it still took us until 7pm to hit the roadways to galveston, which was fine because that put us just one hour away from oliver's bedtime. and, miraculously, he did sleep the entire four and a half hour way. he slept through my reading of the first 20 pages of the basic eight and countless singalongs to our favorite soft rock hits.
he didn't sleep in because the sun was rising straight into his eyes friday morning, which means we were all up. or awake, at least. somewhere in there, i took two photos with the fancy digital camera brian bought for us christmas past. i aimed it out the window at the grass next door to the hotel next to seawall blvd next to the gulf of mexico. one landscape, one portrait. i contemplated how much smarter the portrait view would be. then there was the fog. did i place it back in the little, red suitcase being used to hold our electronic devices? did i wrap it in a diaper and place it in our beach bag after expressing my concern to brian about sand getting in it? my gut feeling is that i left it in the room because i later kept thinking what a shame we didn't have the still camera and we rifled through that bag 102 times without seeing it and how on earth could it have just fallen out of a gigantic bag like that?
THE CLEANING CREW IGNORED OUR DO NOT DISTURB SIGN, CAME INTO OUR ROOM, AND STOLE IT!
it's the only logical answer. stealing a camera with oodles of baby photos on it is just about as bad as tailgating a car with a baby in the backseat.
anyhow, it took us the usual fifteen ages to get out the door and it didn't help that brian waited until that morning to have me help him
first, we went to wal-mart because brian wanted some beers. in the 10 minutes we spent there, we saw two people who were so obese, they required the assistance of Little Rascals in order to be highly mobile. i also found a pile of 74-cent avocados which made me fear i might become weak during my unemployment and begin scavenging the produce aisles at our local wal-mart. fortunately, i don't think they're really allowed to build those things inside the loop here. as we wandered hopefully down the beer aisle, i spotted the only thing that could possibly sound worse than the combination of clam and tomato juices otherwise known as clamato and that would be the combination of clam and tomato juices otherwise known as clamato combined with a can of beer.
*as you might have guessed, we did not personally take that photo as our camera was in the process of being stolen.
omg! wikipedia just told me that this has mad-capped creation has existed since the 1940s and has a name: cerveza preparada. i think i'm starting to agree with rick perry's idea to build a wall along the texas-mexico border. we don't need those kinds of shandy-makers around these parts.
the official activity on the schedule was stewart beach so that we could foil any attempts by the weather to rain us out of beach time. it was hotter than that tamale sauce i made from a mix awhile back that no amount of diluting would tame, making me christen it "fire sauce". well, maybe not quite that hot. but it was hot. and galveston is lined with lovely brown sand (dirt) beaches which are much hotter than the lovely white sand beaches which line florida. we got scared that we were going to burn our feet and i was additionally scared i was going to step on jellyfish tentacles or crabs or pop tops from the 70s, so we went by this beach shop called something akin to dolphin island or turtle cove or sting ray heaven and we took turns going inside while oliver napped in his britax. brian came out with some respectable water shoes.
then it was my turn. i had the double task of finding baby and lady shoes. it took me a heaping long time, but i found some shoes for oliver that were only modestly too big and weren't pink or purple. then i was informed there were no lady water shoes available and i was left to walk up and down and up and down this wall of the worst looking, sequined, flowered sandals ever created by god and corona. i finally selected a dainty pair of cornflower blue flip flops each sporting a pink crocheted flower on the strap with a valuable diamelle in the center. i was finally a lady indeed. i also managed to pick up this mud brown panama jack bucket hat which, i learned later, made me look like a hobo granny. thanks for not letting me know, brian. on the plus side, it seems to have kept my charming chloasma in check. which was the point anyway.
we were finally off to the beach! except that we needed to stop by the gas station for gas. so i went in and peed and then accidentally purchased a four pack of nutter butter peanut butter cookies because they are a required beach food in my family and they were purchased from a chubby-ish, latino-ish gay man with french tips who called me sweetie. i had stars in my eyes.
we were finally off to the beach! we walked for what felt like an eternity over the hot sands which were spilling into my flip flops until we reached the umbrella purveyor. we got our rig rented, stripped oliver, and put him in his lobster pants with non-coordinating water shoes. he loved the ocean right away until the tiniest ripple knocked him backwards and then the next tiniest ripple knocked him forwards. he was done. i put him on my hip and jumped over a handful of tiny waves and set him back down. i did the old help-him-jump-over-the-waves bit and he was sold on the ocean forever and ever until next year when he's forgotten all about it and learned to be frightened of things in the meantime.
but on that day, you could not set him on the sand without him making a beeline straight for the silty waters. and once you caught up with him and were in the waters, you couldn't keep him from marching out deeper and deeper. it wore me out.
and thank goodness for water shoes since i found a piece of beer bottle glass and the entire neck from a bottle of wine.
i nursed him twice right there on the beach under our rented umbrella and on top of our rented chair because there's no easier time to nurse a baby than when you're wearing a bikini top and i was praying he would nap so that i could nap on the beach in the super pleasant breeze. but he didn't. and all kinds of people walked by with their toddlers wondering if that old hobo lady in the bucket hat was really trying to nurse that kid. and their toddlers were like "damn! she is nursing that kid hey mama where's my good stuff?" and the moms were all "nursing a toddler? that's foul!" and oliver was all happy and filled with essential nutrients. brian drank beer on the no-beer-allowed beach on the sly and was all happy.
stewart beach was fine and well, but we'll use one of the narrower, freer beaches next time. the playground on the SB was a thousand degrees and couldn't be used anyway and i didn't even see the so-called Human Maze i read about online.
after tiring of the beach, we removed our novelty shoes and drove across the street to saxby's coffee's drive thru and ordered two coffees (iced!) and a cookie (of course!). when we pulled up to the window, the stoner inside asked us for our order. we were confused. then another stoner walked up to the window with our order. then he charged us for a cookie. then he gave us another charge for our two coffees. then we drove away and saw we had no cookie. then we drove thru again and one of the stoners gave us two cookies for our trouble. and i ate both of them minus a couple of bites because bikini time was over. and i'm an incurable cookie whore.
we drove and drove around galveston while oliver napped. if you've never been to galveston, you should consider stopping through on your way to ... the open ocean, i guess. the majority of it was built around the turn of last century and was partially destroyed by a hurricane in some old year like 1906. but it's still ridiculously gorgeous and quaint and jaw-dropping, even in the places where so many of the gingerbread houses are deteriorating into piles of dust, like in Renaissance Zone, which appears to be the projects. i so much want to photograph people in front of their homes there. all of the homes. the rich, the poor, the homeless even.
on the way back to the lovely and quaint La Quinta, we accidentally overshot and ended up driving by this tiny, abandoned water park which consisted of this hill set back from the seawall (which was built after the hurricane of '06) and had a couple of slides set into it. we so very much wanted to go back and photograph it, but you know... our camera was STOLEN. but i nearly died three times i was so enchanted. and i felt like maybe i had been there, but a phone call to my mother said i hadn't. then i remembered i recently discovered my mother's memory is insane. so maybe.
we bathed daddy and baby because they were dirty, but mommy smelled quite nice and looked dashing after five minute's work. it was at this point that brian discovered he had packed no underpants much like that time i packed no underpants for my trip home for easter and went to church in underpants i had barely handwashed in the sink and dried with a hair dryer. rather than wear his "dirty" pair (and i use the term loosely because it's not like he has a stinky cooter and i think it's safe to say he's probably pretty methodical when it comes to cleaning his bottom cooter), he went without and sullied his jeans instead.
we went to mario's ristorante and each ordered small veggie pizzas: one with cheese and one without. and they had literal mounds of vegetables all over them: cauliflower, broccoli, artichoke hearts, mushroom. boy howdy! i pretended i was challenging brian to a pizza eating contest, but i really just wanted a good reason to finish my entire pizza and still seem like a lady and since i was no longer wearing my lady shoes, a pizza eating contest would have to do. and i won. i left a few bones behind not because i couldn't eat them, but in order to seem like i couldn't eat them.
afterward, we were driving around looking for a bar to visit when brian realized he was about to literally shit his pants (since he neglected to wear dirty underpants and all). so he went and shit in a wendy's and didn't even buy anything! then, in one swell foop, he almost hit a truck and a bicyclist and was all "do you want to drive?"
we illegally parked at a ramada and crossed over to the balinese room bar which is a on a super long pier, the back part of which used to be some fancy art deco ballroom. there was a bar tender girl and two young parents on a night out inside. they were all over oliver and at some point, i asked if they had children despite the fact they had already pointed out their baby was with the grandparents. so i did that head slap thing where i mention that i've become a huge retard since having a child around and it was about exactly two seconds after that that i noticed i was wearing two completely different shoes: my usual black flip flop and one lady flip flop with ridiculous diamelle flower still attached. then about exactly two seconds after that, everyone else magically noticed my shoes didn't match and it was big laughs all around with the tab paid by beth. brian insisted endlessly that he was going to take a photo of my two different shoes, but our camera was STOLEN.
we took our beers and the baby out to the walkway that went for a million miles out toward the ocean and followed him back and forth and back and forth worrying that he would pitch head first into the ocean through one of the spots where pieces of wood were missing from the ancient rail until all of our beer had been swallowed.
by the time we got back to the hotel and got the baby in bed, we decided to just crash as well and not have beer and game time out on the balcony.
wow. that seems like a lot more than just one part.