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Our First Trip to Port Aransas Since Hurricane Harvey

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Port Aransas, Texas has long been one of our favorite places to take a break for a few days with our dogs. For the past six years, we’ve traveled to the small town, located on Mustang Island, every spring and fall. We always avoided the peak summer season because of bigger crowds and higher accommodation prices–but this year, needing to head to South Texas anyway to visit John’s relatives in the nursing home–we took our first summer trip to the town that Texans affectionately know as “Port A.”

This was our first trip to Port Aransas since Hurricane Harvey rolled in on August 25, 2017. The impact was devastating for residents and businesses but the community has come together and is working so hard to rebuild.

Besides not knowing what to expect after the hurricane, we were a little anxious before the trip because this was the first time we’ve vacationed in Port Aransas without our dear Irie. She loved, loved the beach, and always loved staying at the dog-friendly A Laughing Horse Lodge. Irie and Tiki always immediately knew when we drove in the parking lot that they were at “their beach house.” Sadly, A Laughing Horse Lodge was hit hard by the hurricane; today all that remains is a pile of rubble as the cottages have been torn down.

So we planned a trip that we knew would be different in many ways this year. We looked around and found the dog-friendly Beachcomber Motel, located on the same street that A Laughing Horse Lodge once was, and just two blocks from the beach. The summer rates here were great so we quickly booked a room for three nights.

Although Barli has traveled to Port Lavaca and Magnolia Beach several times since we adopted him in March, he’d never been in the Gulf surf–or on the ferry to Port Aransas…

…so this was a big trip for him!

Barli and Tiki LOVED our lodging, which was composed of a living room/kitchen/dining area…

…bedroom and bath:

We spent the next couple of days enjoying the beach (where we learned that Barli is quite the beach doggie!)…

…eating locally-caught shrimp at the many dog-friendly patio restaurants…

…watching the birds…

…and driving around town to check out the progress of the renovations. So much of the community is as colorful and fun as ever…

…because where else would you see golf carts–and an inflatable swan–pulling up at the local grocery store?

Evidence of Harvey’s wrath is still fairly easy to find; many homes–both primary residences as well as vacation homes and condos–remain under renovation. Some businesses, even one golf cart rental which is so popular here, did not reopen.

But the island spirit is in full swing across Port Aransas. While the beaches may not be as crowded as in a typical summer–and many visitors may be arriving as day trippers from Corpus Christi, crowds enjoyed the waves and the spirit that makes Port A so special.

Roberts Point Park, long a favorite with us as a great place to take our Whataburger breakfast tacos and watch the dolphins in the ship channel, was as wonderful as ever.

And the jetty, for which our Hurricane Harvey-rescue cat Jetty is named, was a full of action as always.

We’re already planning another trip to Port Aransas with Tiki and Barli. Save us a place on the ferry…we’ll be back to “our beach town” as soon as we can.

To plan a trip to Port Aransas:

Paris Permenter
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