Southeast Texas

After our Southern Utah trip we stayed with Hillary and Joe for about two days. And then we left for our next adventure.

Billy was going to a music festival in Round Top, Texas. Of course we had to make a big trip out of it. So we found ourselves in Mesa, Arizona.

We had a fun time staying the night and visiting Matt and Lori and their kids. Their pool has this cool current creator that you can swim into. We got to play with their kids as they went and celebrated Lori’s birthday. It was really nice getting to see them again.

The next morning we got a Sonoran dog from Tucson, then decided we wanted to get the driving over with, so we drove 18 hours and got to my parents’ house in Groves, Texas.

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It was wonderful getting to see my family again. I loved getting to spend time with my mom and sister and the whole family. We celebrated Billy’s birthday at my grandma’s house. And yes we ate some of that.

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After too short a time we left for Lindsey’s house in Houston. We had a great time shooting BB guns, having a barbecue for Memorial day, picking blackberries from a farm, and eating the best burger flesh we’ve ever before consumed. We went and got sushi for Billy’s birthday. I loved getting to see Lindsey’s whole family again, and I got to meet Billy’s Grandma Noeveroske!

We had a fun week together at Lindsey’s, but that had to end, too. Billy left for his festival the same morning that Lindsey’s family and I were leaving for Galveston. I couldn’t even say the words goodbye to him because I would have started bawling.

When we got to Galveston, though, I was pretty amazed. We walked into our nice beach cabin and suddenly I was a little more okay with being separated from Billy.

All of John’s family were staying in the cabin with us. We were all going deep sea fishing. A long while ago, when Hillary was getting married, Lindsey said how they were planning on going fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and I’d mentioned how I wanted to go. While we were on our southern Utah trip Billy called Lindsey and she told him that she’d gotten me a ticket.

I was so excited! I’d been looking forward to this ever since she told us I could go.

And I was not disappointed. We woke up early in the morning to drive down to the dock. Our ship was the Capt. John- ironically captained by a woman.

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Lindsey takes Dramamine for her motion sickness, and since I didn’t know if I got sea sick I was encouraged to take one. They made us really sleepy so we both fell asleep for part of the ride out there.

It’s called deep sea fishing- meaning you have to get off the shelf. So we had to go out pretty far. The water actually turned a lot more blue after a while, which is surprising for the Gulf.

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I loved the way the boat crashed and rocked in the waves. I surprisingly thought it felt calming. Being on a boat like this was so fun. You’d think it would get boring since there isn’t much to see out there, but I enjoyed all the new sensations and smells. And I love the ocean. I think it’s beautiful and so deep and mysterious. I loved experiencing all these new things. Plus the company was fun.

Eventually the boat slowed down and dropped the anchor. We all stood in front of our assigned poles and waited for the announcement to drop our lines. While I waited I baited a little baby squid on my hook.

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The woman captain told us we could drop our hooks, so everyone did and it was crazy. I thought it was going to take a long time before anyone caught anything. In fact, I was a little worried I’d be the lame one that wouldn’t be able to catch a single one. But that was not the case. A minute after we started several people were reeling in their lines. We found a huge swarm of red snappers, I guess, because everyone caught a ton of them. It was so invigorating, fighting the fish for every inch you dragged him up. And when you won you felt so excited! It’s thrilling to be the champion!

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I caught three of them. John’s dad Terri caught the (arguably) biggest of the whole ship. After a very short time we were told to stop fishing because we’d already reached the limit for red snappers. The anchor was reeled up and we took off for another location. We stopped somewhere in the middle of nowhere (I have no idea how they figure out where to stop). It proved to be a not-so-great spot. Whereas for the first one we couldn’t stop catching fish, at this one no one could get anything. It was cool, though, because a guy a few poles down caught a shark and reeled him up. He wasn’t big enough so he got thrown back in.

We fished there for a while, then once again the anchor was lifted and we jetted off to another location.

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We parked alongside this cute oil rig. By this point it was really hot with all the sun, but most of us kept right on fishing. In this spot we could see a bunch of fish towards the surface, but everyone was having a hard time catching any of them. The woman captain (who inspired me for a whole day to be a captain of my own fishing boat) came round and switched my bigger hook for a smaller one and explained their mouths were a lot smaller, and that I needed to use smaller bait.

For the red snappers I’d hook a whole squid on. But for these little spade fish I had to use my fingernail and sever the tentacle-leggy-thing off and just hook that on. I thought it was fun.

After that more people started catching the spade fish. Some were still catching red snappers, but those had to be released since we already reached our limit.

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I ended up only catching one of them, but mine was the biggest of our group. Jean, John’s sister-in-law, caught a million of them.

After a while at this spot we reeled up the anchor for the last time. We made the long drive back to the shore. Lindsey got sick so she took some more Dramamine. I felt fine so I didn’t (which hopefully means I don’t get sea sick). The ride back was fun and relaxing. I loved how they hung all the fish so neatly along one side of the boat.

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When we arrived back to the dock we all got off and waited for them to call our number to get our string of fish.

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I couldn’t believe I’d caught those! I was so glad that I’d been able to go on this adventure.

The rest of the days spent at the cabin were just as fun. We spent a lot of time relaxing and eating a ton of yummy food. Jean is a really good cooker of seafood, so I got to eat the most amazing fish I’ve ever been graced to partake.

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We went paddle boarding and canoeing. One of the days we went to the beach and swam for hours. I happen to love the Gulf of Mexico in my part of town. I don’t mind that the water isn’t blue or that it smells slightly of a lot of fish. The water is the perfect temperature. There aren’t any scary riptides that suck me out and try to kill me or Hillary (coughhFLORIDA). I haven’t met an ocean that I can spend quite so many hours at yet. Just don’t think about the occasional outbreak of flesh-eating bacteria and it’s fine.

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We also went to this pretty pier so they could take some family pictures.

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It was a really great trip and I’m so thankful that Lindsey and John were kind enough to invite me and let me tag along on their family’s vacation. And everyone there made me feel like family. Kari and Terry Pickett were also so generous and sweet to me. This trip was amazing and I’m so glad I was able to go.

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