We were a little dubious about visiting Galveston, Texas amid reports of beach lice, shark attacks and the flesh eating virus. So, we stayed out of the water - the ocean water that is. We did have a few walks on the beach to collect sea shells and we did sit on the balcony of our condo and gaze out at the ocean, enjoying the sound of the waves - and the sound of the cars whizzing by on San Luis Pass behind us. Our condo was on the beach, past the seawall. It's a great place with a big pool, two jacuzzis and even a kiddie pool for the very young. We spent most of our time in the jacuzzi or in the pool with a couple of forays into Galveston's Historic District.
I managed to avoid the perils of the ocean but I did not take into account the perils of the pool.
- Ear Infection - you can call it swimmer's ear if you like but once I got home, the hurt got worse. One expensive trip to Urgent Care revealed an infection in both ears, requiring a tiny bottle of prescription ear drops that retails for $250. Thank you insurance.
- Sun Burn - Honey Bunch and I both discovered the hard way that the can of spray-on sunscreen from last year just doesn't cut it in the blazing mid-day sun.
Add to that the following, little-known conditions you can pick up at any Gulf Coast vacation destination. Beware of these ailments, there is no known cure.
- Redneck-itis - Part of relaxing for me is not having to talk to people. I just want to sit quietly and enjoy the rushing water, or read my book. We met one young woman that was bound and determined to be our friend, whether we liked it or not. Honey Bunch and I are too polite for our own good. In under five minutes I knew where this woman lived, several personal details of her family life, all about her debilitating calcium deficiency, her television viewing preferences, her religious affiliation, her favorite songs, her family's plans for the next few days and where her Aunt worked. All of this before she even told me her name. Yep, TMI.
It's okay though. She was a nice girl (I say girl because she was 24-years-old) and we were able to break away after awhile. Plus, it gave me something to complain about, which is always a bonus.
- Redneck Noise Virus - This is probably worse than over-friendly rednecks. This is all the loud hooting and hollering and carrying on that rednecks do when you get two or more of them together and add alcohol. Or, sometimes no alcohol is required. Once the sun dips below the rooftops and it starts to get pleasantly cool by the pool, the redneck teens and pre-teens begin a raucous game of Marco-Polo. What, I ask is the age limit for hollering out, "Marco!" I think it should be 10.
- Tattoo Putty Affliction - Every day at the pool was like an art show I didn't want to attend. I can't un-see those tattoos. Plenty of people have too many tattoos. Tattoo Putty Affliction is worse than that. Imagine the old commercial for silly putty. Remember when the kid presses it on the comics page in the newspaper and the image gets on the silly putty. Then the kid stretches the image out a little, making it look weirdly misshapen. So, like that, only the silly putty is somebody's back or stomach and it's a leathery reddish, brown and the image isn't Dick Tracy, it's something like a dragon or a demon that used to be an angel. Am I the only person on the planet that doesn't have tattoos? I know I sound like an old lady, but I do not get it. For what people spend on tattoos, they could get some really nice jewelry, which they can take off when they get tired of it.
- Little Kid Infestation - They gather at the steps, making it impossible to use the steps for getting in and out of the pool. They swim into you while you are standing in your corner of the pool, minding your own business. Worst of all, they are unaware of your presence and will jump in right next to you, splashing water all over your paperback. (yes, I read in the pool, doesn't everybody?) But, I suppose if I didn't want to get wet, I wouldn't be in the pool.
- Wet Paperback Malady - Splashing aside, most of the damage came to my paperback when I dropped it into the jacuzzi my own self. It's okay, the words were still intact.
All that aside, we had a very fun time. Mom and Dad came and took us out for lunch, we played some board games when it got too hot to be outside and I finished reading the entire book!! (the aforementioned paperback) Granted, it was an old Agatha Christie novel with less than 300 pages, but still. For me, having time to read is a precious thing. And I would gladly trade in my working week for another week at the condo... once my ear heals up that is.