Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Smells, Tastes and Other Memories of Summer

The smell of a chlorine pool and Coppertone

Cold watermelon at a picnic

catching fireflies in mayonnaise jars with holes punched in the lid and watching them light up the jar

The sounds of kids playing hide and seek until after dark or 9:30, whichever came first

Popsicles on the back porch

The sound of the ice cream freezer making homemade peach ice cream

The juice of fresh peaches running down my chin.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Trip to the Beach

I promised Audrey a trip to the beach, but wanted to do something a little different than what we did last year with Galveston and Bolivar beaches. They are good beaches to be so close to home, but they aren't the best beaches to experience. So, I decided to try Port Aransas - there would be places that we could sightsee and there would be a good beach to play on - and hopefully it would be pretty clean.

So Audrey and I headed for Port A on Monday. We drove down Highway 35 instead of going into Houston and taking 59 down. I thought maybe Audrey would enjoy seeing the water sooner. She was really great on the drive down - only asking a couple of times "how much further" Of course it helped that we made a rest stop at Dairy Queen. DQ's are a new experience for Audrey.

As we drove into Port Aransas, the GPS decided to take us on a tour of town to get to the hotel. As we were driving down the street, we saw Woody's, where I knew they booked dolphin trips. So we pulled in to see if they were taking any tours out. As a matter of fact, there was a tour leaving in about 30 minutes, so we hung out. For entertainment, there was a heron sitting on the pier that was obviously pretty tame since he just sat there and posed for pics. Later when we went down to the boat, there he was again. We learned that he was called Harry the Heron. Audrey enjoyed taking pics of him - I had lent her my point & shoot to use on our "vacation".

We took off and did see some dolphins, but the fog rolled in and we only stayed out for about an hour. Audrey really enjoyed playing with the touch tank that they had set up on the boat - she really wasn't all that impressed with the dolphins, unlike Aunt Maggie. Anyway, there was a hermit crab, some shrimp, a starfish and some other crabs.

After checking in, we went to eat at a Mexican Food restaurant - Audrey even picked! And then we drove down to the beach, and went exploring. Audrey had fun picking up seashells and she was fascinated with all the sand dollars.

We went to the beach the next morning. Audrey had a blast!!! We stopped to get a cooler and some snacks, plus a pail and shovel. The day was mostly cloudy, so we were able to stay at the beach for several hours before we both got burned. And yes, I did put sunscreen on both of us, but managed to miss spots on both of us.

There was quite a bit of seaweed on the beach - a problem evidently common to all Texas beaches. At first Audrey was really funny about not wanting to walk on the seaweed, even with her flip-flops on. But by the end of the time at the beach, she was slinging the seaweed out of her way.

In the afternoon, we drove down to Corpus Christi to see the Aquarium. I couldn't convince her that she wanted to go to a baseball game which would have really been easy to do since the stadium was so close to the aquarium. While at the aquarium, we saw a really great dolphin show, and they had a touch tank where we could touch stingrays and a small shark. And then we had to stop at a tacky souvenir shop. First, I had to explain what tacky souvenirs are - but you can't go to a beach town without going to at least one shop. Audrey got a whole sand dollar for her souvenir.

On the way back, we ate seafood - OK, Aunt Maggie ate seafood and Audrey ate chicken tenders. We drove around a little while - just to see what was there. And that was our trip to the beach!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Weekend Before...

I flew to Atlanta on Friday, April 4. When I originally booked my flights, I thought Kathy was going to be in town so I would be able to spend time with her as well. She and Dag left the day before for a trip to Monaco, Shanghai and Mumbai - halfway around the world and back. But she let me use the house since David and Kristine don't have a guest room set up (5 bedrooms and no guest room -hmmmm).

I got to Atlanta Friday afternoon just about the time Audrey got out of school. So we had a good time visiting. Then Saturday, we went shopping to get Audrey some new things for the trip, including a new swimsuit. Kristine and I got manicures and pedicures, and we let Audrey get her toe nails painted - a really pretty pale pink that was barely noticeable. She is only 8 after all.

Sunday, Audrey and I flew back to "Texas" - she always says Texas instead of Houston. As we were on final approach, we flew past the San Jacinto Monument. I pointed the monument out to her, and her reply was "Oh, the Washington Monument!" Well, no, it has a star on top and is actually a little taller. So then I had to explain why the monument was there and what was the significance of the Battle at the San Jacinto River in Texas history. She really was interested and asked all kinds of questions.

We got to Grandy's house and Audrey immediately wanted to check out Grandy's back yard and see all the flowers. She began playing in the bird bath, building leaf and pecan shell boats to float in the bird bath - ahhhh the simple pleasures!

Bad Maggie!!!!

It's been over 2 months since I last blogged - I can't believe it! And I'm the one that's got the journal prompt chat every 2 weeks?!?!?!?!

I guess I get back into the groove of blogging. So I will begin a series of blogs about when Audrey came for Spring Break (and yes, that was a month ago - again Bad, Aunt Maggie!!!)