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Archive for November, 2009

Bed & Breakfast

Rather than stay w/ the thousands of conferencing Texas science teachers in the chain hotels beachside, we’ve been staying in the Lost Bayou Guest House – a lovely, cozy, colonial 3-story historic house, complete with toile wallpaper and clocks that gently chime on the hour. Porches with rockers, a private sitting garden with fountain out back, and a third-floor deck for moon-gazing and evening breeze-catching. Lucky for me, Amo always finds the perfect places to be.

lost bayou - elyssa room

lost bayou bedroom

Buddha

On our birthday morning stroll towards the beach, we had a lucky encounter.  Looks like this guy has seen a lot of belly-rubbins!

birthday buddha

lucky birthday buddha belly

Beach

I keep asking myself, what could be better than a birthday morning walk on the beach?? Not much. Although I’m sure Amo will come up with something next year, just as good. We strolled together for an hour or so, breathing the crisp salt air (not too salty or fishy, but just clean and fresh as you please). Those ginormous tanker things on the horizon seemed like ghosts, fading in and out of visibility, like optical illusions in the glittering sun. We observed the sea gulls and terns, wondering why several gulls were missing one foot. Does this happen often? What exactly is happening to them? beach mystery… We collected funny little pink barnacle shells from among the beachy bits as souvenirs.

Galveston beach

beach-y bits

Galveston beach

beach walk

Later, after an amazing birthday dinner of oysters, scallops, shrimp, and snapper @ Gaido’s, we took a quick jaunt on the beach – I even busted out with a giddy circle dance in the sand, my own ad-hoc version of the Caucus-Race from Alice’s Adventures. The chilly night breeze kept us from staying out there too long, but I couldn’t resist the urge to walk in the sand again this morning after dropping Amo off at the hotel/conference for the day.

I didn’t realize until I got close to the water that this particular section of the seawall is painted with huge renditions of sea creatures. Lots of other folks out enjoying the sun & surf, too (I saw telltale blue conference bags on many a shoulder). A lady with earphones on a cruiser bike looked like she was having the time of her life. I ventured out on a couple of jetties, letting the crash & suck of the waves block out all the other noise & goings-on of the Seawall Blvd. and construction (still recovering from Ike) around me. Blissful.

Bishop’s Palace

We didn’t make it to the tour of this National Historic Landmark, but we climbed the front stairs and peeked in the windows.  It is definitely on the to-do-next-time list.

Blue Bags and the Bone Lady

As a registered conference guest, I scored a handy blue tote (this tote far exceeds the tote-ness of other standard conference schwag), name badge (even the badge holder is awesome, with zipper-pockets and pen holder!), and the opportunity attend conference sessions, field trips, and get into the Moody Gardens Aquarium for free.  On my birthday proper, Amo & I enjoyed the presentation of forensic anthropologist Mary Manhein (aka The Bone Lady), who explained the science of her gruesome job in layman’s terms with an upbeat, comical spirit.  Then we toured the aquarium, gawking at seals, penguins, seahorses, sharks, and more.  “Smells like dinner,” I kept thinking to myself.

Incredible starfish

Incredible starfish at the aquarium

The following day we loaded up on the bus to take a tour of the Haak winery in Santa Fe, Texas.  They gave us 4 drink tickets each – more than plenty, I’ll tell ya.  Their Madeira was our favorite, and we had some ruddy fun with other science teachers at our table, including our Kerrvert friend Claire.

BBQ

Wrapped up the weekend B-party with a lip-smacking lunch at Meyer’s BBQ in Elgin before landing back home in Austin.  Shooowee.  I love BBQ, especially the pork sausage!   We buy their sausage from the grocery store, but I swear it tastes better in their restaurant on that styrofoam plate, with all the stuffed game looking down from the walls.

-Mel

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