Beach Bliss

Ron and I are just back from a four day trip to Port Aransas, on the Texas Gulf Coast. “Port A” as we call it around here is the quintessential funky beach town, a small town with only 3500 permanent residents. The main road through town is lined on both sides with tee shirt shops, eateries specializing in seafood ( usually fried) souvenir shops, a fabulous candy store, and a couple of interesting historical buildings.

imagesThe history museum which was closed for our entire stay (it’s only open for a few hours in the afternoon midweek) houses a collection of artifacts relating to Port A’s days as a railroad stop and to its current status as a haven for fishermen and surfers. The beaches are wide, and the gulf’s gentle  swells offer enough of a good ride without being too overwhelming. The other sweet little building on the drag is the Presbyterian church that dates from the 1800’s and is still in use.

We were down there for our 40th wedding anniversary and had our special dinner at Roosevelt’s, a tiny fine dining restaurant at the historic Tarpon Inn. Local lore says this is where President Roosevelt stayed when he came down here to fish for tarpon, but historians say he actually stayed aboard the Presidential yacht. In any case, the food at Roosevelt’s was fabulous—I had blackened mahi on risotto and fresh asparagus. Ron had lobster. I asked our waitress to snap a picture for us since it was our anniversary, and she said, “Save room for dessert, because it’s on me.”  It was key lime pie with just the right balance of sweet to tart. We savored every bite.

Since the museum was closed we spent a lot of time reading and resting. I read Amy Connor’s debut novel, The Right Thing, featuring zany Southern characters and an over the top plot, which was a perfect beach read, and The Lemon Orchard by Luanne Rice which is different from  many of her other works. This one revolves around an unlikely romance between an anthropologist and the undocumented immigrant who tends her uncle’s Southern California lemon groves. As always her writing is beautiful but I couldn’t buy into the premise. I also read Christina Baker Cline’s Orphan Train which was absolutely mesmerizing. Loved it.

The only disappointment was that all of our Texas beaches this year are covered with a thick, brown seaweed that washes ashore from thousands of miles away, in a spot in the north Atlantic called the Sargasso Sea. The seaweed provides a rich diet for shore birds but it’s unsightly and smells like….seaweed.

I came home to the last round of edits for THE BRACELET before it goes to galleys and now I’m getting back to writing next year’s novel, tentatively titled INDIGO POINT. I’m hoping my beach bliss lasts until October when I’m headed back to South Carolina’s Kiawah Island. There is no place like Kiawah.

Are you a beach girl? Where is your favorite spot for soaking up some  beach bliss?