Sunday, July 20, 2014

Let's Go To The Beach, Each, Let's Go Get A Wave

If you read Beachy Thoughts or Bitchy, I Mean, Beachy Thoughts, Part 2, then you know my vacation at the beach was a bit of a roller coaster ride. But when all is said and done, it was a terrific week.


1. I am exceedingly thankful for the use of my parents' minivan. We had a safe, problem-free trip, never worrying whether the latest noise coming out from under the hood was something to be concerned about or just something that needed louder music to cover it up; it purred like a kitten the entire way. It also gave us a ton more room than our Toyota would have, and we had it filled to the gills.

2. No real accidents or injuries! The first time we went to Galveston, my daughter, who was about 6, got stung on the fanny by a jellyfish about fifteen minutes after arriving at the beach. (We were sure she would never get in the water again, but after a paste of vinegar and meat tenderizer was applied, courtesy of the lifeguard, it quit hurting, and all signs of it were gone within an hour.) My son stepped on a sea urchin two years ago while on a mission trip to Puerto Rico which required a trip to the emergency room and caused him a tremendous amount of pain from the spines broken off into his foot (over 50 of them) and the infection they caused, but no sea urchins or jellyfish to be found at the beach this year. My husband did burn himself on a waffle iron at the hotel we stayed in on our way back, but his little blister isn't that impressive compared to what the kids have done to themselves previously.

Husband's sunburned foot.
Somehow, in spite of using sunscreen,
we all managed to burn the
tops of our feet.

3. The first two days at the beach were hot and sunny. The water was warm, the breeze was refreshing, and we were in beach heaven. (Again, I refer you to Bitchy, I Mean, Beachy Thoughts, Part 2, for the reason it was only the first two.)

4. We ate shrimp. Lots of shrimp. Lots of very fresh, deliciously prepared shrimp. When you live far, far inland, the shrimp is never fresh, and while it's still GOOD (it's SHRIMP, after all), it's usually rubbery and a little tough.

In Galveston, they catch it here:

Then serve it here:

Shrimp N Stuff - yum!

We ate it grilled, stuffed with crab, wrapped with bacon, and, of course, fried.

Tender and delicious - Benno's on the Beach

5. My VERYVERYVERY favorite thing to do on the island is to ride the Galveston Island Ferry. It connects a sliver of the Texas mainland to Galveston. You can drive your car onto it and ride over (did it once) OR (the best way) park on the Galveston side and walk on (which we found is much more fun). Either way, it's FREE! You can watch the big ships (you know I like big ships) work their way towards the Port of Houston and (even better) watch the dolphins frolic alongside the ship.

See those crazy people standing at the front?
Several are holding BABIES. Had to stop watching.

Ferry hair.

Dolphin! There were about
a dozen at this spot.

6. Another favorite place to visit on the island is Col. Bubbie's Surplus Center. Located in the historic Strand district, the building is probably over a hundred years old, unairconditioned (we're in Texas, remember) and stuffed floor to ceiling with military surplus. And not just U.S. military surplus, either, but surplus from just about every country you can name that ever had a military. There are uniforms dating back to WWII, Civil War bayonettes, grenades, shells, hats, boots, mess kits, and thousands more items. The very sad news is that Col. Bubbie's is closing after this summer. The real Col. Bubbie passed away about five years ago, and his wife continued to operate the business. She has decided it's time to call it quits and is liquidating everything. (If you are in the market for military surplus, go here and check it out for their online store.) We'll miss you, Col. Bubbie's.

French Foreign Legion hat. The French
have very small heads, it seems.

7. My husband and son accidentally dressed alike one night at dinner and didn't even notice it until my daughter and I pointed it out from across the table.

8. My kids shared a bed and didn't kill each other. Usually, we do the boy bed /girl bed system when we are in a hotel. I took this picture one morning when my son was still asleep (it's a double bed, which means his 6'4" frame doesn't fit on it very well). It made me think of a magician's trick gone bad. You know, when the two ladies are in boxes and cut in half, then the two halves are switched?

9. Beach sand is a wonderful exfoliant. The bottoms of my feet have never been smoother!

10. I got a butt crack picture to add to my collection!

We also had a fantastic trip home, but I'm already to #10, so you'll have to wait to find out what we did later this week. Don't forget to check back and read all about it!

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  1. Awwwwh I'm glad you had fun on the whole, in spite of all the seaweed and storms. And that no-one was hurt this time.

    I love that you saw dolphins - that's very cool. I've never seen one in real life, and would love to :)

    But over all, YAY BEACH!

    (also, I laughed quite hard reading this, because 'fanny' here is NOT what 'fanny' there is...and beLIEVE me, you would *NOT* want to get stung on the English version...OOOYAH!)

    1. The dolphins are cool! They play all around the ferry.
      Fanny doesn't mean butt?

  2. Great pics ...beach vakk sounds like a fun trip...thinking about something for next year...

    1. It was fun, even with the cold, stormy days. Because shrimp.

  3. I love the beach! Thankfully I live at the beach and have my whole life - I couldn't imagine life without sand, salt and fresh shrimp. Your ferry hair looks amazeballs. So glad you had a nice vacation with your family.

    1. We lived at the beach in California. But I froze the whole time we were there, thanks to the marine layer. That ended up being a flattering ferry hair picture. Others were not so good :)

  4. I better at least have been FRIST after all that, but I WILL NEVER KNOW until later *kicks comment moderation and sulks*

  5. Oh oh the sea urchin story! My hand literally went to my mouth and stayed there like the movies! 0uch! I'm glad he's ok and there was none of that! And your daughter didn't need someone to pee on her jellyfish sting :)
    Your husband's waffle wound sounds rough but livable, trying not to giggle as that is something I would do! It's why I don't have one and avoid using them at all costs!
    His poor lobster feet! I once sunburned part of my hand, must not have sunscreened it?? I always miss somewhere, usually my neck and back.
    Sounds like a fun week! Seagulls are food-begging assholes! The rats of the sky!

    1. My son was more than a little disappointed that the sea urchin did not scar his foot, because the spikes were blackish purple, a little darker than tattoo ink, and he thought it looked pretty awesome.
      My husband walked around all morning with his finger in a glass of ice water.
      I had a sunburn in the exact shape of the straps of my flip flop. Very strange burns, all of us.
      Seagulls are assholes who crap on you for no reason.

  6. Eek! The sea urchin story!! That's awful. I do appreciate the meat tenderizer and vinegar tip though because I always heard the best way to get rid of jellyfish sting is to pee on it....or ammonia. Whatevs.

    That pic of your daughter and son is fuh-reaky!
    Why do you collect butt crack pics??
    I'm glad you had a nice vacation despite some ups and downs. I need to go now and read the other posts that are sitting in my feed (always behind!) so I can compare your vacation to mine.

    Oh! Almost forgot!! Fresh shrimp...THE BEST!!

    1. We take meat tenderizer and vinegar to the beach with us after that first incident. Make a paste out of equal parts, just in the palm of your hand, and apply it. By the time it was dried and fell off, the welts were gone. Do you remember the Friends episode when Joey, Monica and Chandler are at the beach and Monica gets stung?
      I love that pic of my kids! He was dead to the world and didn't even know I took his picture.
      I never set out to collect butt crack pictures; they just evolved.
      I sort of feel cheated out of two days of vacation, but it was still fun. Mostly. A little.
      I thought I'd overdosed on the fresh shrimp, but now I feel as though I didn't eat quite enough.

  7. I'm glad that overall, the trip was a success. Shrimp--yum! I can't believe that the ferry is free. I mean, I don't think you are lying, but what a bargain!

    1. Overall, definitely a success! The shrimp was delish. And the ferry is FREEEEEE, because it is part of the highway system and is the only way to get from Bolivar peninsula to Galveston and then to Houston. Otherwise, the people who live in that area would have to drive 100 miles to get to Houston. This way, it's a ferry ride and then 30 miles. You can ride it over and over and over, if your family will let you (and they usually won't).

  8. nice vacation! (I say this because I don't believe I remember the last 'real' go-away-and-sleep-in-strange-beds-vacation I took!)
    Actually Phyllis and I were just talking about actually taking a week at the shore next summer… will have to re-read all your vcay posts to see if there is something I am missing.

  9. Looks like you had a wonderful vacation. I like the ferry hair :)

    1. I have a never-to-be-published version of ferry hair that would scare you.

  10. At least you only got seagull-crap-bombed once...unlike my poor Grandmother. :(

  11. Sounds like a pretty good trip overall, especially the great stories that you get to add to an already fantastic collection. Those are some winners!

    1. Oh, Lisa, wouldn't it be sad if NOTHING happened worth blogging about? :)

  12. You had me at beach. It sounds like you had a wonderful vacation. Your ferry hair rocked; no one got hurt; shrimp; and lots of good time with family.

    My countdown to holidays has begun! I hope mine is as lovely as this! - Louise

    1. It was very good, in spite of the crappy parts. That was a VERY flattering ferry hair shot. I discarded about 20 others before I got that one! Shrimp is ALWAYS good; fresh, caught that day shrimp is the BEST.
      I hope you have a wonderful holiday and have stories to tell about it!

  13. The Beach!!!!!!!! My favorite place on earth. And do you know how many times I've tried to get a photo of a dolphin. All I ever get is a little tiny black triangle in the waves that you can barely see. I know it's going to be a great day when I see dolphins offshore.

    1. Dolphins are quick little devils, aren't they? Most of my pictures were just a little triangle, too. It's so cute how they play alongside the ferries. They KNOW people are watching them.