I came to South Padre Island for the first time last year and I have to tell you, I don't know how you people can stand living there! I mean, there's just hardly anything to do on that sand bar! Granted, there is the Gulf and Bay and all the water stuff like fishing, swimming, skiing, snorkeling, sailing, scuba diving, wave runners, kayaking, surfing and wind surfing, dolphin watches, hobie cats... that kind of stuff. But after you have done all that, what good is the water? And sure, there is the beach with sand castle building lessons and horseback riding, four-wheeling and shell hunting and getting nekkid on the clothing optional beach -- but after you have done all that, well, you wake up in the middle of the night with sand in your sheets, right? I gotta admit that it looks pretty while you are sky diving or parasailing or taking a ride in an ultra lite over it, but once you land, it's all over, know what I mean?
I will say that the Island has some pretty good restaurants and clubs with a variety of disco and live music to dance to, and there are a couple of movie theaters and that new place with the Elvis and Blues Brother impersonaters and such -- but once you have been to all those places and dropped some cash at some of the unique area shops and done a day trip thing to Mexico, what are you supposed to do for entertainment? Well sure, you can go a round at the new SPI golf course and the Aquadog trip to Boca Chica Beach was kinda fun, the race car track and the water slide at Jeremiah's kept the kids happy for a while, but where are the bowling alleys? the off-broadway musicals? the cathedral tours? Yes, I have visited the museum in Port Isabel and the show over at Sea Turtle Inc. and that was all very nice and interesting, but where are the rock climbing excursions and the belly dancers? We have rented beach buggies and electric golf carts, roller blades and scooters and bicycles and the carriages you peddle and even a Hum vee, but where does one go to hear good opera around here?
I challenge you to recommend one fun thing to do on this island (other than the ones I have already mentioned, of course)!
Gee whiz, I can't think of a one. I guess you are right, we live in a pretty boring place.
Sand Castle Days '99 Update - The Event that Refused to Die
The people have spoken and they said they want to keep SPI Sand Castle Days alive (see poll results below.) This is good news! The bad news is that no one has stepped forward to take command of a committee that desperately needs new and enthusiastic leadership. Why can't the Sons of the Beach do it? Well, it is not for nothing that we refer to ourselves as a "not-profitable disorganization." Give us an event and we will disorganize it faster than you can say "account for this!"
The primary ingredient of a successful sand sculpting event is a talented pool of sand sculptors. That we have, both locally and in the form of the "San Marcos Suns" - a group of frequent visitors numbering upwards of 100 and growing. The Suns have been instrumental in the past success of SCDays and are our primary motivators for keeping the event alive. They want to come and play on our beaches in Oct. and we think we ought to make them feel welcome by rebuilding the event around them -- while keeping the organizing nit-picking details to a minimum.
No Contest - One idea we have bandied about is removing the contest element along with all the judging b.s. and allowing the event to evolve into a pure festival, with everyone invited to participate. We have also discussed the idea of awarding small prizes (t-shirts, meal certificates, SOB Sand Castle Books, etc., donated my local merchants) for "fun" categories such as tallest structure, best team uniform, showmanship, etc. We have also considered ways to involve some visiting master sculptors by soliciting sponsorship from local businesses to cover their travel expenses.
We do not have a location picked yet, and that decision may be influenced by the Suns and where they get the best deal on the block of 20 or so beachfront condos they are looking to rent . What we can say - with confidence! - is that there will be something fun called Sand Castle Days on the third weekend in Oct. 1999, and all suggestions and offers of assistance will be welcomed and appreciated. We have set up an internet message board and a web page for the latest SCDays news - both linked from unlitter.com and spionline.com - and encourage all interested parties to stop by frequently for the latest developments.
Our goal is to make this a community-driven event, and it can be as big and wonderful as the community is willing to make it.
Feet's Totally Non-Scientific Just For Fun Net Poll Results: My latest question dealt with a topic near and dear to my heart -- the annual SandCastle Days Competition. A record-breaking 59 people took part in this poll, and here are the results: We need to keep it alive! - 52 (88.1%); We need to revamp the event - 7 (11.9%); The money the town allocates to it would be better spent elsewhere - 0 (0.0%)
Sandy Asks: Having trouble keeping your hat on? Been eating a lot of sand during your sand castle building sessions? Hell yes it's windy here! Especially in the spring. My current net poll asks what you do when the wind blows. Your choices include the following: 1) go fly a kit; 2) go wind surfing; 3) defy it by ignoring it (would you like some ketchup with that sand?) or 4) sit inside and whine about it. Vote today at http://spionline.com/polls.html .
One more thing: I have started an e-mail address directory for Island Locals (past, present and future) at http://spionline.com/directory.html. If you would like to communicate with people who live here, used to live here, hope to live here, or just visit frequently, please surf on over and fill out a short form.... thanks!
There are five (5) ways to submit your questions/comments for future Ask Sandy columns: In person; by phone (761-6222) or fax (761-8930); the US Postal System (box 2694,spi,78597) and E-mail: (email@example.com). Visit my web-site (http://spionline.com/) for tips on sandcastling, contest info, recent Ask Sandy columns, and my reviews of local businesses.