Wednesday, February 25, 2015

North Beach - Corpus Christi Texas

Description:  The North Beach area of Corpus Christi is a small section of land between the Corpus Christi Shipping Channel and Nueces Bay.  It is connected to Downtown Corpus Christi by the Harbor Bridge.  Waves from Corpus Christi Bay wash onto the seaweed free beach.  Picnic tables are anchored in the course sand.  A sidewalk runs the length of the two mile long beach and connects restaurants, hotels, vacation homes, and stores to landmarks like the USS Lexington Aircraft Carrier and the Texas State Aquarium.

Location:  North of Downtown Corpus Chirsti on the north side of the Harbor Bridge.

Cost: Beach access and parking are both free.

Operating Seasons and Hours: Open all year long.

Official Website: http://visitcorpuschristitx.org/beaches/North_Beach.cfm  and http://www.cctexas.com/government/parks-recreation/programs-services/beaches/index

Date of Visit: Monday, November 3, 2014

This was the second stop on the third day of the Texas Coastline Road Trip that my husband and I took our kids on in November of 2014.  We drove north over the Harbor Bridge, and then took the first exit off of Highway 181.  We saw a parking lot next to the beach and headed there.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Main Street - Moab, Utah

Description:  Many places claim to be the center of adventure, but Moab truly is surrounded by amazing things to see and do.  The city is near two unique national parks, a state park, a major river, and a mountain range.  The city's Main Street is a memorable destination itself. Historic buildings and tree lined streets make this town a charming oasis. Great restaurants and many hotels mean that you don't have to travel far for comfort.  And chances are, you'll find a souvenir to take home in one of the many gift shops.

Location: Moab is about 4 hours southeast of Salt Lake City, Utah.  It is about 6 hours west of Denver, Colorado.  Highway 191 runs through the town and is it's Main Street.

Cost:  Moab offers activities for every budget.  Even just walking up and down Main Street and window shopping is enjoyable.

Operating Seasons and Hours:  Many of the stores and restaurants are open all year, but this place is definitely more lively during the spring, summer, and fall than the winter.

Helpful Websites: http://www.discovermoab.com/and http://www.moab-utah.com/

Date of Visit: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 and Friday, June 29, 2012 and Saturday, July 26, 2014

This was the first stop on the sixth day of the Southern Utah Road Trip that my husband and I went on in May of 2010.  We left Ron's Pack Creek Campground on the southern end of Moab and drove the three or so miles into town.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

How to Make a Sand Picture Frame


Way back in August of 2008 I planned a trip to Bear Lake, Utah with my husband's family.  While we were at the lake my husband and I collected many of the small shells that cover the lake's shores.  We had a plan to make a great Christmas present using the shells. We would use the shells to decorate picture frames that held pictures we took of our trip to Bear Lake.

We worked on the picture frames during the cold months of December.  We made five frames and gave them out to my husband's parents and each of his siblings, we also made one for ourselves.  Everyone loved the gifts.  What surprised me was that no one was able to figure out how we got the picture frames to look like sand.  I'd taken pictures of our process so I put together a little tutorial on my personal blog.

I decided that since this is a really easy and inexpensive was to make a souvenir I should put the tutorial on this blog too.

First we bought five wood picture frames at the local thrift store. The total cost for all five frames was under $5.  We took the glass out of the frames and sanded the existing stain off of the frames.  We sanded by hand with little squares of sand paper.
After sanding we primed the frames with spray on primer.
I can't remember the exact brand we used, but I know we used something similar to this type of primer. 

After the primer was dry we were ready to put the sand onto the frames.  Here is the big secret, we used sand textured spray paint to make the frames look like they had real sand on them.  I am so pleased with how that spray sand worked. I was hoping that the frames would look like they had sand on them, instead they looked like they were molded from sand. I think the cost of the spray was about $6 dollars. We looked for it at Micheal's, but couldn't find it there so we got it at Lowes.  
I was worried that the spray sand would get onto the backs of the frames, and make it difficult to put the glass back into place.  So before we sprayed the frames we cut up cardboard from cereal boxes and placed the cardboard where the glass would go. It took a little bit of extra time to do that, but I'm glad we did it because the spray on sand behaved just like read sand - it got every where!
I loved how the frames looked like they were made out of sand.  This project was going better than I had hoped. 
Next we glued the shells on to the frame. Months earlier, at Bear Lake, we had picked out individual shells that we thought were pretty. We had also grabbed 2 handfuls of "crappy" shells to use as filler between bigger shells.  Even most of those crappy shells were pretty.
Originally we planned on using hot glue to attach the shells, but we had concerns about how well that glue would bond the shells to a rough surface. We ended up buying a glue called E6000 glue. It had warnings that it was known to the state of California to cause cancer so we figured it had to be a good glue. It was! It didn't dry as fast as hot glue so we could work with it longer. Also it wasn't hot so we could get it on our fingers without burning them (though according to the label we probably will have kidney damage).  


The glue dried clear so it didn't distract from the shells.  I loved using this glue, and I still use it all the time.
The only thing left to do was to add pictures. I had previously created the collages in photo shop. I made each one different. We printed them out at Smith's Marketplace for about $2.00 for each 8 X 10 picture.
This was such a fun project to do after work. We worked on it a little bit every night in December. I think the total cost was about $35 for five picture frames.

*This originally appeared on my private blog on December 30, 2008.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge

Description: This bridge rises to a height of 243 feet above the shipping channel of Corpus Christi.  The clearance under the bridge is 138 feet. There are a total of six lanes of traffic that cross the bridge.  If you are brave you can cross the bridge using the pedestrian walkway that is squeezed in alongside the guard rail.

Location: Where US 181 crosses over the Corpus Christi shipping channel.

Cost: Free

Operating Seasons and Hours:  Open all year long - but probably not very fun to cross during rush hour.

Official Website: http://www.bridgewalkcc.com/

Date of Visit: Monday, November 3, 2014

This was the first stop on the third day of the Texas Coastline Road Trip that my husband and I took our kids on in November of 2014.  We left the Port Isabel Park Center RV Park and drove north for 170 miles to reach Corpus Christi.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Rons Pack Creek Campground - Moab, Utah

Description:  Leafy trees, green grass, and a small creek make this campground in Moab, Utah a slice of paradise.

Location: 1520 Murphy Lane in Moab, Utah.  It is located about three miles south of town.

Cost:  Tent Sites are $20.00, Electric and Water Sites are $22.50, Full Hookup Sites are $27.50, Group Sites are $5.00 per person ($50.00 minimum).  If you have a military ID you can receive three nights of camping for no charge. (Military discount does not apply to group sites.)

Operating Seasons and Hours: Open all year long

Official Website: http://packcreekcampground.com/

Date of Visit: Wednesday, May 18, 2010

[Yesterday I wrote about my visit to an RV Park in Port Isabel, Texas.  I mentioned that I hardly ever write posts for individual campgrounds - yet through some sort of odd coincidence here I am writing about another campground only one day later.  Like I said in yesterday's post, I'll usually just add a paragraph or two about a campground when I write a post about an area. However, this campground was so special it deserves it's own post.]

This was the sixth and last stop of the fifth day of our Southern Utah Road Trip that my husband and I went on for our anniversary in May of 2010.  We left Newspaper Rock and drove north for 50 more miles to Moab, Utah.  Ron's Pack Creek Campground is located at the southern end of town.  After driving 230 miles in one day I was very glad that we didn't have to drive through Moab to get to our destination.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Tent Camping at the Port Isabel Park Center RV Park and Campground


Description:  This RV park has as grassy area set aside for people who like to camp in tents instead of trailers.  The park is located a less than a mile from the historic area of Port Isabel, and is a short drive from South Padre Island.

Location: 702 Champion Ave Port Isabel, Texas

Cost: Rates vary depending on the season. We paid $38 for a tent site for two days in November.

Operating Seasons and Hours:  The office is open from 8:30 to 5:00 every day except Sundays.  The park is gated so you need to have the access code if you plan to arrive after hours.

Official Website: http://portisabelparkcenter.com/

Date of Visit: The nights of Saturday, November 1, and Sunday, November 2, 2014.

This is where my family stayed the first two nights of our Texas Coastline Roadtrip that my husband and I took our kids on in 2014.  We used this as our base camp for visiting the Port Isabel Lighthouse, the beaches of South Padre Island, and the Palo Alto Battlefield.

I don't usually do individual posts to review campgrounds.  Most of the campgrounds where we stay are inside of state or national parks.  I'll usually just add a paragraph or two about the campground when I write a post about the area.  However, there aren't any state or national parks with campgrounds in the South Padre Area.  We ended up staying at a privately owned RV Park called the Port Isabel Park Center.  I thought I'd take a minute and write up a quick review of what the place was like.

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