Saturday, January 30, 2021

From Galveston to the Ranch!

 I'm so happy to say that Louis Dean and I got our act together and were packed, loaded, and out of our hotel by 11:00! He woke up first this time and had already stupored long enough to get awake, make coffee and even go downstairs to get the brown bag 'Grab and Go' continental breakfast the hotel offers by the time I woke up.
Not that we ate any of it! No, we packed it up in our 'coffee bag' of essentials to enjoy the next day.

We had already planned on eating breakfast at The Sunflower Cafe before we got on the road.

Summer recommended this place and we love it!

Louis Dean got the Big Breakfast!
I was tempted to get the Little Breakfast......

but decided to eat healthy!
However, I did have a mimosa.....and I may have helped Louis Dean get his Clean Plate award!
I love everything about this cafe!
The food and the art that hangs on the walls and is available to purchase - if you have enough $$ - as well as the food and the service.

And the sunflowers!!
They are everywhere - including the bathroom.

We talked to Sherry on Thursday evening and she told us the roads had dried out quite a bit from the two extremely windy days they've had. Good news!
 We decided to go to the ranch for a few days before we go home. 
We drove straight to Groesbeck, Texas making only a couple of stops for bathroom breaks.
There we shopped Woodson Lumber and Hardware and Brookshires Grocery before heading to the ranch. Louis Dean wanted to buy some seeds to get started for the spring gardens and I picked up some milk and bread, a rotisserie chicken, salad fixings, a bah of potatoes, and cheese and eggs.

It was around 5:00 when we pulled through the gate!

This is always a special moment!
 I thank the Lord for allowing us to be here and for Dean and Sherry's gracious hospitality!

It was wonderful to open up the camper/cabin, turn on all the little lights, light the candles,  and settle down to a nice relaxing evening.

Before we left last time (December 8th), Louis Dean had laid the wood and paper for a campfire.
What a perfect way to celebrate our first night here at the ranch this year!

Dean grilled up some steaks and Sherry made her famous Gouda creamed potatoes, roasted cabbage and brought it all down for dinner Friday night! It was like a party!

Sherry even had a special cocktail for the occasion. 
Trader Vic's Macadamia Nut liqueur with a splash of La Croix Coconut water.

Guess what we did after dinner!!!
Sherry and I each shot off a big  Roman candle thing - it had 6 or 7 rockets that shoot out one at a time.
I get so excited and scream every time one shoots off!
It was a perfect way to end the day.
We were in bed by 9:00.

We slept like babies last night and it was 11:00 before I even woke up!
Louis Dean had the coffee ready and we drank it in the front room and watched it rain.
Then all of a sudden, the sun came out, the clouds disappeared and the sky was blue!

It's been a perfect country day.
Louis Dean has puttered around doing this and that.
 Fixing odds and ends and organizing his shop room a bit.

Dean and Sherry came down in the middle of the afternoon.
Dean and his dad visited while Sherry and I did a bee supply order from Mann Lake.
We aren't buying new hives this year as Sherry is planning on us splitting two of the three we have.
We ordered a kit called Ross Rounds:

Here's the kit you need to get started producing America's most popular comb honey! The Ross Rounds® super makes 32 beautiful, all-natural round sections of honey. Simply add the Ross Rounds® super to your hive and let the bees fill in the round rings with honey. Once they are capped, remove the sections, add the covers and a label. Kit comes fully assembled.

It's a hands free way to have virgin honeycomb in 8 oz. circles....with no contact whatsoever.
As organic and virginal as it gets.
We plan to open an Etsy shop so we can harvest and then sell these this summer.
No heavy jars to up the shipping price.
We are in this honeybee keeping adventure for the long haul and slowly but surely, we will get the hang of how to sell it.

We have been missing our kitties and Amber keeps us posted with pics and videos.

Tabitha loves to hang out!
WAY up there on a ledge in their foyer.

Pretty Samantha!

Always curious Tabitha.

They do love staying at the Bells!

Bandit is the only male in the group and he is older and set in his ways, but is remarkable tolerant of these youngsters who have come to be a part of his life.

Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dum!

The Bells took their tree down and all four cats climbed in it!
Amber sent a video that shows Old Man Bandit batting at Ginger for even thinking he might want to climb on in and join them!
They all have lots of fun together!

It's nearly 11:00 and Louis Dean says it's 'wine time.'
He sits in the green chair and I in the other one out in the front room.
It's where we start our days here with coffee and end them with a glass of wine.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Our Last Full Day in Galveston!

 The first and the last day of a vacation are somehow the sweetest ones!

The sun was shining this Thursday in Galveston!

I woke up first so this was my quiet spot for the morning.
I made a pot of my flavored coffee and poured it up in three coffee cups before making the second pot for Louis Dean using his regular truck driver coffee!

My special place in the sun....

and his!!

We left the hotel shortly after noon and headed back to The Gumbo Diner!

I had the beignets and HE had chicken fried steak with French fries and EXTRA gravy on everything, along with a whole bowl of fried okra!!
I'm so glad Debbie recommended this place because we really enjoyed both meals!
It will be a regular for us when we come back.

Next stop - Galveston Railroad Museum!

A little train song......

It was fun to go back in time.
This brought back a lot of memories for Louis Dean from when he was a young boy selling newspapers at the train station in Abilene. It was around 1946 and he was 10 years old.
The porters took him under their wings and allowed him to board the trains 10 minutes before departure to sell his papers for a dime. They were a nickel in the station but the train was about to pull out so he made a little extra money - with the porters' blessing!
He remembers a woman jumped off the Wooten Hotel and it was all over the news.
He sold at least 100 papers that day.

My train memories were when my sister and I would ride to Kansas City, Mo. with Mother and Daddy.
We made that round trip twice back in what seems like another life.

We decided one last beach walk and a trip to Murdochs was in order.
It's a tradition!!

The water was beautiful and the air was cold!
AND the wind was blowing.

I was determined to sit on the balcony with my drink - and I did! For a whole 20 minutes!
Then I came in all bundled up in a blanket to sit at the counter and thaw out!
Louis Dean didn't last 3 minutes before he went in.
At least he saved me a seat!

We walked the beach below Murdochs and were surprised to see real foam on the sand.

I've never seen foam like this before!

It floated along the shore.

Louis Dean found a few shell treasures.
I need to take a pic of the bowl with sand and shells in the hotel lobby before we leave tomorrow.
We want to make something similar when we get home.
OOPS! I need to get a scoop of sand on our way out of town.

As the sun was setting, we headed back to our hotel and freshened up before dinner at Tortuga!

It was a great ending to a wonderful beach trip.

Louis Dean and I both feel like we have recharged our batteries.

And that's a wrap!
We have had such a good time in Galveston and can go back to normal life with a fresh batch of energy!

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

A Good Day in Galveston....

Louis Dean stayed out on the balcony until last night turned into the wee hours of this morning. 
He said it was all he could do not to wake me up to join him because it was so beautiful.

That accounts for him sleeping so late.
I took his place out here while he slept in.

It was a beautiful day here in Galveston.

In the early afternoon, we walked across the street and down the stairs from Seawall Blvd to the beach.

He has never been as interested in shell seeking as he was today.
There's a beautiful display in the hotel lobby featuring sand and shells and he is gathering some for us to make our own. 

Not many people out so we had the beach pretty much to ourselves.

The wind was really picking up!
I made this video and sent it to Amber, who loves all things 'Beach!'

We didn't take our chairs down so we rested on the steps before climbing back up to the street.

Looking handsome!

Louis Dean was pretty tired after all that walking and stooping over to pick up shells.

We came in and had cups of hot coffee in the lobby to warm up.
It's nice to just go with the flow and not have a big agenda.

We did a little browsing in shops this afternoon and I bought three books, one of which is a Sue Grafton novel I missed. K is for Killer. She wrote a whole series of books starting with A and went all the way through Y. Sadly she passed away before she made it to  Z.

We finished our afternoon with a late lunch or early dinner at the Gumbo Diner.
My friend Debbie recommended this place from their last visit down here and it was good! 

Louis Dean had a craving for onion rings!
I helped him by eating two!

I stuck with a healthy salad.
Saving my calories for Mexican food and a margarita tomorrow night at Tortuga!
However, we are going back to the Gumbo Diner in the morning for Beignets and coffee!
I haven't had those since we were in New Orleans four or five years ago.

We have spent the evening right here in our room.

Louis Dean played all the way through two of his big notebooks full of his music.
First he finds a song and types it up noting the key it's in and adding the chord notations.
He has filled nearly a dozen big notebooks full of songs, each one in a sheet protector and usually a couple of copies for when he plays with another muscian.

While he played, I was so relaxed I crawled right into bed and slept for a couple of hours.
It's been a very relaxing day.

I took this picture right before my nap.

We had TV on for a little while so Louis Dean could watch a ball game while I was writing tonight's journal entry. He got the biggest laugh in a commercial!

He said, "Hey, Linda! They now make a Budweiser beer with no alcohol or sugar!
I bet that's delicious! That Bud is NOT for me - you can count on it!!"

Now that's just funny!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Buc-ee's Rocking Chairs, Benno's on the Beach and Galveston! We are HERE!!!

 I woke up all excited this morning! Alas,  Louis Dean did not sleep well last night so I contained my excitement and did not wake him up but went ahead and had my coffee and quiet time.
By the time he woke up and stupored, I had BLTs ready for our breakfast.
I didn't want to have to stop for a meal on our way down to the coast!

We planned to leave shortly after 9:00 but it was 10:59 when we backed out of the driveway!
Not bad at all!!!

Our first stop was Navarro County Southbound Safety Area - aka Rest Area!
I am so grateful I don't have a raging UTI all the time.
For years I went from one bathroom to another and never less than every half hour.
I look back at all I did for so many years with a terrible bladder infection and marvel that I still lived LIFE! But I am here to tell you, LIFE is so much better without a constant UTI!
I tell Dr. Keith Bloom every single year how he totally changed the quality of my life.
Amd I never forget to thank God for that!

Second stop!!

Buc-ee's in Madisonville, Texas!
They have a sign saying NOT to sit in the rockers or chairs.....

but we told them we had to sit in them first before we would buy them!
NO problem!
Now we have our chairs for the beach!

Third stop was Benno's on the Beach!

It's ridiculous how much I love this place!

It started back in the early 90's when Amber was doing synchronized swimming with the Pirouettes of Texas. Her first meet was in Friendswood, Texas and I had a bit of a heat stroke and was unable to drive us back home to Irving. Instead, we went on down  to Galveston, Amber and Benjamin and another synchro mom and her daughter, and we stayed at the La Quinta Inn on Seawall Blvd.
After we checked in, I asked about a place to eat and they said, "Well, we locals love Benno's on the Beach!" And that's where we went and that's where I always go when I am in Galveston!

You gotta love a place that serves wine in beer steins!
I asked them once why they didn't use wine glasses.
She said, "We tried that once but we kept breaking the stems off!"

I just love how when you look forward to something so much and it turns out just EXACTLY like you were hoping it would be!!
God is good!!

I am so happy to BE here!!!!

My shrimp pasta salad!
I ate less than a third of it but we have a fridge in our hotel so this will make a nice lunch tomorrow.

Louis Dean ordered a dozen fried shrimp with fries, hush puppies and coleslaw.
I got the coleslaw.....he does not eat raw cabbage! There's not much he won't eat but that's one he refuses.

He cleaned his plate!!

We found our hotel.
No ocean view and no balconies.
I was trying to adjust my attitude even as I went in to the lobby.....
this was NOT what I thought I had booked but I needed to make the best of it.
The lady said they had no reservation for Chapman. She looked at my phone app and said it was at the other end of the island!


We are here even if we do check in like we are relatives of the Beverly Hillbillies!
The fog and the mist has rolled in but we are loving it!!