When opportunity arose for us to use our daughter and son-in-law’s beach house we took a short, mini-vacation over the 4th of July Holiday to see an old friend of ours—Galveston, Texas.
Galveston looks much improved from Hurricane Ike’s damage five years ago and still boasts some of the same fun spots that pre-date our honeymoon visit in 1966.
We spent a lot of time on the balcony of the house relaxing, talking, reading “Where Women Create,” eating ice cream and people watching. No, I did not do any running on the beach. Those days are long behind me.
Even though it was a long Fourth of July week-end, I had a deadline the afternoon we arrived to get hotel rooming lists to the Westin and Hyatt Hotels where many of us will be staying for the Long Beach Quilt Festival in August. Besides setting off the house alarm, I could not get hooked-up to the internet. So, off to trusty Starbuck’s for refreshment and Wi-Fi.
Work is done. Now we can play. Using “self-guided” tactics in our car, we drove by many Victorian homes in pristine condition and others that made us sad they were in such disrepair. We created a game new to us that provided lots of laughs. Maybe you had to be there, but give it a try. We call it “Words of Wisdom.” With each taking a turn, we went on and on with quotes you have heard all your life such as “A stitch in time saves nine,” “A penny for your thoughts,” “Easy is as easy does,” and on and on. Tommy tried to use the titles of songs when we were running low on more quotable quotes. Do you think I let him get by with that?
So it was on to look at the adaptive re-use of hurricane Ike damaged tree stumps by transforming them into artistic sculptures throughout Galveston’s Historic East End neighborhood. Tommy poses with Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz, by Jim Phillips, is at 1702 Winnie Street. These oak carvings stand as a playful symbol of the island’s resurrection.
We dined at three different informal restaurants we highly recommend. The first night we went early to Shrimp ‘n Stuff near Galveston College for what else, shrimp. It was delicious, and our tummies were full right along with all the locals also eating there. If you go there, go early to O St. and 39th because it fills up quickly.
On July 4th, we went to Olympia Grill for lunch on Pier 21, Galveston’s busy harbor. We ate outside where there was a cool breeze and lots to see. I highly recommend the Avocado Greek Salad with Salmon.
Just a few blocks away is the refurbished Galveston Island Railroad Museum where “rails have met water” for years. Nostalgia with a comic twist added to our fun.
What would a vacation be without visiting an antique/junk shop or two? Tommy and I both can dig around just about any of them and come up with a treasure or two. Now our children would ask why we would be buying any more “stuff” for them to have to dispose of some day. My excuse is that I bought things at Past Perfect on Post Office to paint for my booth with Joan Hill at our church’s Fall Festival in November.
We settled-in early on July 4th, on the balcony of the beach house with a few snacks, as people gathered below us on the beach with their lawn chairs. As it grew dark fireworks came from 3 sources to the east of us and another source to the west. When it seemed they were finished, we headed to bed on the third level of the beach house. Tommy fell fast asleep, but I was up reading email when the pop-pop started again around 11:30 PM. I tried to rouse Tommy, but he was happy in bed. So by myself, I witnessed grand fireworks from our bedroom balcony just in back of the house. They were loud, but beautiful.
We were up bright and early on the 5th so we could get a few chores done in the house to leave it as nice as we found it. We were on a mission to get to the Sunflower Bakery and Café before the crowds appeared. And the crowds did appear. The menu is endless with eggs, bacon, waffles and other tasty treats well worth waiting for. Mid-morning, we bid Galveston and the Fourth of July a pleasant good-bye and headed home to find our kitties waiting for us.
Thank you, Holly and Scott, for loaning us your beach house. We loved staying there, but as the “Words of Wisdom” say “East is east, West is west, but home’s best.”
Keep enjoying your summer. There is still more to come. A visit from our three youngest grandchildren is next. What’s in store for you. I hope to hear from you. With lots of love, Judy