Sunday, June 20, 2010

Oh, Galveston!

It's Sunday night and, again, I'm sad to say goodbye to such a great weekend.

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

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.


shana said...

we went to galveston when we were down (from Minnesota) for the SMT celebration in january. glad you had a good weekend to rest and celebrate!

Kelli said...

1. This has me SO excited for my getaway with Chris to horse shoe bay. We are in desperate need of some time alone!
2. Picture of you on the balcony - stunning, I am betting you were even more beautiful to Curtis than your honeymoon.
3. I NEVER KNEW YOU TRANSPORTED WEDDING CAKE TO MAUI WITH YOU. Genius. I am kind of mad I didn't think of it myself. Although we STILL to this day talk about the breakfast buffet in Maui. So it all evens out.
4. We were so sad by Galveston's stench a few weeks ago. Hoping it leaves soon. She has such potential.

Lauren said...

"Managerial attitudes"--that really got to me, because oh my gosh, that is so my life right now. Between managing kids, house, and, okay, husband, it can be tiring. Also, I'm with you on going through periods of dramatically, desperately needing a vacation or getaway with my husband, to the point that he thinks I've gone a little crazy because I talk about it so much. Hopefully now we can do that sort of thing!

Holly said...

I had no idea there was a Schlitterbahn in Galveston. We really love that place so much--like you, we are just sentimental. Thank you for the wonderful pictures. I cannot wait to show Chris when he comes upstairs!!

And yes, like you, I found a wonderful daddy in my Chris and would never have thought to look for those qualities. Isn't God so good? I am thankful for God giving Curtis health very thankful!

You look beautiful, Amanda! And you both look refreshed. That makes my heart happy. I love you! Holly

Tara G. said...

Rejoicing with you over the break! I wish we could take more, but it seems military lifestyle doesn't always agree. BUT, this fall is our 10 yr. anniversary and we're planning on Rome since we're already on the continent- I can't wait!

Lindsee said...

P.S. As for year! ;)

Lindsee said...

What a great, great weekend! Looks and sounds amazing. And even though I know the stench of Galveston all too well since I was just there on Memorial Day, the pictures make you believe there's no such thing. So happy y'all got to get away and be refreshed! You are beautiful in these pictures, Amanda.

Bobbie said...

What a great getaway! It sounds so relaxing. Galveston was the place to go when I was in High School and in 3 weeks our class will have our 40th reunion at the Moody Gardens Hotel. I'm not sure where the years have gone, but I can't wait to see more of my old friends-oh, we're not old, just 'older'!

I'm willing to bet that your parents had a wonderful weekend with Jackson and Annabeth--stories you'll hear about soon!

Love the pictures!

Big Mama said...

So glad y'all had a great weekend! Love the pictures.

Darla said...

What a fun looked gorgeous! I cannot believe you did Schlitterbahn in 2 hours. Maybe it's b/c we took all 4 of our kids but we stayed from opening til closing. Sounds super relaxing to come back to the pool and chill!

Glad you had a good time!

fuzzytop said...

SO glad you had a fun weekend away...! You look so happy, and the photos are gorgeous.

My kids have been begging to go to Schlitterbahn (in New Braunfels) for YEARS! One day, we will have to make the trek out there. Is the one in Galveston the same???


The Barfuss Family said...

You so deserved a weekend away. Glad you had a blast! It's worth counting those points again to splurge and love every second of it. :)

Nesha said...

The weekend sounds wonderful! Happy belated Anniversary to you and Curtis.

I haven't been to Galveston in many years. We lived there for a while and I love La King's. Thanks for the pictures.

Lauren Kelly said...

Beautiful area, Amanda!!! So glad ya’ll had a wonderful time celebrating your anniversary!!! :)

Ashley McWhorter said...

What a fun time! My hubby and I are getting away in August. This post has me SO excited! :)

Amanda said...

Adrienne, the one in New Braunfels is pretty unique in my opinion. If all things were equal I think I would prefer that one. The one in Galveston was really fun but it's not very different from other water parks.

Mary said...

I love Galveston too. We grew up going there for every vacation. It doesn't matter where else we go now it's always my best vacation because of so many memories. Glad y'all had a good getaway!

{Louisiana.Bride} said...

I just love Galveston, we went a few weeks ago for our anniversary. La Kings is a must for anyone going for sure! I always get the strawberry ice cream soda. We had the same sea weed problem too, luckily the farther down Seawall we drove the better it got, it was pretty bad our first day there.

bethany said...

A weekend away-so fun!! Glad you guys were able to take a nice trip without the kids!!

Angie said...

i love being able to enjoy our hubbies like that!:) we have been enjoying our 7 yr old playing baseball all will prob be there soon!

JayCee said...

It's so much fun reading your posts!

Erin said...

So glad you were able to get away and enjoy time with the hubs.

Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

Oh, did I need to read this Amanda!

The Farmer's been asking me to book at least one night away for our anniversary and I've been saying I just don't know how to make that all happen... and you write the most inspiring post about why it really is NECESSARY to try --- life-giving to our marriages... the watering of our vows.

Thank you! And happy anniversary to you and Curtis!

(And your hair --- is beautiful! :)

Off to work out some details... and thanking Jesus for the encouragement of sisters! You bless.

All's grace,

Heather said...

Oh Galveston looks fun!! I love all the pictures and if we ever get to go I have a reference now of where to go and what to see!! You my dear friend, are a beauty!! And very, very thin and looking HOT! Glad you guys had a great anniversary weekend and were able to get away and enjoy that time!!

Spicy Magnolia said...

Totally get the "my life is wonderful but need a little distance to reclaim my sanity"!! In fact, I'm on the verge of feeling that in its full-blown force.

Looks like you all had a great weekend and I'm so glad for you. Enjoy your happy reunion with your kiddos this week and blessings, sister!

Kristen Love said...

Cake for breakfast is my favorite :-) I especially enjoy chocolate cake with a big glass of milk.

Anonymous said...

Just found your blog. I was in Galveston the weekend before Ike too, had dinner at Yagas with my husband. I was also there this weekend. (We live in Clear Lake, we go a lot. In fact, my parents bought a house there last summer.) We normally go to the beach around 25th where my parents house is but for long-and-boring reasons, we went to the beach in front of the San Luis. Apparently we live parallel lives!

Next time: Sunflower Cafe for breakfast. Shrimp N Stuff for dinner. You'll thank me later.

annalee said...

hooray for time with the husband on a getaway! beautiful pics of an obviously beautiful trip!

Emmy said...

Happy Anniversary! How fun! You all definitely deserved a little honeymoon!

You look absolutely beautiful in the pictures! (Maybe I need to go back to counting points! I saw they have a new app for that! Pretty cool!)

Marla Taviano said...

I sooo know what you mean about being blessed but needing a break. Whew. Love the pictures!! It was just like being along with you.

Manda said...

how fun!
next time before yall get to galveston you have to stop at one of my restaurants.
ya can check them out at
one is about 5 min south of the kemah boardwalk and the other is in league city off of hwy 45
and ya look great!

katiegfromtennessee said...

Hey Little Momma Amanda, such a great recap of the weekend and with pics:) It is good that Galveston is able to pick up the pieces after the hurricane and thrive again:)...your momma's posts about watching Jackson and Annabeth were sweet, you are right, they really enjoyed watching them! look great Mrs. Amanda:) Happiest (belated:) Father's Day to Curtis and Keith and Travis and all the men of LPM!

Blessings, ((HUGS)), Love in HIM,


connorcolesmom said...

I am so glad you and Curtis had such a wonderful time!
The pictures are beautiful and
You look stunning!!
My husband and I celebrated our anniversary on June 12th and my parents kept the boys
You are right there is something about having undivided attention with your husband that soothes the soul
Much love!

Allison said...

Happy Anniversary. You are making me long for Galveston.

Kirsten said...

I am so glad I came across your post! Galveston and Kemah are my old stomping grounds. My husband, Daughter and I are from there until we moved to Flroida 4 yrs ago. I miss some of our fav places like King's Confectionary..especially their salt water taffy!-- and I know exactly which Po-Boy you are talking about from Fisherman's Wharf---one of the best ever! Happy Anniversary to you and your husband!