Jersey Girl in a Texas World

This past weekend I learned that not everything is bigger in Texas. Yes, I am aware that this statement may create a controversy, but this is my opinion and I have a few facts to back it up…so read on for my funny adventures in the Texas World.

I traveled to the biggest (the only big thing in Texas I saw this weekend) Toilet Museum on my way to camping on Mustang Island to Port Aranas Sandfest 2016. I stood side by side fighting the elements and critters with about a dozen of my friends and laughed — a lot.

Sandfest 2016

Sandfest 2016

Our journey to the beach south started out on Friday morning with a side trip to the Toilet Museum in San Antonio. No I am not joking. To be precise it is Barney Smith’s Toilet Museum.

Barney Smith's Toilet Musem

Barney Smith’s Toilet Musem

It is a must see and earned me a smiley (geocaching of course) and a TB Racer some bonus points, so it was worth the side trip. Barney Smith has been collecting and decorating toilet seats for over 50 years. At the time of our visit he had 1,226 seats and was working on 1,227. His art covers everything from colleges, to birthdays, to anniversaries to military to geocaching and I could go on.

I bet if it pops into your head, he’s got a seat for you.I never knew there were so many ways to decorate seat covers. If you are ever in the area you should call and schedule a tour of this museum, it is well worth the side trip. So much so that Montel Williams and the View have come visiting.

After we left we fought the wind for a couple of hours to Mustang Island. It’s a small island (not the smallest State Park, but the smallest I’ve visited so far) with a spit of grass for RV and tent camping (this is a loose term of camping — I grew up in the Pine Barrens and my family camped every year so my idea of camping involves trees and mountains and hiking paths).

Beyond the dunes I could hear the waves of the Gulf, but despite the seagulls indicating there was a beach around there somewhere, it did not have the same smell or feel of a coastal shore.

We wandered down the road about a quarter mile to find another small strip of something the Texans call a beach. This Jersey girl quickly realized not everything is bigger in Texas.

Feet in Gulf of Mexico in Texas World

Feet in Gulf of Mexico

The beach is little more than a strip of hard packed sand made smaller by high tide and the incoming storm system. The sand is not soft and silky white, so it was hard to mush your toes into warm soft silk, but I could let the waves cover my scantily clad feet as they mingled in the cool dark Gulf waters.

The island did have your typical red fire ants, mosquitoes, ground hogs, pelicans, seas gulls, and sand pipers so you could technically claim you were camping on the beach.

On Saturday we ventured — in wave style — to Port Aranas where once again I can say: not everything is bigger in Texas.

There was sand and there were sand sculptures. They were ornate and ranged from small to medium in size. It took about an hour to stop at each one and wander around the designs. I think two stood out as the best (based on my informal group poll). The official judging occurred after we left and you can see the winners here.

iSee Sandfest

iCastle Sandfest

I am and always will be amazed by the skill and patience these artists have creating their temporary works of art. They are amazing to watch and talk to. If you’ve never been to a sandfest, I highly recommend going — most beaches (big and small have one).

Some of us burned — some did not — some of us melted — some did not, but what we all did: we had a darn good time.

I have learned not everything is bigger in Texas, but I had fun none-the-less hanging with friends, admiring another part of Texas I had not been too, and in the end that was big.

Thanks to my friends who laughed with me and enjoyed my first journey into the south eastern part of Texas.


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