Family

…and no pictures!

That’s how I like to write post titles now, as if the reader has caught me at the end of a sentence. …start talking that way too? ANYhow, we’re back, the man and moi, from Texas. Where I took only one photograph, of the United terminal at IAH. I not only forgot my camera, we were in such a hurry for those four days that there wasn’t much on my mind other than our objectives.

The day before we left Badger was carted to the “Spa” while Bree and Daisy went to the Vet to stay in a “luxury suite”. Too bad for them; we saw it. Mike said it reminded him of a prison cell. Daisy had just undergone oral surgery and since both she and Bree are elderly, the vet seemed the logical, if costly choice. (No worries; everyone has been fetched and at last the pack is complete.)

‘Oh, it’s a big pretty white plane with red stripes, curtains at the windows, wheels, and it just looks like a big Tylenol.’

We flew First class. Yep, Florida crackers go big! When booking I saw that the prices for the First class seats were only $200 different from Business class and of course Mike suggested we go for it. Bucket List item achieved. The differences: We didn’t have to wait a half hour in line with the masses to check our suitcase, just rolled right up to a kiosk and someone helped us immediately. This is where I started to become impressed. Our checked bag was first on and first off and sported a pepper red label marked “Priority”. Nice, right? Also, the walking nightmare (TSA) was a dream, as we again skirted the quivering mob of commoners and walked right through. If you think I’m exaggerating, you haven’t traveled lately. The seats were slightly larger, but my butt still ached thirty minutes in. The food was lovely, though I didn’t eat. I actually didn’t eat while there except for two Kind bars and a small mahi mahi.

The first day we hung with Mike’s sister Deb (one of my best friends). The next morning we rose semi-early for the drive to Galveston to meet my biological father. The man – at 86 – is busier than a centipede at a toe counting contest! Among his numerous other endeavors, he is in charge of the crews who work on the restoration of the vessels at Seawolf Park. The USS Cavalla, an old diesel sub, and an Edsall class Destroyer Escort, the USS Stewart. An all volunteer force, they meet twice a year. He’s not the only Master Chief in attendance, but everyone defers to Mac, in pretty much everything.

We went to dinner at Gaido’s that evening and spent the night at Harbor House, where the myopic managers are apparently too busy to check and see if the rooms are being cleaned – thoroughly. Yeah, I’ve got this thing about mold… and dust. A little dust is understandable, but if it looks as though something hasn’t been touched since the hotel was constructed… no. I wanted to start cleaning, but was exhausted from both meeting my dad and crawling all over the ship.

The next day we went back to the Stewart to visit with Mac, but left in time to return to Houston so I could surprise Anthony (another best friend) on his birthday. One of my favorite moments from the trip!

On the way in – actually, running north on 610 Loop in pouring rain – the driver’s side window wiper blade flew off. Such fun! If I hadn’t had Mike with me to provide some guidance? Whew. At one point I’d made it off onto the feeder and Mike wanted me to get back on 249… I said “Honey, there are just a few times when Texans need to use the feeder road. One is if you’re drunk. Another is if you have a flat. And one is if your damned wiper blade just blew off in the pouring rain!”. We stayed on the feeder.

The next morning we boarded the plane for home. It was a short visit, but memorable… and overwhelming… and an entire dictionary full of adjectives, sorry. The thing was so quick I almost haven’t processed the fact that I sat talking in a room with my DAD!

Wow.

Florida

Two Things

We hit the beach again yesterday. Cloudy days are the best… next to evenings.

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He looked for buried treasure and I walked up and down glancing at snowbirds. Every other license plate in the parking lot said Québec.

Here are two things that drive me crazy:

  1. People sitting nearly at the water’s edge of one of the most beautiful beaches in the world… playing games on their cellphones. REALLY?
  2. Tourists wearing shoes (flip-flops are shoes) walking on the beach. Down near the surf, where the sand is packed well enough to walk without looking like you’re falling. Sure, we all do that. The sand and the water… they’re for digging your toes into. They’re really good for buffing the callouses off your feet and let’s not discount the pure sensory pleasure of it… If you don’t want to feel that, just go to DisneyWorld and be done with it.