Combining business with pleasure is always nice. My sister lives in Houston and is a road warrior so she often travels near us and we get in a visit. Last year we had the little mini-family reunion in New Orleans for the Nutcracker performance. When I wrote Deadly Doubloons, I began the novel in Galveston and needed some information about diving in the area. I contacted Tom Andersen of Island Divers and he kindly answered my questions. Although Doubloons began in Galveston and then moved to other locations, I am working on False Front (a little edgier than Doubloons) and it is set in Houston and Galveston. Well okay, it actually starts in Belize. Anyway, the point is that I needed to be on the ground for a day and so I came in to visit my sister and we popped down for a leisurely day and night of ”girl time” and general relaxation. I had booked us into the Holiday Inn on Seawall Blvd with a great view. The only real “business” was to go by Island Divers and ride around getting oriented.
Tom and Asa Andersen are a delightful couple and it was a Saturday morning when their shop wasn’t terribly busy. Asa, who has a real estate background, had the perfect place in mind for a location that I needed for False Front. Tom, who has a commercial diving background, also does a lot of technical diving and we chatted briefly about another aspect of the book. It was a pleasure meeting them and when it comes time for us to dive the Flower Gardens, I’m sure we’ll be giving them a call. While we were talking my sister found a great book for their grandchildren – The Dragons of Kangaroo Island, by Jacqui Stanley, who is also an artist. (http://www.islanddiversgalveston.com).
Lunch was at Casey’s where they have 100 beers – 20 of them on tap. My sister rarely drinks beer, but I had a good time with Fireman #4, a local beer. A little shrimp gumbo, chilled shrimp, carb cake, and delicious onion rings made for a fun lunch. Some driving around, popping into a couple of cute shops, and a relaxed afternoon of reading on the balcony as we watched a handful of surfers. We’d driven through on-again, off-again rain that morning, but Mother Nature was kind and the sun came out for partly cloudy skies instead of mostly. In fact, we went across Seawall Boulevard and strolled on the beach to watch the sunset. It was a really nice day topped with a dinner that I’ll talk about in the next post.