So I’m catching up again. Sue me if you dare.
On second thought, don’t sue me. We can work this out together.
Now then, this morning we woke up at our abandoned hotel (see yesterday’s post) and the kids were already exhibiting signs of both antsiness and anticipation. That is, they were eager to get out of this place and to reach the beach.
A note on that last word… My daughter has been spending a good deal of time in the presence of my mother-in-law, a woman who has lived her entire life in the general vicinity of Dallas. As a result, although my son and I pronounce things correctly (as do all people from New Jersey), my daughter? Well, not so much. Sonny Boy and I pronounce the color of the Golden Gate Bridge as /ahr-enge/. We drink /wahw-der/. We speak of Christina Aguilera’s music as /hahr-a-bul/. Baby Girl? Well, let’s just say she has a knack for adding syllables that simply are not there. “Daddy, can you make me a sandwich?” “Sure, sweetheart,” I will reply. “What would you like?” “I want /che-eee-ah-zzz/.” What the hell? I know, right? So when asked this morning if she was excited she replied “Daddy, I can’t wait to get to the /bee-ach/.”
But there were a few more stops. You see, part of our early drive down here included the fact that we’d be stuffing our minivan to the gills with all the groceries for this house for the week. Food, sundries, household staples, cleaning supplies, liquor… You name it; we’d be picking it up. So after a quick stop at yet another McDonald’s (Sonny Boy has got to change up his diet) that was adjacent to NASA, we headed south to… Well, wait, I have to mention this one. Inside the children’s play area at this particular McDonald’s was a space-themed mural depicting Grimace, the Fry Guy, The Hamburglar, and the crew of the Challenger. Just think about that. I hear it was supposed to be some kind of tribute.
Where were we? Yes! Oh shut up, you didn’t remember either. And there will be a quiz. Our next stop had nothing to do with the rest of the folks staying with us. This was just for us. We stopped at the outlet mall! Unfortunately it was already 95 degrees and the infamous Houston humidity had turned me into a walking fire hydrant with the cap off. Bad image? Believe it, it wasn’t too pleasant for the lady in Banana Repubic who approached me about 14 times to ask if I needed to try anything on. “It’s a polo shirt [in my hand]. It on sale for $4. And if I tried it on and it didn’t fit would you really want it back?” I said, sweat pouring from my brow, my shirt soaked like I’d run through a sprinkler. Nonetheless, I managed to get a bunch of stuff that will be appearing in photos in the coming posts.
Beach yet? Nope. Sam’s Club! My wife and mother-in-law headed through the aisles like a couple of madwomen. I took the kids for lunch. While about to exit the store I heard a familiar sound. So did everyone else in my general area. Everyone’s phone had received an emergency alert at once. We all looked around, unsure of what it meant or what to do. I opened a weather app and saw “Tornado confirmed in Texas City [the town where we were].*** Take cover IMMEDIATELY***You will likely die***” I added that last part but it seemed reasonable. I grabbed the cart with both kids in it and bolted to the meat department where my wife and her mom were loading 80 lbs. of ground beef into their cart and showed her the notice. She seemed unfazed. Truthfully, so did everyone else in the Sam’s. Oh well, I thought, if they’re not making a big deal, perhaps it’s not so bad. And life continued as normal for the next fifteen minutes until the warning expired.
Now it was finally time to — wait, quiz time. Name the other woman on the Challenger, not McCauliffe. You lose. It was Judith Resnick. We headed down I-45 until it met its unceremonious end on Galveston Island, made our turn, hit the liquor warehouse (love that place), picked up the key from the rental agency, and checked in at our house. I then promptly removed my shirt (it had to be done) and began showing my wife why she married me by unloading the entire car and sprinting up three flights with suitcases, food, liquor (save the liquor!), and an Hawaiian grass skirt. Still not sure where that fits into this picture. In fact, I was quite pumped finally to be out of the car. When I was finished, I poured myself a drink and looked out on the Gulf of Mexico with a sense of satisfaction. I also said a prayer of thanksgiving that I hadn’t just destroyed my spine with my heroics. Luckily, I played it smart and lifted with the knees.
Mandy and David arrived (my wife’s cousins) and we all headed to a quaint restaurant a half-mile up the road where we were finally joined by my sister-in-law and our aunt Lisa. You remember Lisa, right? Good. In short, a very good time was had by all and that night, finally at the bee-ach, my kittens fell asleep while Daddy pondered how he’d find the time to write about all of this. By Wednesday afternoon he’d have it figured out.