Saturday, September 23, 2006

Weekend Retreat

In the next two weeks, I will be a very busy beaver. I will be presenting an interim report on a project for some people from Norway. Once that is polished off, I will finish a presentation and fly to Portland, Maine to present it at the Society of Rheology annual conference. All while managing a couple of other projects at critical points. So, as part of an effort to keep sane we have taken a short weekend retreat to Galveston. And we are trying to do it without having to pay. (Okay, so we can be cheap. You gotta problem with that?) So, we are staying at a time share that "invited" us for the weekend. Right on the beach. Kinda nice. We even ended up passing on some tickets to see MecryMe and Audio Adrenaline tonight to go ahead with the vacation. (We really appreciated the offer, though.)

Since the wind is coming in off the ocean pretty strong today, we decided not to hit the beach with a three-year old who would just get sand in her eyes, stumble around, fall into the ocean, and get sucked out to sea by the undertow. Instead, we went to Schlitterbahn. For those unfamiliar with Schlitterbahn, you're missing out. The original, in New Braunfels (between Austin and San Antonio), has for
years been rated the #1 water park in the nation, with good reason. Most of its water is supplied from the Comal River (so, its not heavily treated, but pure and fresh). The newest Schlitterbahn park is in Galveston. For this one, they tried to add a little flair: its a year-round park. No, seriously, rain, shine, snow (it happens!), hot or cold this park is open. The trick is that they have a retractable roofing system that covers a large part of the park, which can provide a climate-controlled area of fun. The picture to the left is of the roofing in the process of retracting. Pretty neato. If a sporting stadium can do it, why not a water park?

It has some nice kid pools, like the two shown here. Lots of fun for all the ages. One good thing about the Schlitterbahn parks is that they do not charge you to rent inner tubes like some places. Pirate ships, wading pools, big frogs with bigger tongues that you slide down, lazy rivers, wave pools; yeah, Tabitha had a blast out there. Played and swam until she just nearly fell asleep in an inner tube. And, they actually let you bring food into the park so you don't have to pay the crazy prices for a burger and fries.

Not to leave you thinking that its a kids-only park; there are some great adult rides. I got a chance to go down the body-slides pictured here. (Its funny: I hate roller coasters, but I do just about any water slide.) Then even have some "water coasters" that actually have you going up-hill and down-hill like a normal coaster. Very fun.

Now, we're exhausted and trying to get into bed. We're also trying not to think about the fact that we have to pay the piper in the morning. We'e got our 90-minute sales pitch to get us to try to buy a time share at 9 a.m. It's not like we are fundamentally opposed to buying one; we just know that it ain't gonna happen tomorrow.

Tabitha at the beach

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Anne said...

Enjoy your trip (and the sales pitch). Be careful.

euphrony said...

The sales pitch did not move me greatly. We honestly may think about getting into a timeshare sometime in the future, but we knew it would not be today. We did see this as an informational trip, learning a little more about what's out there. One of my problems with actually thinking about signing a contract on a timeshare is that, until you get into the short 90-minute meeting, you basically know little to nothing about what the contract will entail; even then, what you hear is a finely crafted picture that glosses over any real information beyond "pretty, buy, now".

But, two nights in Galveston on the beach, plus a $50 gift card to Landry's (good seafood) in exchange for 90-minutes was worth it.

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