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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Galveston Trip

We made our annual Galveston trip back in June from the 22nd - 26th, with SueSue, my sister Jamie, her husband Joey, and my nephew Payton.  I must start off by saying that the house (belonging to my dear friend Jennifer and her family) we stay at each year is AMAZING!!!  We are truly blessed to have the opportunity to stay at this beachfront oasis.  It is beautiful on the inside and out!  It has three bedrooms with bathrooms, a loft with three twin beds, a huge living room, an awesome kitchen, and balconies that overlook the private beach.  On the lower level there is a yard that leads right to the beach.  Thank you so much Jennifer and family for sharing your beautiful home with us each year!  We love it!

Aside from the beatiful accommodations, our trip was a bit rough this year for a few different reasons.  The area where we were staying was having a plague of mosquitos!  The first day and night that we were there were not too bad, but the rest of the time, we could not step outside of the house without being swarmed by the pesky insects.  Any time we left the house, we had to make a mad dash for the cars, which were covered in black patches of mosquitos.  We made sure to keep the kids covered in Off, but Tayden still got a few bad bites, which triggered his allergic reaction of severe swelling.  On our last day there, he was bit on the eyebrow and his eye swelled up like he had been punched.  The redness covered his eyelid and started moving down his nose.  We were faithful with our Benadryl administration, and a few days after we returned home, the swelling was gone.  On our last night there we decided to brave the outdoors to go down to the beach.  As long as we were in the water, we were safe, but once we stepped out, we were under attack.  My sister had decided to join us but only made it to the balcony to watch us as we covered the twins in towels and sprinted back to the house.  It was quite hilarious!!!  As we loaded up the car to come home, we parked quite a few feet away from the house, but still were killing mosquitos as we pulled up in our driveway at home.

The second reason our trip was a bummer was our choice of outings.  We ate at Casey's as we arrived in town, and it wasn't as GREAT as I had remembered.  It was still good and I had my share of crunchy things dipped in Ranch.  We decided to go and ride the ferry since we had not done that with the twins before.  We should have parked and walked on to ride, but we decided to get the full experience.  We waited in line for around two hours to get on the ferry.  We should have realized at that point that it wasn't a good idea, but we were up for the adventure.  We finally drove on, excited about our 18 minute ride.  We took the kids up to the deck to look out on the water.  We saw several dolphins, and the kids had a blast.  Once we got to the island, we headed to a restaurant that had awesome reviews on Google.  We made it a few miles down the road, only to come to a dead stop.  There was a bad accident on the main road (the only road) and no one was moving.  We sat there for about 20 minutes, before making the decision to go back, get on the ferry, and head back to Galveston to eat.  We once again faced a two hour line to get on the ferry!  The kids were amazingly patient during this time and so were the adults :-).  We finally made it back to town and ate at Salsa's - our favorite meal of the trip!!!  On Monday, we decided to check out a nearby Wildlife Refuge.  We figured we would see all kinds of animals that the kids would love.  We drove for about 45 minutes and arrived at our destination, ready to be amazed.  This extremely large area of land is inhabited by hundreds of birds and two alligators.  The twins had fallen asleep, so they missed the excitement (haha).  My mom said, "I wish a rhino would run out of the trees and charge our car!  We need some excitement!"  The highlight of this excursion was the raccoon that we saw at the toll booth on the way home and the Buc-cees that we got to stop at for snacks!

During our stay, we were a bit alarmed that hurricane Debbie might turn and head our direction.  The waves were bigger than usual due to the proximity of the hurricane and tide was extremely high.  Luckily, it did not head our way.

We each took turns cooking and had some great food and desserts.  The kids had a great time playing with each other and riding the elevator.  When we were able to go to the beach, we made sandcastles and flew kites.  Tayden loved going out in the waves, but Brooklyn was pretty scared and stayed close to the shore.  Jamie and I were able to spend a lot of time catching up on our two trips to town for groceries at Wal-mart.  The first time, we arrived at 11:30, only to hear the announcement that they were closing at midnight.  The kids slept very well, so the adults would stay up and talk at night.  On our last day at the house, we were sitting in the kitchen and could see 8-10 dolphins swimming very close to shore.  It was wild!  We did leave a night earlier than planned and stopped in Houston to have dinner with my Aunt Sara (Lovie).  Despite the mosquitos and excursions, we had a WONDERFUL time being with each other and made many great memories!!!  We are already able to laugh as we look back on our misfortunes!  We talked about having shirts made that say, "Mosquito Plague Survivor 2012," that we could wear while riding the ferry and touring the Wildlife Refuge.

Cousin Payton


Love her smile

Playing in the elevator

on the ferry

Bolivar Peninsula - our brief visit

At Salsa's

Tayden was flirting with the ladies as usual.  This time he even sat down and stayed for awhile.

Wildlife Refuge

Tayden - you are missing all the BIRDS


At the toll booth

my lens was foggy

Dada and Tayden

SueSue and Brooklyn

The Russells

The mosquitos

Mimi and the kids building sandcastles

looking out at the beach

kite flying

Brooklyn, Mimi, and Payton

SueSue and Tayden

Brooklyn digging