Known as the “Texas Riviera” or the “Sparkling City by the Sea,” we came to Corpus Christi hoping to enjoy the beautiful beaches and famously steady kite-surfing winds, but unfortunately, the weather had something else in mind. Luckily, it wasn’t long before we were able to figure out a few ways to enjoy each other and CC regardless of the forecast.
First up we have the USS Lexington! With Drew’s Papa having served in the Navy during the Korean War, Drew has always been intrigued with war ships and the honor that goes hand-in-hand with serving one’s country. Nicknamed the “Blue Ghost,” one for it’s blue color, two for the fact that it was believed to be sunk by the Japanese during WWII four times and three because it’s considered to be one of the most haunted ships in America (!), the USS Lexington was the oldest working carrier in the United States Navy when decommissioned in 1991.
Now serving as a Museum on the Bay, “Lady Lex,” weighs in at 37,000 tons and has a new mission, to instill pride and patriotism in the public, particularly the youth.
Tour #1 allowed us to marvel at the size of the flight deck and the number of incredible aircraft carriers on board. In order to fuel a vessel this large the USS Lex had to carry enough gasoline to drive a car around the world 132 times!? Talk about a gas guzzler.
Tour #2 was an intriguing tribute to Pearl Harbor, while Tour #3 gave us an inside look into the lavish captains quarters. We found Tour #4 to be the most interesting. As we walked beneath the decks we imagined how the crew lived, dined, worked together and carried out their day-to-day tasks. In the chart below, you’ll see that the crew ate $1 million dollars worth of food every 9-12 days!
The Museum even has a 3D Mega Theater featuring Fighter Pilot 3D, a Mess Deck Cafe, Flight Simulator and Virtual Battle Stations. If you want to see the ship, from bow to stern, you will want to make a day out of your visit, and for the best view of the coast, be sure to walk the plank on the flight deck!
When we weren’t walking planks, our favorite little place to hang in Corpus Christi was Coffee Waves. Open from 6:30am to midnight, we were free to “Sit, Sip, and Surf” all while enjoying their cozy environment, the nicest of staff (shout out to Jenny and Nichole!) and, of course, an incredibly delicious cup of Joe.
This sweet spot even hosts a number of fun events, such as a Poetry Slam and an Open Mic Night!
By the end of our stay the weather was beginning to clear up beautifully, so we decided to take full advantage and CAMP ON THE BEACH! We headed towards The Padres National Seashore, a 70-mile-long preserved barrier island, which allows R.V. and tent camping on the open beaches, in addition to site campgrounds at Malaquite Beach and Bird Island Basin (info on fees here).
Without 4-wheel drive we were only permitted to drive along the first 5 miles of the island, so it wasn’t long before we were making ourselves at home. We were both so grateful to finally be able to enjoy this warm and beautiful evening on the sandy, glittering coast of South Texas.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air…” along with these 3 must-do’s, we hope our list helps to complete your visit, no matter what mother nature has in store!