The Sand & Sea Motel Corner of Shoreline & I-37 "T"

Sand & Sea Motel. This neat motel was located at the corner of Interstate 37 where it ends, and intersects with Shoreline. On the SW corner. When I was working at Ship Ahoy behind it in 1970s, some of us would 'sneak over' after work, smelling all fish & shrimpy (not a bad thing with with the great food we had) but sneak over and go swimming after we got off work. We had swimtrunks in cars. Not once did we ever get tossed out or asked to leave.

The building was L shaped, and ran from, Mann to I-37, then had a break between buildings for a alley, then smaller part back towards Ship Ahoy, or Water street. There is a Valero (am I the only one that STILL calls them Diamond Shamrock??? or Stripes place where ship Ahoy once was. The lot where Sand & Sea was is vacant, but someplace will eventually build there, is prime real estate.

I stayed there one time in the 1970s, with a date ha ha. But when I moved to Houston in 1983, I would go back and stay a lot more, mainly because this place was closest, and cheapest place to my parents which were still living at corner of Doss & Antelope in the old ghetto. The rooms were rather nice, didn't smell like mildew, wet dog as some hotels and motels do near beaches or lakes. I can't call it modern, as the furniture was stuff that Holiday Inn Emerald Cove, Sheraton Marina and other places must have discarded.

Good, still usable, but dated in 1960s. I don't remember the name of the bar near front desk which was on the freeway side, but nice little place, friendly staff, and had some video games. Sometimes even had live music for such a small venue.

In the winter would come down, or try to, for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas as mom was a ticking time bomb when I moved, given 6 months to live, had all sorts of things wrong with her, breast cancer of which had a mastectomy, congestive heart failure, cellulitis, high blood pressure, so my trips down there to see her were sort of frequent, and would usually stay at this place, which would leave me more money to take them out, even it someplace like Vicks around corner at Port & Leopard, or Nolan's on Weber & SPID, even Sheps Chicken Shack 5 blocks from house. As time went on though, whoever the owners were of this place Sand & Sea simply didn't want to keep it up. Just was my observations as am in the service industry.

One day came down and the pool was filled in with dirt and grass. I thought of Jethro in Beverly Hillbillies with his 'cement pond'. The poles that held up second floor in alley, were rusting thru from the Corpus Christi salt air, but workers would just slather more black paint over them. You had to park between these poles in staying in back area also. The maids worked hard it seemed to keep up, and were always nice with extra towels, soap, small shampoos or anything we asked for and kept the rooms clean. The maintenance crew kept the trees, bushes and shrubbery pruned, lights working, but the back 1/2 facing Ship Ahoy suddenly became a warehouse, so no more rentals back 1/2 maybe 20 rooms, filled with 'extra' stuff like boards, even washers, dryers, not regular size but industrial type, there were ladders, sawhorses, whole Home Depot back there. Never did find out why they closed whole section, the doors and windows faced I-37 in this area, so if you were fixing to come into Corpus and turn at Shorreline, you saw a bunch of rooms with junk, which to me, made place look closed or just move on to Downtowner, Ramada or other places on Shoreline. In the winter, the old vintage heaters struggled, so would have to put a towel at bottom of door to keep wind out, not big deal, and in summer, would put the air condition on maximum cold to keep it in the 70s inside room. Sort of writing on the wall by then I guess.

Still...I would call in reservations...and stay there 2-3 days even with the warts of this place. I liked the place and have always tried to support small businesses whole life. Sure, there were now more modern places, and I would eventually start staying at Motel 6 on Paul Jones Road & SPID as it simply got to point at Sand & Sea was falling apart at seams sadly. Again, I did like this place & gave it a lot of business from 1970s thru 1990s when came back down to Corpus Christi, and again, I honestly can't tell you if it became a money pit for owners (like Rock Alive did) or they didn't want to renovate it further just 'get by the codes' of City. One time we stayed there my girlfriend reached up to hanging lamp to turn it off and the lampshade disintegrated in her hand. I told the maid, she laughed, and got us another one ha ha.

Cheers to this nice little place including the neat small pool out back, the workers who kept the laundry, bed sheets, towels, clean, the maintenance workers who seemed to be fighting a losing battle, & the bartender with big hair who worked at the bar along with the piano player who made us feel really welcome when visiting Corpus Christi.

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