Biking the Bayfront

My sister and I were just kids when our folks introduced us to Corpus Christi on a family vacation. I confess that I was a bit frightened by the vast expanse of water that seemed to dissolve into the distant horizon a million miles away. And I was also concerned because my sister’s nickname is Bonnie and I remember my Mom singing the old Scottish folk song, “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean.” I was afraid that at any moment a wave might scoop Bonnie up in its foamy arms and carry her to a place far away over the ocean.
USS LexingtonAs a kid, I never expected that one day I would return to the Sparkling City by the Sea and spend seven years of my life there. When I drove down Shoreline Drive for the first time, I felt as though I had found my Shangri-La. Could any place on the planet be as beautiful? The city seemed to be perched on the edge of the world. And, that same vast open water that I had first seen as a kid made the whole world seem like it was within reach. Over the years since then I have stood on beaches and coastlines on the other side of the world and looked back toward Corpus Christi.
Shrimp BoatOn a recent visit, I ventured back to Shoreline Drive to ride my bike. I started near the ship channel where the USS Lexington is permanently moored. There is plenty of parking near the museum area there. I rode south along the beautiful bayfront and also swooped down into the t-heads to ride slowly past the boats. The windy day did not keep the fisherman from casting their rods against the wind. Apparently they too thought that the day was just too nice to stay indoors.
Bike and BoatsI only rode about eight miles but my intention was not to do a lengthy ride but instead to linger and enjoy the beautiful views — the sky, the sea, the birds and the boats, and the big ships that come here from all over the world. I stopped a lot along the way to just look out and to soak in the views that I first fell in love with so long ago.
PelicansI am glad that my folks introduced me to this place when I was a kid and that God allowed me to spend a few years of my life here. Biking the bayfront was a fun and affordable adventure, one that I hope to do again the next time I return to the Sparkling City by the Sea. If you are headed to Corpus Christi anytime soon, take your bike and enjoy a relaxing ride along Shoreline Drive.

A Stroll Along Shoreline Drive

Shoreline Drive in Corpus Christi is one of my favorite drives in the Lone Star State. There is just something about looking out at the vast expanse of Corpus Christi Bay that I find soothing. During the years I lived in the Sparkling City by the Sea, I often ventured to Shoreline Drive to eat my lunch. I always enjoyed watching ships come into the port, recreational boats skipping across the waves, and birds dancing on the warm breezes.

CC Bay BoatsWhenever I visit Corpus Christi, I especially like driving over the Harbor Bridge at night because it affords a cool view of the lights reflecting off the water. At Christmas, this entry point is especially beautiful because of the colored lights on the bridge and the buildings. Definitely worth seeing this iconic bridge at night.

On a recent visit, I took a stroll along the waterfront. My earliest memories of Shoreline Drive are of coming here on vacation with my family when I was just a few years old. My Mom and Dad took my sister and me to the t-heads where we met and talked with shrimpers. And then they took us out on a boat excursion where we held up crackers for the seagulls to eat. Dad captured these special moments on his 8mm camera.

CC ShrimperI thought a lot about those happy days as I walked slowly beside the shrimp boats. I stopped and had a nice chat with one shrimper — a colorful character with a weathered face, bushy mustache, raspy voice, and one arm. Shrimping is hard work and I wondered how the one-armed man was able to manage the equipment on his boat. Somehow he did.

CC Shrimper 2While chatting with the shrimper, a couple visiting from China stopped to buy some shrimp from him and joined in the conversation. We all had an enjoyable visit. I believe that it’s definitely worth slowing down and taking the initiative to meet people, even if we only have a few minutes to spend with them. You never know how investing a few minutes in someone else might be just the thing they needed or you needed to brighten your day.

Shrimp BoatsI enjoyed my nostalgic stroll down Shoreline Drive. And I’m grateful that my Mom and Dad modeled for me the importance of slowing down and meeting others in those early years when we stopped to meet and talk with shrimpers on our visit to Corpus Christi. People, after all, are what make the places we visit interesting and meaningful.

If you have not yet visited Corpus Christi, I encourage you to plan a visit. Shoreline Drive is very visitor friendly. There are safe places to park your car and to take a stroll along the bayfront. And, of course, there are some really good places to eat along Shoreline Drive. I’ll post soon about biking along the bayfront.