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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Lighted Boat Parade and Louie's Backyard

We've been looking forward to our plans to view the 25th Annual Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce Christmas Lighted Boat Parade at the end spot of Louie's Backyard on South Padre Island.  We have always watched it on the pier at Pirate's Landing...but it was always somewhat dissatisfying for some reason.  It's not the biggest parade in town...but the boats are pretty and great effort goes into their we want to support the event.

Imagine my dismay when I roll across the causeway and realize I left my camera at home.  Nighttime photos are hard enough with my little digital hand-held...but the cell phone photos were really going to be a challenge.  The good news, for us, is we got a water's edge table by walking in at the right moment, the bad was dark and the cell phone "flash" just makes for awful, awful photographs of food (and people)!

So, I'll just apologize in advance - nothing I could do about it.  No freeze frame, no good brightness...even with utilizing some editing software (not sophisticated at all - me or it).  Regardless, the evening was pleasant, perfect for a long-sleeved shirt, the wind had died down a great deal, and the food was fresh and plentiful on the Seafood Buffet thanks to a large crowd for a characteristically slow off-season evening.

The teen was surprised to find he reallllly liked prime rib, tried cracking his own crab legs, ate a large amount of fried shrimp, nary a vegetable touched his plate, and he had the nerve to ask if we could buy dessert after gorging ourselves for an hour and a half! 

I tried to pace myself.  I started with a green salad, a small serving of pasta salad, and some boiled shrimp.  I knew the boats wouldn't make it over to the island finish until close to 8:00...we arrived shortly after 6:30 pacing was important.  I then went for a plate of just crab legs...waited interminably for a crab cracker and crab fork, and went to work on the tedious task of procuring enough crab meat to make it all worth while. 

About 3/4 of the way through the crab, the boats arrived.  Quick clean up to handle the cell phone camera and lots of happy shouting and waving and whistling as the boats paraded past - including one boat that shot off fireworks extremely close to the deck.  I had concerns that an ember would land in my hair and it would go up like...well, like fireworks!  Still, it was a nice touch and the crowd went wild!

After the boats departed or settled into a docked position (the Coast Guard crew disembarked and joined the crowd for dinner), I went back for my final plate to include shrimp scampi over rice (sort of ho hum), fried shrimp (just 3 pieces), a couple of ribs, a couple of hush puppies, and a little piece of corn on the cob.

I couldn't even finish that off - the rest of the scampi went over the deck edge to be swarmed by a waiting flash mob of fish...they were more like piranhas attacking fresh meat!

It was a peaceful and happy evening; table-to-table chatting with people I didn't know - even surprisingly pleasant conversation with the teen.  An overall feeling of bonhomie filled the air at Louie's Backyard.  Nice.

It was a very good evening and the only thing missing was my hubby :-(

Here are the boat photos - bad as they are - it is as good as it got.  There are tons of fun activities during the holidays on South Padre and in Port Isabel.  We try to attend as many as possible...and we really enjoy the great light displays down Hwy 100 in Port Isabel and particularly at the entrance to South Padre Island after you leave the causeway.  It always makes me smile.  Traffic was moving at about 15 miles per hour coming wasn't a wreck, nor any other crisis...people were just admiring the lights as they drove.  Very nice, very small town America!

Bon Appetit, Y'all!
The USCG boat

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1 comment:

  1. Wow, what an awesome tradition! :) I've certainly never been on or seen a Christmas boat before!


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