Welcome to my Hometown Tourist Project! Each week I am introducing you to a new blogger who will give us a virtual tour of their hometown. Throughout the year we will be going all over the country and even up into Canada! Today I am pleased to introduce you to Kim who blogs at Chronic Chimera. Kim’s blog is about living with chronic illness and helping others with chronic illness to create a life they love. But, today Kim is going to introduce us to her hometown of Port Aransas, TX and share with us her favorite things to do in Port Aransas or Port A, as it’s called.
Hometown Tourist Project Week # 22 – Port Aransas, Texas
By: Kim M.
Hi, I’m Kim from Chronic Chimera and I live on the Texas gulf coast but more importantly, I am your tour guide for Port Aransas, TX. I’m here to tell you why I love living here, and I look forward to sharing all the fun things to do in Port Aransas!
First of all, I want to thank A Book Lover’s Adventures for having me here. Because of you and your readers, I was able to look at my surroundings with a new perspective. I am grateful for the reason that I was reminded of just how spectacular our area is.
To start off, here’s a little about me. I live with debilitating chronic pain and invisible illness every day. That is why I started my blog, Chronic Chimera! While I am unable to visit the places I have read about here, I do love hearing about the adventures. Because I’m mostly bedridden due to my illness, I like to live vicariously through others. Most of all I am happy to contribute information about my favorite place, Port Aransas, TX.
Living in Port Aransas
I would rather live here while chronically ill than somewhere else and be healthy. (Except for somewhere much cooler during the extremely hot months)!
I have a lot to be grateful for including where I live. For over 20 years I’ve made the Texas gulf coast my home. I raised my kids here and now my grandkids are enjoying the beaches and salt air. It is not only beautiful and peaceful but above all it is entertaining. There is so much to do and likewise, so much NOT to do which makes it fun yet serene.
I love living near Port Aransas especially in contrast to Austin or Houston. Sometimes I ride the ferry over to Port A just to feel the sway of the boat. It feels like a new trip every time. I get out of the car hoping to catch a glimpse of dolphins in the ship channel. Sometimes I get to see a huge platform or ship coming in or going out to sea. Everything going through the channel is most likely going to or coming from the Corpus Christi Bay.
Why You Should Visit
The Island, or Port A as it is also referred to, is the friendliest, most laid-back place in the world…or at least parts of the world I’ve been. I had moved here to get my second wind after a divorce and trying to raise two small children by myself. My mom lived here, so I had some family support. Little did I know how helpful and friendly everyone would be, it was heartwarming.
I don’t remember making the conscious choice to stay here, it just happened
The friends I had made and the connectedness of the area lulls you like a mother putting her baby to sleep. I wrapped myself up in the now familiar feeling of “home” probably because I had never felt so at home anywhere in my life. It was a feeling like a warm blanket you snuggle with at night. It becomes “home,” everyone becomes “family,” and you never want to leave.
Anyway, back to you and your vacation plans. I want to make planning your vacation easy for you. Come to Port Aransas…done! Okay, you probably want a little more information and likewise, I get to tell you all about where I get to live. I’m with you 😉
First of all, planning your vacation should be fun also, you should be excited. I’ve been there, and I get it. Let me help by telling you about my favorite place that’s right down the road from me. If it seems like I’m excited it’s because I am!
Warning: Port Aransas is its own world and you may not want to go home
Between their smiles and friendly attitudes, the Islanders make you feel like you are part of the family. Even more thrilling is that everyone is pretty laid-back like you’re in a Jimmy Buffet song. That’s precisely the feeling you get in Port A rather than a stuffy or rude hotel in some big city. Aside from the occasional grumpy person, everyone is all smiles.
My Favorite Things to do in Port Aransas
I made a list of reasons I love living here and favorite things to do in Port Aransas! All the reasons why you’ll want to visit us!
Port A is a laid-back beach town with smiles for miles, almost everyone smiles when your eyes connect
The ferry ride to and from Port Aransas is beautiful, most times you will see dolphins. It’s even more likely if there is a big ship going through the channel. They LOVE riding the surf right in front of the ship.
With more restaurants than people (just kidding), you can probably find food you like. From seafood, breakfast tacos, to burgers and candy to ice cream, there’s almost certainly something for just about everyone.
You can surf, fish, take snorkeling lessons or go out deep sea fishing.
The restaurants are great but you also have an IGA grocery store for those times you want some home cooking. Stock up on breakfast items or snacks to eat in between meals.
There are pharmacy’s available just in case you need first aid or to refill a prescription
Bring a beach umbrella or canopy, a chair or towel and stick your feet in the sand. You can wander off into the pages of that book you’ve been wanting to read. Ground yourself and breathe in that beautiful salt air.
There’s fun for everyone. Get a picture inside a (fake) shark’s mouth, eat with pirates surrounding you at Moby Dick’s, take a ride on a real-life pirate ship at Red Dragon Pirate Cruises, go on a dolphin tour with Scarlet Lady Dolphin Adventure or enjoy the nightlife at Bernie’s among many other restaurants and bars.
The King Ranch in Kingsville is a little further away but not so far you can’t make a day trip out of it.
You can visit the museum and find out how Port Aransas came to be along with its, most likely, first inhabitants…the Karankawa Indians. Did you know there is a legend of a Spanish dagger with a silver spike driven through its hilt that is supposed to mark where Jean La Fitte buried a chest of gold and jewels?
Port Aransas and Hurricane Harvey
Port Aransas was walloped by Hurricane Harvey in the summer of 2017!
After the hurricane, many island residents were left homeless. Most noteworthy is how many residents invited homeless victims into their homes and all the food and materials that were donated. Furthermore, after all the destruction and heartache caused by Harvey, the Islanders still have the same peaceful, laid-back attitude.
True to the nature of the people of Port A, neighbors helped neighbors rebuild. You can help rebuild Port A and those affected by the hurricane by visiting and taking your next vacation there. If you would rather, you can also help #RebuildPortA by donating here.
Whether you are chronically ill or healthy, you should put visiting Port A on your bucket list. As you can see, there are so many things to do in Port Aransas and you will enjoy a stress-free vacation on an island paradise that makes you forget your worries. Putting your feet in the sand can make even the illest (or ill-tempered) person feel better.
Now that I’ve given you all the reasons why I love living here and all my favorite things to do in Port Aransas and why you should think about visiting or vacationing here, go ahead and start researching Port A for your next getaway right now, you better hurry though…they book up fast.
More about Kim & Chronic Chimera
As I mentioned earlier, live with debilitating chronic pain and invisible illness every day. One of my illnesses is Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that destroys the thyroid gland. That, in turn, creates havoc throughout my entire body. It’s like my AI threw a party and invited other illnesses…without my permission. It’s a vicious cycle but I’d rather not get into it too much.
If it seems like I should probably be bitter or unhappy, I’m not. I’m not throwing a pity party or asking for one. I am extremely happy because of Hashimoto’s. Due to my illness, I started a blog to help other chronic illness warriors create a life they love through hobbies, self-care and creating income. This makes me happy!
Let’s Get Social
If you or someone you know is living with chronic illness, then get in touch with Kim through her blog or on social media!
The beautiful photographs in this post were all taken by Donald Hatch of Barefoot Donald
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