Yay! It's A Blog! 2004-2005 - Corpus Christi Archives


Recent entries from the Corpus Christi Category

Day Four - Corpus Christi

June 14, 2005

After the spectacular sunrise this morning, I had to get ready and be dressed before 7:15 because I'd ordered room service breakfast, and asked it be delivered between 7:15 and 7:30. At 7:05, there was a knock on the door. Yikes! I was still nekked! I hollered, "Just a second!" and pulled on some clothes real fast.

The breakfast was wonderful: scrambled eggs, bacon, potatoes, croissant, coffee, orange juice and water. If we didn't have a group breakfast tomorrow morning, I'd order it again.

We had three wonderful speakers today. The first talked about how the workforce was going to change in the next decade. With the baby boomers retiring, there's going to be a shortage of talent to hire. He urged people not to think of this as a problem for the human resources department to figure out. We also have to figure out technological solutions, and (oh the horror) possibly embrace outsourcing solutions. He said we (the state) will also have to get our salaries up to private sector standards. Of course, the legislature will have to be involved with that one.

The second speaker was very preacher-like without all the God stuff. He spoke about integrity and keeping a positive attitude about life. He's a CPA who serves as an expert witness in accounting, fraud, damages, taxes and ethics. I wanted to go into litigation support and testify in accounting and fraud cases when I graduated college, but no one would hire me.

The third speaker was a professor I had at Southwest Texas State University. She made us laugh and some of us tear up a bit as she talked about character driven success. She stressed that we praise people for their good character traits rather than their achievements.

She singled me out and asked if she knew me. I thought she remembered me from class 17 years ago, but turns out my friend Brian talked to her before hand and tipped her off that I had been in her class in college. Still, she singled me out and praised and thanked me for being so attentive to her during this presentation--that it gave her energy and helped her be a better presenter. It was an example of how to praise someone.

The presentations were very inspirational and the ideas are things I want to incorporate into my life more than I already do.

After all that, I finally got over to Whataburger for a burger and fries. Their fries are so much better than McDonalds. I don't get why people like McDonalds' fries so much.

Then I went over to Agua Java to read and drink my last Latte Chocolate Mexicano of the trip:

Latte, Biscotti and a Harry Potter book

Agua Java shares a courtyard with the Executive Surf Club. In that courtyard, they have the Texas Music Walk of Fame with stars dedicated to Texas musicians. Here's one:

Freddy Fender's star

After that I drove down Ocean Drive farther than I'd been before and saw a lot of beautiful houses overlooking the bay. I always dream of having a house like that myself. I realized tonight, though, that my dream house always has someone in it with me. I don't think I'd want a big empty house. I wouldn't turn one down, though, if someone wanted to give me one for free.

Back at the hotel, I put a chair on the balcony and read some more. Then I noticed someone feeding the seagulls a few floors below. It was fun to watch. As soon as s/he quit feeding them, though, they thought maybe they could get some food from me and started flying very close. At first it was fun, but then it was scary, so I went inside.

I ran a bath and used a bubble bath bar that Irish Kelly gave me at Christmas. I used another fizzy bath bar she gave me the first night I was here.

Bubble Bath

I suppose now, I need to get my stuff packed so I can make a quick getaway once the conference ends tomorrow. I'm already feeling a twinge of post-vacation depression. But I'm grateful to have the chance to come to Corpus and discover what a cool little town it is.

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Conference - Day One

June 13, 2005

Today was the first day of the conference I'm attending in Corpus Christi. I didn't have to be anywhere until 12:30 p.m., so I slept in and went back to City Diner for breakfast. I like having a familiar place to go back to every day.

After breakfast, I drove around downtown some more. I saw at least two more Irish pubs. Hurbs and O'Malley's are the ones I remember.

I also saw art on walls and utility boxes:

A colorful mural on a wall and a dragon and mermaid painted on a utility box

The presentations today were on bonds, retirement and health benefits. I sat on the front row with my friend Brian. No one else braved the front row. There was also a comedian.

They gave out a ton of door prizes, but I didn't win anything. Maybe tomorrow.

I need to go out on the balcony now, and read a book before the sun goes down.

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Sunday in Corpus Christi - The Touristy Stuff

June 12, 2005

After watching the sun rise over the bay this morning, I went back to bed. I didn't set the alarm which could have been a bad move given all the stuff I wanted to do today, but housekeeping woke me up at 9:30.

I set out for breakfast, and ended up at the City Diner again. I needed a familiar place to get me started. Breakfast was good: French Toast, Scrambled Eggs, Bacon and Hash Browns. They served Log Cabin syrup which is what my momma used to serve.

My first stop was the Texas State Aquarium. It's not as big as Moody Gardens in Galveston, but it has stingrays you can pet. I went to Stingray Flats while the dolphin show was going on, so there were hardly any people there. I got to pet a bunch of them. When the dolphin show let out, lots of people showed up and most of the stingrays swam to the center of the tank out of reach. Here's one who was happy to be petted until the crowd showed up:

Stingray

They had a river otter exhibit, too. They were *very* cute.

Two river otters

I also saw jellyfish, sharks, alligators, hawks, and other critters. I went out back, and some pelicans and I watched a ship come in.

A big ship coming into the harbor

After the aquarium, I walked over the the U.S.S. Lexington aircraft carrier. It's been converted into a museum.

U.S.S. Lexington entry

I thought I might get claustrophobic walking around inside, but I didn't. I didn't like the stairs, though. They're more like ladders, really. Going up was fine, but coming down was scary. I guess if I had to live on a ship, I'd get used to it.

Below is the sick bay which was much more roomy than the regular sleeping quarters.

Sick Bay Bunk Beds

Worn out after the Lexington tour, I decided to drive around a while. I scouted out the Mexican food restaurant that had been recommended (Kikos on Everhart), but didn't eat there. I think one of my coworkers is going to eat there with me tomorrow or the next day. I ended up back at Agua Java for a mug of their excellent Latte Chocolate Mexicano and found the following structure built from jenga and chess pieces:

Jenga and Chess Pieces stacked up together

Tomorrow, the conference I'm attending starts. I have to register in the morning, but the first event doesn't start until afternoon. Whooot!

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Sunrise Over the Bay

June 12, 2005

I got up at 6:15 this morning and walked across the street to a bench overlooking the bay. I watched the sunrise.

Sun rising over Corpus Christi Bay

It's amazing how quickly the sun rises after it peaks over the horizon. It couldn't have been more than a minute between the first peak over that cloud bank to when it was fully over the clouds.

I slept okay last night. I know I was having dreams, but I don't remember much. I remember a flock of bird flying away from me. They were all black and brown except for one bright red cardinal.

I'm off in search of breakfast and fishies...

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Back from Dinner and More

June 11, 2005

I was a good girl and didn't go to a national chain restaurant for dinner. I had fried oysters and onion rings at City Diner. The food was delicious. The onion rings were slivers of onion with lots of crispy batter and just enough grease. The decor was art deco and old yearbook style pictures lined the walls.

City Diner Entrance

Well fed, I headed for some spontaneous sight-seeing. I spotted a coffee shop and filed its location away for later. I also spotted an Irish Pub and something called Aloe Tile, both of which made me think of the brykMan. The pub also made me think of Irish Kelly, and if she were here, I'd try to get her to go there with me.

Cassidy's Irish Pub

I drove along the shoreline until I found Cole Park. I stopped and watched the surf. I *love* the sound of the surf. I walked out on a pier where some guys were fishing, too.

Water breaking on rocks

The wind was getting to me. Note to self: Next time take a hat.

I headed back to the coffeeshop, Agua Java, where I got a Latte Chocolate Mexicana with imported Abuelito chocolate. Yummy! It had fresh chocolate whipped cream on top with chocolate sugar sprinkles. I hope to go back there again (and again) before I go home.

Walking back to my car, I passed a bar with a patio and an awesome band playing. I think it was Rodger Wilko because I saw people unloading amps and stuff from a trailer that said Rodger Wilko earlier. [Update: Yep, it was Rodger Wilko. I really really wanted to go see the band because I loved the song they were playing and the singer sounded great. But I haven't had the nerve to go into a bar by myself in years. I sat in my car with the sun roof and windows open for a few minutes and just listened.

Across the street, I saw a sight that made me think of Crabapple Lane Rob.

Bourbon Street Bar and Grill

I drove over the big bridge near my hotel to see what was on the other side. I found gas (which I sorely needed) and an HEB where I bought a candle to try to kill the smoke smell in my room. Reserving a non-smoking room doesn't mean you get a room where no one smokes. It means... I don't know what it means, but I'm hoping the candle will help.

I scoped out the Texas State Aquarium and the U.S.S. Lexington, so I won't be nervous about getting lost when I head over there tomorrow. Isn't it wierd how I'm not nervous when I go out driving with no particular destination in mind, but when I'm actually going somewhere, I'm afraid I'll get lost.

As I sat here writing this, the sun went down. I got up to snap a picture.

Sunset over Corpus Christi

Now I think I'll take a bath and read about Patrick Dempsey in TV Guide. He's Dr. McDreamy in "Grey's Anatomy." I never used to think he was that great until I saw him in a movie where he played a paraplegic. I don't know what movie that was, but I want to see it again.

Let the vacation continue...

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Here I Sit in Corpus Christi

June 11, 2005

Here I sit in a Corpus Christi Hotel room with a view, playing with free wireless internet and starving because I can't decide where to go. I want fried oysters. I might go find the Landry's that's on the shore. It's weird going to Landry's by myself, though.

While driving in, I thought I should go to a Whataburger since they originated here. There are other places that have been recommended by others, too, but I'm waiting on friends to get to Corpus tomorrow or the next day so maybe we can go together.

Let the short vacation begin...

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