South Padre Island, Yes, In Texas: Hiking Laguna Madre Trail, Sea Turtles, and Seafood

IMG_2683.JPGOn the last day on South Padre Island, we decided to hike the Laguna Madre Trail and visit the Sea Turtle Center. Finding the Laguna Madre Trail turned out to be a bit hard. We initially parked at the Birding Center and walked that trail, but it was the wrong one.

IMG_20161126_091355762.jpgH said he saw a trail one block up ahead so we went and had to turn into the Convention Center. Even then, we didn’t know where to park or how to get to the trail, but H said he saw someone walking so we drove to the other side of the Convention Center and saw the Aquarium building. The Laguna Madre Trail was right by the Aquarium.

The trail was basically a wooden bridge over swampy area that led out to the bay.

IMG_20161126_093215930.jpg On our first stop, we saw an egret perched on the rail of the bridge.The kids had gone on ahead of me as I took in the sights around me on my phone.


When I reached them, all four kids were standing quietly to one side of the trail while a man with a camera took photos of the egret. They didn’t move for fear of scaring the egret away. When I reached them, I too joined on tiptoe and silence. The egret remained still too, looking out at the bay.



We took selfies as quietly as we could with the egret in the background. I actually accidentally caught the egret as it was taking off; perfect shot! It had started to slowly shuffle away from us step by step, which was quite comical, before taking off.




The trail itself wasn’t long, but it was a nice quiet relaxing easy hike. Another part of the trail we went to had a sign that said it has alligators in it, and we were not to feed it. I remember as I was researching this trail online, that some people had seen alligators there.


The hike was a short, easy, yet enjoyable one, as the view of the bay was eye-soothing. We saw people fishing in the bay, standing calf deep in the water with their fishing lines in the water.


We saw water fowls in the water, and hermit crabs actually walking in the bottom of the bay. The water was crystal clear, so we could actually see the crab from the bridge we were on!



See the sand?


Water fowl tracks

img_20161126_0955120981There were bird tracks too on the swamp ground and hubby and I saw a turtle quietly poking its head above water before going back in again.

On our way back before checking out of the hotel, we stopped by the Sea Turtle Center. It’s a non profit organization for Sea Turtle Rehabilitation, and there was no entry fee but donation amount was encouraged. They had a presentation about sea turtles which Z eagerly sat through, at the very front too!


It’s really interesting how sea turtles lay so many eggs, but only a handful of those baby turtles make it out alive as they waddle back to sea. The center rescues injured sea turtles who are washed ashore, takes care of their injuries and keeps them at the rehab before assessing if they could be released to sea again. It was an informative visit for all of us.


After checking out, I asked hubby if we could go to that rocky area we had cruised by on the dolphin cruise. It was Isla Blanca Park. You had to pay $10 to drive in, so we saw some parking spots outside and walked in, free. But we soon realized that it was quite a walk, and Z was whining and repeatedly asking,

“Where are we going?”

So Hubby decided that he would just pay the $10 and bring the van in.


As soon as Z realized that there was a beach up front, he started running. That’s a beach addict for you!


We had our lunch at the one of the covered picnic areas. Eating hot rice and my precooked meals with the ocean breeze and seagulls was nice. We also prayed Zuhr and Asr on the beach before we left.


Hubby had somehow come across Gulf Seafood Market as something recommended by someone he was talking to, so we looked for it and bought some seafood for the drive home. I personally prefer Malaysian-style cooked seafood. My taste buds are purely Malaysian. Not that their seafood was not good. The service was top notch! It was good, but I just missed Malaysian seafood I guess.



We had ordered grilled shrimp and fish for Z because of his allergies, and had even told them to make sure there were no butter or flour, but Z still reacted to the shrimps. He looked crestfallen and me heart sank as well. I think it must have been the shrimps touching the fish. So, I told him to stop, and immediately gave him the medicine. After a few hours he asked for the shrimp again and I gave it to him and his tongue still itched. Since I couldn’t give him the medicine again, I told him to just let me know when the itching has stopped. Usually it takes about 20 minutes. Alhamdulilah he was fine.

It’s situations like these that take away my desire for baking or cooking at home. Sure, I can cook allergy free version, but I ever wanted to make something that he can’t eat, I’d have to make the alternate version too. So I just stopped doing anything altogether.

The sight of his crestfallen face is ingrained in my heart, leaving an indelible mark in it. It’s the reason I have begun to dislike potlucks and even being invited somewhere for a meal has become a chore for me, just because it means I have to plan to bring his meal, and if everyone else was going to eat something fancy, that means I have to cook something somewhat similar for him so he doesn’t feel left out. When being invited somewhere might mean no cooking that day for others, it just means more work for me. When potluck may mean less cooking for others, it just means I have to cook extra and make sure his portion is not cross contaminated during the potluck.

Alhamdulillah, the rest of the trip back home went well, except for a stop at the checkpoint. We arrived home safe and sound. As with any trip we make, nostalgia would always consume me as soon as we leave a place. My father loves traveling and would always take us places when we were growing up. I realize now that I probably inherited his love of traveling too. Even if that means a lot of planning because of Z’s allergies.

May Allah cure him completely and protect him from it. Ameen. Which reminds me of another reason I love traveling; high priority dua. Allahu Akbar!


Till we meet again South Padre !

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