On Wednesday morning, Nathan left dark and early to head out to Bentsen-Rio Park, in search of birds. Tristan and I had a fun morning planned out – we’d take the bus to north McAllen to a place called Bounce. They have a bunch of inflatable bouncy toys for kids to play on. Nathan would meet us there, we’d have lunch together, and he’d bring us back to the hotel.
Of course, it didn’t go as planned. The buses were more complicated than I thought, but we figured it out. Then we walked for a very hot couple of blocks to Bounce, only to find out that the website was out of date and they no longer opened until 1pm. And of course we had no way of contacting Nathan to tell him the plan had changed.
After walking for about 20 minutes in the broiling hot sun, and not finding a bus stop, we gave up. We had a quick ice cream at Walgreens, then took a cab back to the hotel. Tristan was a champ and didn’t complain at all. We made up for it by having a swim in the pool at the hotel. During his nap, Nathan ventured out to get Whataburger for us (seriously, that’s a chain here), and got lost, AGAIN. Even though it was only 2 blocks away. I could do a whole blog post on Nathan getting lost. But it would probably be funny only to me.
After Tristan’s nap, Nathan and I took him back to Bounce, only to find that they’d closed at 4pm (after the girl in the morning told me they were open until 6 that day), because they had no customers and had decided to clean the air ducts. Hopping mad by then, we cursed them with our gypsy magic, and went off to find a playground. At least Tristan got to run some of his wiggles out there, and enjoyed racing Nathan down the twisty slide.
Thursday we all got up early and headed to Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge. It was a hot day, again, but windy, so not too bad for a long walk. The forest there is very dry, very different from what we have at home. At one point along the walk we were right on the banks of the Rio Grande, and across the river we were looking at Mexico.
We found a few lifers for each of us, but Nathan missed the Hook-billed Kite – the park’s specialty. Tristan did lots of walking and playing in the dirt, and got some free rides in the baby backpack. The scariest moment was when we were looking at some ducks, and he was sitting in the path, making dust castles. Suddenly he began to scream, and ran to us with his hands out. They were crawling with tiny black ants – each one biting his hands. We dropped everything to brush them off, and after a few minutes of trauma he stopped crying and was back to normal. We’re pretty sure they were just normal ants, and not fire ants, as the bites didn’t swell up and haven’t seemed to bother him after the initial trauma.
Friday was another travel day. Nathan got up early to have another shot at the kite, and Tristan and I had a bit of a sleep in, then a dip in the pool, and then we packed up. Then it was a long drive to the next town. We stopped after an hour to play in a playground and have lunch (mediocre Mexican food). Tristan then napped most of the way north to our next home – Port Aransas. It’s a small town on Mustang Island, near the bigger city of Corpus Christi. So far it’s lovely, and I look forward to taking some pictures – my camera batteries died just before things got really pretty. But I did manage to snap a pic of the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher we saw while taking a detour to look in vain for wild Turkeys.
Nathan’s Texas list so far: not done yet today
Nathan’s lifers: 6
Angie’s lifers: 16