2010 Jun 06 | turtle racing, AIA sandcastles

Another nasty accident on the highway.

I don't know exactly what bit me, but I sure reacted to them.

The bananas with the red band around them are cheaper, but it's because they're older. Normally I like deals, but I really hate old bananas.

A hate opening automatic doors when I walk by them on the way to another store. These are between the office I'm at this summer and the grocery store, but I usually remember to walk far enough away to not trigger them.

Wednesday nights are wristband nights at Slick Willie's. Pay $5 for unlimited pool all night long.

I think that's about the saddest break I've ever seen. One ball?

Apparently we like this corner.

This is about the cutest thing you can see when you open your door: a stray kitten.

"Hurricane season is here be prepared." Great.

North Dakota plates; he's a long ways from home.

Weird car with a Santa hat on top.

Trying out Jenny's new GPS.

Thursday nights there is turtle racing at Little Woodrow's. The put all the turtles in a bucket in the middle, lift it up, and then whichever turtle makes it out of the green ring first wins. You can get a ticket for whichever turtle you want. First they gave away a free drink for whoever's ticket they called and Jenny won.

And the turtles are off.

Almost there.

They ran a few different races and the turtles we picked both won, so we ended up with two free drink tickets and a koozie.

A video of a couple of races.

The first class of our cheap bachata lessons.

Friday night was Sizzling Summer Dance at Miller Outdoor Theater.

They were kind of modern art dances, so you really didn't know what they were supposed to mean, although some you could kind of figure out.

Jenny brought Lychees, which are an Asian fruit. Here Tammy is looking for the best ones.

Doing a drawing for free stuff at intermission.

A neat one with people running.

Another neat one.

My favorite costumes.

Saturday we went to East Beach in Galveston for the AIA Sandcastle Competition. We got there before 9am to avoid the traffic. Before long, all of this parking space will be full.

Some of our friends asked us how to get there. I said just follow I-45 all the way through Galveston until you can't any more, then turn right. You'll also see these ships at the turn.

We actually ran back into town to get one of those canopies to block the sun. It was $60, but since we ended up having a fair number of people and only one other person brought one, we pretty much needed it unless we wanted everyone burned to a crisp. Here we're driving along the seawall on the south end of the island. The right lane moves faster, but you have to keep your eyes open for people parking so you can swing back over into the left lane to get around them.

Going back to the beach around 10:30 and the line to get there is getting pretty long. We had a few friends call us around noon and say they just gave up waiting in line and went to a different beach.

They're pretty strict about where you park.

I think this is intentional, but at the end of each line of parking are three poles which are colored in different patterns for each row. Our row was white-red-red. Although it was easier to remember we were in row seven.

Putting up the canopy.

There were lots of shells and dead crabs at this beach.

There were all kinds of different ways to pump water up to the castles.

Using solar power.

And leg power.

The heat index was over 100. Porta-potties aren't the most comfortable places in temperatures like that.

People starting to build the castles.

They're engineers, so most groups had wooden frames.

And lots of people on top to stomp the sand down.

More builders.

Jenny getting an ice treat from a lady dressed as Alice from Alice in Wonderland. They said to sign their sheet if you got one. Kind of bribery, but it seemed to work.

Jenny's tongue afterwards.

A lady with an iguana got a lot of attention.

We thought it was funny because one of our friends is named Nino and so was the iguana, so we had to show him it.

Our group playing Uno while a guy gives out free apple juice.

There's a sign that says no swimming to the left of it, and the lifeguards were constantly yelling at people to get back on the other side.

Around 3pm most of the castles were done or almost done.

A monster.

A skull.


A dragon.

A pretty wide one.

A space shuttle.

A more abstract one.

One of my favorites: landmarks across the US. Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco, Sears Tower in Chicago, Gateway Arch in St. Louis, and the Empire State Building in New York City.

Some people dressed up in costumes.

If you don't have an umbrella or a hat, might as well use what you have.

Pretty castley-looking one.

Texas sleeping.

Not sure what this one is.


Dragon on a train.

An all-blonde family.


My favorite one.

Fat guy.

Free music.

Some buildings.

There were actually a lot of Alice in Wonderland ones.

A really tall one.

Another dragon in a train.

Las Vegas with some fun costumes.

Another Alice in Wonderland.

Snake eating a person.

A volcano. Probably the easiest one to make.


Submarine and sea life.

Another turtle.

The beach side with tons of people.

Nice hat.

Covering their friend with sand.

This battery seemed a little dangerous to me.

A cute puppy.

Saturday evening we went to Cool Summer Evenings in the Heights. There are lots of little booths with different vendors. Here were some neat wooden candle holders.

Metal carvings.

Jenny buying a headband.

Some really neat but pretty expensive rings.

Jenny buying a flower hair clip.

Origami earrings.

Lots of vendors.

Some other neat earrings.

Nice paintings.

Free music.

Right next door was an Asian store. Here are some bowl that make music when you run the brush around their edges. Jenny thought they were for storing paint, but the white guy showed her what to do, which seemed ironic.

Nice swords.

We went to a thai tea house afterwards. I can never remember which one I like, and there are hundreds. I know it's a basic one, so that narrows it down some, but there are still a lot. Jenny remembered it was the thai tea with tapioca pearls, though.