Friday, February 3, 2012

The End of a Fun Week, USS Lexington, Wine Tastings

This morning, Sheila and Vern left Rockport and headed back to San Antonio where they will fly home at 6 AM tomorrow morning. They left early enough to give them time to tour the Alamo and experience the Riverwalk while they are there.

We had such a good time! We shared many laughs and experienced this area of Texas together. One of our excursions was visiting the USS Lexington.

The USS Lexington is docked and memorialized in Corpus Christi Bay. Commissioned in 1943, The USS Lexington served longer and set more records than any carrier in U.S. Naval history. She was decommissioned in 1991 and now serves as a museum as a tribute to the men and women who served in the armed forces and those that gave their lives for our freedom. She is 910 feet long, has 16 decks and weighs 33,000 tons.



We spent over 4 hours on this ship and could have spent more. There is so much to see!

The Flight Deck


The Bridge


The Bridge is the primary control room for the ship.


The Chart house


Map of Corpus Christi Harbor.


Ship layout


The USS Lexington

  • Has more sleeping space than Caesars Palace, the Mirage and Treasure Island (3,500 beds)
  • Carries enough fuel to sail 30,000 miles!
  • Has sailed a total of 209,000 miles-about 8 times around the world
  • You could play 3 football games or 14 basketball games, at the same time, on the flight deck
  • Carries enough gasoline to drive your car around the world 132 times!
  • Was the first ship to have women stationed aboard (August 18, 1980)
  • Is as tall as a 19 story building and as long as 3 New York City blocks
  • Served longer than any other carrier in the world (40 years) 1943-1947, 1955-1991

She was a city unto herself. Before leaving for the day, we took in an IMAX movie titled: Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag. Red Flag is the final training for pilots and their aircrews before being sent into actual combat. It was excellent and a very up close and personal experience.

Rick and Vern posing for a photo op :)


We ended this fun day with dinner at a local restaurant, Charlotte Plummers, in Rockport. The food was so good we ate it all! Sorry, no food photo, we were too busy eating :)

Another day, we drove to nearby Refugio (pronounced Rufeerio) to check out the 2 wineries in the area. First on our list was Texas South Wind Vineyard and Winery. This winery is located out in the middle of nowhere :) In fact, as we pulled up, we weren’t sure about this. The production area/tasting room was this building!


But we were here and had driven to the middle of nowhere to get here, so thought we should give it a chance. As we approached the door, we saw this.


And, inside, this.



The imagination it took to transform this building was incredible and with the exception of the insulation of the walls, the entire tasting room was built by the owners, our hosts.


They grow some of their own grapes and purchase many others but the wine is all produced in this same building. After our tasting we all enjoyed a glass of wine while continuing to visit with our hosts. We totally enjoyed our time with them and were very happy we stayed.


After leaving, we returned to town to stop at the tasting room of Braman Winery. This winery was a stark contrast to the first. This is a much larger operation with the wines being produced and bottled in California and New Mexico, then shipped here. The tasting room was very much a store, with all types of wine “stuff” for sale. In fact, Sheila and I both bought t-shirts. It was just one of those things we couldn’t resist :)



Here, again, we enjoyed a glass of wine before leaving for the local Mexican restaurant for a bite to eat. Another successful, fun day :)


I think we’ve successfully convinced them to come back again next year, if we return to this area. As a gentleman from Iowa told them the other day, out on the pier, “You can’t just come here for a week”!!!

Thanks for stopping by Turtle


  1. The USS Lexington is incredible! Makes you wonder how such a monstrosity could ever stay afloat!

    Glad you ventured into the first winery. It looks so quaint and cozy inside. Shows you really can't judge a book by its cover.

    Great post!

  2. We enjoyed the Lexington tour and you pictures brought back good memories. The wine tasting sounds really good:)

  3. We enjoy touring navy ships that have been decommissioned and turned into museums ... they have so much history to explore.

  4. What fun the four of you had!! Love the photos of all of you at the winery. Can you say HAPPY;o)))

  5. You guys are stomping around in our home town. Corpus Christi is a pretty cool place. If you are looking for some good local eateries in Corpus, drop me an email jerry at waggintainsrv dot com. I can certainly point you to a few great places. Last night, our NOMADS group went to Millers BBQ.

  6. Fun times for sure! No "whining" allowed!

  7. Fun times for sure! No "whining" allowed!

  8. I served aboard the "Lex" in 1971. I was a Quartermaster 3rd class. My primary duty station was on the bridge or pilot house, because I was involved in navigation. I would also have duty in aft steering, which is in the bowels of the ship. It is a compartment that is in front of the rudder and you sit between the two diesel engines that power the rudder. A fact that most people don't know is the USS Lexington was the last active carrier in the fleet that still had a wooden flight deck and that the ship could be steered from 5 different places on the ship. We couldn't land the heavier jets, ie: F4 Phantom on the ship. The tore up the carrier deck too bad. We had to go into Galveston to have a bunch of boards replaced on the deck surface. Just thought you would like to know. I am glad that they made a museum out of the old girl.


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