A Trip to Galveston (Vacationing with an Infant & Toddler)

After traveling to Colorado last year, Kari and I opted to stay closer to home this year. After Emmy’s arrival last fall, we knew that traveling via car was a better option. Wise choice.

Like our journey last year, we learned much about traveling with kiddos. First, there is a big different between trips and vacations. Last year’s journey to Colorado was a trip masquerading as a vacation. It was fun, but there were so many cool things to see and do, and we were rushed the entire time. Since we have both been to Galveston (and Galveston is not be as beautiful as Colorado), we had no plans to sight-see and have a hectic schedule. Our plan was to get away and rest. It was a wildly different and just as wonderful.

Earlier this year, we upgraded from a small sedan (Honda Civic) to a minivan (Honda Odyssey). Although we managed to visit family and pack what we needed in the Civic, our needs have grown:

Lesson two: “needs” rise to the level of available space.

The ride down was great, and we stopped at Gringo’s for lunch. Lesson three: Waco needs a Gringo’s. We breezed through Houston with only one slowdown and were in Galveston early in the afternoon. The beach house was nice and only 1,000 feet from the gulf.

After settling in, we made an obligatory trip to Walmart. For some reason, we frequent shady Walmarts on trips (lesson four). After checking my pockets to make sure no one absconded with my wallet, we went back to the house for dinner and bed time.

Lesson five: kids who don’t nap fall asleep so quickly. With our crazy schedule driving down, neither girl napped much. As a result, they didn’t fuss at bed time. Win. For those of you with kids, you know that sleeping in weird places can sometimes be difficult. After putting the girls down, Kari and I enjoyed a little cable. Which brings me to lesson six: absence makes the heart grow fond. Since we no longer have cable at home, our 30 minutes of HGTV was very enjoyable.

On Tuesday, Kari’s parents drove down for lunch. We had a delicious lunch, and I made the terrible mistake of turning down dessert. Lesson seven: never turn down dessert when offered. Lunch was great, and it was nice seeing them for a little while. They departed at nap time.

Following naps, the four of us wheeled down to the beach for the girls’ first ever trip to the beach. They both loved it. Abby loved the water, putting her face into the surf and smiling from ear to ear. Emmy loved it too. That is until she tried to eat it. And rub it into her eyes. Lesson eight: kids who love the water hate getting out:

She calmed down rather quickly. The weather turned bad, so we packed up and headed back to the beach house. I see many more trips to the beach in our future.

The weather was mostly gray and rainy for the rest of the trip, but that was ok. In between storms on Wednesday, we went to the candy shop on the Strand. We also learned that suckers are a parent’s friend (lesson nine). After getting candy, we took the girls to the Rainforest Cafe. Abby loved the fish but hated the simulated storms.

The rain continued on Thursday, and we went through numerous storms on our way home. We stopped to visit some friends in Houston and eat at Smashburger (lesson ten: Waco needs a Smashburger). Our journey home was capped by a low-water crossing on HWY 6 just north of Hearne.

It was a wonderful vacation.

Romney’s 47% Gaffe

Huffington Post, MSNBC, and others have excoriated Mitt Romney for remarking that 47% of Americans don’t pay taxes and therefore won’t vote for him. The statement was unfortunate in many respects, although I don’t see it as negative as what is portrayed. Is anyone surprised to hear that 47% of the country won’t vote for Romney? I suspect this controversy will die down shortly, but in the mean time, the Romeny campaign should go on the offensive:

Romney should issue a statement along these lines:

“After watching the recently released video, some members of my campaign staff informed me of factual errors within my speech. I, like most Americans, hate when politicians say things that are not 100% true. I am deeply sorry that these off-the-cuff comments were not factually accurate. As president I would serve all Americans, regardless of their viewpoints.

“There are many folks who do indeed rely on the government–my running mate’s mother is one of them, and we have a responsibility to them. We must continue to support our seniors who worked so hard to make the country is what it is. We must also continue to offer temporary support for those who have fallen on hard times.

“Make no mistake, these comments do reflect our belief that the Federal Government has grown too large and supports people who need no support. President Obama’s recent proposal to drop welfare work requirements is another example of this and something my campaign strongly opposes.”

And from Romney surrogates:

“I think this video is a refreshing reminder that government has grown too big and is trying to do too many things. The Federal Government must not subsidize laziness.”

And:

“I think this video proves that Mitt Romney is human and makes mistakes. Mr. Obama’s humanity was established long ago when he condemned rural, religious people and again when he promised the Russians flexibility. The core issues of this campaign remain the same: will the U.S. be subject to the current administrations failed policies for another four years?”

What do you think?