Not sure how I can accurately represent the nightmare that was our motel Wednesday night. Since it had gotten pretty late out on the beach and then having dinner, we opted to not have to go far to get a night’s sleep and since we wanted to go back to beach next day, we found a place right on the island.
Now, knowing that it wasn’t a nationwide chain, we figured it would be a toss up between a charming cottage and a money grudging dump. We were right, this place was scary! It was one of those places that you’re worried about whether or not the sheets had been washed since the last guest! Ha! We brought in the ’emergency’ blankets that we keep in the truck and slept on top of the beds and tried our best not to touch anything. And this place was the most expensive place we stayed the entire trip!
So, we thought we’d avoid that Thursday night. We picked a chain – pretty recognizable – in downtown Corpus Christi. 10 story building with a really nice courtyard. Initial impressions were good. At least it was less expensive than the night before. Room looked good, too. Well, at first glance. And if you didn’t look too hard.
But you know me, I am the master of noticing details, it is what makes me so good at my usual job. So, I started to see things: the dark splotches on the electrical outlet (is it safe to use?) and the ceiling of the bathroom (will it fall down on me while I am in the shower?) which leads to questioning everything. When we headed out to get ice, I had to go to four different floors before I found a working one. And finding an open restaurant downtown Corpus Christ after 7:00pm seemed to be like a needle in a haystack. We stumbled onto a Subway, but even they were out of both meatballs or chicken breasts, the two sandwiches that we love. We then opted to go with the pizza that was on the door key cards and 45 minutes later, a soggy, cold pizza arrived. I don’t even have to say it, do I?
We were up and out of there early – we even had a maintenance guy knock on the door around 8:00, wanting to fix the bathroom cabinet door. There had to be a to-do list two miles long and 90% of the hotel empty and he had to knock on our door?
Back to San Antonio. You know that The Kid and I are urban explorers and on our way out of San Antonio we spied what looked like an abandoned mansion and garage-ish type building just off the freeway. Our interest was piqued.
This was an amazing property. You can see it when you pull up. Columns, stone and patios.
As we walked around, peeking in windows, we started to notice that the construction of this grand palace was unfinished.
But it was locked up tight. With security features that Fort Knox might envy. There was no getting into this house.
Beside the house was a garage or perhaps a stable. The doors you see on this side are duplicated around the entire building.
More shots. There was a unique, natural-looking swimming pool. At every corner, every door, every wall there was amazing art work. Inside as well (we peaked through the windows), there were statues, paintings, mounted deer heads. On the back patio were these amazing metal pinatas (well, before rust took them over they must have been spectacular).
Just look at the size of this door! It had to be at least 14 feet tall! The front entry was flanked by two little ponds with a stream running under the walkway. It must have been cool at one time or sometime in the future, but now the water was dirty and half dry.
There seemed to be the trappings of someone having actually moved in, but like I said, construction was still going on. Actually, lots of things were already falling down from neglect. Quite sad, actually.
More shots of the entry. I think there were supposed to statues on the walkway. There were also concrete deer standing on the small hill that ran around the front of the property.
One of many of these structures. The structure you are looking at actually had a built in grill and I think, a pizza/bread oven.
This odd statue was out behind the house. You can see that things need to have more care, as his arm and hand is starting to deteriorate.
This is the view from the main patio out over the pool towards the stable(?).
Another shot of one side of the house. There is an example of artwork left on the wall.
This was really fun scoping out. Later that evening, I did some searching and it seems that there are a few stories of this place. One was that it was owned by the Mexican cartel member, another a wealthy Mexican farmer. Another was that it was a noveau riché and the couple ran out of money before finishing it. I saw appraisals of from $1M to $10M. Who knows for sure.
From there, we continued our northward journey. It didn’t take long before we were ready to call it a day. This time is was The Kid’s turn to choose a place to stay. With my track record, it was worth it to let him to take the reins.
Give Yogi a ‘high five’!
Well, as it turns out, I should have had him doing it the whole time. He used his phone and did a quick search on Expedia.com. We actually even had to turn around and drive back about 20 miles, but he was ‘trust me Mom’ and convinced me. I am glad he did!
Here’s a panorama photo of the room. It doesn’t do it justice. We stayed at this absolutely wonderful place called “Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park”, near San Antonio. He made the decision based on the single picture of a room and the fact that they had three stars. We walked into a room – er, they called it a cabin – that was designed for a small family. Two queen sized beds and bunk beds. The bathroom, no joke, was nicer than mine here at home!
The beds had the most luxurious linens, and was much like sleeping on a cloud! Fireplace and big oversized leather chairs and a table, microwave and fridge. I gave serious thought to moving there! Ha!
This evening went was too quickly. I had the best night’s sleep in, like, a year. Wow.
All right, still have to write up the last day. But it has been a long day today.