Friday, February 27, 2015

Nearly the last day in Galveston

Yesterday we took the ferry over to Bolivar Island.

Reminded me of the last time I took a ferry from mainland Mexico to Baja, a large, hulking ferry that listed to one side all the way across the Sea of Cortez. I felt transported back to the 1930's in our tiny cabin with quaint fixtures, in case we wanted to rest. The bunkbeds had these canvas curtains one could draw closed for privacy. Back then, we were eager to see whales wintering over.

The free ferry from Galveston to Bolivar Island was a model of tiny efficiency as we crossed this busy port's lane of barges and tugboats, followed by black-headed seagulls sparring for bread tossed by seasoned travellers. We were going birding.

And birds we did see. At first, just lots of seagulls, big ones all along the beach, with a few sandpipers skittering along the sand. But later, a little off the main road and very near the ferry in a rocky, oysterbed of a wetland, we saw white egrets, oystercatchers, brown pelicans, and a great blue heron or two. 

Then we spotted a roseate spoonbill working his way along the reeds on the far shore, his bill in constant motion. I don't think I knew how hard birds had to work to eat. 

Roseate Spoonbill, Bolivar Island (February 2015)
Not bad for nearly the last day. This morning, packing looms, with the usual frenzy of printing out boarding passes, for tomorrow we return home, rested, with new pictures to share and fond memories of Galveston. I will remember for a long time the sight of this beautiful pink bird lifting up to flight.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Walking around Galveston's Historic District

Yesterday, we walked our feet off after quite an exciting bus ride up to the Pleasure Pier on 25th Street and Seawall where we peeked through the gates at the rides (closed for the day).

Pleasure Pier, Galveston (Camp 2015)
We walked to the ShyKatz Deli for lunch (a most delicious vegetable soup), and then over to the Mosquito Cafe (to check it out for dinner later). We found the highwater mark for Hurricane Ike inside the Mosquito Cafe. 

Across the street at their Pattycake Bakery, we discovered the most amazing "knock knock" cupcake -- a rich chocolate cake filled with whipped cream, fudge, and then rolled in crushed Oreo cookies. Amazing!

Then over to the Bishop's Palace to browse the architecture, classic stained glass windows and chapel in this sturdy Victorian mansion, built in 1892, which was one of a very few houses that remained standing after the tragic hurricane of 1900 which took thousands of lives.

Bishop's Palace build 1892
Bishop's Palace still standing
post Hurricane, 1900
In fact, one of the pleasures of walking through this East End historic district is imagining life from long ago and admiring these beautiful Victorian houses, each with distinctive decorations and gardens.

For more information about the Bishop's Palace, go HERE.
Read more about the hurricane of 1900 HERE and Hurricane Ike HERE.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Monday in Galveston . . .

Today we went to lunch at the Tortuga, a sprawling Mexican restaurant, right on Seawall Boulevard, just about a block from our tiny condo. 

Someone else cooked! A delicious avocado stuffed with shrimp, fish, broiled vegetables with three kinds of salsa met our appetite delightfully. Even at 1pm, we hit happy hour! A nice draft beer with lime for 99c topped the meal. The music in the background? Cajun style to mark that blend of Spanish and French culture reflected also in the Mardi Gras parades this past weekend and next.

After a brief trip to Kroger's for supplies (carried home in a daypack), we lounged by the pool for a while and then upstairs home again, a quiet day in what seems a little like paradise.

Tortuga Restaurant from the Bay 
Photo by on Flickr
Today's temperature 79 degrees
For inquiring minds, yes, the writing is coming along just fine, the temperature today really was close to 79, and we wish you all could be here!