Texas Border Wrap-Up

Posted April 27, 2019 – Narrated by Carmen
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No sense in burnin’ daylight.

Let’s get right down to the lick-log.

Going on the advice of friends, Bill, Kim, Carol, Cyndie, Leah, Margie, Michael, Judy, Linda, Christy … our sixty-one day tour of the southern border of Texas was as fine as cream gravy.

From the time we entered at El Paso and exited at Beaumont we felt like we were riding a gravy train on biscuit wheels.

Texas border

If dumb was dirt, LIB could cover half an acre, but on good advice we went south for the winter and stayed as close to the Rio Grande and the Gulf of Mexico as possible – mostly ranch country with only the rare corporate footprint.

We purchased food at small, independent grocers and discovered the best Mexican food on the planet.

In Texas they say, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.”

The opposite is also true. A perfectly balmy day can turn to fog so thick the birds take to walking – and, at least once a week, the wind blew as stiff as perfume through a prom.

But an unusually wet winter in South Texas is prime snowbird grounds compared to most regions in the U.S. – and that rain paid off with an epic Spring display of Bluebonnets, Desert Paintbrush, and Texas Primrose.

The state motto, “Friendship” (based on the Caddo word táyshaʼ and spelled Tejas) suggests a pre-Columbian era melting pot of cultures who relied on sharing resources in order to live peacefully.

So, beneficial friendliness met western expansion and led to names like Corpus Christi (Body of Christ) and Brazos (Arms of God).

But there is a serenity and gentleness along the border that goes deeper than monuments, religion and politics – it is an open-armed reverence and gratitude for the land, the ancestors, traditions and values.

We’d like to take a moment to share our Texas-sized gratitude for the unsurpassed hospitality, overwhelming kindness and the exquisite beauty of Texas.

Thank you Texas!

Thank you for the wildflowers

… which made up for missing out on the California superbloom.

Thank you for the quiet pastures, grassy meadows and wetlands …

Thank you, for the fabulous campgrounds…

… and the sunrises and the sunsets.

… and for the paddle days on the Rio Grande, Amistad Lake, Laguna Madre and the Boca Chica Jetties

Thank you, South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center, Texas Parks and Wildlife and Audubon Houston for your important work in giving North American birds a winter home, facilitating rookeries, protecting waterfowl and monitoring migrations – not just because it’s the right thing, but because our lives may depend on these amazing creatures.

And, thank you to the Birders from all over the world and to the local volunteers who are patient with rookies who say, “Look at the babies!” and, “Oh no! Why are they fighting?”

And, thank you to the fishermen and harvesters who bring home the shrimp, oysters and drum fish.

Thank you to the craft breweries, wineries and independently owned and operated restaurants.

Thank you for the tamales, chili rellenos and burritos …

Texas border

And, thank you for the beautiful shorelines and beaches where we walked off those big ol’ suppers …

Thank you for an epic, educational and relaxing Backroad Texas Border Crawl.

Now, we must take our leave before Jim gets fatter than a town dog and my butt starts lookin’ like two hams in a tow sack.

Today, we’re off to New Orleans to get rowdy with friends from San Diego (Oops! Better hang onto that tow sack.)

Via Con Dios, Friends. Until next time. And …

Texas border

don’t mess with Texas, ya’ll.

If you want to see our exact route, click here.

*photos in this post (unless otherwise noted) were taken and copyrighted by Living In Beauty.

25 thoughts on “Texas Border Wrap-Up

  1. Thank y’all for giving Texas an honest to betsy try!! I can tell y’all loved it as much as Texas loved y’all!! There’s lots more to see and enjoy so hope to see y’all moseying thru again in a different route!! Big Hugs!! Carmen!! Jim!! Did y’all actually take all those amazing pictures??!! Nicely done!!!

    1. Hey Margie! Ah, you knew we’d love it – we just had to stop working to have the time to see it. We’re counting on you to guide us through the next Texas tour. Thank you for all of your help, Girlfriend. xoxo

    1. Hey Chuck – So were we. We had a returning oriole family in our backyard in Coronado for about ten years. We love those guys. Amazing nest-builders.

      Thank you for being with us.

      Safe Travels!


  2. Always great to see your travels. We were pleased to meet you in Marathon, TX when you left for Big Bend. Sounds like you enjoyed Texas to the max. I’m sure you will enjoy New Orleans as well.
    Safe travels and I look forward to seeing more of them.

    Jeanne & Michael

  3. Thank you for giving my state some love. It is a big and amazing place where almost anything can be discovered. Happy Trails to you!

  4. Of course being a 5th generation Texan and native of Corpus Christi I relished this post and more than agree with it. Happy trails dear friends:

  5. I had no idea. I completely misjudged Texas. Who knew! It is so beautiful and fun loving! You rock in those red boots Carmen.

    1. Hey Amy!

      I know! We misjudged Texas, too. But once there it was easy to see that – like all border states – it’s diverse, relaxed, unpretentious and has the best food in the country. Fresh caught shrimp (never frozen) can be purchased at the dock for $7 a pound with the heads on and $10 a pound with just the tails – the sizes are irregular but sheesh! in San Diego we’d easily be paying 3-5 times more. Raw or braised oysters on the half shell (huge ones) were a dollar each!!! Finding groceries is more difficult because supermarkets are few and far between and farmer’s markets are usually only a couple of hours once a week. So, we depended on the locals to tell us where to find the best produce, tortillas, etc – and they are happy to help. Of all the areas we went Hidalgo County was the most developed and it’s popular with seasonal travelers who keep condos and RVs and park models there for winter service. Some days the balmy breeze and the slow, casual pace made us feel like we were in Hawaii.

      Always wonderful to hear from you, Amy.

      Safe Travels!


  6. Looking fabulous in the red boots Carmen! Life is definitely agreeing with you both. Safe travels. We are moving the RV to Florida in October and then heading further south after Christmas in Destin.

    1. Destin! I love that area and we haven’t nearly spent enough time there. Great choice!

      I love those boots, too! They sure as shootin’ beat out ruby slippers don’t they?

      Thank you for being with us.

      Safe Travels!


  7. Looks like an amazing way to spend the winter months! As usual, incredible photo’s. Are you going to create a book one day?

    1. Yes! I would recommend South Texas to anyone who is looking for a warm winter adventure. Even in 60 days, we experienced only a fraction of the area, but that gives us reason to do it again sometime!

      So glad you enjoy the photos.

      A book? I haven’t thought about it. At this stage, I think I’m more interested in reading than writing. And painting. I might take up painting.

      Thanks for being with us and Safe Travels!


    1. Thank you, Jan! We just didn’t know where to start with Texas – but for those who have the time and interest this southern border route is such a great introduction to this great state. Next, a wine tour! I would love to see the wine country in Autumn or Spring.

      The boots are not mine – I modeled them for the mother of the designer at https://cityboots.com and I was delighted with the fit and comfort of these boots! Next time I’m in Dallas, Ft. Worth, Tyler or Amarillo I will stop by. Comfortable, feminine, custom cowboy boots are a fabulous idea!

      Texas is like a big open door where anything can happen when you walk in – but boots help.

      Safe Travels, Jan!


  8. What a wonderful travelogue on the southern Texas border. Beautiful pictures, words and of course the ever so soothing voice of Carmen. Judy and I have decided to award both of you Texan status. You will wear it well.

  9. Texas! I think this article proves Texas isn’t just cows and cowboys. There are definitely cows and cowboys (who doesn’t love that) but so, so much more!! Beautiful pictures:-) You should make a TX calendar 🥰

    1. When we drove into Texas, we were ready for anything. We saw a few cowboys in West Texas, but South Texas is mostly about fishing and recreational waters and, of course, the birds – and what a spectacular migration! We got lucky!!! Thanks for enjoying with us. Safe Travels.


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