Archive for the ‘Gulf Coast’ Category

I can’t believe it’s time for this event again.  Every year I say I am going to plan for this one, and somehow I always have a conflict.  Which kills me ‘cause it’s my understanding that this adventure is well worth it.  Held in the southern tip of South Padre Island this year’s Sand Castle Days will host 15 world class Master Sandsculptors who will compete for fame and prices.  In addition, to voting on the People’s Choice award you can learn to build a better sandcastle on Lesson Beach.  For more information, visit http://www.sandcastledays.com


Free admission


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 Frankly, I think I would have starved if it weren’t for Prasek’s Smokehouse.  I spent a huge part of my youth traveling from Houston to Port Lavaca during the summer months.  And, to be candid my mother is not big on cooking, or the food pyramid, or food for that matter.  Hence, my roadside convenience store survival skills have been honed from a very young age.  Never doubt the power of a Honey Bun.  But why settle for Twinkies when you can have smoked meat.  (I can just see my vegetarian friends cringing!)


What started with Pork & Beef Sausage, progressed to jerky, and then to Bar B Que and finally a bakery.  And friends, that was and still is the four food groups in my family.  Our typical family trip to Prasek’s usually consists of my mother hopping up and down in the bakery line barely able to contain the refrain “Ranger Cookies, Ranger Cookies”.  My father or I head straight for the smoked meat counter to get pounds of jerky – turkey, beef, and venison being favorites.  Sometimes, we throw in some smoked pork tenderloin for good measure.  Then, we meet up with my mother and sister (when she is home from California) at the Bar B Que counter to grab sandwiches for the road.  Newcomers to our family are usually a little overwhelmed by the scramble of the store, ‘cause trust me we have plenty of company jockeying to be next in line.  But, they find their way and their own favorites like Texas Wild Roasted Garlic Picante Sauce.


The other thing I love about Prasek’s is the atmosphere.  There is a center section with tables if you chose to eat there.  Deer (or dear depending on the way you look at it) trophies line the walls and the place is filled with all things Texas such as outdoor fire pits, hunting magazines, and wild game cookbooks. 



Highway 59 at the corner of Strnadel Road

1-800-20 SMOKE


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We had planned on making the LaSalle Loop paddling trail this trip, but after lugging the canoe the whole way we ended up skipping the trip.  However, it’s certainly worth a mention.  The trail takes in a number of sites along the way including LaSalle’s monument built for the French explorer Robert Cavelier Sieur de La Salle who attempted to sail to the mouth of the Mississippi River to build forts for Louis XIV.  Instead of the Mississippi, La Salle landed in Matagorda Bay about 500 miles from his original goal.  In 1685, after attempts to locate the Mississippi, La Salle established Ft. St. Louis in present day Victoria County.  This became the first European settlement in Texas.  In addition to this monument, you pass by the old Indianola cemetery, the remnants of an area cistern (used to capture fresh water) and plenty of birding and other nature sites.


Waterproof maps of the three local paddling courses are available at the Indianola Fishing Center.  It’s the only retail establishment in town – you can’t miss it.

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