Monday, August 30, 2010

The Eve of the End - aka Wednesday in Galveston

Our final day in Galveston was really one of rest and recovery as we had totally worn our little selves out the day before. Between Schlitterbahn, fabulous seafood and the sugar high (and subsequent crash) to end all sugar highs, we were zapped, my friends.

Which is why we just hung out at the beach and played in the sand...


It was really odd that day because the tide had been relatively high and the surf pretty rough the entire time we had been there so we thought it would continue since what they initially thought would turn into Tropical Storm Danielle (but weakened) was out in the Gulf. What was strange, though, was that the water was completely flat. Not a wave in sight. Surreal would be a good word.

Hot would be another. No sea breeze makes Casi a sweaty girl....

But this little one was still super excited :-)


After hanging out at the beach for a while, we did some souvenir shopping. Or at least one of us did. Remember how I told y'all the other day that I only like to shop when I know what I want and can get in and out? Well, my girl did not inherit that gene.

She waffles back and forth, checks out every single item, changes her mind frequently and NEVER ends up with what we initially intended when entering the building.

This was no exception.

But she did end up with a super cool hat.


And a very cute t-shirt, a blue oyster shell and another shell that had been airbrushed with "Galveston Island." Each of these items have a designated area in her room. And probably will until our next vacation.

We hung out at the condo during the afternoon and early evening. Apparently Tay did a bit of artistic picture snapping while I was packing....


After hot dogs and hamburgers for dinner, she and Davey took Bo for a last walk on the seawall. He had been a HUGE hit all week. Everyone in the condo building, on the beach and the seawall loved him. They would pet him and oohhh and aahhh over him, which he LOVES.


But Bo was clearly ready to head home soon as well because as I watched them from the balcony, I saw him get in trouble. When I asked what happened upon their return, Dave said he growled at someone. That's really not his personality so we figured he was ready to see his sisters...


Honestly, my vacation prayer is always the same. That we would enjoy every single second, taking it in to the fullest and not looking forward to the next day. AND that when it's time to come home, 
we'll all be ready.

And the Lord hasn't let me down on that one yet. That's just how He is :-)

Friday, August 27, 2010

We Survived...Barely

The first week of fifth grade....


....was tiring - the bus comes EARLY, y'all!!!

....was rather anticlimactic, to be honest. My girl is apparently so grown up now that she even takes new schools that give her a huge amount of independence in stride. That sound you hear is my heart cracking.

....was BUSY - between my workouts, Tay's volleyball tryouts, the kickoff of fall activities at church and general every day stuff, we DID. NOT. STOP.

....has convinced me that riding said early bird bus will be a huge blessing because I'm able to get dressed in peace after seeing the girl off. No arguing, no fighting - hallelujah!

....found my girl exhausted last evening, which caused her to make some bad decisions with words, so she went to bed very early. It seemed to help, though, as she was bright-eyed this morning.

....had a bit of excitement as a huge storm came through on Tuesday, which caused the youngest member of the Puppy Posse (who is deathly afraid of bad weather) to freak out and want her safe place (under our bed). Unfortunately, I'd closed the door to keep them contained in one place so she tried to DIG UNDER THE CARPET. We'll be spending Labor Day weekend laying tile, friends. Oh, yes, we will.

....brought about unexpected joy as my child asked for a hot pink and black zebra striped birthday party. The angels sang, y'all, and I'm now in full on party mode. There are to-do lists and a menu and a list of decorations. It's a little slice of heaven.

....contained a big decision as the girl now knows what she would like to be for Halloween. In looking for an Alice in Wonderland costume, I'm now on a new soapbox - WHY IN THE WORLD DO HALLOWEEN COSTUMES NEED TO BE "SEXY"? She's 10!!!!

....ushered in a new era. One we're all enjoying and taking in stride for the moment. That will last approximately one more week, in my estimation, as we have purchased both high school and Baylor season tickets for football. Once we're spending every weekend at the field when it's still 98+ degrees, I will probably be over the whole "back to school" thing. But, for now, we're cool!

How about you?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Say Hello to the Harbor

After our fun day at Schlitterbahn, we were both tired and hungry (how does water always do that?) so we headed down to the harbor for some super yummy seafood at Fisherman's Wharf. I'd not been to the restaurant before but OH MY WORD, y'all, it was simply amazing.

We had crab queso (yes, you read that correctly) for an appetizer and the girl got her signature main dish (fried shrimp) while Dave and I split some sort of platter that had fried catfish, shrimp, crab cakes, shrimp kisses (wrapped in bacon with jalapeno jack cheese) and oysters. A-MAZ-ING!


You can see the Elissa out the windows of the restaurant and, while Dave was paying (no, it wasn't the only reason we allowed him to come :-), Tay and I headed out to the dock for a closer look. And a photo...obviously...


Then we decided to head down to The Strand again and, no, it wasn't to go shopping. Believe it or not, I'm actually not a girl who really enjoys the process of browsing. I'm too Type A for that particular activity, I believe, as I have a list and know what I want whenever heading to the shops. I mark it off the list (sweet joy!) and then move on.

Well that was a random side note...you're welcome :-)

Anyway, we were headed to La King's Confectionery. I'd heard from some other bloggers that it was a must see/taste and they were oh so right. Take a look...


It was all handmade, y'all and was absolutely amazing. The girl had strawberries and cream ice cream while I enjoyed the peanut butter chip. However, had I know that a little further down there was a sundae/banana split station we totally would have shared one of those sweet pieces of nectar fallen from heaven.

Next time, I suppose...

And, because it just struck me as amusing, I laughed out loud when I saw this...


It is, perhaps, the only candy store in which you will happily pay $2 extra to withdraw funds from an ATM instead of going without. I certainly would have :-)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Schlitterbahn!!!

Now that school is in session and the mandatory first day pics have been posted, let's continue on our vacation journey. While I'm under no illusion that y'all are hanging on to every detail of our trip, I also can't seem to find time for scrapbooking these days so the ol' blog is doing double duty. :-)

On Tuesday of our stay in Galveston, we headed to what is apparently Mecca for a 'tween girl named Taylor - Schlitterbahn!

Now, our family actually really likes waterparks and, in fact, any type of amusement park or attraction for that matter. However, I just have to share that my parents are sort of not Schlitterbahn fans. We went there ONCE, y'all, and it happened to be Girl Scout weekend. Our tubes were stolen, my stepdad ended up in the first aid station and my other dubbed it "the theme park built by Satan."

Well, that was a random memory but I always find it funny and think it when I'm zooming down slides and praying my swimsuit will make it back to an appropriate position before the ride comes to an end...

We got there as the gates opened and headed straight for the area we'd marked off on our trusty park map the night before. The Type A apple clearly doesn't fall far from the tree.

This was our view...


That sounds nice, doesn't it? The fact is that we spent the entire time playing HARD so we didn't spend much time there but it made my man feel better to know that we were set should we decide to relax for a bit.


The great thing about this day was that it was not crowded at all so we rode slides and water coasters and lazy/roaring/white water rivers to our hearts' content.


One really cool thing is that each of the river around the separate sections here connect to each other. One is truly a lazy river, one is white water rapids and the final one has giant waves like the one in New Braunfels. SO. MUCH. FUN!

You know, except for that one time when Dave went one way and let the child go the other and I got really irritated. Thank you, Lord, that I saw the girl :-)


Our first ride was the swirly green slide and it was fast and furious. In fact, I sort of had a hard time breathing in there. It was awesome in hindsight, though, as are most experiences of that type.


You'll notice that there are no photos of me in my polka dot swimsuit and I just want to make it clear that is not an oversight. If you actually thought you might get a glimpse of that, you've either a) not been reading here long b) are under the weather and have a bit of a fever or c) have lost you sweet little mind.


Tay and I tackled this giant white free fall and, while it was not life changing, I can assure you it was bathing suit altering. I went down first and the girl finally decided to come down a few minutes later. She had a few moments of indecision at the top but not wanting to walk all the way back down pushed her over the edge. Literally.

The funny thing is that both of us had the exact same thought right as we fell over the edge. Something along the lines of, "What did I get myself into? Why did I do this? Will I survive?"


After a few more coasters and some tube slides that she and Davey deemed their favorite part of the day, we decided it might be nice to have a snack.


After snacking and becoming a bit more water logged, we decided to head back to the condo for a bit of rest but not before photographing some of the more unique findings at the park.


Look below and you'll see how high the water rose in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. Honestly, I was amazed at the boarded up condos and hotels, slabs of concrete where buildings used to be and businesses that still aren't up and running again. So sad, y'all...


We had to head down Seawall a bit further before hitting the condo, though, because there was a beach necessity we had not yet enjoyed.


The largest snow cones you've ever seen!!!


They were delightful. I could have done without my lips and tongue being blue for the next 36 hours (perhaps it was the sea air?) but, hey, you can't win 'em all.


We, of course, returned and I'll have you know that my man even left our cooler while we took our nap because he really didn't want to lose his spot. Davey don't play, friends.



We hit the river trilogy a few more times, cruised down the tube slides yet again and then decided to head back about an hour before the park closed. Why, you ask? Because we had a fun evening in store that included a large ship, something called shrimp kisses and a visit to a King. 

That little adventure needs its own post, though :-)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A New Era

Someone we know and love has begun a new era in her sweet little life. She's now a fifth grader (school began yesterday!) and is attending the intermediate school. 

Be still my heart.

After informing me that we needed to curl her hair with the bathroom door closed so she didn't "give Davey any material to work with - he'd have a field day with me in rollers," we set about the beauty routine in secret.


I'll have you know that Sunday was the first time EVER that she let me curl her hair. It made my heart sing, y'all, until I asked if she wanted me to add a little height in a certain area and I was told, "NO, that's exactly what I don't want, thankyouverymuch."

Oh well, baby steps, right?


She also walked into the kitchen, dropped her very heavy backpack (filled with mandatory supplies, I'll have you know) on the floor and asked me if I'd somehow missed all the commercials on television about not overloading your kids packs.

What can I say? There's never a dull moment...


After picking her up from the new after school place, she told me that school would have been good if she was the school type. But she's not so it was just ok.

Wow - I'm thinking there may be a long year ahead...


But I wouldn't trade it for the world. This morning she rode the bus for the first time. I may or may have not initially put her on the wrong bus but I blame it completely on the fact that two different buses come to the same stop at the same time but have differing destinations.

And if she asks if it was MY flash that captured the first bus moment, let's all just say "absolutely not, Taylor." 

OK? :-)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Space Center Houston - A Photo Essay