A couple of weeks ago I got a little desperate for a getaway with my husband. I was feeling a little dramatic and like I could not carry on if I did not get a break. My life is wonderful but at that time I needed a little distance from it to reclaim my sanity. Perhaps you've been there before. Luckily, we had a free weekend on the calendar, a very loving set of grandparents who acted like it was their greatest pleasure in life to keep our kids, and an island an hour away just begging for us to visit.
On Friday morning we got everyone packed and took the kids to my parents' house. My mom still had the birthday cake I'd given her, so we took a couple of pieces to go. It was the same flavor as my wedding cake (almond with amaretto icing), which is our family's absolute favorite. Since we were celebrating our anniversary it was very fitting. (I'm sure I've told you before that I took a bunch of our wedding cake with us to Maui and we ate it for breakfast every morning.)
We said happy goodbyes and "I'll miss you! But it'll be a happy miss!" I learned that line from my mother and father. Then we set our sights on Galveston Island and made the 90 minute journey to the ocean.
We were still a little bit tense from packing, not to mention all the shenanigans that we've experienced lately, and I hoped there was enough time in the weekend to shake it off and enjoy ourselves. Bit by bit the managerial attitudes fell away and we found ourselves again. Curtis started to make jokes. I was less controlling. He enjoyed eating for the first time since his surgery. I focused on him. We laughed a lot. It felt good. Date nights are great but it's hard to achieve something like this in a couple of hours.
Our island arrival coincided with lunchtime. We went straight to Pier 21 and had lunch at Fisherman's Wharf. I had a shrimp po-boy that changed my life. I wanted to take a picture of it but I sensed that my husband was not on board with that. So here's what I have.
Fisherman's Wharf from the back
The Elissa. We were too cheap to buy tickets to board it.
Next we walked across the street to The Strand. We went in the Army surplus store, which Curtis loved. Our most important stop was La King's Confectionery. It's a really special place and if you're familiar with it I'm sure you agree. We'd been to the island a week before Hurricane Ike hit, which made the storm's damage a lot harder for me to swallow. When we visited Galveston last Fourth of July La King's was still closed. Actually, I think most of The Strand was still closed at that point.
I was in a celebratory mood and partook of some apple pie ice cream. This was the server's interpretation of "just a little bit." I regretted that ice cream cone all weekend, due to my body's hatred for milk. It was fun for the 4 minutes that it lasted.
You cannot believe how fast this stuff melted once we walked outside.
My other favorite place on The Strand was The Waterwall Cafe. I was trying to explain to Curtis that it wasn't because of how good the food was, but because it held so many memories. Last summer we were sad to see that it was closed and the space was up for lease. The good news is that it has been made into something new. The bad news is that it's a wine bar and I'm pretty sure I can't take my kids there for hamburgers.
By this time we were wilting in the heat and 80% humidity, so we headed to the San Luis hotel. Our room was awesome and we had a great view of the ocean and of the pool.
The view to the west.
And the view to the east.
We spent a couple of hours in and by the pool. Curtis took a nap on the lounge chair and woke up a new man. We had dinner that night at Tortuga's (Baja Mexican food) and then we drove all the way to the western tip of the island. I think it's so fun to look at all the different beach houses.
Galveston gets a lot of flack for lacking in beauty and cleanliness. What's so sad is that I had never seen it more beautiful than the week before Ike. I want the island to live well and prosper but it's times like these when you know why people say the things they do. The beach was inundated with sea weed and where there were piles of it, it stunk to high heaven. It was so powerful we could smell it from inside our car. Bless Galveston's heart - it isn't her fault but it is her problem. Hopefully the sea weed will go away soon.
I wasn't feeling very brave about the beach, so we decided to spend the next day at Schlitterbahn water park. It was so much fun! I didn't take my camera and that's a total bummer because it was my favorite part. We got there when it opened at 10 and left at noon as it was getting more crowded. We did everything we wanted to do at least once. I think my favorite thing was just floating in the river with the rapids. That's what I love about the original Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels, but I haven't been there in years.
After that, we went back to our hotel and crossed the sea wall to survey the beach below. We got brave and decided to get in the water. After a few minutes of squealing every time the sea weed touched me, I became one with the ocean and turned into a mermaid. Not really, but we had fun in the waves and even got knocked down a couple of times. Oh, I forgot to mention that
something is very wrong with my husband because he fell out of his tube at the water park at least ten times. Me? Zero times.
We realized we needed to eat, so we went back to our hotel and shared a burger and chips and guacamole by the pool. The guacamole was so very amazing. It is one of the many reasons I stocked up on Lean Cuisines tonight and will be counting WW points for the next week. After swimming in the pool a little longer, we went back to our room to get cleaned up. I took a nice little nap and then had to wrangle my dumb hair into submission. My hair and sea air are arch enemies.
For dinner we had pizza at a restaurant called Mario's. I got a little peeved that they sat us in between two large tables with lots of little kids. But we ended up enjoying them and missing our own! Next we found a little movie theater and saw a movie. The sun had sapped all my energy and I was primed for the earliest bed time ever.
We had to be back in town for Curt to teach Sunday school, so the alarm clock went off early this morning. It was a little weird to wake up on Father's Day and not have our kids with us. After church we had lunch at Goode Company Seafood with my parents, grandparents, and Aunt Tina's family. It was great to be back with the kids. Annabeth was looking adorable and she was in a very toddlery mood. I just have to laugh when she gets like that. It's like she has surges of aggression that she doesn't know what to do with.
The kids have both talked incessantly about my parents. I know they had a great time with them and were very well taken care of. I'm so grateful for their willingness to keep them.
Finally, happy Father's Day to my Pappaw, my sweet Daddy, and my wonderful husband! I had absolutely no idea what qualities I should look for in a guy that would turn into a good father. Even if I had, I'm not sure I would have prioritized it. There are times when I watch Curtis interacting with the kids that I just stand there in awe. He's such a great dad. Jackson and Annabeth are so very blessed. Also, happy 57th anniversary to Memaw and Pappaw. I'm thankful for their example of love and faithfulness in the midst of literally every high and low this life has to offer.