Sunday, May 17, 2009

Galveston: May 13

Events of Wednesday, May 13

Location: Galveston

Another beautiful day in Galveston. This morning we wake up juuuuuust right....the A/C temperature is finally right on, and sleep is good. Today, our plan is to work a half-day and then take a break and do some sightseeing - or relaxing - whatever sounds good. This is not unusual to do on a VIM trip - the constant heat & humidity at the work site can be very draining - and besides - we need to "invest" in the local economy, right?!

So, we get to work - today, we will be installing the Pergo floor in the kitchen. This is a little more tricky, as there are numerous corners, turns, and what-have-yous that we have to cut around. Not easy.

At one point, we somehow get ourselves boxed up in a corner. Or, as I like to say, "How many Methodists can you put in one foot of floor space?"

We have the Ipod cranked up on the speakers, and then Judy's song, "Hey Jude" comes on - and she is dancing in the streets. (Not really - she's dancing in the kitchen. Close enough.)

About lunch time, it's time to quit work for the day. Don & Judy head downtown to the Strand area for some antique shopping. The rest of us head to McAllister's Deli for a quick bite of lunch, and then it's off to the beach.

Now, all week, there's been a red flag warning at the beach - the waves are very high, and very strong. Today, however, we notice an additional flag besides the red flag: an orange triangle. What does that mean? We look at each other - shrug - and then go lay our towels down. Oh well - we'll figure it out later...can't be bad, right?

The sky is somewhat overcast, which is okay - we can deal with that. But...what is hard to deal with is the constant sandstorm that is blowing across the beach. And I do mean CONSTANTLY. Sand is getting in our eyes, it is getting in our mouths when we try to speak - and it gets in my camera, messing up the mechanisms. What the heck??!! This is really annoying....does it always do this in Galveston?! At one point, we all get up and go into the ocean to catch the waves; when we come back, our towels are all but buried in the sand - due to the sandstorm still blowing.

It is only THEN that Anne and Gina decide to walk down to the lifeguard station and see what the "orange triangle" means...guess what? It means that either the air or water is "hazardous".... Who knew?! In our case, we were betting on the air quality being hazardous that day - thanks to feeling like we're in a desert sandstorm all afternoon blowing on us! Next time, we'll know. A little late today.

Around 4:00 pm, we're parched - thanks to all of the sand that we've now ingested - and walk across the street to Landry's Steakhouse - who just coincidentally has a bar along Seawall Blvd and it is just coincidentally the beginning of Happy Hour. (Hey - we're allowed - we're not working today!) All I have to say about this afternoon is that, dang - those apple martinis were HUGE! They really DO do everything bigger in Texas! They even have a sign in downtown Galveston that is a tribute to HUGE martinis. (!)

They were also very, very delicious. And strong.

After a few rounds (I lost count) of drinks, and one marriage proposal by a patron in the bar (I had to say no), we walk back to the car - and I take a self-portrait along the beach for posterity's sake. And I have to say - I look pretty good, all things considered. Hey - I'm still standing...which is a good thing.

For dinner that night, we meet up with Johnny, Christina and DeeDee at the Saltgrass Steakhouse. Dinner was very, very good. A photo of Christina and Johnny:

And a photo of DeeDee and me (taken by me!):

Friday is Don's birthday, but we surprise him tonight with a cake and candle and sing to him. I don't know if he's happy or embarrassed or both:

I am glad that the group has had an opportunity to meet some of the "local" Galvestonians - and hear their story. It also gives the group a chance to ask questions - and they sure did! After dinner, it was time to say goodbye to the Rodriguez family and head back home - for bed. Tomorrow is another working day.


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