Sunday, May 21, 2006

My Week on the Island

One of my Sistahs chided me in a comment about not giving y'all a travelogue of my recent trip to Galveston Island with the Dearly Beloved.

I called her from the Strand, while recovering from shopping therapy. I had just purchased some witty stickers to divide amongst us 4 Sistahs and my XX offspring. They were so delicious I just had to immediately share them with someone who would truely appreciate the twisted humor. Since Sistahs #2 and 4 are working for a living in the middle of the afternoon, Sistah # 3 {I'm Sistah #1, the Eldest and Wisest} got the call. She thinks I love her best, but I love them all equally.

Anywhos... I will now share some of this humor with y'all. First, the ones Flo got, since she got to preview them, she got her dibs in for the ones she wanted. All of these were illustrated in 1950's pulp ad art style. "I Married Mr.Right...I just Didn't know his first name was ALWAYS." And "I Haven't Had My Coffee Yet, Don't Make Me Kill You".
Sistah #2, Cait, got "Give the }itchy Nicotine Queen Her Cigarettes"
Sistah #4, Az, got "I childproof my house, but they STILL keep getting in"
I gave the Barbarian Princess, my XX offspring, one that said "When I grow up, I want to be a Total }itch, Just like you, Mommy" and another that said, "You Go Girl and Take Those Tacky Shoes with You".
I kept one for myself that says, "Being Unstable and }itchy Is All Part of My Mystique".

Other shopping finds on the Strand were some incredible potions at a shop named "Bath Junkie". I got tapioca lotion powder and sparkly {not being cute, that's what it's called} lotion and some after shave lotion for the Dearly Beloved. Mine I had scented with Summer Rain. His is scented with a very manly, crisp, outdoorsy, scent. The sparly lotion glows in the sun- or moonlight due to the little-bitty flecks of mica. Very kewl.
I also got a 1950's vintage Sak Fifth Ave. cocktail hat in black velvet with black braid and black jet beads and black net that comes down to about mid-forehead. And it came in it's original Sak's hatbox. How do I know it's a Sax hat? It still has the label in the band. I'm not gonna tell you what I paid, that would be bragging, and you'd just start crying, if you're into vintage accessories.

Now, that I'm through with the important stuff, like shopping, I'll tell y'all where we went, what we saw, and where we ate.
We ate at Gaido's one night. It has been one of my favorite places since I was old enough to appreciate truly excellent food, prepared well and served in an elegant {they still have finger bowls at the end of the meal for Gawd's sake} setting, by suberb waitstaff. The Dearly beloved had angel hair pasta, a huge pasta bowl of it, with lump crab meat in an Asiago cheese sauce. I, on the other hand, had one of their "complete dinners". I started with shrimp bisque, then a salad, then grilled catfish, sea scallops, and shrimp on a bed of wild rice with grilled yellow squash, zucchini, and red bell pepper. And fried onion rings. Then they brought the dessert tray. Oh Lawdy, Lawdy, Miss Claudie, I thought I'd died and gone straight to Heaven! there were at least 13 desserts on that tray. No tiramisu, and no plain cheesecake, so I settled for warm pecan pie with a scoop of vanilla Blue Bell. The Dearly Beloved had a cake slice size warm brownie iced with chocolate and topped with vanill Blue Bell. Oh, I almost forgot, the Waitperson, cleaned the crumbs from my deliciously crusty French bread and the Dearly Beloved's garlic cheese pepper bread with her crumb try and brush between the entrees and dessert. So classy. And the view? Through the window wall. We watched the gulf all through dinner. Then as we waddled our way out of the restaurant, we decided to go walk on the beach for a while to let the meal settle.

Some friends took us to a place called "Sonny's" on 19th St. for lunch one day. Sonny's will now be a regular stop on future trips. Muffalettas to die for, cold Shiner Boch on tap, and a bullet hole in the bar with a really cool story behind it. You can read the brass plaque on the bar and then the newspaper clipping and then either Sonny or Larry will fill in the setails for you if businnes is slow. It is a family owned business since 1945, and is worth a stroll around the place to check out the news stories, pix, and brass plates denoting continous days patronage by UTMB residents.
Sorry, DossieRe, we never made it to La Estacion, next time, I promise.
Now, for the places of historical interest. On 25th {aka Ball} and Broadway, there is a stunning Memorial to the Heroes of the Texas Revolution. If you are brave enough to risk being run down by the traffic, and scratched deeply by the boxwoods, you can get close enough to see the details, and they are worth the risks. The Italian artist hired to do the restoration was mighty talented. The original memorial was damaged in the Great Storm of 1900.
Which brings me to my next, subject. We went to Pier 21 and watch a presentation on the Great Storm of 1900. If you've watch Isaac's Storm on the History Channel you're already familiar with it. But it was still informative. There was a group of 4th graders from Kilgore in the theater when we were there and their reaction actually added to the experience for me. All those "oohs" and "ahhs" and squeals. After the theater cleared out, a pair of ladies our age stayed for the next show and so did we. It was about the pirate Jean LaFitte and his life on the island until the US Navy forced him to leave.
We went to the Railroad museum. That was a trip back in time. The waiting room is filled with mannequins dressed in 1930's garb that has been covered in plaster of paris. Men, women, and children engaged in all the activities you would expect to see in a Railroad Waiting room. Against onme wall is a short line of phone booths. On the wall of each is a short bio of BOI notables {Born on Island}. Outside in the "Yard" are restored RR cars. Pullman, dining, club, mail, and box cars are there for a walk through. Another building houses several model trains moving through differing dioramas. A separate part of that same building houses a vast collection of china, flatware, and serving pieces from the old dining cars.
It certainly took me on my own trip down memory lane. From 1965 until 1972 I would ride a train between Houston and Killeen and later Houston and Temple to make my e/o weekend visits to my Daddy. The first year my older bro would go with me, but after that I was on my own, woo-hoo!

We also went out to Sea Wolf Park. The Dearly Beloved had never been aboard a submarine or a destroyer escort. I had taken the offspring there when they were kids. When I was trying to get my old, stiff bones through those sub hatches, I thought balefully of how the kids would swing through them like monkeys through the trees. But it was fun to see it all again. Did you know you can rent the sub for "educational" slumber parties"? Can you imagine how much fun that would be for a group of kids?

Of course we rode the Boliver Ferry, and went over to the Peninsula for an afternoon. We tried to get close to the old lighthouse, but it's on private property now, so no luck with that venture. But we did go out to the old Fort Travis. It is now a State Park, for Day Use only. But they have it all mapped out so that you can tell which ruins used to be barracks, the PX, the fuel dump, etc. The gun emplacements are still there, so the Dearly Beloved was enthralled with that.

Speaking of gun emplacements. Part of the landscaping at the San Luis Hotel is an old shore defense gun emplacement.

The Dearly Beloved went a couple of places by hisownself. He went to a huge military surplus store in the Strand district called "Uncle Bubbie's" and to "The Lone Star Flight Museum". He was able to purchase some items he's been looking for and to see some great old planes. He seemed to have a great time.

But, But, But, Holly, what about Moody Gardens, and the Moody Mansion, and the Bishop's Palace and Ashton Villa? Well, my Darlin's, we ARE gonna go back. This way we'll have those things to see next trip. And I'll probably go on the Dolphin boat trip while the Dearly Beloved goes back to the Flight Museum.

Well, now that I've told you all that's fit to print about the trip...

HollyB.



1 comment:

Doris said...

no excuses! You have got to do breakfast at La estacion !!!!