We had to travel to Houston for a wedding celebration over the weekend that my Mister turned thirty. I lived in Houston for a few years when I was very young, but haven’t spent much time there as an adult and was at a bit of a loss for things to do for a fun birthday. Houston is a huge city and I was nervous about driving on so many highways, and getting lost or stuck in too much traffic especially on a day we meant to have fun. At the last minute, the Mister, who grew up along the coast in New England, suggested that we drive out to Galveston and spend his birthday bumming around on the beach. A brilliant plan!
Getting into Houston late on a Thursday night, we set out early Friday for the hour long drive to the coast. We couldn’t have timed a trip better if we’d planned it out months in advance. It was late enough in the season that all the spring breakers were back in school, but too early for summer vacationers, and we found ourselves with a warm, quiet island mostly to ourselves. As a birthday treat, I sprang for beach cruiser rentals and since we were the only customers, the bike shop let us park our car in their lot for free! We spent hours riding up and down the sea wall, taking in the golden haze, enjoying the ocean breeze, the sounds of the waves, and the frequent flocks of pelicans flying just above us.
We found a popular local lunch spot called Shrimp & Stuff—what a name!—and tucked into giant baskets of fried shrimp and oysters and hush puppies. I chased seagulls with my camera and the birthday guy flung himself over crashing waves. We drank giant sweet teas, chatted with locals, rode our bikes some more, and sat on our towels, staring at the ocean, losing ourselves in its sounds and smells, and tried to forget that there was anything else in the world except for us and the sun and the sand and the sea.