(I really wanted Sam to post on my blog, so we figured our anniversary would be a good jumping -off point. Any comments I add on this post will be in parentheses, like this one. Take it away, Sam.)
Well, I am supposed to chronicle the events of the Saturday of our first annual anniversary weekend celebration. It all started in the wee hours of the morning, when I decided that I would make Heather breakfast. Making breakfast for others has been a long-standing tradition in my own family, and I admit that I found it a little shocking when Heather first told me that she preferred cereal for breakfast over all other foods--including great breakfast food like pancakes, bacon, eggs, etc. At this point, you can imagine my dismay. Anyhow, I had heard her say that coffeecake would be a breakfast that she would enjoy, and I was overjoyed to hear something that I could make, rather than just pour in a bowl.
So, at 6:30 AM, I woke up and realized that I needed to go to the grocery store. In order to not make this blog longer than it needs to be, suffice it to say that I had been spending many stolen moments reading and re-reading Irma Rombauer's advice on how to make coffeecakes from her Joy of Cooking (which holds a place of honor on our countertop). Therefore, the preparation and cooking began, and it took longer than I had expected, but as I had hoped, Heather remained in a state of slumber until I turned on the food processor to chop chocolate chips--chopping chocolate chips may sound weird, but you will just have to take my word for it when I say it was an act of culinary genius (I wholeheartedly agree, and did not mind feigning slumber for the next 40 minutes to experience such a marvel). So, after eating coffeecake, I suppose that Heather was looking for an equally eventful morning as she had provided the previous day, but, I had planned nothing until the afternoon.
(Finally realizing this, I took full advantage of primping time, and asked Sam numerous times what I should wear, and he remained unhelpfully mysterious. I'm still not satisfied with how I looked, which may be the reason why we have no other pictures besides the food)
I, Sam, remind you that the parenthetical comments belong to Heather, whereas my own parenthetical commentary will henceforth be offset by the -- (that is an m-dash). Thank you, Heather. After the morning passed, we drove off into the sun toward Bellaire Blvd., where I had previously arranged for an order of pupusas for lunch. They were authentic and delicious (the ants loved them. I set a bag of salsa [yes, a bag, it's authentic] on the ground and the ants swarmed it), and so we continued on our way toward our next destination: Galveston, Texas. A slight difficulty appeared in my plans in the form of bad traffic, but after driving for two hours, we arrived at our destination. I knew that I wanted us to see the Galveston Historic District, but I had not really come up with a site-by-site visiting plan, which was both good and bad. Good, because it kept us from spending money we would have otherwise felt bad about spending once we saw that some of the museums' publicity operations were of a much higher quality than their actual appeal. Bad, because we had to aimlessly wander around at times before finding the little gems that characterize the historic downtown--also known as The Strand. One of those little gems was an art museum, which we barreled past while walking down the street, but Heather noticed it, so we turned around and entered. It was a great little spot, with displays from local artists of various glassware exhibits. The donation that we put in the plastic donation box was the only money that we spent while on the Strand, and it was well spent.
(According to the guide that Sam printed off of the Internet about Galveston, the Strand area is filled with buildings from the mid-1800s, many of which survived a severe hurricane at the turn of the century. I especially enjoyed the intricate brickwork and a wicker-basket topped elevator.)
After enjoying the old-timey ambiance of the Strand, we headed off toward our final destination, which was the beach. Perhaps a little bit of background is in order for this segment of our travels. Texas beaches are much like the beaches of many lakes and reservoirs: they make you feel close to water, but are otherwise less impressive than say, the Bahamas. Or even the California coast at its worst. Nevertheless, it is the ocean, it is a beach, and swimming is enjoyable no matter where you go, which was the case when we arrived. At Stewart Beach State Park, we entered a parking lot full of cars, changed, and dove (waded) into the water with many close neighbors. The most unexpected and entertaining scenery turned out to be the leaping fish of the Gulf of Mexico. At least every couple of minutes, and at random locations both near and far, large fish would leap out of the water again and again like skipping rocks. Many times small schools of fish would participate in this activity, and they felt no shame about doing it right next to a human body. It was a lot of fun to watch, just slightly more fun than watching the pelicans trying to dive down and eat them. Anyhow, we basked in the relatively still ocean for a couple of hours, and just passed the time talking and enjoying the relaxing atmosphere. (I thought the beach was interesting because there were no waves, and the water just broke close to the beach like at Lake Erie, but while you were in the water you could feel a fairly strong current that could hold you up if you leaned against it, which entertained us for several minutes.)
At this point, I feel that I have lapsed a bit into stream of consciousness, so to wrap things up, we had a wonderful and eventful Saturday together. (We ate dinner at Chili's too.) This is the end of my first obligatory entry into the blog, and you can probably expect to hear from me again the next time Heather "strongly encourages" me to contribute.