We stayed at a funky little cottage style motel called A Laughing Horse Lodge, all painted in bright coast colors of hot pink, turquoise blue and lime green. http://www.alaughinghorselodge.com/ it was enjoyable in an old fashioned Texas beach town sort of way. http://rtvpix.com/slideshow/20193 is the slide show of our room. Since we had a kitchenette we cooked a bit... we're being careful with our money these days and even that was pretty fun. I think the room was half the fun, it was so close to the beach and really nice. We found a very simple homey restaurant that the locals eat at when they grow tired of fish (although we had some really tasty fried grouper for lunch).
We hit the beach in the early evening and I carefully waded in the shallow part while Gene ventured out further. It was somewhat windy but we managed to stay out for over an hour before it grew to dark and misty for us to stay out. Our next day we ventured out for more but before going to the actual beach we had managed to visit the Leonabelle Turnball Birding Center in Port Aransas and identified a great many birds, including hummingbirds, spoonbills, grebes, cormorants and such. It's part of the Port Aransas Wetlands Park and we did walk around the rushes and the rest of the marsh plants. Lots of both white and brown pelicans. Gene found a friendly nature photographer who told him we needed to come out early to see the gators. After the view from the observation piers we headed out to a glorious day of sun, sand and water. I finally thought of how to sit on the sand and let the water roll over me. Port Aransas sand is extremely fine so it had a tendency to pull us down. We looked for shells but saw very little although the little butterfly shells could still be found. Later we realised in our enthusiasm we hadn't covered all of us with the proper sun screen so we both had some sunburn. But isn't that part of the beach as well.
I really loved the Big Blue Crab which perches on its pedestal near the water. This area is noted for it's Blue Crab and Stone Crab. We decided to try to go crabbing next time on the coast. You can get a day license to fish for them and that's about all we'd need.
We also found places where they have tried to reuse the remains of hurricane destroyed houses to build up the shoreline. Very practical and very sad at the same time. I found a bit of lovely blue tile that seems to fit right in along the shore as well as a random house number. There were a free vacant lots and open areas from previous hurricanes as well.