” he said.

The couple has only been here a few days but they’ve already been impressed, they said.

“The water is so blue,” Cindy said. “We come from what they call the Land of Blue Lakes, but the color of the water there is more green than blue.”

Posted by: Ryan Henry on Oct 04, 07 | 3:40 pm | Profile

[0] comments (0 views)| [0] Trackbacks [0] Pingbacks

Sat Sep 29, 2007

Tourist Spotlight

Island Breeze Image
(Photo and story by: Carl Phillips / Island Breeze)


Francisco and Anne Estevia and their daughter Fran of Edinburg came to South Padre Island for the weekend.

“We own a condo here, and we come down once or twice a month,” Anne said.

“Every chance we get,” Fran added.

The retired couple met when they were both young and teaching school in Jemez Springs, New Mexico, Anne said. “Our three daughters were all born in New Mexico.”

She pointed to Fran. “This one’s named after her father because she was born on his birthday,” she said.

The couple both taught learning-challenged or disadvantaged students. Fran, following in her parents’ footsteps, teaches autistic children in Edinburg.

Anne has a doctorate in a narrow specialty—educating students with deaf-blindness. “When you can’t hear well, and you can’t see well, you have to find some way to get around those very real learning difficulties,” she said.

Estevia likes the fishing in the Laguna Madre. “We have a boat, and sometimes we bring it down,” he said. “Mostly, though, we just come here to relax.”

Posted by: Ryan Henry on Sep 29, 07 | 2:41 pm | Profile

[0] comments (0 views)| [0] Trackbacks [0] Pingbacks

Fri Sep 28, 2007

Tourist Spotlight

Island Breeze Image
(Photo and story by: Carl Phillips / Island Breeze)

Angel Arriaga of Matamoros brought his family to South Padre Island this week. His parents, Leo and Edith Arriaga, are visiting from Coahuilla, Saltillo.

“When they come, we usually spend the week on the Island,” he said. “I get up in the morning to drive to Matamoros to work and come back to spend the night with them here.”
His wife Claudia Treviño and his two boys, Emilio and Angel, Jr., spend the day with the older folks, enjoying the Island amenities.

“We all have been coming here for many years,” Arriaga said. “I was coming here when it was nothing but sand dunes and sunshine.”

He and his wife and children often spend the weekend on the Island. Over the years, he has seen many changes, but the one that made the most difference was the causeway, he said.

“We like the fact that they keep finding more events for entertainment,” he said.
“Especially the fireworks,” Treviño said. “And Schlitterbahn [Beach Waterpark] and miniature golf.”

Posted by: Ryan Henry on Sep 28, 07 | 3:02 pm | Profile

[0] comments (0 views)| [0] Trackbacks [0] Pingbacks

Thu Sep 27, 2007

Tourist Spotlight

Island Breeze Image
(Photo and story by: Carl Phillips / Island Breeze)

Amber and Bill McCaw planned to honeymoon in Corpus Christi until a friend suggested they visit South Padre Island instead. Neither had ever been this far south.

“I’m glad we listened to our friend,” Amber McCaw said. “This place is wonderful. It takes your breath away, from the causeway to the beach.”

The couple rode AmTrak to San Antonio and rented a car to drive the rest of the way, arriving Monday. They planned to leave today.

The McCaws visited Sea Turtle Inc., took an ecotourism charter trip and went on a dolphin watch. They walked around Isla Blanca County Park, and ate meals at places, such as Amberjack’s and Padre Island Brewing Company.

The couple also visited Lighthouse Square in Port Isabel.

“We’ll be back for sure,” Amber said. “Maybe in two or three years.”

“I didn’t like the median [on Padre Blvd.],” Bill McCaw said. “It was in the way. Every time I wanted to go south I had to go north first. Very frustrating.”

Posted by: Ryan Henry on Sep 27, 07 | 2:59 pm | Profile

[0] comments (0 views)| [0] Trackbacks [0] Pingbacks
NEXT page
Log-In
Register
Members
Calendar
Dining
Venues
Letters to the Editor
Home on the Beach
Little Known Facts
How Ideas Hatch
History to the Point
Shell of the Week
subscribe | advertise | disclaimer | staff | Valley Morning Star
Advertising

Keyword Search
Advanced search