The beach always holds a special place in my heart. For some reason, being near to it makes me feel that I’m close to home. It brings about wonderful memories as comforting as the gentle waves caressing my feet.
Summer Adventure number 8: The Sun-kissed Beach Of Galveston Island State Park
Every Summer for the past 3 years, my family and I would visit the Galveston Island State Park, a coastal gem at the west end of the island. The pristine beach offers solace from the hectic city life. Last Sunday, my son and I revisited the beach side of the park. We had a great time swimming, playing and making sand castles.
It was a perfect sunny day for the beach. The clouds were so blue with huge , pure white puffy clouds. I woke up with a headache that morning and forgot to take some Tylenol before we left the house. I thought the caffeine from the newly brewed coffee will cure it but I was wrong. I still felt some throbbing on my forehead just before we arrived in Galveston.
As soon as we hit the Seawall turning west towards the park, the sight of the sea and smell of the sea breeze seems to have some healing properties. Like the waves that greets the shores, my headache drifted away. My son was staring at the waters, pointing to the Pelicans resting on the Pier’s worn out deck. He didn’t notice I was staring at him from a rear view mirror. He had this big smile on his face.
We had to pass by the visitor’s center first before heading to the beach. I gave my son 5 dollars for the entrance fee. He gave it shyly to the park’s caretaker. He took some brochures before exiting the door. He knows Summer isn’t over yet. He asked me, ” dad, can we go next to this one?” as he pointed to a picture of salt water fishes inside an aquarium. I replied, ” We’ll see.”
As soon as we parked our car, my son was all ready to jump and head for the beach. I reminded him that we still have to put some sun block and make sure that we had all the things we needed including our breakfast. Usually my wife prepares these and at that very instant it made me appreciate her more. I can’t live without her. Seems needy but it’s true. My son snapped me off my brief deep thought when I heard him say, ” dad, don’t forget my fishing rod.” I replied, ” yes, boss!”
My son saw a couple of kids playing with their colorful buckets. They would fill them up with both sand and sea water. He tugged my arm and whispered, ” can you ask their mom if I can play with them?” I was surprised by his request. Normally, he initiates the conversation when he meets new friends but today he was being shy. Anyway, I spoke to the mom who was more than happy that he plays with her children.
I sat on our red folding chair while I watched him play excitedly with the other kids. For some reason I kept staring at the bright-colored buckets. Some full of water, others halfway filled while others were empty. It reminded me of a person’s memories, his hopes and dreams in life. I felt sad for a moment as I remembered a piece of my childhood memory.
For as long as I can remember, a lot of my happy memories involves the beach. When I was about 6-7 years old, my parents would bring the family for a barbecue picnic at the beach during weekends. Back in those days we don’t have fancy floating devices so we improvised. We would use the cover of the styrofoam coolers as our body boards and the inflated inner lining of the truck’s rubber tire as our float tubes. It was always a fun time for everyone. I miss those precious and wonderful years with my parents and siblings. I felt my heart ached a bit.
I could hear my son calling another boy to play frisbee with him. My son’s laughter was as crisp and clear as the skies above me. It was a hot day. The Sun was scorching. I love the golden tan color but I felt my skin burning. I covered my back with the beach towel and wore my son’s cowboy hat. I probably looked silly since it was too small for my head. I didn’t care. My headache is coming back.
I had to get out of my chair and join my son with the other kids. They were heading towards the deeper waters. They discovered how fun it was to play with the waves. They would jump as the wave comes their way. Sometimes my son gets toppled down and I would pick him up quickly. He was having a blast. I’m happy that he was ecstatic. I was a child once and I know that this moments are priceless. It’s also an important part of his childhood.
I heard my son telling me from a distance, ” Dad, I’m hungry. Where’s the food?” I kept looking inside the bag and I can’t find any. I didn’t realize my wife placed it inside a separate paper bag. I told him I left it the car and that we had to go back and get it. He said, ” dad, you’re in trouble.” I replied, ” well, I didn’t know. Come on, we need to go back.” He answered back confidently, ” you can leave me here. I can wait.” I looked at him seriously and said, ” no, you can’t. You’re coming with me.” He did look tired and hungry so I carried him on my shoulders.
Before going home, we went to the RV Camping site, I saw an old couple playing cards inside a covered picnic cubicle, It was one of the sweetest and endearing images I’d ever seen. I wish to be like them when I grow old. Side by side, hand in hand, forever in love in this lifetime.
It was a fun journey for me making this post. I hope it brings you good memories of your trips to the beach with family and friends. May it entice you to visit its playful waters before this Summer ends. What is your Summer beach story?
- Gone fishing in Galveston! (goodbyehouston.wordpress.com)
- An incredibly brief history of Galveston Island (quirkydirt.wordpress.com)
- Galveston named one of Gulf Coast’s best beaches (click2houston.com)
- Travel Channel names Gulf Shores, Orange Beach in top 5 ‘Best Gulf Coast Beaches’ list (al.com)
- In Galveston, Texas: Checking Into Hotel Galvez Before Boarding Disney Magic (avidcruiser.com)
- Galveston-mecca for Fun (otrwjam.wordpress.com)