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Give Thanks
I do, I do!

So we just got back from our Thanksgiving vacation on the Texas coast, Port Aransas.  May I just say – NIGHTMARE?  Okay, okay, maybe not a complete and total nightmare but oh my gosh.

It started out by finding that the German restaurant where we have our Thanksgiving dinner was closing permanently on November 5.  The man – the nerve of this man – decided that after 40 years he was going to retire.  He certainly didn’t think about me when he made that decision, now did he?!?!  No, I’m not that selfish but really.  How could he?

The trip started out with rain.  It rained most of the way. Then our halfway hotel this time was the Ham*ton Inn, usually a very nice chain.  But the bed.  I am not sure I can call it a bed. The mattress was light and slid across the box spring with ease, and it was HARD AS A ROCK, people.  We’d have been better off sleeping on the carpet.

When we pulled up to the condo, it looked very promising.  We had one of the penthouse condos facing the ocean.  We’d not been to this particular condo before.

Casa Condominiums
The Condominiums

And it started out beautifully inside, too.  There were live plants everywhere, inside and out.  Around the heated pool was a tropical paradise.

Pool area
Pool area

There were plants down the entire private hallway on our floor.  There were only two condos on that floor, so it was very private and quiet.  The smaller doors were for storage and maintenance access.  For an older condo, it looked very nice.

private hallway
private hallway

We walked into the condo and yes, was even more promising:

Entryway
Entryway from Living Room

Two balconies and a private deck:

Private Deck
Private Deck

2014 Private Deck 2

Main living area (bedroom we used on right):

condo living room
condo living room

But despite views like this – morning, noon, sunrise:

front off balcony
front off balcony
Side off Balcony
Side off Balcony
Sunrise
Sunrise

…the first set of vertical blinds I touched to look out at the ocean, several fell down on my head. In one of the bedrooms, almost all of them fell down. They were being held up by electrical tape and scotch tape.  The twist stick thing was broken so the curtains didn’t slide open or twist to show the view (some of these pix are from the website. That’s why the blinds are open).

The bedroom we used off the living room had a pull out “accordion door” for between the bedroom and living room.  The pull out accordion door was broken.  Oh, it pulled out all right but just kept going.  It didn’t hook onto whatever it was supposed to hook onto. With finagling I could block the light from Alpha Hubby’s eyes.

bedroom with broken bed
bedroom with broken bed & accordion door

The interior shutters in the master bedroom were broken so the lighted hallway shone all night long in the first room we slept in.  The showers were very small (VERY bump your elbows on the wall small). The electric elements on the stove in the kitchen were too big so you cooked food at an angle unless the little pan just fell off the eye (as it did for me).  The coffee pot had the wrong carafe so it spewed.  The phone’s punch buttons were stuck so you had to pound to get a number to work.  So many things in this condo just didn’t work.

living area
living area

The condo looked beautiful but it is the small details that can ruin a visit.  Nope, I lie.  It wasn’t the small things, it was a huge thing:

Yes, the beds WERE ALL HARD AS ROCK.

Well, again I lie.  The one we ended up sharing was a double that was semi-hard as opposed to totally hard.  Somewhere along the line of its history it got broken so that sleeping on the edges of the bed caused you to roll to the center of the bed.  Kinda fun, really (not). We woke up sore every morning from fighting the mattress and the hardness.  But, by golly, we were CLOSE.  Romantically close.  Except for the elbow to the gut or being rolled onto by a 6’2″ body.

But, after reminding myself there were starving children in … no, that’s not it.  There are starving bloggers who might be stuck in super cold snowy weather and not get to experience the beauty that we saw, I made a point not to whine.

Plus, during this lovely time we went to a French restaurant for Alpha Hubby’s birthday and I was able to enjoy a blow-your-mind Chateaubriand dinner for two with amazing sides and a 16 ounce filet mignon, so tender you could fork cut it.  Too bad I forgot to take a picture of that beautiful meal!  There were also foods like this:

Duck
Duck
Flourless Chocolate Cake
Flourless Chocolate Cake
Scallops
Scallops

…to help ease the pain of the very, very, very, very HARD mattresses.

waist deep & frozen
waist deep & frozen

But lest you think I was not grateful for this beautiful ocean view, after a couple of days of rain, the sun popped out and it was great weather.  Alpha Son played in the cold water until his legs went numb. His Alpha Dog said “NO!” and wisely stayed with Son’s Alpha Wife.  All it all, it was a wonderful time.

Smart dog
Smart dog

However, what sealed it for me, what made the vacation sublime, what made the entire trip worthwhile was one thing (other than the ocean views) and that was being able to torture Alpha Hubby with things I found for sale:

seashell snow woman
seashell snow woman
Seashell snowman
Seashell snowman
starfish snowman
starfish snowman

As most of you know, there is often war at our house during the holidays because Alpha Hubby has an ATTITUDE toward my snowman collection.  I got rid of half of the collection (boy was that a LOT of snowmen) and he still threatens with a blow torch. I try to find ways to insert unusual snowmen into our home, for the simple joy of hearing him groan and moan over them. (see related story here – CHRISTMAS MAYHEM)

Partial view
Partial view
Jake Snowman
Jake Snowman who sings with Elwood

But lest you think I’m cruel or he’s mean, he once went on a business trip to Philadelphia.  This is what he brought me back.

Sitting Snowmen
Sitting Snowmen

I think he loves me after all, snowmen and all.