Friday, March 14, 2014

Spring Break 2014

Public school has put a real damper on our travel plans.  Can't just decide to go anywhere, anytime on a moment's notice.  And vacationing with the masses at peak season in general is not my idea of a good time. But when I saw a good deal on beach front hotel in Galveston for the week the kids would be out of school I couldn't pass it up.

So we spent the better part of our Spring Break here.

Unlike most vacations where I have poured over everything there is to read on the internet about what to see and where to go and what to do, this time we went without a single plan.  Other than to eat at The Original, and a handful of other places with positive reviews.  We had to eat after all, no matter what we did.  :)

Of course the first thing the boys wanted to do when we got there was to run, not walk, as fast as humanly possible to the beach.  Despite the absolutely frigid temperature of the water, and the only slightly better air temperatures Connor couldn't resist the lure of the water.  And despite PROMISING that he wouldn't get those shorts wet, managed to get them absolutely soaked.  But only at the bottom!  :)

Ryan on the other hand had just one mission.  To find shells.  And lots of them.  Every whole in tact shell on the beach I suspect.

And so they did, until I turned into a popsicle and made them come inside.

The hotel we stayed at was just down the beach from the Pleasure Pier.  Though we walked past it heading to eat one day the boys never paid it much attention.

On the second day Connor discovered the pool and was determined to go for a swim.  The OUTDOOR pool.  And while they claim it's heated, it certainly isn't heated to my definition of heated enough to swim in the off season.  Especially when the air temperatures are in the low 60's at best and the cloud cover kept the warming rays of the sun at bay.  Not that he noticed of course.

What I really should have taken a picture of was me.  In my zipped up hoodie, and jeans, and flip flops - the only concession of pretend warm weather I was sporting.

We did indeed make it over The Original mexican restaurant one day for lunch.  Afterwards we made a quick stop at the Strand.  Despite the number of times I have been to Galveston and my affinity for shopping I have never been to the Strand before.  And other than a quick 30 minute foray where I ventured into Gracie's and then the Nestle shop next door for a peanut butter cup while the kids looked for the whole reason for our visit La Kings' Confectionary I didn't have much time to explore this trip either.  Though I will certainly be back.  I could have spent a whole hour in Gracie's alone.  Between their monogramming, soft washed Life is good collection, Vera Bradley, owl stuff, and wood signs I was in heaven.  

The boys were indeed successful in locating La Kings.  We watched a man make Pina Colada taffy that he periodically threw out to people in the crowd.  And perused case after case of treats.  Connor picked a handful of flavors of Salt Water taffy as his treat, while Ryan decided on some Lemon slices.

We had hoped that while we were gone the morning fog would have burned off.  Despite the sunshine, and complete and utter lack of fog near the Strand the Seawall was still heavily shrouded.

Not that it put a damper on the boys' enthusiasm for the beach one iota.

Though they were also perfectly content to sit in the hotel room and play games on their Touchpads or Connor's DS.  Or watch Jake and the Neverland pirates on Netflix.  I think the tv in our room was in fact only turned on once during our whole visit - the next to last night - we watched the end of Casper.

One day for dinner we walked down the beach to The Spot.  After seeing the crowds and standing in line for what seemed like an eternity in the chilly wind we gave up and headed back to take the car somewhere else.

Thankfully we didn't give up on The Spot entirely.  Because it was hands down the best food on the island.  Connor loved their Frickles (fried pickles).  Kevin and I split the March special - the St. Patty Burger - swiss, mushrooms, onions, jalapenos, thousand island dressing ??, on texas toast - and a Shrimp Po Boy with fries and onion rings.  I practically licked my plate clean they were so delicious.  The fried shrimp were super flavorful and the jalapenos, and dressing made the burger.  So much so that we had to go back one last time before we left.  We also made a special run by Tortuga for a plate full of Sopapillas.  :)

One morning the boys came down to the beach to discover this giant hole.  Ryan claims someone dug his moat around his castle even deeper.  Yeah... About 3 feet deeper.  I joked someone was planning to bury a body.  Then hit the water table and gave up as the boys discvered it was only a few inches deeper.  Or was planning to roast a pig.  A very large pig.  Or searching for buried treasure.

Regardless the boys had all kinds of adventures in over the next day or two.  Ryan even created some slides to get down into it and stairs to help get out.

While I had a short list of other things we could have done - visited the Moody Gardens aquarium, or rain forest pyramid, gone to Seawolff park to see the ships, etc. we spent most of the time playing on the beach, making sand castles, digging in the sand, flying kites, and looking for shells, or playing in the pool or hot tub.

I was even lucky enough to sleep in a couple of mornings, and spent part of one afternoon lesiurely reading by myself in the room.  I managed to polish off almost the entire Divergent, Insurgent, and Aligent trilogy during our trip.  I started to just pick up Divergent as I wasn't sure I would want to read all three.  Thankfully I picked up the collection all at once as I practically finished Divergent the first night and couldn't wait to see what happened next.

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