Day 186 – 3/4/21 Beach day in Galveston, TX

We had a really nice day enjoying the beach in Galveston.

It’s a beautiful morning here in Galveston, TX.  Our site faces the water, so the windows face east, and the door faces west.  This means, I am having my coffee and typing here while watching an amazing sunrise over the water.  Wow!  Clear skies (finally), huge sun, and the sounds of seagulls, with the ocean as the backdrop, so nice.

Our morning was a little off order today with Bella waking up on her own first.  Since she was up, I got her morning school work, and she got started.  She decided she wanted to sit where Bia usually sits, and she did her school work from there all day.  She got going, joined a few live classes and had done most of her work by lunch time.

Bia woke up right around the time I’d wake her up, and was not happy that she woke up on her own as she wanted to sleep more. hahahaha… I told her I was about to wake her up, and she didn’t miss any sleep time.  Then she saw Bella on “her seat” and complained a bit, but then chose to do her school from the couch where I usually work when they are both working by the dinette.  I got her setup there with the computer desk, and she got going.  She’s been getting work done on her own, and just going, so that’s what she did again today.  She has been asking for minimal help.  She was also mostly done by lunch, and wrapped up after her last live class just after lunch.

Carol woke up soon after that, she wanted to go shopping and I wanted to go run, and since I had some calls early morning, she got ready and went grocery shopping.  She went to the nearby Walmart, and a few other places, and also filled up the truck with Diesel since we had not stopped on our way down here.  She was gone for a good 2+ hours and had a bunch of stuff, including some surprises for the girls.  Bella had been asking for shorts, so Carol got them some shorts and skirts, and they loved it.  Bella put her shorts on right away, and had them all day, she loved it.  Then Carol started putting things away and working on lunch.

I had some work calls in the morning, and was able to finish writing yesterday’s entry, and do some work as well.  After Carol came back, I left for my run.  I ran towards town, east, and went by the road first as I did not know where the path started.  I was by the road for maybe 5 minutes when I saw the path on the side of the beach, and just ran on that the rest of the time.  It was a super nice run.  Weather was great, warm, but not too hot.  Not many people out, and it’s right next to the beach.  The first few minutes, the sea wall meets some rocks and concrete below, but then the sand starts and you’re right by the beach.  I had been to Galveston before, maybe almost 20 years ago, and it was after a hurricane hit the area, so my memory of the place was not only pretty faded, but it was that it was grey and sad, and run down, but that’s not the case at all, at least now.  It is really nice here.  That stretch of beach is sandy, the buildings are all lifted on stilts, but are nice, there’s vibrant colors everywhere, there are some piers, one of which looks a bit like the Santa Monica Pier in CA, etc.  We are going to try to check out the pier area a bit more tomorrow or Saturday I think.  On the way back, I found the path continued towards our campground, and its entrance was very close, with access by the beach, so it’ll be easy to get the bikes and hit that trail towards the pier later. 

When I got back, Carol had all kinds of food stuff going.  She had potatoes in the grill, she had meat in the slow cooker, she had already grilled vegetables, and she was salting a steak.  She said I was to grill the steak, so I showered quick and went right to it.  The girls were playing outside at this point, and I was finishing the potatoes and grilling the steak, which Carol finished her salad and veggies inside. 

Once everything was ready, we had lunch.  Well, Carol and I sat down and had lunch together, the girls were playing and would come by the table here and there and grab a piece of steak, or some asparagus, or what not, so they ate while they played.  Bia was done with school, but Bella still had some stuff to finish, but I told them they could play by the beach, and later in the day Bella would finish her school work.

Carol and I started cleaning up while the girls got ready for some beach time.  They put sun screen on themselves, then on each other, grabbed their buckets, a beach mat and went across the street. 

While that was going on, Carol finished putting lunch away and did the dishes.  I got the ladder for her and she cleaned all the trailer windows from the outside with some vinegar solution, so now they are nice and spotless, which will be great for sunrise pictures tomorrow.  I cleaned the slideout tracks, especially the top ones since I had the ladder out, and put more silicone spray.  I also lubricated the trailer’s scissor jacks as they have been making noise now when I deploy or put them away.  Then I got the bikes in the front rack down, so I could fix Carol’s front tire.  By time I got to the bike, Carol was almost ready to go to the beach with the girls, so I took the chair there for her and checked on the girls.  They were just there, playing some pretend game, making sand piles with the buckets, etc. just enjoying their time.  It was awesome to watch. 

Then Carol came with Maggie, and I went back to the trailer to finish what I was doing.  I wanted to get Carol’s bike tire fixed, so I removed the front wheel again and took out the tube.  The problem there was that my patch had not “glued” properly and it leaked.  But, this time since I had it filled pretty good, the hole underneath got much bigger, so I just threw the tube away.  I had another patched tube that was fixed waiting to be used, so I put that one in, and left the new one in the emergency bag.  I got the tire filled and back in the bike, and all was good again. :). We are ready for a ride, if we have a chance to do one tomorrow.  Then, I locked things up and went to the beach.  We all hung out by the beach for another hour.  The sun was nice, but the breeze was a bit cold, so unless you were moving, you needed a light sweatshirt. 

We had parent teacher conferences, so we needed to be back and ready by 5.  As we went back, Bella was full of sand, so I got her the hose outside and helped her clean up, then just opened the bathroom door from the outside and she went right into the shower.  Carol started working on dinner, and I got the computer and couch area setup for the parent teacher zoom calls.  

The first call was with Bella’s teacher, all was fine and I can summarize the call in a quote from the teacher, which was basically this (not exact words): “Isabella is doing fine, it’s hard to measure specifically without the standardize testing, but all seems fine.  Plus, it’s third grade, she has her whole life to catch up if anything needs catch up.  What she is learning in your trip is worth way more”.  Made me feel like maybe we are too hard on Bella sometimes, but… not really, we’ll keep pushing so she’s not behind on school.

Then we had a call with Bia’s teacher.  Bia’s teacher does a great job managing the virtual students and adapting to their needs and challenges.  She said she felt Bia’s participation changed this last quarter, to less, as she is asking less questions, and not asking for help as much as before.  When she asks Bia if she needs anything, Bia says she’s ok, but then when the teacher reviews the online math test scores, they are all over.  Sometimes 100%, sometimes 40%.  The plan for math is to make sure Bia asks the teacher for help (less asking the parents…pewf), and that we email the teacher a picture of the math work she did for the tests, so she can help Bia with specific areas.  Also, she said Bia did not improve in her writing, and that she always puts notes on the documents and allows students (actually recommends) to re-write and she’ll review again, so the plan is to make sure Bia is reviewing her notes and redoing as needed.  She also recommended Bia spend some extra time doing Kahn Academy activities as those are great to build foundation and review, etc.

After the calls, we sat with the girls and talked to them about what they need to work on, all well received and no drama.  Now, let’s see if they carry out and we’ll have a good last quarter, especially since most of our next few weeks we are not doing a ton of parks and will be more enjoying the places we stay.

After the calls and our conversation, we had dinner.  Carol had also worked on oatmeal cookies, per Bella’s request, so we had some of those for dessert.  As we got things cleaned up, Bia showered, I was doing some work, and then we had the TV on for about an hour before we turned it off and put the girls in bed.  After that, I worked on getting a post ready to post tomorrow, and called it a day.

We had a nice day enjoying ourselves and spending a bit of time at the beach.

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