Back to Harlingen

28 04 2020

We’ve moved back into Tropic Winds RV Resort our stop-over for at least a few days when departing South Padre and before continuing the trip north.  Arriving on Saturday, we know the office won’t be open on the weekend.  However, first thing on Monday we call to pay our bill for 7 nights.  The response is surprising… “you can’t stay here”! For some unknown reason, after allowing us to stay 25 days earlier, and as Texas and Cameron County begin to relax stay-at-home and isolation guidelines, Encore Resorts has shut down all of their parks to new reservations and arrivals.

Encore owns the RV Resort market in much of the Rio Grande Valley, however we had no problem finding several smaller, private parks that were open and welcoming new guests.  By late on Monday we’ve moved across town to Sundance RV Village, a small park of 80 sites, a spotlessly clean (and open) laundry room and free & fast WiFi.  We’re parked in site #44, a mid-park site with a large shade tree directly overhead.  The rate at Sundance is $20/night for weekly visits ($46/night at Encore Resorts), there are no resort fees and the WiFi which runs along at about 20Mb is free (compared to daily Tango Internet fees at Encore Resorts)  We like it here – and may be back next year!

Sundance RV Village, Site #44

Sundance RV Village, Harlingen, TX

Good Morning from South Padre Island!

2 04 2018

After spending 2 nights in Harlingen, we arrived to Isla Blanca RV Park on Sunday.  With winds continuing to be forecast in the 20-25 MPH range, a fairly early start from Harlingen insures we’ve crossed the Queen Isabelle causeway to the island before noon.  Major beach and RV park refurbishment plans announced last year make it a bit uncertain what we’ll find.  But, other than some road closures, sites are abundant and we’re parked at C406 and C405, prime sites that back-up to the south fence with great views overlooking the Brownsville Ship Channel.

Isla Blanca RV Park, C405 & C406


On this far south end, the former rec hall, life guard building and old beachfront bar have been demolished and are being replaced with a 4000 person amphitheater.  This location will provide prime viewing opportunities across the channel to Boca Chica where the new SpaceX facility is being built.

SpaceX Launch Facility coming to South Texas

Following a Sunday tradition, our first outing is to pick up a pizza at D’Pizza Joint.  Formerly available for delivery, apparently Isla Blanca Park no longer allows food deliveries through the gate. During the week we enjoy lunch at the Padre Island Brewing and our first Friday night dinner at our favorite waterside grill, the Palm Street Pier.  Under new ownership, the former Pier is now called Lobo del Mar Cafe – but other than a few deleted menu items, not much has changed yet.

Friday Night sunset at Lobo del Mar

Things are still quite busy on the Island.  Spring Breakers are still hanging out and the big Easter weekend has been ramping up since Good Friday.  This year we’re scheduled to be on South Padre Island for 3 weeks – so more from here as we enjoy living on Island Time.

Easter Sunday on South Padre Island

The ‘Padre” of South Padre Island – Padre Jose Nicolas Balli

Tropic Winds, Harlingen, TX

31 03 2016

WP_20160331_003cWe’ve just spent 3 nights at Tropic Winds RV Resort, a large resort on the north side of Harlingen.  This is always a good resupply stop since Harlingen has nearly every big box store imaginable along 3 uniquely Texas HEB grocery stores.


heb-logoThe HEB chain of stores based in San Antonio offers over 350 stores scattered through Texas and Mexico making HEB one of the top privately held grocery chains in the US.

South Padre Island

South Padre Island

Tomorrow we’ll move out to South Padre Island to begin our 2 weeks “Living on Island Time”.  More from SPI…

Leaving the Texas Gulf Coast

18 04 2015
Farewell to South Padre Island

Farewell to South Padre Island

After 2 weeks on South Padre Island, we’ve just spent 3 days in Harlingen cleaning, resupplying and running last-minute errands before we begin the trip North.  The 2 weeks on South Padre were spent enjoying life in the “slower” lane and some of the venues we visited last year including Palm Street Pier listening to the music of Chuck and Earl.  We also found a new breakfast venue, Café on the Beach at the Palms Resort , a small outdoor café on the gulf side of the island.

The weather on the island was a bit stormier than normal with several late evening or overnight thunderstorms blowing through the area.  We watched as several of the last Winter Texans packed up and departed.  Many of the prime spots were quickly reoccupied by summer residents.  Some of these are locals from around the valley, Brownsville, Harlingen, McAllen.  They spend weekends on the island while commuting back home to work during the week.

Our planned return routing takes us north through Dallas and then across to the Texas panhandle to Palo Duro Canyon.  Today we’re headed about 3 hours north to Goliad State Park , nearly due north of Harlingen and situated along a u-shaped bend in the San Antonio River.  With thunderstorms, hail and even some tornadoes beginning to pop-up during the last week around northern Texas and Oklahoma, we’ll have an ever vigilant eye toward the skies.  More from Goliad tomorrow…