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Padre Island, Texas (4)

It's nice to come to Padre Island National Seashore in the off-season. I can only imagine how crowded this beautiful beach is in the summer. I am enjoying a quiet day on the beach. Padre Island National Seashore is heaven for bird lovers, and I can see why. The pelicans flying above me are so majestic. There is nothing like walking along the break of the waves and letting the water go between your toes. I do need to be careful, because there are many jellyfish that wash up on the beach.

There is only one cloud in the sky which colors are a simple light gray with a darker edge. It's a peaceful stretching cloud. Its float above the ocean feels like a perfect love story between the greenish end of the horizon and the endless skies.

While I continue walking, I see weird blue things washing off from the sea to the beach, and it takes me a while to understand that this is another kind of living species. It is an interesting and beautiful blue creature. Maybe because blue is my favorite color, I'm very drawn to it. Later, I learned it is called a Portuguese man o' war. Even the white foam the waves leave behind is a beautiful piece of art!

When I turned around and went back, I noticed the cloud was gone, and I hope the love story is forever!

I checked to see what else I could experience on Padre Island. It was suggested for me to see The USS Lexington. The USS Lexington (Nicknamed "The Blue Ghost"), is an Essex-class aircraft carrier built during World War II for the United States Navy. I feel it would be appropriate for Veterans Day to learn more about my country's history. It was an educational and very interesting tour. I had the chance to explore the many levels of the carrier and have the "feel" of how the soldiers live and operate. The flight deck was impressive. I imagined being one of the team, but would I be a good fit? I need freedom of movement and exploration. I know I can live in a small and tight place and be happy. It's the feeling of being "stuck" which is what I don't think I can do. You can't be a witness to the history and the space without admiration and respect for the men and women who volunteer to serve and protect.

On my last day on Padre Island, I meet with Ramona (A solo traveler from one of my Facebook groups). She reached out to me with a question back in October, and we realized we might be at Padre Island at the same time. I'm so happy we did! It's an instant connection. It's a gift to meet someone willing to be at the same level of vulnerability as you are. Our conversation is deep and raw. It is full of love and free of judgment. We share our experiences and the ways we each find our ways out of hurt and into healing. We sit in her van with open maps to go over the Canada/Alaska portion of my journey. Ramona is from Vancouver Island and has vast information to share. So now I have another reason to visit Vancouver Island! We realized we would be on the same path for another few days, so we made dinner plans for when we got to San Antonio. I can't wait!

A note: Most of the time, I write my emotions as they go through me.

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