(Article first published as Week 7: Training on the Beach, Incidents and Oil Spills on Technorati.)
After school got out, I headed for the beach. Thankfully, we go to South Padre Island. We gave extra thanks because the Texas Gulf Coast (at least for now) remains unscathed by the BP oil spill wreaking havoc along the coastline from Louisiana to Florida.
So while the cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach in Alabama have closed public beaches because of the gooey, slimy mess, those of us fortunate to vacation along the Texas coast still can enjoy sun, surf and sand as well as some tasty shrimp.
My week at the beach, however, in no way stopped my training for the Susan G. Komen 3-day for the Cure 60 mile walk.
In fact, I stepped it up a bit and walked about 30 miles while at the beach. My family made sure I stayed on track offering to walk with me. Sometimes we walked along the beach. Sometimes we walked along Gulf Boulevard. All of it was walked in the hot Texas sun. Walking on the sand provided some extra workout benefits. We even walked a bit across the border venturing into Nuevo Progreso, Mexico, to do a little shopping.
Although we've been there numerous times before, we did check with the tourist Welcome Center at South Padre Island before we decided to go because of all the drug violence reported in border towns. The very nice Welcome Center people told us that although there had been some "incidents," we would be fine as long as we as we remained aware of our surroundings.
They never did define "incidents."
While walking across the bridge and while shopping in Mexico, we couldn't help but notice that we were one of the few Americans shopping there. Now I know why.
The very next day another shopping mecca destination for tourist, Matamoras, was in the news for a running gun battle that began at a police station and left seven police officers dead before it ended when the Mexican military finally took control of the situation.
I wonder if those nice Welcome Center people would have referred to that as an "incident."
And all that makes as much sense as referring to the BP oil spill as an "incident."