I guess I shouldn’t have written about how bad air travel can be, since everything went wrong between here and Maine and back, including missing luggage, weather delays, and mysterious plane refueling going on in unscheduled airports. Poor “In-Continental Airlines” really proved that the US should take over all the airlines, maybe excepting Southwest. Oh, and a great family reunion by the way – it was over 4 years.
But I finally made it back and at nearly midnight the Island and the Rio Valley looked beautiful on the landing approach. To the east, SPI looked like a fragile crescent that included the causeway. To the west, the twinkling lights of Valley seemed to stretch to the horizon like LA. I looked out the small airplane window and pondered where my house was, maybe halfway down the lighted part of the Island. I smiled, and knew I was almost there, twenty hours en route and one more to go.
Then I thought about all the little fights about casinos and big mega-resorts and high-rise condos and concluded that it was of little consequence, a flash in the pan. If you think that with falling retail tax sales and having less visitors, that developers can afford to pave the Island with a perverted blend of Disneyworld and casinos, you must be on crack or seriously hurt upside the head.
Just this evening we were up at Parrot Eyes (by boat, the preferred method!) and we noticed that the place was almost empty. “This place should be rocking” was our unanimous vote. Where was everybody? Sure, the beach was moderately packed and Blackbeard’s was getting almost full, but the rest of the Island was dead like October, maybe not as bad as November. Wow, that’s bad.
Heck I don’t even see people coming down the road looking for real estate anymore. There used to be quite a parade, and after five o’clock I’d drink beer and salute everyone of ‘em. I was thinking “I got a piece of the sand spit” and being all smarmy and stuff, but I knew that life in South Padre Island is tenuous enough, what with all the hurricanes and fickle economy and comical weirdness.
I smiled and drove the last 22 miles down Route 48 through all the construction barriers, and then grinned as I crossed the causeway the right direction as a chill went up my spine. Home, baby.