While I was sitting on the porch last week, reading, soaking up the sunshine, and enjoying the golden silence, the kids were having a great time in Hondo, TX with Grammie and Paw-Paw. The highlight of their week away was a guided fishing trip that Paw Paw arranged for them.
They caught 25 catfish, and had such a great time. Kayla was a bit horrified by the fact that the fish are cleaned while still alive, (I did not know this either!) and as hard as I try NOT to pass on any food hang-ups of mine, she somehow remembered that catfish are "bottom-dwellers." So, she was not exactly eager to eat those dead-but-still-flopping-bottom-dwellers that Grammie fried up the next evening! Fortunately, Grammie provided countless gluten free meals that more than made up for the catfish that Kayla reluctantly ate.
Robert and I enjoyed our weekend in Galveston. We had not been back to the Gulf coast city since our honeymoon 20 years previously. We drove past the condo-hotel where we had stayed and found it looking just like we left it way back then ~ seemingly untouched by Hurricane Ike that destroyed much of the city in 2008. Our weekend weather did not include any hurricanes, but it was rainy, windy, and cold. "Texas cold", that is. (Cold is a relative term, I've learned.) We prayed that it would clear up for the half-marathon, but it really didn't.
It was pouring down rain when we left our hotel at 6:45am on Sunday morning for the 7:30a.m. race. Robert made fun of me for using my umbrella, but I wanted to at least start the race dry. The rain did let up a bit after we started running, but the WIND ~ oh my! We ran a four mile stretch with the north wind directly in our faces. I never wear a cap while running, but decided to wear the race freebie cap this time to keep the rain off my face. It was a good decision, but keeping it on in that wind proved to be a bit difficult. It blew off three times!
Amazingly enough, we completed the race in these adverse conditions, and still met our goal to finish in under two hours! Sea level = no hills to climb, so at least that was working in our favor. It even allowed me to finish in the top ten for my age group, which is a fun honor, but is not really saying much, since there were women in their 50's, 60's, and 70's who finished with a much better time than me. Ha! I guess the 40-something women were just a slow bunch!
After taking long, hot showers to thaw out, we enjoyed a scrumptious breakfast at Mosquito Cafe. I had the Breakfast Bowl which was roasted potatoes, topped with sauteed spinach, topped with bacon pieces, topped with smoked mozzarella, topped with two fried eggs. Yum. We were also tickled with way the cafe steeped our hot tea! Do you see the cute flowers with tea leaves in the middle sitting atop our mugs? There was a "leaf" receptacle on which to rest it after steeping. So funny.
No trip down I-10 between Houston and San Antonio is quite complete without a stop at Buc-ees, and we needed to fill up our gas tank and use their immaculate restrooms anyway. If we weren't certain we were in Texas before, it was confirmed by these "hunters" carrying their off-road-ATV-drive-around-the-hunting- lease-vehicles. There were four of them standing out in the parking lot examining the sagging end of the trailer which seemed to be pushed to its extreme limits. Must have been some serious hunting, a.k.a staying away for the weekend, and getting home just in time for the Superbowl.
Speaking of the Superbowl, we arrived at my dad's house just in time to grill burgers and watch the big game. Robert's parents had transported the kids to my dad in San Antonio after church and they all enjoyed a meal together at the Alamo Cafe. When Robert and I arrived at his house in San Marcos, my dad wasn't even there. He had taken Cooper to the gym to shoot some hoops. Have I mentioned that my dad is 73 years old? So very thankful he's still able to practice his jump shot and even give Cooper a bit of competition. Cooper did say that he "schooled" Grandad, though, and Grandad did not refute this claim.
And whoever said the gluten free lifetstyle is restrictive? Just take a look at our Superbowl snacks ~ queso, guacamole, black bean dip, chips, and not pictured are our cheeseburgers, sweet potato fries, and baked beans. It was quite a feast.
A feast of delicious food (even the bottom-dwellers were delicious, I heard!) and a feast of rest (even if it included running a brutal race!) ~ that's what last week held for our family, and we feel extremely blessed by it.
Big thanks to Grammie and Paw-Paw and Grandad for helping to make it happen!