Saturday, February 13, 2010


Recent events have left the entire El Fisho household in a state of exhaustion. We need a vacation.


It won't be much problem agreeing where to go, but it's gotta be soon. Spring Break is near. The past couple of years, we often go toward Port Aransas or Rockport. I actually catch more fish in Port A than in Rockport, and certainly see more huge schools of fish in the morning waves on the beachfront in Port A. There is nothing like the quiet peaceful solitude of surf fishing at sunrise in Port A and watching the sun rise literally through the swelling waves, illuminating schools of fish, dolphin and sometimes sharks. Sunset is equally a great time to fish, and on the right tide I've always caught more fish during sunset. It's harder to spot the schooling fish, absent the rising sun behind the waves. And it's a different type of calm, a resolved calm.

So Port A is always high on our list as a destination. The past couple of spring breaks have been very uncrowded down there, to the point of being in stark contrast to the late 90's and early 2000's where families like us were vastly outnumbered by students. Now it's vice versa.

We went to Alpine, the Big Bend, Fort Davis and it's envirns a couple of years ago for a short Christmas vacation. It was great, as was our previous trip to that area in the 90's via the Amtrak train from Houston. This time, we took the family truckster, and did a lot of sight seeing. We saw baby mountain lions wandering in the Ft. Davis State Park, and at the Observatory there was still lots of snow and ice on the ground at the higher levels.

On our way back home, we took the long way north from the Observatory at about 3 in the afternoon, heading towards I-10 through huge ranches. We spotted huge herds of javalina running fast through the landscape around us, stopping to try to count the waves of hundreds of these fast creatures occasionally visible through the waist high grasses.

Alpine, like many towns, has virtual deer infestation. I means, hundreds of them descend to feed at night. You can catch tons of them, some quite large, feeding at the city golf course and park and the surrounding neighborhoods. Be sure to drive slowly starting at about 4 or 5 p.m. because DEER ARE EVERYWHERE at sunset for a few hours.

One town that has always baffled me is Marfa. Having driven through there fairly thoroughly, taking in the sights and just looking at the homes in town. I know there are quite a few businesses, there, but my friends they are well hidden. We've tried to find places to eat there, and perhaps we didn't ask around enough. But there was seemingly no one around. Maybe you have to be Randy Quaid or Dick Degeurin to know where to go, as they both maintain places there. I remain to be impressed by all I have read, but frankly I guess we have not caught Marfa on the right day.

We enjoyed visiting the Great Wolf Lodge American Waterpark and Hotel in Grapevine last year. An indoor water park, with the attendees limited to booked hotel guests. On certain Sundays and Mondays the place is hardly full, leading to lots of room to enjoy the facility. It's family friendly and the food there is actually decently priced and absolultely excellent. It's worthy of a big free plug from me and here's the site:

This summer we are going to likely do Sunny Southern California for vacation, and hit Legoland for El Fisho Jr. and then onto LA for The Princess and The Mrs. I've been going to LA enough lately to really be able to show them around with some authority. There's great fishing AND great eating out in Malibu, at several small reasonable places I like especially if you hit it early in the week.

Of course, it'd be nice to slip by the Baked Potato in Studio City on a Monday night to catch native and former Houstonian John Zeigler holding forth on one of his guitar jams like he used to have a Blythe Spirits in Houston the late 80's and early 90's. There's just never no telling what kind of great musical genres, guests and musicians will be hitting the stand. Somewhere between rock and jazz and Texas blues lies the essence of John Zeigler. Catch him if you're ever in L.A. He's worth planning a trip around and is often playing at the Baked Potato, along with lots of heavyweight L.A. music cats you've heard of (if you know much about music for the past 30 years at all).

There are legendary stores of all types and shopping districts in L.A. that interest El Fisho immensely. Local owned legendary fishing gear stores (like those in Florida) with huge selections and great products not likely to be found elsewhere, or often on the internet. There is, of course, Music Store Row, on a small part of Sunset in Hollywood.

There, on two sides of the street, lay hours of manly diversions for guys like Billy Ray and me. Sam Ash. The Sam Ash drumstore across the street. Carvin. Mesa Boogie. Guitar Center. And tons of other cooler, small music shops all over that part of town and just through the Hollywood Hills on Mulholland to Ventura in Sherman Oaks.

Of course, there's the stars and the drive through Beverly Hills and so on and really there are so many beautiful parts of LA and the coast and Southern Cal and it's envirns that it's hard to do it justice even in a week. And of course, we've got kinfolk in Vegas, and the drive from L.A. to Vegas via Barstow and the desert is something everyone should do and see at least one time in their life. I'd like to make that drive again.

So we got lots of places we want to go, and we're certainly ready to do some vacationing.

What about you?

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