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Boomerang's is the hidden jewel of South Padre Island, where Norman Rockwell would have a field day with the kitsch images of sailors sitting under the palapa hut bar, families playing volleyball out on the surf, Spring Breakers puking over the decks... okay, maybe not all of it is retro fantasy, but you get the picture.

Before South Padre Island became the tourist mecca that it is today, locals needed a place to eat burgers, drink beer, and take their families for a weekend getaway when life across the Queen Isabella Causeway become rough. Boomerang's was the answer. A small hotel painted Art-Deco blue reminiscent of Miami's South Beach (my father actually did most of the paint job), Boomerang's also has a weathered plywood deck overlooking the Gulf of Mexico and a beautiful lapis-lazuli colered pool where kids of various ages can be found exploring its watery depths. Despite the season, the same sight always greets me whenever I frequent the bar- the barmaid, Mona, with her nicotine-riddled face and perky smile, the kids splashing in the pool, and assorted locals/sailors talking gossip while sipping Pina Coladas. Winter is especially fun when the Snow Birds (i.e. Winter Texans) fly in from Michigan, Wisconsin, and Missouri, with their often easily-perturbed demeanor and predilection for talking about how the weather was back in 1952.

The food and drink are more than decent at Boomerang's, but that's not the reason to go there. You go there to experience a time warp and complete reversal of the attitude. Time never passes in Boomerang's. People stay the same, the place stays the same, forever hinting of the plywood rotting away and the deck collapsing, but it never does. People are always happy and laid back, and amidst the hot summer sun and the utter tranquility of the beach below, no one ever fights or complains, and I don't think there has ever been a brawl in its barriers. It is small and often overlooked, but it is beautiful. And while locals make it their haunt, tourists are welcomed, even enjoyed, because of their unique perspective on experiencing the "manana manana" style of Island life. From this bar alone devout city goers have been converted in a New York minute.

As for the exact location, Boomerang's official address is 1215 Gulf Drive, but locals know just to get on the back main road of the Island and keep on driving until you see the familiar, turquoise blue sign. If you ever go, order a margarita and tell them that Morgan le Fay (i.e. Jessica) sent you. :-)

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