If you are ‘of a certain age’ you may know the answers to the following questions:
- Where can we hear “sea winds blowin”?
- Where can we see “dark eyes glowin”?
- Where can we hear “sea waves crashing”?
- Where is the “beach where we used to run”?
- Where can we watch “sea birds flying in the sun”?
Geography was never my strong suit, but I sense a pattern in the questions . Hmmm. Clues – sea winds, sea waves, beach, sea birds. Doesn’t sound like a desert area, so Albuquerque and Phoenix are probably out. Something close to a sea. Narrows it down a little, but still not definitive. Guess I need to pull out the Atlas. I’ll be back in a minute, as soon as I research all of the seas in the world. [Pause . . . hum the Final Jeopardy song while you wait for me.] ………………………………………………………………………… Okay, I’m back. Did you miss me ???? Have you come up with an answer in my absence?? I had a hard time, but I think I have come up with a possible answer. If you are thinking “Galveston,” then we’re both on the same page. Gotta tell you, though, that the whole ‘sea’ thing confused me. Isn’t Galveston on a Gulf?? Oh well, minor detail I guess. It’s all water.
By now you have figured out that the answers to all of the above questions are from the song Galveston, written by Jimmy Webb and popularized by Glenn Campbell in 1969. Note of trivia – Don Ho was the first person to sing the song, and then he introduced it to Glenn Campbell. Some of the original lyrics were changed when Glenn Campbell recorded it. Why, you may be asking, are we interested in Galveston; the song and the city. Well, because we are right up the road from Galveston . It is about 50 miles from where we are living.
On the Saturday of Easter weekend, we felt like going on an outing in our new car, so we headed south towards Galveston to have a look-see. We had no plan in mind, just got in the car and headed in that direction.
This collage, pulled from the Wikipedia site, shows a small bit of what there is to see and do on Galveston Island. The top picture is a skyline picture looking out towards the Gulf. In the second row on the left is Bishop’s Palace. Second row right is the Ashbel Smith Building. Third row left is the Moody Garden Aquarium. Third row right is St Mary Cathedral Basilica. The bottom picture is the Galveston Island Pleasure Pier, an amusement park on a pier. We did not see all of these places during our brief drive around Galveston, but here are a few things that we did see.
To get to Galveston, you cross a causeway on Interstate 45.
Galveston is on the barrier islands of Galveston Island and Pelican Island off the Texas Gulf Coast, and the community itself covers about 210 square miles. It is the county seat of Galveston County, and the estimated 2015 population was 51,000. Its main economic drivers are tourism, shipping (Port of Galveston), health care (University of Texas Medical Branch), and finance. It boasts 6 historic districts with many restored 19th century buildings that are on the National Register of Historic Places. It has 14 museums, 20 art galleries, and over 30 miles of beach. If you’re interested in doing something a bit different on your next vacation, think about Galveston. There is a lot to see and do in this coastal resort city.
We had visions of parking somewhere and walking barefoot along a sandy beach. Well, there were so many other people with that same idea that we couldn’t find a place to park. So we drove up the main drag along the beach and watched those sea waves crashing from our car. Went right past Pleasure Pier, the amusement park built on a pier. [see also the picture of Pleasure Pier in the picture collage above]
Lots of folks on bicycles rented from one of the area vendors. There were motels, hotels, eating establishments, souvenir shops, and assorted other business across the street from the water. Traffic was pretty congested, and this was as close as we got to wading in the Gulf. So we turned away from the beach area and started wandering north-ish towards the port area. We were looking for a place to get lunch that would have seafood, and we found the Port of Galveston instead. The Port of Galveston, also called Galveston Wharves, was established in 1825 as a trading post. It is on the Intracoastal Waterway on the north side of the island. The port is capable of handling all kinds of shipping cargo, including containers, bulk (wet and dry), and refrigerated cargo. Additionally, a number of cruise lines use the Port of Galveston as a passenger terminal for their Caribbean cruises. Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Disney all sail to the Caribbean and the Bahamas from this port.
I have never been up close to a cruise ship, so when we saw the Carnival Freedom at the dock, we stopped so I could take a picture. As you can see, the ship wouldn’t fit into one picture. If you look at the top of the ship just past the middle, you will see a small square enclosure with a circular tower just above it. That enclosure was an outdoor basketball court, and you could see people out there playing basketball. Pretty cool. Those of you who are veterans at ocean cruises are probably not impressed, but I have never been on a cruise ship (probably never will – I have this thing about large bodies of water ). So I was pretty impressed.
We never found a good seafood place for lunch (that wasn’t overrun with people), so we ended up at a Subway, where David enjoyed a tuna sub (so he got his seafood after all ). Then it was time to head home. On the causeway bridge going back towards Houston on I45, we noticed that there was a train bridge. Tried to catch a picture of it. It raises and lowers for large boats. Also something I’ve not seen before.
The biggest thing we discovered during our small Galveston outing was that there is a lot more to see in Galveston than we ever suspected. We hope to make it back there and spend a little more time wandering around. It all depends on how David’s treatments are going and on how he is feeling. But it is definitely on our ‘to do when we can’ list.