Saturday, April 20, 2013

Galveston, Oh Galveston. . .

as the Glen Campbell song goes, "Galveston oh Galveston / I still hear your seawinds blowing", and they are certainly blowing today, as we arrive at the busy island of Galveston, TX.  But, first, we have to get there. . . 

I left the blog yesterday, having just arrived in Texas, from Louisiana.  It was a beautiful day, full of sunshine, although a bit chillier than I expected it to be.  Apparently all the rainy weather the past couple days was blown in by a cold front, we're back to long sleeves and jeans.  Hopefully it will warm up this week though.  

We had a very uneventful drive from Louisiana to Texas, although it was still pretty chilly.  We have always had a "silly" list of things we'd like in whatever town we retire to, and yesterday we found the place.  Not really, but it met all our requirements.  It had a Hobby Lobby, a Michaels, a Golden Corral, a SuperWalmart, a small river and lake nearby.  The only thing it didn't have was a Taco John's, but it had several other Mexican Food restaurants, so Lufkin, Texas is it, LOL.  Again, not really, but it is just something to pass the time that I call out when I see the items on our make believe list.  Then we decided NO, not Lufkin, it's too cold (it was only in the 40s, but again, I think that's an aberration from the recent storms that moved through.
So the next challenge was to get through Houston.  It was very busy traffic wise with lots and lots of bridges and over and under passes and ramps here and ramps there and lanes in the center of the freeways etc.  But even with that, it still wasn't as bad driving through as Indianapolis.  Of course, Houston also met our "future" home requirements, but it is toooooo big of a city for us.  

The traffic continued to be bad all the way down to Galveston, and we were wondering about that when we suddenly realized that it was Friday, and not only Friday, but Friday afternoon.  So there was probably more traffic than usual as people might have been heading to Galveston for the weekend, also.  We're going to confine ourselves to the campground area for the weekend and 

hope a little of the traffic goes away by Monday so we can do some sight seeing early next week.  

We saw our first glimpses of Galveston Island and the Bay as we were driving over the bay on a long bridge.  

We did have a bit of a fiasco, and "Gypsy" (our GPS) let us down as we drove into Galveston (or is that ONto Galveston, since it's an island?).  Gypsy told us to take ramp 1A and turn right, so we took ramp 1A, crossed traffic and managed to get into the right lane, just as Gypsy says, "recalculating" turn left at this street, so we  managed to get the Big Sky back across three lanes of traffic to turn left (even though we didn't think it was right), just to have her say recalculating, go straight to such and such a street and turn left and then turn left.  So we got the light and again crossed through the traffic to turn left and left (which would have been a U-turn, not an easy thing to do with a 40 ft trailer tagging along behind you) and we didn't manage the lane change in time, so Gypsy says, recalculating, go to 51st st and turn right, so we tried again.  By this time we're getting pretty worried, Gypsy, of course does not know we have a 40 ft trailer behind us and that we can't make tight turns or be on teeny tiny city streets etc. and we don't have a CLUE where we are by this time.  Poor Mr. C doesn't feel he can safely make the first 2 right turns she wants us to make, but finally on 53rd street he manages to make the right turn.  Gypsy says go to street O and turn left.  Street O is a one way, so we will have to make a tight left turn (but we moved slightly into the center of the street to allow us to make a wider turn).  So we do (down teeny tiny residential streets).  We get to Street O and there are people sitting there waiting for the light (fortunately, there IS a light) making it impossible for us to make the turn, but fortunately, they got their light first and were out of our way by the time we could make the turn, so we made that turn and then another to the right and finally back onto SeaWall Blvd (which is where we would have been in the first place when she did that first "recalculating" on the off ramp).  So, it was a comedy of errors, but was rather nerve wracking to say the least. 
So we drive along SeaWall Blvd, past Golden Corral (where we know we'll go for dinner).  Past some interesting sights and the Gulf of Mexico, watching for our campground and watching Gypsy to see where the campground is.  Mr. C says, watch closely for it, it'll be about .3 miles just as I say, and there it is and there it goes, as we drive right past it (remember, Gypsy says we still have .3 miles to go, LOL.)  
Fortunately, this is a 4 lane divided road, so we are able to make a U-turn at the next intersection and come back and manage the turn into Dellanera RV Park.    This is what their website says, "The Galveston Park Board of Trustees, which operate Dellanera RV Park, recently completed the rebuilding of (65) new RV campsites 21 pull—thru's and 44 back up sites at the park. The new sites offer wider RV spaces to accommodate the newer, expandable RV trailers and motor homes; service utilities, water, sewer and 50 Amp30 Amp electrical service. Each site features its own picnic table and BBQ Pit landscaping."
This is a smallish park, owned by Galveston, which was wiped out by a Hurricane several years ago. It has since been rebuilt and it quite a nice park.  It has full hook ups, some pull-thru sites and lots of back in sites, which back right onto the dunes of the beach.  The BBQ Pit landscaping is non-existent, they have the metal BBQ's on a pedestal, at least at our site.  We had requested (over 6 months ago) a pull-thru site as Mr. C HATES to back in.  In the 5 years we've had the Big Sky, we have NEVER, not once, had to back in, we've always had a pull-thru site.  As you've probably already figured out, they had us booked into a back in site.  Not only was it a back in site, but it was at the very entrance to the park where we had already passed and would have required us to go back out across Sea Wall Blvd, down the road to do another U-turn and turn back into the park to get at the right direction to make the back in site.  Plus, it didn't appear to be long enough to fit our rig.  I politely insisted on a pull-thru site.  They hemmed and hawed and tried to get us to accept, "but it backs right onto the beach, it would be a great site".  NO, it isn't what we want and Mr. C finally gets upset enough to ask if there are any other RV parks in the area that would prefer our business, as we had requested and been told we would have a pull thru site.  
The first gal gets the second gal in on it and to make a very long painful story short, they finally managed to get us into the exact site we thought we had originally reserved.  So we're happy campers now.  We went, pulled into our site, got all set up, went to dinner and then came back and took our first short walk to the beach.  
Although we are not backed onto the beach, this is the view from our back window.  If it were not for the sand dunes  (the green hill in front of the slatted fence) the water is so close it would overflow the RV during high tide.

This board walk goes right to the dunes and then there is a path through the dunes to get to the beach and water.  The board walk is one site and the driveway away from our site. 

The beach is then probably 100-500 feet deep until you reach the water
 (depending on what phase the tide is in).  I can't wait to see it at high tide today to see just how close to the campground it really does come.  

There are some really pretty flowers along the path to the beach between the dunes.  I believe the yellow flowers on the bush are Beach Primrose and the red and yellow are Indian Blanket. The single yellow with the dark center is some kind of small sunflower, I think, but I'm not sure what the 3 yellow ones with the dark and reddish centers are.  

They had completely different leaves than the single  yellow flower and unfortunately, I bought the wrong Field Guide to Wildflowers as I thought Texas would be in the Western Region and most of Texas is in the Eastern Region guide, apparently.  

Mr. C, happy to be by the Gulf of Mexico on our first afternoon here.  By the clothes you should be able to clearly see that it was still pretty darn chilly here.  

Mr. C took what I think is a cool picture of these "4" birds (really only two) but the way he took the picture captures their reflections and makes it look like there are 4 of them.  I believe these are Laughing Gulls. 

I wanted to get up bright and early on Saturday morning to see the sunrise over the Gulf of Mexico and to catch the early morning low tide, to see if there were any interesting shells or other debris thrown up by the "waves" (more like surf, not quite big enough to be called waves).  

I saw a squadron (flock) of pelicans flying and diving into the Gulf for their breakfast.  They were really pretty close, but not close enough for the pictures to show them clearly.  
There were also the normal sea birds hopping and flying about and making all kinds of racket.  

We were just barely in time, but here it is, Sunrise over Galveston Island Beach on Saturday, April 20, 2013.

And, here I am, all bundled up enjoying the brisk early morning breeze and sunshine at Galveston Beach.  

I did manage to find some nice shells.  I'm not collecting everything, as I have tons of shells at home, just trying to find some different or unusual ones for my collection.  There were some nice big regular shells, as well as some lovely Angel Wings.  I don't have any Angel Wings and am surprised, after finding some here, that they can survive the waves and surf at all, they are so fragile.  We also found one round snail shell, but it still had the snail in it, so we returned it to the ocean. 

Around 10 am, I looked out our back window and saw some people enjoying the breezy conditions, and this cheery sight seems to be a good place to end my post today.  I hope you are all having a wonderful cheery weekend, and that you'll return to follow our adventures through the next couple weeks.  Smiles, Sue C



  1. Nice description of your trip; am enjoying it and feel as thought we're traveling right along. Thank you. LY

  2. Hi,looks much better than yesterday...Hope you gave Gypsy a good talking to. Love the sunrise, beautiful. And enjoy you travelogue, may not have spelled that right. Hope it warms up for you. But still nice to have the sunshine. Glad you found shells you didn't have. LY, Gail

  3. I wanna come down there I miss Texas. Never been there though.