Apparently, not much. (Depending on how you look at it…)
Or at least not for this group of guys.
My husband wanted to take my twenty-year-old son to the Texas Gulf on a deep-sea fishing trip before he shipped out to Navy boot camp next week, so this weekend was the last opportunity. Mind you, the only other time my husband has been deep sea fishing was a disaster – he didn’t catch any of his own, and even let someone else’s catch get away. But I guess he was really brave to want to do this anyway.
My husband, his best friend, my son-in-law, and my boy left for Galveston on Saturday at lunchtime, ready to catch a swordfish, or a shark, or whatever manly fish was 80 miles out on the Texas Gulf just waiting to be caught.
What they didn’t know when they planned the trip was that there was practically a monsoon hovering over the Galveston/Houston area that afternoon. As they drove down, from the elevated freeway, they saw half-submerged cars in the neighborhoods they drove past. Yep, Omen Number 1.
Their Track Record
And maybe I should give you a little background: Other than finding me, my husband has NEVER, EVER, and I repeat NEVER had good luck. EVER. And my son-in-law isn’t much better in the luck department.
Yep, oh shit.
They arrived in Galveston in the pouring-down rain. “Screw it,” they said. “We’ll swim anyway.” And they did – they had the pool to themselves. But no swim-up bar, which they were really disappointed about. And as my husband pointed out to me, they didn’t have to worry about lightening striking (a lightning storm was taking place, by the way), because the lightening had the whole ocean, right across the street to strike. Why would it strike four guys in a swimming pool? Yep, good logic.
After the swim, since they fortunately didn’t get electrocuted by a lightning strike, they drove around trying to find a restaurant. As you know, Galveston was ravaged by Hurricane Ike last summer, so it’s still trying to get back on its feet commercially. But apparently it hasn’t succeeded yet, because they had quite a bit of trouble finding someplace they wanted to eat. (I think they settled for some gourmet restaurant like the Golden Arches). They gave up and went back to the hotel. Omen Number 2.
The Night’s Sleep (Or Lack Of)
Well, although the hotel was four-star, the room itself was only 300 feet. Pretty small for three big guys. Actually, VERY small. And it was to get even smaller, for what my husband didn’t know about his best friend of 35 years was that he has terrible, horrible sleep apnea. His snoring could probably be heard down the hall. Then after he’d stop breathing for a number of seconds, he’d have to wake himself up with a horrible, loud, choking sound. At which point he’d “wake up” and start the snoring all over again.
Between the snoring and the choking, and the constant farting (remember, four guys by themselves in a hotel room – YUK!), they didn’t get much sleep. Omen Number 3.
The Fishing Trip
They had called the charter fishing company four times the night before, just to keep updated on the status of the weather. It was supposed to clear the next day, and yes, the trip was still on. Leaving at 7:30. They’d even driven to the pier the night before (as they went on their quest for a restaurant) to make sure they knew how to get there. 7:30.
Well, at 7:15 AM, my husband called the charter fishing company to make sure – 7:30. (Of course, my son-in-law suggested he call earlier, but he knew what he was doing).
He was told the boat had already left at 7:00. CRAP! Omen Number 4.
So instead of going 80 miles out for 12 hours, and deep sea fishing, they were only going to go 10 miles out for four hours, and go not-so-deep sea fishing. CRAP!
However, what they all failed to realize was that none of them were used to being in a boat, and certainly not in the seven-foot tall waves that pummeled them, leftover from the storm the night before.
You know what that means! Yep, they all got sick. GREEN, GREEN, GREEN. Apparently, their main mission switched from reeling in the biggest fish they could find, to trying to make sure they didn’t barf all over their boat shoes. (Just kidding – no one had boat shoes).
Of course, the best friend, and my son – the almost Navy Seal trainee – blamed it on the bad coffee (who ever heard of getting sick from bad coffee?????). Whatever.
But, I told them, maybe they were saved from being eaten by a Great White. (Think Positive)
The Catch (Or Lack Of)
And because of the choppy waters, only a total of twelve fish were caught that day by all of the fishermen.
But at least they felt better that they hadn’t gone 80 miles out for 12 hours. They were more than happy to get back to dry land.
The Next Night
Well, they thought they’d console themselves with some beer and pool. What they didn’t count on was that there hadn’t been very many pool parlors on the island in the first place, and now after the Hurricane, there were even fewer.
They drove around in circles, tracking down the pool halls, even going on a wild goose chase once because apparently a local who gave them directions thought it would be funny to send them driving around and around the island looking for a pool hall that wasn’t there.
Finally, they did find a few, only to realize that the bartenders, compliant as they are with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission wouldn’t let my son (who is only 20 years and 102 days old) stay in the bar. Under Age. Omen Number 6.
They finally asked a cashier in the Mexican restaurant they went to if she knew of a bar. Yep, she knew of a bar around the corner where the Mexican locals hung out, but they really wouldn’t want to go there.
Uh-oh. I guess it sounded like a dare to them, because that’s where they headed.
The Real Dive
What a place – a real, real authentic place. A ghetto place. It even had a chubby Hispanic midget as a cocktail waitress. And as my son pointed out – all the women were REALLY, REALLY FAT!
But….the bartender didn’t ask for ID. So….. it was perfect!
So there you have it – a not-so-perfect trip to the beach. But these are the things good stories are made of, and good memories.
My boy got the joy of some great “guy” time (even though it was a little screwed up since there wasn’t a woman along to make sure everything went as it should).
And I got a big bag of empanadas, and the joy of being able to tease my almost-Navy-Seal son about the sea legs he is supposed to have, but apparently doesn’t.
So, as far as I can tell…….It was a great trip!