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Published: November 29th 2017
We arrived after 10pm to the campground ⛺️ at Galveston Island State Park and the gate was locked ? and our name was not listed on the board of late arrivals?!? Plan B - thankfully there was a Hampton Inn a few miles down the road that had a room available. Safe and plan to call the State Park in the morning to figure out what happened...
Well, the campground had a power line catch fire ? and lost all power. They were not able to access their system and verify reservations, etc. Blessing in disguise for us...our reservation fees were refunded and the nice Park Ranger waived our park entry fees and found us the best campsite on the ? gulf side ?$50 for 3 nights! She also shared with us that JB, who owns a convenient store, was cooking a Thanksgiving dinner for anyone in town. She encouraged us to meet him and enjoy ?
So, we drove down to his convenient store to check it out...Karen walked in and met JB, a very nice man from India, and he welcomed both of us to his Thanksgiving feast - he said, ‘come back here tomorrow ~10:30am.’ Yeah
Before setting up camp, we decided to check out downtown Galveston, ~13 miles north of the campground. Once we setup Spa Haven, we are staying put ?
Galveston is a really neat area and the downtown area has lots of history...at one time, the strand was known as ‘The Wall Street of the South.’ We walked all afternoon and checked out shoppes, cafe’s, etc. Another beautiful and sunny ? day. We head back to setup camp and make dinner...we had shopped at Kroger on our way into town knowing we would be cooking. We have electric ⚡️ so we make ? soup to warm us up inside. It’s interesting how the temperature is not vastly different from other times when we have camped, however, the humidity levels make it feel so much colder. We name our camper neighbor ‘burn boy.’ He was camping alone and all he did was read ? sleep ? and burn ?stuff in his campfire ring. He almost smoked us out ? Seemed like a nice guy...never did get his story.
We walked the beach to JB’s convenient store to arrive ~10:30am. We normally have Thanksgiving dinner ? but we are up
for the adventure. JB greets us when we walk in the store and lets us know the turkey ? is done but he is still working on the mashed potatoes, other sides, pie, etc. He tells us to come back in an hour or two. I asked him how many people he was cooking for and why and he asked us how we heard about him and our story. We share our story...his story:
When he arrived in America ?? he had $3000 in his pocket. He was driving to Florida with his wife, two kids, uncle and nephew to find work. They were hungry and the kids were crying. Everywhere they stopped, restaurants and food stores were closed, except a few gas stations with packaged food, that was not food to them. He found a Waffle House that was closed, but saw a lady inside, so he knocked on the door and begged the lady to feed the 3 kids. She made three hamburgers, and one of the kids got sick ?. He could not comprehend how a man with $3000 in his pocket in America could not feed his family. He learned it was Thanksgiving. That day
he made a commitment to himself and his family that he would own a business one day and would never close...and he would always have hot food available for anyone who was hungry - on the house (no cost) on Thanksgiving and Christmas?. We did not realize the meal would be free and we offered to pay, make a contribution, cook... JB smiled and said ‘Absolutely not. People like you is why I do it. Enjoy!’ We returned and enjoyed the best Indian spiced turkey. He shared the ingredients for the yummy spicy Indian blend and I can’t wait to cook my next turkey to see if I can recreate ?
The rest of the day we relax and enjoy the ☀️ on the beach. As the sun sets ? we reflect on how thankful we are...for each other, our family, all our friends, and all the people we have met on our journey and life experiences.
The next morning we boogie on to New Orleans, aka NOLA, where we enjoy beignets from Cafe Du Monde in Jackson Square, view the St. Louis Cathedral, and explore the Jean Lafitte National Park, the Riverwalk along the Mississippi River, Bourbon
Street, Royal Street and the art galleries, The Carousel Bar & Lounge at Hotel Monteleone, the Garden District, the Bayou, and City Park - 1300 acre public park with the world’s largest collection of mature live oak trees ? and a beautiful sculpture garden; we also check out Voodoo shops and some hot sauce tasting. I think I finally met my match ??I was sweating?
Home ? safe. Incredible opportunity/adventure.
A few fun facts...
Adventure departure date: Monday, October 16, 2017
Adventure return date: Monday, November 27, 2017
Total days: 43
Weather: Rain ~1.5 hours the morning we departed and one night in Los Angeles CA
Total number of sunny days = 42.5?(unbelievable!)
Average day time temperature guesstimate: 65
Average night time temperature guesstimate: 45
Miles driven: 6,767
Average miles per gallon: 23.7
National Parks visited: 10
State Parks visited: 6
Miles/day hiked guesstimate: 105
Podcast favorites: How I built this with Guy Raz and Oprah’s Supersoul Conversations
Photos taken: 600+ ?
Front-country Camper Status: Advanced ??
Conversations, memories, starry nights ?, time, perspective, new friends and experiences...immeasurable.
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