Just a quick recap, from the last time we left off. We had just finished dinner & a movie. We also had rented a Polaris Slingshot. I promised to tell y’all about how we ended up homeless in South Padre Island. How did that happen? Read on & I’ll tell you.
TIME & DATE UNKNOWN
At the start of our road trip, our set date of departure was for December 30th, 2020. Because we wanted to take an extra day driving back home & bring in the New Years in a randomly picked location.
Well I guess you can say, we kinda sorta succeeded in the final piece of our plan 🤣. Unbeknownst to us, the night we were watching our Movie & enjoying ourselves. This was “supposed to have been” our final night in South Padre Island.
Instead of getting ready to depart the next morning & hit the highway heading home. We were still relaxing & vacationing away. We both thought we had one more day in South Padre.
The weather was so nice, the food was good, & with plenty of activities to keep your time occupied. We had completely lost all recollection of the current Date & Time. Neither of us had any clue on this night, that it was the 29th of December, meaning Check-Out was tomorrow.
The next morning on the 30th I woke up bright & early just like any other day of the vacation. Relaxing outside on the Balcony enjoying the view, & browsing the internet to discover what activity we would do on this day.
Having discovered the restaurant Yummies Bistro, I already knew what I wanted for breakfast, or lunch. Because after watching a little T.V it was near 11a.m. (The time we should’ve originally been checking out 🤦🏽♂️). Yeah, that didn’t happen.
My partner & I discussed breakfast at Yummies, & called in our order. We started getting ready to go pick up our late breakfast, or early lunch. Taking our time to drive across the Island, we picked up our late breakfast.
We decided to return to the Hotel room & have breakfast in my favorite spot on the Balcony. After getting back to the Hotel, now around 12:15p.m. We had most definitely missed the Check-Out we knew nothing about.
Going through the main lobby, & to the elevator with our food smelling all delicious. I couldn’t wait to get on the balcony over looking the Gulf of Mexico & eat breakfast. Once we got to our room, I waved my Key Card over the lock & received a red light.
After trying both Key Cards & receiving a red light. I just thought the key codes had been accidentally wiped clean somehow, which has happened to us before a number of times at other hotels. Which is no big deal, normally this means a quick trip to the front desk & a new set of Key Cards & your good to go.
I got to the front desk of the Hilton Garden Inn South Padre Island & explained to the attendant what happened. He said he would reprogram our cards. After typing in our room info, he then notified me that the reason our cards weren’t working is because we were due to checkout today.
Still not knowing the date, I pulled up our reservations on my phone, & showed the attendant we weren’t due to Check-Out until the 30th. To which he pulled up the Calendar & showed me today was the 30th 🤦🏽♂️.
Oops! I explained how we had been having such a good time, I had lost track of the days somewhere along the way. He laughed & said he understood & reprogrammed a new card for us, so we could retrieve all our stuff from the room.
Instead of relaxing & eating, we were now packing everything we owned in hurry. Getting our chargers & emptying the mini fridge in the room & stuffing everything we could into bags.
Being near 1p.m by now, I wasn’t trying to hit the road home now, we would be driving to late into the night. I wanted an early start, so I decided to leave the next day. Now that we had no place to stay, because we had overstayed our welcome by one day. We were now effectively Homeless in South Padre.
A NEW PLACE TO STAY
As we left the room, I quickly logged into my Expedia app, & looked for a new room for a night. I found another room immediately at the same hotel I was currently at. I had decided to try another hotel for the one night though instead. Because I originally almost booked it instead of the Hilton Garden Inn when I first planned the trip.
I booked at the other hotel on the South end of the Island called La Copa Inn Beachfront Hotel. I thought it would give me a chance to compare another room to the Hilton Garden Inn which is beautiful. To see which I liked more, for the next time I returned to South Padre Island.
The La Copa Inn was actively under renovation when we arrived. The inside is beautifully decorated. There’s a coffee shop & gift store downstairs, along with a restaurant whose food was very reasonably priced, & offered in room delivery (which we tested out).
After checking in & getting situated in our room we decided, we most definitely could have enjoyed staying at the La Copa Inn. Just as much as we enjoyed our stay at the Hilton, & we would’ve saved some money in the process, as the La Copa was better priced then the Hilton.
Not to mention, the La Copa even had free breakfast each morning. The Hilton had more of an exotic feel to it, with its Palm Gardens & manicured lawns. While the La Copa was more practical & still beautiful on the inside & out. With nice clean rooms well decorated, it’s also in closer proximity to the activity center of the island.
The walk to the beach at the Hilton along the boardwalk through the Garden was Beautiful & made for a breathtaking view from the room Balcony. The walk to the beach was straightforward at the La Copa Inn with sea grasses growing along the shore & a boardwalk to the beach.
The inside of the Hotel hallway on the first floor was decorated with prints of the famous artist Picasso’s paintings on the wall.
The Picasso’s turned walking the hallway into an art gallery. Which made it quite pleasing to admire the works as you walked along the corridor.
NO SUNSET ON THE WATER
We were originally going to do a Sunset on the water in the Novelty Boats from SPI Water Rentals. It was a warm winter evening in South Padre, the perfect night to be on the water. Unfortunately South Padre Island was under a Gale Warning on this particular evening.
Due to this Gale Warning, the guy over SPI Water Rentals wasn’t able to allow any of the boats out of the Marina on this day. He was extremely nice, & hated we couldn’t go out that night. We had booked in advance online, & he was nice enough to refund us.
We will most certainly be sure to stop back by SPI Water Rentals again, the next time we are in South Padre Island & Rent one of these unique Novelty Boats.
THAT MOPED LIFE
With water activities canceled for the day due to the Gale Warning, we decided to find a new land activity to replace it. My partner had been wanting to try a Moped Rental for awhile at a few of our previous destinations in the past.
With me, myself being a avid motorcycle rider. I’m always down for just about any activity on 2 wheels. Usually I end up renting a 2 seater Moped, so she can ride along with me.
This time however we found the only Rental Store in town with mopeds, & dropped in to see if they had 2. Fortunately for us, they had 2 left, so I rented them both. After giving my partner a quick instructional on how to operate a Moped, it was time to hit a back road & let her practice.
We found this nice road with very little traffic & a straight shot for miles to let her get comfortable being on a Moped before getting out on the main road. After some more tips at a stop sign, we were off & she did quite well for a beginner!
Once she got comfortable riding a moped, we hit the main road & rode out to a spot we found where the locals like to bring there off road vehicles & do donuts in the Lagoon, as the water isn’t to deep here.
Once my partner got used to riding her Moped. She really started enjoying it, with us staying out until well after dark, & meeting locals along the way who were entertained by our Scooter Shenanigans.
After forgetting to check out of our Hotel the day before in South Padre, we didn’t repeat the same mistake twice. The next day we ate breakfast & hit the road heading home, after 8 nights in South Padre we hated to go. The people were kind, the weather was nice, the scenery was beautiful, & the food was good.
Heading home on New Years Eve we drove late into the night passing through Houston Texas around dinner time heading North.
Passing through Houston Texas at Night there are Seven bridges you pass underneath on Houston Highway 59/U.S. Highway 69 on the Southwest Freeway, we were in the North bound lanes. These seven bridges are lit up brightly with decorative LED lights. The lights change colors for holidays & different events.
There are over 4000 computer controlled LED lights that change colors. It’s worth a drive down the highway at night just to see the lights.
We drove until we reached Louisiana to end the night & bring in the New Year. We booked a room for the night at the Best Western Casino Inn in Vinton, Louisiana. Here we fell asleep to the sound of Fireworks exploding in the night sky as they brought in the New Year of 2021.
When we first pulled up to the hotel, it was clearly visible that it was under active construction & repairs.
This city, & the entire surrounding area in Louisiana had been hit hard just 4 months earlier on August 27th, 2020 by a catastrophic storm. The Category 4 – Hurricane Laura, ravaged this area with 150 mph winds.
The damage was even more apparent the next morning when we got out for Breakfast in Lake Charles, Louisiana. We went down by the Capitol One Tower, the Civic Center, & Millennium Park by the water on Lake Charles.
The clean up from Hurricane Laura is still hard under way in Lake Charles, with people still living in Temporary Trailers & RV’s around the city. When you drive the highway & look down from the overpasses, the local neighborhoods are covered in a sea of blue. As the Blue colored tarps still cover the roofs of homes.
There are big trash bins filled with debris, & huge debris piles all around the city. Utility work trucks line the streets, & all the cities billboards are covered in advertisements from lawyers wanting you to hire them to deal with the insurance companies for home repair costs after the storm.
The people of Lake Charles are still struggling to return to normalcy after such a devastating storm. The Category 4 Storm, Hurricane Laura ended up taking 77 lives. 42 of those lives were in the U.S., Laura done over 19 billion dollars worth of damage.
For miles along the highway you can see the damage as trees are still downed on the side of the road, & debris scattered across fields. Many of the Homes & businesses still have the roofs torn off the buildings. Keep the people affected by this devastating storm in your prayers.
ONE FINAL MEAL BEFORE THE RETURN TO WORK
After safely returning home, the next night, our last night before our return to work. We had a meal of soup & sandwiches at McAlister Deli in Columbus, Mississippi to reminisce over our Texas Island Getaway. The Hoilday Road Trip to remember. Nothing like 80 degree weather, & Palm Trees at Christmas!
A HOLIDAY ROAD TRIP
This was the conclusion of our South Padre Island Adventures, this was a 5 part Blog Series narrating our activities & daily happenings during our trip. If you would like to read the other 4 parts of this story, click the buttons below:
PHOTO RECAP OF OUR TRIP
The Roving Gypsy
Thanks for reading my Blog, I hope you enjoyed our adventure as much as we did. If you liked our Holiday Road Trip & Quest for Warm Weather & want more content like this. Like, Share, Comment, & let me know!