Not Quite The Same

July 8, 2010 at 9:21 am 11 comments

I assume you’ve picked up on the fact that we’re a beach family by now. We love the beach. We love cruises to pretty beaches, we love 40 minute drives to not-so-pretty beaches, we love all beaches.

A couple weeks ago we had a family reunion in South Padre. For you non-Texans, that’s an island in south Texas with some pretty nice beaches. It’s not quite as nice as a Florida beach but it’s pretty good. The sand is almost white, the water is almost clear. With the exception of some occasional seaweed overload, there isn’t much to complain about. Padre is the beach of my childhood. My mom’s side of the family always has their family reunions there so we’d go every 2 years growing up. I can recognize the smell of the island as soon as we cross the bridge and I love it.

But last year my parents bought a house in Galveston so we’ve now been frequenting that island. It’s a bit different than Padre. The sand is even less white and the water is even less clear. The smell is not something you’d want to bottle and turn into a Yankee Candle. But for us, it’s perfect. It’s about 40 minutes from our door to the door of Bella Rose so it doesn’t take a bunch of packing and planning and vacation time to hop over for the day or weekend.

The city is charming and I never realized it until last summer. I grew up around here but I’ve been the type to turn my nose up at the island, thinking it was nothing special and I could go to Florida or south Texas for a nicer beach anytime. Well now I’m an adult and I don’t have my parents or a summer vacation to whisk me away to Mexico for a week. I appreciate the simplicity of the city. I love the history and the architecture and the houses with character. If there was someone around here to clean my house and take care of my to-do list, I’d spend every weekend down there.

We spent last weekend down there. We had a three-day weekend because of the 4th so my parents invited us to the house. We went Saturday morning and stayed until Monday evening. Despite all of the awful weather forecasts we’d been hearing, I was anxious to get out there. Saturday was spent indoors. We lounged. I read and went to Big Lots with my mom and sister. Stephen hung around and helped my dad and uncle work on some home improvement projects. That evening we all took a walk on the beach while Jansen pounded on my bladder with every step. It was a nice walk since Alex had brought in some cooler weather along with the rain. We walked several thousand miles before I had to pull the pregnant card and request that we turn around so that I could get back to the house for a potty break.

Sunday was the 4th. I slept in a bit while the rest of the family (minus my mom) got up and headed back to the mainland for church. I’m an awful wife and chose to stay in bed instead of going to see my husband sing in the praise band for the first week ever. They all headed back for 4th activities and several of my parents’ friends came along as well.

We gorged ourselves on typical 4th food and then headed to the beach to relax on some chairs. As nighttime approached, we made our way a bit closer to where the fireworks were going to be. My dad insisted that the view from a closer “groin” would be far superior to what we had on the sand. We went along with him even though I knew this would mean deep trouble for me and my bladder by the end of the show. (For the record, I had zero accidents over the weekend. Well actually for the record, I’ve had zero accidents ever. Just, you know, so we’re clear.)

The show was amazing. Here’s just a glimpse of what we were looking at.

That’s Stephen there on the left and my dad on the right. They were the unlucky ones who didn’t get chairs. The rest of us were on some solid pavement right behind them. I’m no photographer so you can’t get a real picture of how gorgeous it all was but just take a look at the water. The reflection was awesome. I can’t wait until next year!

Monday we spent the majority of the day at the beach. I was careful this time so I didn’t hurt my back even more. I went in the water a few times to jump over waves and pee, and then spent the rest of my time under an umbrella finishing the worst book in the world.

It was a fantastic weekend. I often get disappointed that I didn’t ever appreciate Galveston for what it was. Not all beaches can be gorgeous and clean and perfect. And that’s okay. For our needs, Galveston does the job. And she does it well. If it weren’t for the island, we would have spent the weekend at home doing far less fun things. We wouldn’t have had a crock pot full of baked beans or a pan of Oreo truffles. We wouldn’t have been at the same party with the world’s best guacamole maker. We wouldn’t have gotten to watch Mendy stand among a crowd of hundred of beachgoers and play with her bubbles.

And I probably wouldn’t have labored over my flag cake. What flag cake? The one that’s been making its way around the blogosphere, that always looks so much better when other people make it. Well I made it. I made the cakes, cut the layers with a long knife (note to self: get a cake leveler!), iced, and assembled. When the big reveal came, there were many oohs and ahhs. Many pictures taken.

Nobody even cared that the red was pink or that the blue was baby blue. Or that I can’t cut straight pieces.

Nobody cared that I used chocolate icing on the outside instead of white, which caused it to be a little less pretty but a little more delicious. Nobody cared about all that. They just thought it was a fun cake. And to be honest, I was quite proud of it. I knew I’d want to show if off to all of my blog friends so you could be proud of me too.

But then Saturday night as we were finishing our first slice of cake and singing its praises, I got a text message from a blog friend. (A semi-real-life-friend-but-not-really-because-we’ve-never-met friend. It’s a long story.) Her son’s birthday is on the 4th of July so she snapped a picture of his birthday cake.

Her text said, “Luke’s 2nd birthday cake!” I thought it was cute. I showed my mom. She thought it was cute. I told her that it was cute and then sent her a picture of my cake. Her response, “Thanks! It was a pain to cut out all the pieces for the eyes.” HOLD THE PHONE. My jaw dropped. “Wait a second. You MADE that?” Yes, she did. She made an exact replica of Spongebob Square Pants for her 2 year old son’s birthday party and I can’t even figure out how to properly cut a circular cake in half? Oh the shame.

Granted she’s an artist and has more talent in her sweat than I do in my entire body, but still! I chose not to feel bad about my pink, baby blue, and white cake. The cake full of crumbs that leaned a little bit when you look from one direction. Why? Because while it may not be the same, it worked for us. It provided us with some amusement and delicious dessert. She may be the Florida beach, but I’m Galveston. And sometimes you need a little Galveston in your life.

Entry filed under: Chelsea, Family, Galveston, Holidays. Tags: , , .

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11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. mom (Nana)  |  July 8, 2010 at 9:53 am

    Wonderful reflection on the wonderful weekend! (I love the part about walking “several thousand miles”…, people we didn’t walk several thousand miles…. 🙂

  • 2. Karen  |  July 8, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Looks like you all had a great time, my nephew set off some fireworks at his house, his son Joey (2 years old) was excited about the event until the fireworks started going off, then he said, “house”, “house,” LOL he wanted to watch them, but said they were too loud, so we watched from the window, inside the house of course.

    I think your cake looks great, in my experience though, the worst looking cakes always taste the best. Did I just contradict myself?

    Kudos to your friend on the SB cake, it looks great.

  • 3. Stacie  |  July 8, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Ooooo, nice cake! I wish I had been around the blogosphere beforehand….but then again, the “kitchen” facilities in our DC hotel room over the weekend were quite limited. Maybe next year!

  • 4. Lauren from Texas  |  July 8, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    I love Galveston too, it’s the beach of my childhood, & the only beach I knew for a long time! Now that I have been to other beaches, I understand that other people may think Galveston is “disgusting,” & sometimes, when I walk 6 inches away from a dead seagull, I feel the same. But ultimately, it’s OUR beach & we should love her anyway, flaws and all. I love this post!

  • 5. Angela  |  July 8, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    I think your flag cake is absolutely wonderful! And if we’re being honest here? It’s a lot like something that I would have made. I would love to be all artistic and make a cake like the Spongbob cake, but let’s not forget that fondant isn’t that great. At least your entire cake was edible 🙂

    I’m so jealous of the fact that you have the perfect weekend getaway within 40 minutes driving time!

  • 6. Taryn  |  July 8, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    LOL. as soon as I saw the pics of your flag cake (which looks and I’m sure tastes, amazing!) I knew you were gonna post SB! 🙂 he was one layer vanilla, one layer chocolate, with cream cheese frosting. I did flavor my fondant, so it was edible, but i just told everyone to peel it off (i think it’s wayyyy too sweet and grainy to eat!!) It was fun to play with though!

  • 7. Lisa H  |  July 8, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    So wonderful to hear your Galveston stories. I love that place, too. It is so rich in history and there are so many neat little places. We were there on our anniversary (we go stay at the San Luis every year to celebrate) and this year with the weather being bad (thanks to Alex) we headed over to the Strand and surrounding area. We had a delicious belini at Nada’s and an iced tea at Star drug store. We also went in some neat shops and was so glad to hear they are doing fairly well. Made us think of your parents buying a house there and thinking how much fun that would be. Glad to hear you had a great 4th.

  • 8. Rachel  |  July 8, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    We went to Galveston for family reunions, even before we moved to Houston. While not a perfect beach, I have great memories there. Now that I am too many miles away from a decent beach than I care to think about… I wish I appreciated it more. I know we had pools, but why didn’t we spend more Saturday afternoons down there when we were in HS? It’s not like we had anything else to do!

  • 9. Christine  |  July 8, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Fabulous post! It is getting me prepared as our vacation to Galveston quickly approaches.

    P.S. South Padre Island was the only beach I went to growing up. I promise to love Galveston no matter how murky the water is.

  • 10. Milehimama  |  July 8, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    We’ve really just discovered Galveston beach this summer. I love that it’s close enough that we can pop down to the beach for a couple of hours – not long enough to exhaust me for the next 3 days. Every time we go, I always want to stop and tour those graveyards, they look amazing!

  • 11. abby  |  July 9, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    First of all I’m impressed that you even tried that cake. I sent the lind to my girlfriend who is better at that stuff than me and told her to make it:) And I think it turned out way cute! And it looked more like a flag than a lot of the pictures on blogs!

    Looks like you all had a great weekend! Enjoy the beach for me! 🙂

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July 2010


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