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Published: July 26th 2010
July 16th 2010
I have not been to Galveston in about 10 years and decided to see what has changed since Hurricane Ike hit in Sept 2008. As I was driving down I-45 and passing through the town of New Waverly I thought I smelt something fishy. Since I was still 100 miles from the coast I thought it was a little bit too soon to be smelling fish. Then, I saw a billboard which read “Wake up and smell the savings”. It was an ad for a mattress company. There must have been something fishy about the deal !! LOL.
Crossing the bridge onto Galveston Island, I noticed the top of the median wall on the bridge was in shape of waves and the light poles were in the shape of birds. It put you in the mood to be on the island.
After arriving in Galveston and checking into the hotel, I took the Duck tour of the island to get an idea of some of the things I wanted to do. It was a very informative tour. As many times as we went to Galveston growing up, I didn’t know that Galveston had a military
Shaped like bird wings
base at one time called Fort Crockett. During WW II two cannons were installed on the island as defense against German Submarines. In the 50's Fort Crockett was taken over by the US Fish and Wildlife. Later part of the land was sold and the San Luis Resort was build on the land where the cannons had been installed. Due to the amount of concrete used to protect the cannons it would have been too costly to remove the casemate. The Resort was built on top of and behind the casemate. You can still see them from the road along the seawall.
The Flagship Hotel was built in Galveston in 1965. It is located on a pier out over the water. When I was a kid and we would go to Galveston I always wanted to stay at the hotel. I thought it would be so neat to have a room out on the water. Hurricane Ike damaged the hotel so much they are not going to be able to repair it. It will be torn down. Since the pier can be repaired, the plans are to build an amusement park on the pier with a Ferris wheel. It
should be completed in 2012.
After the tour I rode around the island for a while and saw a large ship docked near the Texas A & M campus. I was able to get up close to it however when I was taking pictures I felt something bit my leg. I thought maybe I had stepped in ants. I looked down and my white legs were black with mosquitoes. You should have seen me doing a dance trying to get them off but they would not leave. I was doing a dance all the way to the car !!
I went back to the hotel and walked across the street to the beach out on a pier. There were several people fishing. They did not catch anything while I was there however they had caught 2 small sharks just before I walked up and let them go.
It was starting to get dark. I could not let my first day in Galveston end without getting my feet wet. I was wading in the water and about 10 feet ahead of me was a sea gull eating a minnow. I keep walking toward him and he would run
Fort Crockett Barrack
They are trying to decide what to do about the barracks. They are thinking about making them into condos and selling them.
from me with the minnow. He keep dropping it and picking it back up. He was not about to fly off and leave it behind. I would walk closer and he would take off running with the fish. I finally stopped walking toward him so he could eat. As I was standing their watching a lady walks up to me and ask if I know what to do about jellyfish stings. Her son who looked to be about 7 or 8 had just gotten stung. I didn't think she would appreciate the only remedy I had ever heard of, which was to pee on it so I told her where Wal-Greens which was open 24 hours a day was located. I told her they had a pharmacy.
Between the sharks and the jellyfish I think I will just stick with wading on this trip. Of course since I don’t know how to swim I am sure it is a wise decision. 😱
A lot of the huge Oak trees on the island were killed by Hurricane Ike. It was not from the wind but from the storm surge. When the salt water from the Gulf receded it left
behind salt deposits. The Oak trees could no longer absorb water so they died. Instead of cutting down some of the trees, residents had carvings made out of them. I was driving through the neighborhood taking pictures and a lady outside at the house next door to the house I had stopped asked if I had seen the Tin Man down the street. She said the residents of that house had chosen the Tin Man because it was the boyhood home of King Vidor a director of the movie Wizard of Oz.
I rode the ferry over to Port Bolivar and looked around the area. They have not rebuild the area as much as they have in Galveston. I drove on up to Crystal City, turned around and rode the ferry back to Galveston. On the ride back I saw a lot of dolphins. As many times as we went to Galveston growing up and rode the ferry, this was the first time I had seen dolphins near the ferry.
I did not see any oil on the beaches while I was there. I was taking to the waiter one night at dinner and he said some had
been reported in Crystal City. He said the rich people lived in Crystal City and he thought they were just saying it was there to keep people away.
One thing I did notice on this trip, when you are a female traveling along, people stop and talk to you. It was nice because you then learned things you normally would not have learned about the area.
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