MONDAY MANIA * August: Galveston County—How to Have Fun During a Hot Texas Weekend

           I recently returned from a Sisters’ Weekend in Texas. It’s a tradition that’s grown and changed over the years. It started off with just the four of us. As the second generation of females grew up and became old enough to deal with four crazy women, we invited them too. Unlike the crazy family in the movie, August: Osage County, when my family gets together for a weekend, no skeletons come out of the closet, no one suffers from detox, no one is mean and nasty, no one lies, and, most importantly, we don’t fight. Instead, we laugh, play games, shop, eat, and tease one another. At the end of the weekend, we don’t scatter in hysterics, spewing hateful parting comments at one another either. In fact, we are NOT ready to go home. Impossible, you say? Here’s a brief rundown of our get together. You are welcome to take notes.
Left to right: me, Kris, Karen, Karla.

            Sister Karen coaxed her foodie husband, Robert, to mix up a batch of his award-winning limoncello. What award did he win? A thumb’s up from his wife and three sisters-in-law. If you don’t have such a generous, talented brother-in-law who can do this, no problem, buy a quart of Everclear, a bag of sugar, and a bunch of lemons. Google the recipe on the internet. (Do this several weeks ahead of time to allow the concoction to age.)
Since a weekend can’t survive on limoncello along, Karen visited her sommelier to recommend some great wines. If you don’t have such a cool sister, just go to Safeway and buy whatever wine is on sale.
            Sister Karla checked out every brewery on Galveston Island to find one that could accommodate us. She found one with great beer and a separate room. If you can’t find a brewery nearby, just do the Safeway thing again and set up in the garage.
            Sister Kris brought her portable outdoor screen, projector, and her Momma Mia video. All Niece Becky and Niece Katie had to do was show up.
            We didn’t have a strict itinerary, but this is what we did.
            Since I was the only one coming from out-to-state, I arrived at Karla’s on Thursday evening. We got up bright and early and decided to start off on a healthy note by jogging five miles around the small coastal town of Seabrook. Then we went home and had smoothies. That was it for the healthy part. After cleaning up, Katie arrived and we shopped, had pizza, and shopped some more. Kris joined us after lunch at Nordstorm’s Rack and where we did some major damage. In the middle of our Marshall’s frenzy, Karla’s husband, Jimmy, called frantic. He was “stranded on the side of the highway with a flat and no jack.” He was sweltering in the 100+heat and could we please hurry home, find the jack located somewhere in the garage, and bring it to him before he died of heat stroke? We thought it a bit odd that this guy didn’t have a jack, but nevertheless, we drove at breakneck speed back to the house. When we pulled up into the driveway, there was Jimmy’s trunk sitting there on all fours. And there was Sister Karen and Jimmy laughing. They just wanted to see how fast they could get us home. Not funny. But the ordeal made us hungry, so we drove back to the pizza restaurant where we stopped for lunch and stuffed ourselves again. Back at the house Niece Becky arrived and we spent some time ogling her engagement ring and flipping through Brides Magazine. We picked out her dress. (Remember My Big Fat Greek Wedding? We weren’t quite that bad).
Karla brought out her wonderful dip made with cheese and jalapenos, we uncorked the wine and began playing cards (another family tradition) and laughed until our sides hurt. Sometimes around midnight, we toasted with limoncello. 
            We slept late, no surprise there, and had bagels with the some of last night’s dip. We waited for Becky’s friend to arrive, making us a female family of seven, and then drove to Galveston Island. We headed straight for The Strand and almost cleaned out our favorite boutique. After visiting a few more shops, we had a late lunch at one of Galveston’s finest eateries. Then after more shopping, we headed for the Galveston Brewery. This is where I discovered the game, Cards Against Humanity and then iPhone Charades. Being in a separate room didn’t prevent another woman from joining us. Three and a half hours and several pints later, we left the brewery and found ourselves knee-deep in the Gulf of Mexico, my favorite saltwater pond. Then we realized we still had half an hour of shopping time left and headed to Marshall’s. Back at the house, we played more cards until our eyes blurred and our heads, or at least mine, hit the table. We toasted again with limoncello and went to bed way past our bedtime. We never got to watch Momma Mia, but we’d all seen it many times, so we didn’t suffer much.
            We slept late again. Sisters Karen and Kris and Nieces Becky and Katie had to return home, but Karla and I talked funny-man Jimmy and their son Trey into taking the boat out into Galveston Bay. Trey, the fishing guru, invited his female friend from the Northeast who’d just taken a job in Houston. He was eager to show off his fishing prowess, but caught nothing. The cute and very smart Yankee girl reeled in a nice one, though. After dinner at a waterside restaurant, we cruised back to the boat landing and headed home. I hit the sack early and flew out the next morning.            
            That was five days ago, and I’m still recovering.  
P.S. In case you haven't realized, my sisters and nieces are so much fun. I love them a lot! The men in the family aren't half bad either.