We had an amazing day this last Sunday. It was Memorial Day on the 31st, so we had a long weekend and decided to head down to Galveston Island for a day of kayaking and swimming. We signed up for a tour of Galveston Island State Park with Artist Boat, an organization that combines kayaking, science and art, and headed into the estuary/marshes of the park for a 4-hour excursion. If you’ve never gone kayaking, give it a try. I feel that kayaks are not only faster and more maneuverable that canoes, but the paddling motion is more natural on a kayak. I had only gone kayaking a couple of times before, and this was Alisha’s first time, but we totally rocked the two-person kayak. I’m proud to say that we were faster than anyone else and we never got stuck in the mud!
Next time we go kayaking, we’re going to just rent them and go out on our own, but it was nice to have a tour guide this time around. She pointed out the egrets, great blue herons, black skimmers (awesome birds – their lower beaks are longer than their upper ones and they fly along “skimming” the water with their lower beaks), turns, sea snots (like jellyfish, but just the jelly, not the fish part) and the places where stingrays live (unfortunately did not see any and fortunately did not step on any). During our lunch stop we even got a lesson in watercolours and had a chance to paint the scenery to help us remember the adventure. My painting looks like it got wet and was ruined on the trip back, but alas, it did not. It was just poorly done.
After the kayaking, we headed across the island to the Gulf side for a little bit of swimming and ended up playing in the surf for a good 3 hours. By the time we headed into Historic Downtown Galveston for some lovely Mediterranean food, we were sunburned, exhausted and quite salty. It was quite the day, and we are already making plans for our next kayaking trip.
“Home” in the title refers to Canada. Generic Canada, not really any particular place. We’ve found a spot here in Houston where we can get a little taste of Canada: the Maple Leaf Pub. Located in Midtown, the Maple Leaf is a fun little bar with a small selection of Canadian beers. I hear it gets quite busy when a hockey game is on (especially Houston Aeros or NHL playoffs) but we went on an off night and it stayed busy, it was never over crowded. I loved the atmosphere; there were people playing board games, there was a table hockey game in one corner, a map of Canada on the wall and jerseys and flags for Canadian sports teams (including quite a few for my favourite, the Leafs!) all over the room. You could also get a good selection of Canadian beer (unfortunately not my favourite, Dead Elephant Ale from Railway City Brewing Company) including a beer from Quebec that tasted like potpourri. Seriously. It was quite florally delicious.