Monday, April 23, 2007

More Than Just a Room

Some - maybe even most - folks who come to South Padre Island don’t much care where they stretch out after a long day on the beach or in the water. They’ll grab a bite at Whataburger and fall asleep on a lumpy bed with the TV remote in their hand....

If that is you, please click here.

If however you are looking for a truly unique vacation experience -- please take a closer look at the SandBox Inn:

Geek Heaven: Stay connected! WiFi is in the air but I also provide a hard-wired ethernet cable for your use. VOIP phone. Plug your iPod into the Apple HiFi and be amazed at the quality of sound that comes from that cute little white box.

Unique Diversions: Browse more stations than you will ever need on the wide-screened TV; shoot a game of pool -- no quarters needed!; gather round the piano for a group sing-along; browse the ever-growing artsy-fartsy library reading selections; take a sandcastle lesson and then practice your new skills half a block away on Neptune Circle Beach. Help yourself to beach chairs, shovels, buckets and carving tools as well as the red wagon to carry it all in.

Romantic Getaway: Honeymooners delight! Quiet, private and with brand new beds (not a lumpy mattress in the bunch - try ‘em all!) you can pop strawberries into one another’s mouths in the designer kitchen. Cuddle up with a bottle of red and watch the sunset and evening parade from Suntide II to Blackbeards from the north deck. Tres romantico!

Family Time: The Sandbox sleeps eight and is spacious enough that those 8 people will still be friends at the end of the week. Perfect for two couples and a sprinkling of kiddos.

Ecotourists: Both front and back yards are planted with showy flowers and native flora that attract a wide variety of birds and butterflies. Both decks provide excellent viewing options all day long. Ask me about birding and dolphin watch cruises and thanks for helping keep the upstairs plants watered.

Tomato-Lovers: This year’s crop is the biggest ever. Someone is going to have to help me eat these things!

Last Minute Deals (mention “May Flower Discounts” when you e-me): April 29-May 3 -- $100/night -- May 6-11 -- $120/night -- May 20-24 -- $130/night

Monday, April 16, 2007

Becoming One with My Inner Innkeeper

My job as a master sand sculptor has taken me to all kinds of fabulous beach resorts where I am often assigned a room at an upscale hotel right on the beach where the views are lovely and they never stop reminding you of it with such amenities as the $16 bagel, the $10/day wifi connection and the $3 local phone call. The grounds are immaculate, the locals kept at a distance by design, and at some point every expensive beachfront resort starts feeling like every other expensive beachfront resort.

While traveling - if time and funds allow - I like to try to squeeze in an extended visit by booking a few nights at a cabin or cottage off the beaten path, a place that will really let me experience the flavor of the community and mingle with the locals and put some distance between me and the hordes of other tourists clumping at Atlantis or the Ritz Carlton. These are the places that get written up in my website travelogues, the places I remember and dream of revisiting, the places that make me feel connected with someplace different from home.

That is the kind of place I trying to create right here at the Sandbox Inn. The kind of place that I would pay to stay in.... as opposed to the kind of place someone pays me to stay in.

I am banking on the belief that there are other folks like me looking for a place like this to stay. And so far it is working out pretty well... :)

butterflies are bustin' out all over!

What's New Butterflies are bustin' out all over! Jillions of tomatoes on the vine! I have undertaken my own little "median project" and just started dabbling in topiary... how odd.

Last Minute Deals (mention “spring discounts” when you e-me):

April 29-May 12 -- $115/night
May 21-24 -- $135/night

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Parties, a New Sandbox and Discount Dates

It has only been a little over a month since I took possession of the upper floors and created the SandBox, and I am absolutely thrilled with the response. It would appear that there is in fact a need/desire for what one respondent nicely described as “not your grandma’s condo” here on South Padre Island. (Unless your grandma operates a pool hall, of course! ;-)

Which brings me to my next topic today which is -- parties! The SandBox is perfect for them, actually. It features a large open area - especially when you throw open the sliders and utilize both decks. I have already had gatherings of as many as 30 people there and I believe the place could in fact quite comfortably accommodate twice that number. Set up the bar, uncover the pool table, stick your iPod in the sound system or gather round the the piano and - with the right people, of course - we are talking serious fun. I have already booked a wedding reception in August but this is also an excellent venue for family reunions; there are lots of other rental units in the neighborhood that offer amenities that I don’t (here’s one of them) and your big group can spread out yet be close enough to share a nearby pool and eat dinner together at the SandBox.

What’s New I am really having fun landscaping the front yard. Dad Feets put in a lovely garden path, a planter (with a pretty palm) and a new sandbox a couple weeks ago. I started a “pound up” in it yesterday and hope to start carving on it today. Photos soon!

Last minute deals (mention “spring discounts” when you e-me):

April 8-16 -- $105/night or $700/week
April 27-May 12 -- $125/night or $800/week

The peak season is filling up nicely though I still have some openings. Check my availability calendar to see what’s left.

Flutterbyes and Feathered Friends (3/21 update)

Spring Break is basically over (thank goodness!) and the tomato plants on the south deck are about ready to bloom -- I am hoping for a bumper crop this year!
But the tomato plants aren’t the only things growing. While many will insist we don’t have true seasons here, I beg to differ. A lot of my plants lose all or most of their leaves in the winter so it is always a thrill when things start coming back as they are right now. I also have been planting lots of new stuff - a new rosebed in the back yard and major landscaping things happening in the front (thanks Dad Feets!) The monarchs have been turning up in abundance and I need to find a bird book quick to see what other critters are currently visiting my trees.
Having access to the big decks on both the north and south sides is way cool. One or the other is always in the sunshine/shade. The back deck gives a great view of the trumpet vines which attract many different types of butterflies, hummers and other flying critters. From the front deck you can watch the sunset over the bay and the evening parade of Suntide Twoers heading to Blackbeards for a bite. More fun than television.
But television is getting more fun, too. I had Dish installed this week and there are way more channels than any one person can possibly enjoy. Better come by and help me ;-)
April is starting to fill up nicely but I do still have some openings for the 2nd and fourth weeks of that month. May is wide open (except for Memorial Day weekend) and the rates are better than you will see all summer. Plus, the tomatoes ought to be ready to pick and eat by then and I expect I will have plenty to go around.

See your humble innkeeper's sand sculptures get blown up on the Travel Channel starting March 4, 2007 on Sand Blasters 2007: The Extreme Sand Sculpting Championship