Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hot Mess Camping Trip: Surfside

I'm not gonna lie; the trip started off a little rough. 
It drives me insane when Patrick lets uncontrollable circumstances rock him so easily, to the point where he is impatient and negative about the tiniest of things (like Friday afternoon traffic through construction, the fast food drive-through not moving fast enough, cars going only 5 miles over the speed limit in the fast lane, the gas pedal making his foot tired, or Pandora not being able to read his mind and play the exact song he wants to hear at the exact moment he wants to hear it {to name a few}).
After about 7 straight hours of his attitude, I finally developed one of my own. There are a lot of things in this world that are even better when multiplied, but there is always an exception to the rule. Two attitudes are definitely not better than one. To top things off, I dropped the floor fan out the back door of the 4runner, bending the blades (interpretation: breaking it), a perfect way to set the mood. But one of the best things about our relationship is our ability to build a bridge and get over it. Quickly. 
Freeport is an industrial city, and although I imagined it to be drab and ugly, driving through it at night actually seemed a little magical in its own way. All the architectured metal intricately twisted to form acres of robots lit with millions of lights ranging in color from oranges to yellows and bright whites all intermingled to form a welded wonderland. 
I haven't been to the gulf in years, and driving through the residential areas resurrected childhood memories of thinking a house on stilts was one of the coolest things since aunt farms. 
I wondered if it would be okay to have a place like that even if I didn't live by the ocean.....like a tree house for adults.
I grew up never questioning a few things about the beach that people not accustomed to parts of the Gulf may find surprising: 
1. Watch out for tar. 
2. It's best to wear a bathing suit lacking light colors.
3. Run fast over tall piles of seaweed or you'll be eaten alive by the mosquitos. 

Friday night we were greeted by seahorse sized west nile spreading bloodsuckers as soon as we got out of the car to set up our tent. Swarms, no less. 
I'm no stranger to camping amongst the humidity thriving coastal insects, but this was infestation on a new playing field. Waking up at dawn and looking up to the roof of one's tent to count about 15 slow hovering predators, despite all efforts to stay protected, is what I call living on the wild side. 
Our DEET spray was enough protection to keep them from dive-bomb-attacking our exposed skin, but we didn't escape completely unscathed. What's up with the citronella resistant spotted hybrid breed growing down in these parts, as if one kind of mosquito inhabiting this earth wasn't too much already?
As soon as we stepped foot on the beach in Surfside, though, nothing else mattered. 
The seagulls singing that familiar tune, the waves crashing into the shore over my bare feet, my toes sinking into the sand that's fascinatingly just as much solid as it is liquid, the musty salt filled air blowing on my face......a happy place, indeed. 
I could lose time just over this sand, sinking into it, squishing it between my fingers to feel the grinding vibrations it makes, watching it constantly recreate. 
Patrick agreed, pushing aside his prejudice. "I'm so glad you brought me here. It's beautiful."
From early morning until late afternoon we indulged in our senses.
Relaxing in the water....
Relaxing in the sun....
Play in the water.....
Play in the sand....
We revisited our campsite that evening to cook dinner, where we started eating with the sunset as a backdrop scenery and watching two cops slowly combing their way through the camping resort, door by door, as free entertainment.  
Being nosy in the prospect of other people getting in trouble is all fun and games until the tables are turned. It's even less fun when the PoPo break the news to you that you have to pack up and leave the campsite you've paid to occupy. At dark. In the middle of dinner!
To the officers who waited out the sun to come enforce the law: 
Thanks a lot for picking us last, by the way, it's really no problem to pack up a whole campsite in the middle of dinner in the freaking dark and find a last minute place to stay. It's especially easy to pop a tent in the middle of the night by the light of a head lamp with 40 mph winds blowing everything away like a kite. And as for not being prepared for a lack of electricity or bathroom or any kind of fresh running water what so ever....eh...who needs 'em, right? Who gives a flying squirrel that there's a fire ban and we had to eat our dinner cold after we moved? S'mores? I guess my ass didn't need the addition anyway; I'd only been thinking about how good they'd be for a week. 
We laugh in the face of evil. 
To the "land lord" lady of Austin's Landing RV Park who painted her own face as a liar when she told me she hadn't seen a single mosquito in the breeding grounds that is her camp grounds until the day we arrived: 
I don't like liars, and in no way do I accept your empathy card of, "It's okay, they {the cops} are making me move my RV, take a picture of the empty site, then move it back." I don't believe you had to sleep with one eye open in fear of being ran over in the pitch black night by some drunken driver, because you were scared to drive more than a foot off the beaten path of the beach that you were given crappy directions to (the last thing you'd need in a situation like this is to have to call a wrecker to pull you out of the sand in the morning, trust me). Call me when you have to sleep on the ground instead of your cushy mattress and someone cuts your electricity off in July. Sorry bitch, no box fan for you.  Thanks a lot for advertising on your website that tent camping is available. I guess next time you should also mention that it's illegal. And I'm just spit ballin' it here, but you should probably take care of your mosquito problem before someone gets diagnosed with malaria. 

Hey, at least I got to enjoy a skimpy version of that campfire staple I'd had my heart set on. 

What's your favorite part about the beach?


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