After a month in Florida, we finally arrived in Galveston, Texas, at 7 pm on December 1, after a very tiring nine hours drive. The cat had meowed most of the way. It rained on and off. Russell could not drive as he was not feeling well. The highway drive around Houston in the dark at rush hour was horrendous. I was cranky, to say the least! And then, to top it all, the lock box code to get the condo key did not work! Thank heavens the owner answered his phone, and drove 40 minutes to get here at 8 pm to help us out. It seems that I’d been trying to get into the wrong condo. What was the most embarrassing moment in your life? This was mine!
The apartment is great. Right on the ocean, and we are lucky enough to have a fabulous ocean view. In the far distance is an oil rig, and at night the lights from all the tankers passing by is almost fairylike.
We’ve just done one day’s exploring at the moment. Russ is feeling better so life is good. Galveston is a great little city with a really cool historic district, a fabulous ocean walk, and a historic pleasure pier that resembles the one in Brighton, England! Much more exploring to be done, that’s for sure, so there’ll be plenty to write about in a next update.
Did you know the first known European settler here was a pirate? The privateer Jean Lafitte established the colony of Campeche on Galveston Island in 1817.
The city is probably better known for the tragic Great Storm that struck in September 1900. At the time, Galveston had a population of 37,000 and was the fourth largest city in Texas after Houston, Dallas and San Antonio. One-third of the city was completely destroyed, more than 3,600 buildings. More than 6,000 people were killed. In fact, there were too many bodies for conventional burials. At first, they were weighted and buried at sea, but later washed ashore. They were then burned on funeral pyres all over the city. The city was rebuilt, but not before the ground level was raised by eight feet, 17 feet at the Seawall, slanting the ground so water would run off into the bay. The grade raising was so successful that when another hurricane as severe as the 1900 storm hit Galveston in 1915, the city was safe and just eight people killed.
It is , of course, a busy port city, and on the Gulf of Mexico. This means there’s also lots of local fishing! Snapper, flounder, shrimp, you name it! We bought a pound of Gulf shrimp at one of the local markets.
Here is Arthur, with shrimp caught just 20 minutes before we bought some!
We had lunch at the Black Pearl. A very popular local restaurant. We both had Po Boys. Russ had oysters, I had shrimp. Talk about the portion size! Well, we are in the U.S of A, so should not be surprised. We had enough food to take home for dinner too!
We sat next to Trinidade and Sonia at the bar. They gave us loads of tips for the best places to eat, the best Happy Hour deals, and even bought us a round of drinks to welcome us to Texas! Trinidade works at the port as a longshoreman (stevedore). He says it’s been busy, and will get even busier once the widening of the Panama canal is completed.
Let me leave you with a puzzle. A lot of the streets in Galveston going east-west are a letter of the alphabet. Like Avenue “A”. Now, we haven’t counted how many streets there are, but when you see Avenue N, then Avenue N 1/2, you have to wonder…..
We have an unusual weekend event planned, so stay tuned to this page for the next update. I have to sign off now. It’s wine time.