Vacation time

Well, the month of May is over and Thursday we will begin the first day of the sixth month of the year. It seems as if the past several months have flown past. Most of them have been busy but enjoyable for me. This past month is no exception as I’ve had busy weeks and not so busy weeks, but not one of them was as much fun as this past week has been!
My granddaughter’s children were already out of school and she and her girls came to Yoakum to pick me up and we took off last week Monday for Galveston. It was a fun trip, and the traffic wasn’t as bad as it could have been. We were all hungry and didn’t start looking for someplace to eat until we were almost at Hwy. 45. Within minutes, however, we came across a really nice café at Bayou Vista. Of course, we all wanted seafood and had some wonderfully fresh shrimp. The girls were totally excited about being close to our destination and could barely sit still long enough to eat, but they managed to do so. Of course, once we got to my daughter’s home, the questions of “When do we get to go to the beach” were uttered frequently, so after a short relaxation time for the adults, we went to the beach. It was windy, but not too bad and they played in the water to their hearts’ content while I sat in a comfy chair with an attached umbrella and watched the fun. We also began out search for seashells and found quite a few for them to make picture frames as keepsakes. My daughter came down after work and she and the girls played in the sand. I finally walked a ways out into the water to watch them swim and we had a great time. We spent three out of the four afternoons we were there at the beach and each day it was something different. One day the tide was coming in, the next time it was out and the next time we were sort of in the middle of the two!
Each day, we did something different, from the children’s museum that is in the Moody Mansion and has numerous rooms of things for the children to interact with on the inside as well as things for them to do outside. A visit to one of my favorite tourist spots on the Island is Moody Gardens. Everything there is so lush and beautiful with flowers and plants everywhere you looked. Our first stop was at the aquarium and they enjoyed seeing the various fish and everything else that was in there to see. Next, we went to the rainforest and they enjoyed seeing not only plants, many of them flowering, especially orchids, but also birds flying around, hopping on the railings within inches of where we were standing and other types of animals who were in their natural habitat of a rain forest. We were given a flyer when we went in and it had pictures of the various birds and the girls were excited about checking the names of the ones we were seeing! We strolled around the grounds until they got bored looking at flowers and we headed back into town and lunch and then it was back to the beach for more water fun.
Wednesday we were slated for a tour of NASA, but first my daughter took us out for a wonderful lunch at the Rainforest Restaurant. The girls were totally in awe of all the things there were to see in there and luckily, we got to see/hear the thunderstorm that is part of the entertainment. Our trip to NASA was awesome to say the least. There is so much history there that it is unbelievable! We started in the “hangar” where one of the Apollo spaceships is housed. The area is gigantic and on one wall is all the information about all the different trips into space with photos of the crews, etc., including the story of how it was restored after weather damage. We then drove to the next destination that was one of the main buildings and we were introduced to the space program and what went on in most of that building including a trip to “Mission Control”, our guide was my son-in-laws nephew by marriage. He and his wife both work at NASA and to say we had excellent guides would be to put it mildly. They know their business and I came away feeling as if I had really learned something about the whole space program.
Thursday morning, it was shopping on the Strand and we had a wonderful time. The highlight of the shopping was when the lady in one of the stores gave each of the girls a bracelet when we left. They were so very proud of their new bracelets and took really good care of them. They got to hear the whistle the cruise ship sounds when it is time to begin boarding and we were able to drive by and they could see how big it was. They are scheduled for a cruise next year, so were really excited to see it. Later that afternoon, when we were at the beach, it had finally sailed and in the distance we could see it heading out. Were even lucky enough to see three people kite surfing and that was entertaining. How they could hold on is beyond me as the wind was terrible, but they managed to “steer” the kites the way they wanted to go without going too far out into the Gulf, as there were wind warnings and earlier, near a jetty, people were told to get closer in to land as it was dangerous.
But, guess what, all good things come to an end and when Friday morning rolled around, it was time to start loading the car and head back home. It took us longer to get home than it did to go there as we got into a lot of road construction on Hwy. 59 and it really slowed us down. All I can say is a gigantic “thank you” to my Granddaughter and my Daughter and Son-in-law for a really wonderful vacation!
Since I am writing this on Saturday, I surely do hope your first three-day holiday of the year was great. It seems as if the weather is going to be beautiful with blue skies and no rain in sight!
Banana Split Pudding
Prep time: 10 minutes
Microwave time: 5 to 7 minutes
Chill time: 30 minutes
Makes 6 servings
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons Argo® corn Starch
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 bananas, sliced
¼ cup fudge topping
Optional – whipped topping, chopped pecans, maraschino cherries
Mix together sugar, cornstarch and salt in a large microwavable bowl. Whisk in milk and egg yolks until well blended.
MICROWAVE on HIGH (100%) about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring every 1 to 2 minutes. Cook until pudding is thick and has boiled at least 1 minute. Remove from microwave. Stir in butter and vanilla. Cover surface with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Layer pudding with bananas and fudge topping in individual bowls. Garnish with whipped topping, pecans and cherries, if desired.
The recipe that follows is really delicious, it was served at a bunco sponsored by the Pilot Club, shortly after I moved here and the young lady who made it shared her recipe with me.
Apple Pie Egg Rolls
Egg roll or won ton wrappers
3 cups peeled, diced granny Smith apples
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour mixed with
½ cup granulated sugar and
½ cup brown sugar
Cinnamon to taste
Caramel apple dip or sundae sauce
Sauté apples, butter, flour, sugar and brown sugar in frying pan until apples are soft and juice becomes thick. Cool so mixture can be handled, then place spoonful of mixture onto egg roll wrapper, brush edges with water and roll up. Fry until golden brown, and drizzle with caramel topping if desired.
Creamy Lime Colada Pie
1 Pillsbury® Pet-Ritz® frozen deep dish pie crust (from 12-oz. Package)
1 package (3-oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 box (4-serving size) coconut cream instant pudding and pie filling mix
2/3 cup milk
1 can (6-oz) frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
Few drops green food color, if desired
1½ cups frozen (thawed) reduced-fat whipped topping
3 tablespoons flaked or shredded coconut, toasted*
Heat oven to 400ºF. Bake and cool crust as directed on package for One-Crust Baked Shell. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Beat in pudding mix until well blended. Gradually beat in milk. Add limeade concentrate and food color, beating until slightly thickened. Gently stir in 1 cup of the whipped topping. Pour into pie shell. Refrigerate at least 5 hours until set. Just before serving, sprinkle toasted coconut over pie. Garnish with remaining whipped topping. Cover and refrigerate any remaining pie. 6 servings.
Tip: *To toast coconut, spread on cookie sheet; bake at 350ºF 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until light golden brown. Or spread coconut in microwaveable pie pan; microwave on Low 4½ to 8 minutes, tossing with fork after each minute, until light golden brown.