The Texas Road Runners !!!!!
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A Day in Galveston - 2005
The Sights include : More Roadside Attractions, Galveston Island State Park, Moody Gardens, The Lone Star Flight Museum, The Sights of the Seawall, The Point Bolivar Ferry, Wolfpack Park, Historic Broadway Street and the Strand.
Forward : (As always, click on the picture for for a larger image and click on the links for photos surprises.)
The night before, during dinner time discussion, dad had brought up the topic of penguins due to watching a show on one of the brain channels, either Discovery or the National Geographic channel. Then mom brought it up, them dam penguins over at Moody Gardens in Galveston. Hum, it had been at least 10 years since I have set foot on that island and that was to see the "Ring of Fire" movie at the Imax there. Since then, I have heard of a colony fruit bats at the Amazon Forest Pyramid. Due to my school work, I don't think I'll be seeing any bats in the near future and thought I could check this out. Mom want to see her penguins and I want to see bats! I quickly pulled out my Texas Curiosities book by John Kelso for any thing weird to be found there and thus, plans were made for the weekend. But first, mom got a computer virus. I have to fix it and make sure she doesn't catch it again. Of coarse she blamed dad.
Star Date : 04/09/2005 :
After dad's accident, mom volunteered to drive, so we all piled into the car. I had read about the Kettle House in John Kelso's book, so I instructed mom to take CR 257 northeast from the Freeport/Surfside area. As we traveled north, we had the beach to our right and Christmas Bay to our left until we finally reached the San Louis Pass Toll Bridge. We paid our $2.00 and were finally on Galveston Island, barely! San Louis Pass is one are to be cautious of. One is always reading in the newspaper of someone drowning in the waters there due to high currents and undertows. So be careful swimming or boating in the area. Watch out mom!
We continued on our northward trek to the city and then the car broke down. But a very nice policeman help mom get us back on our way again. Our next stop was the Galveston Island State Park. The state park is another one of those areas for you bird watchers. We simply explained we just wanted to see the beach and wetland areas and would be right out, thus got in for free. It doesn't hurt too ask, but watch out for those pelicans, I think they are dangerous. But when you seen one Texas beach, I guess you have seen them all. It was so bad, it hurt my eyes! So, back on the road again.
Finally! The Kettle house. It really doesn't look like anyone is living there any more.
Ok, we moved on and we finally hit 81st street and took a right to the entrance to Mood Gardens. Wow, this is a big place, we went on in and paid for our tickets. We quickly passed the ole' Imax movie theater and made our way in to the Amazon forest.
Moody Gardens really promotes their frogs. They are very colorful, however, very poisonous!
Moody Gardens Frog 1
Moody Gardens Frog 2
Moody Gardens Frog 3
Moody Gardens Frog 4
A Cool Frog
Finally you will emerge from out of the frog cave and begin your walk through the forest. Of coarse the colorful birds are interesting to look at :
Some Black and White Bird
Looks Like a Dove
There Not Flamingos
But where's the bats? Oh, there they are. Now for the bat lovers :
Fruit Bats 1
Fruit Bats 2
Fruit Bats 3
Fruit Bats 4
Fruit Bats 5
Not a Fruit Bat
And now for the Aquarium and those funny penguins :
After the tour of this particular facility, I checked out the back and took in the view of the bay. It was lunch time and dad suggested the restaurant at the Moody Gardens Hotel. We made our way in and did our grazing. They have a great salad bar, but my lunch must have been a little under cooked. On the way out, we played a little chess before moving on.
On our way out back to the seawall, we past the Lone Star Flight Museum. It was right by Galveston's airport. Cool, more old airplanes to check out. There wasn't a tail left on this old C-47 and this Super Sabre beckon us on in :
Inside the Hanger
We finally completed our tour of the old war planes and headed for the Seawall Blvd. On the Seawall, we headed north to see the sights. My God, another Rainforest Cafe. The Hotel Galvez is one of those famous landmarks on the island along with the ole' Flagship Hotel which sets on piers on the water. In Kelso's book, the Flagship is suppose to have a couple of giant, naked mermaids that have stirred up quite a controversy here. I only saw these mermaids and a view of the beach. I also saw the Balinese Room which used to be an old gambling casino back in the 1940's. It is now a restaurant and gift store selling beach trinkets like the Mermaid Pier. Of coarse I was able to pick up another refrigerator magnet. Many of the restaurants have clever roadside attractions to lure the folks in like Fish Tails, Gaido's big crab and Casey's big shrimp. One of the old historic sights along the Seawall is the old WWII big gun emplacement. I'm sure them soldiers in WWII had a lot of fun shooting it. As cool as it was for a March weekend, the beach was plenty crowed.
We finally turned off the Seawall and ran into historical Broadway Street. Check out the more familiar sights :
The Bishop's Palace
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
The Magnolia House
The Ashton Villa
The Moody Mansion and the
Famous Big Statue (Kind of reminds me of the one on Hawaii 5-O)
By the way, several of these old Victorian homes offer tours.
Well, you can't just go to Galveston with out checking out the Free ferry ride. Yes, I did say free thanks to the Texas Department of Transportation. Not only do they rule the Texas roads, but some of the water as well. So, 51st Street was found and we were on our way. On the way we passed by the huge UTMB medical facility. If I don't make it into Pharmacy, I just might wind up here in their nursing program. We made it just in time. During our trip to Point Bolivar, the concrete ship "Selma" was pointed out to us. Other ferries were also in operations. I have my suspicions, but I think the captain is a women on this boat.
Once on Pelican Island, it was time to visit Seawolf Park. Home of the USS Cavalla, an old US submarine and the USS Stewart and old destroyer available for your viewing pleasure. Here's a few snapshots :
The USS Cavalla
The USS Stewart
Stewart's Guns 1
Stewart's Guns 2
We then left Pelican Island and made our last stop in Galveston, the Sights of the Strand :
Cornel Bubbie's (Ole Bubbie supplied all the uniforms for the Saving Private Ryan movie.)
The cruise ship Elation was in dock getting ready to sail away.
The Rail Road Museum (How many of these museums exist in Texas?)
One of the Strand's Trolley's
More of the many shops
Some Crazy Woman
Me Helping an Old Lady Across the Street
Some Guy Waiting on Jesus
Well, it was certainly a full day. You just can't see all of the island in one day, but from the looks of it, it was time to go home. At least mom got her penguin fix. Our route this time took us across the causeway on I-45 to Hwy 6 to Hitchcock. From Hitchcock, we then took Hwy 2004 all the way back to Lake Jackson. I just hope the cats behaved and our robot didn't catch anything virus's from mom's PC while we were gone.
So, until next time, take care and I'll See you... on the road, or in the workshop, (which is really just my garage) !!!!
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