Chad felt God leading him to come to this prayer event in Houston when he heard about it on the radio last week. Grandma Jennifer generously offered to watch the kids so I could go too. We took the kids over after dinner Thursday night intending to wake up early to drive the next day. Chad, knowing that I’m always up for an adventure, said on his way out the door, “If you can get us packed up we’ll leave tonight and have more time to go to the beach.”
I was on it! Figuring I had at least an hour to get enough clothes together for one night and two days. By the time he came back from taking the kids I was ready. We loaded up in our car that I have affectionately named, “Hatch” as in “Escape Hatch” and headed south.
Chad and I have very different personalities. We are both practical and adventurous, but he is more pragmatic while I am creative and romantic. The key to harmony for us is that we are constantly “making deals”. For instance, Chad knew that I would take less time looking for the perfect bumper sticker at the Truck Stops if he bribed me with watching the sunrise on the beach. So, right at the onset of our trip he said, “If we don’t waste time we’ll get to Galveston just in time for sunrise.” “Who wants to waste time?” I asked innocently.
His trick worked. I was in and out of those truck stops like a man. I didn’t even bother to take a picture of one very funny inscription on the bathroom stalls. I just saved it in my mind and recalled the event to Chad after we were buckled up and on the road.
As a result, we didn’t miss a single shade of pink, purple or orange as the sun came over the horizon. It was beautiful! We took pictures and I thanked my strong sure captain for keeping his word. Then reality set in. By now, we were stinky and sleepy and a few of the other dwarfs. “Now,” I said excitedly “Let’s go shower and sleep!” “We can’t do that” Chad replied. “We can’t check in until 3:00.” In all of our excitement at the thought of getting away together we missed this important little detail.
“Let’s go eat breakfast. That will waste some time”, we told ourselves. We ate, got refills on our drinks and watched the guy clean the fish tank in full snorkel gear at McDonlad’s. Still it was only 8:00 am. and we were both too brain dead to even make polite conversation.
We decided to go to the state park and spend some time on the beach. After playing in the surf for about an hour we came up to the beach to lay down. Even with the sun beaming down on us we both conked out as soon as our eyes shut. I’m guessing we were out for a while since the surfing class that started as we dozed off were receiving certificates of achievement when we woke up.
We showered off in the camp ground bathrooms and drove to the motel. By now, it's only 11:30 am. Chad called the motel and begged for an early check in which they gave us, “your room will be ready at 2:00 pm” they said. I gave up hope and fell asleep again, covered in sand, sun beaming down on me through the car window, in my wet bathing suit smelling like a bait shop. Chad startled me awake by announcing abruptly, “Captain America is starting right now!” I was still feeling disoriented and having trouble figuring what the heck he was talking about. I had also fallen asleep with my mouth open and the air conditioner vent was pointed right at the back of my throat, so I couldn’t even make words. I realized he was talking about waiting out the rest of the time in an air-conditioned movie and was once again, “on board” - as long as he bought me a big icy drink.
Don’t ask how we got our regular clothes back on, but we did. I was concerned about our slobby appearance until we got to the theatre and it looked like everyone else had changed clothes in their trunk too. We enjoyed the movie, came back to the motel, kicked the maid out of our room and slept. Just another day at the beach for us.