Monday dawned cool for the first time in our trip – we were shocked when we went outside to load the car and found that we needed to put on warmer clothes. Though we had less than two hours to Galveston, Tristan was quite grumpy during the car ride – I think he’s getting tired of all the time in the carseat. Because our rented car is a crossover/small SUV (Chevy Captiva), and because the carseat is a lower model than ours at home, it means that Tristan can’t see out the window very well, except for the sky. Also, the carseat is behind the passenger seat, instead of in the middle, so he really has no view. It must get pretty boring back there.
Fortunately Nathan planned ahead and found a playground half-way to Galveston, so we stopped there for a while. Then, when we finally arrived in town, we found our hotel had a heated indoor pool (thank goodness! The outside pool in McAllen had been somewhat too refreshing), so we enjoyed that before lunch. Fortunately, this hotel has a little sitting area, so there’s a half-wall partition between our bed and where his playpen is set up. It makes naps and bedtimes a little easier.
Background to next part – one of Tristan’s souvenirs is a barn owl that makes a hissing noise when you press his belly (apparently they don’t hoot, they hiss). Tristan can’t press the button by himself, but likes to hiss back at the owl when we do it for him. Today, when we put him down for his nap, he tossed and turned for a while. After a few minutes, we heard the owl hiss – he must have rolled over onto it. Then we heard him hissing back to it, and had to struggle not to laugh.
A moment later, the owl was still hissing, and we looked over towards the playpen. The barn owl was marching back and forth behind the partition, as Tristan hissed enthusiastically. It was utterly hilarious, and Nathan and I totally cracked up. We walked around to see Tristan standing up, holding the owl up, hissing and grinning and looking mighty pleased with himself. I wish we had a video of it – it was so funny that we had hysterics again just thinking about it later that night.
After his very delayed nap, we wandered out to the beach in front of the hotel, but it was getting dark by then. Tristan didn’t enjoy the beach as much, mostly because it was so cold. We did walk the nearby pier to check out the view, and mightily enjoyed watching the guy in front of us get soaked by a rogue wave.
Tuesday morning was still cold – it seems the warm temps of last week were an unseasonably warm spell for Texas, so we’re lucky we had it at all. We decided to check out downtown, and some of the old houses in the area. We found a walking tour that highlights some of the oak sculptures of the neighbourhood. In 2008, Hurricane Ike devastated Galveston, and killed many of the old oaks in the town. In an attempt to create beauty from the devastation, many of the homeowners had the remaining stumps carved by local chainsaw artists. Tristan enjoyed finding the sculptures, especially the animal ones.
Unfortunately, the sidewalks seem not to have been repaired since the hurricane, so pushing him in the stroller was a challenge. It was a bit better on the main drag, where we went next to do a little souvenir shopping. We also found a chocolate shop/ice cream store, and despite the cold weather, had to enjoy a homemade apple pie ice cream cone.
In the afternoon we found a playground to run around in, then went out for our first (finally!) Texas BBQ dinner. Leon’s Finest Texas BBQ was indeed mighty fine – especially the North Carolina Chip BBQ. Even Tristan liked that one! We topped off the evening with a hilarious bath – for once he wanted water poured over his head, and he was signing “more” so vigorously that I was afraid he’d bruise his knuckles. We then got all cozy (dozy dozy!) and snuggled up together to watch some Finding Nemo. Tristan particularly liked the turtles. 🙂
Nathan’s Texas bird count: 130
Nathan’s lifers: 7
Angie’s lifers: 17