Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Walk to Remember

We're walking the dogs on Padre Balli Park beach off the coast of Corpus Christi, Texas, and it's nothing like we've ever seen before.

Oh, we've been here before, on this very beach, and accept the novelty of dodging four-by-fours as they barrel down the sand.

But today, it's different.

It's spring break. And we see kids, lots of kids, big and little, everywhere, They're dotting the beach like seashells and chattering like seagulls. And we see lawn chairs, tents, cabanas, grills, dogs, a horse, more dogs and more tents and lots of trucks.

The beach is a wagon train of cars and truck, a carnival of people, some way out in the ocean, others just two feet away from each other. Dancing, singing, laughing, eating. The crowd is enormous. Vibrant.

And everyone, it seems, wants to pet our dogs, play with our dogs, ask questions about our dogs. They crowd around us, like a celebrity sighting.

Our dogs, of course, love the attention. And I do, too. We play with some kids; chat with some adults. But Allen, our introvert, might hyperventilate, so I suggest we head back to our RV and wait for the evening, when everyone's gone home and the Super Moon promises to bathe the beach in moonlight and we can walk in private. Maybe take a few pictures.

So, right after dusk, we leash up the dogs and head back out to the beach. Where we are shocked to see something we've never seen before: a nighttime crowd at the beach, with campfire and trucks, people everywhere. Dancing, singing. Or just staring at their fires.

Lots of 20-somethings drive in, dressed to impress and I watch as they park, then head up the pier, where there must be a popular bar just out of sight, where I can't see the fun.

I ask one of the guys, "Hey what's up on the pier?"

"Fishing," he says. "They're really biting tonight."

"Wait," I stammer, "There's no bar up there, no nightspot to hang out in?"

Nope. Just fishin'.

Wow. All those 20-somethings, on spring break, taking dates to a fishing pier, to fish.

Again, it's nothing like we've ever seen before.

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