Showing posts with label TEXAS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TEXAS. Show all posts

Thursday, October 30, 2014

More Fun on Galveston Island, Texas 9/20/14

If you missed Part I of our visit to Galveston, Texas,  click HERE.   Today,  I'll share some more of our visit that glorious day.   I was surprised at some of the comments from Part I  saying that so many people have never heard of Galveston and didn't have any idea that it was on an island... It is truly a neat place ---and other than the worry of hurricanes,  it is a fantastic place to live and to visit.

Most of this post is about and for BIRDERS... Galveston is one of the top places for birding in the United States.  Many birders come to Galveston looking for the Reddish Egret,  which is only found in a few places.... There  are many online sites talking about birding in Galveston.  I marked three for you:  HERE and HERE  and HERE.

I love my backyard birds but truly don't know much about shore birds. I do know that my eldest son --who lives in the Galveston area--- has become a real birder and knows alot about the birds in his area.  We were only there for a few hours,  but I got to see several 'new to me' birds....  Since my pictures are not too good in spots (too far away plus having to crop them),  I am enclosing some other pictures from the internet also --so that you can see how gorgeous these birds really are.

First were the ROSEATE SPOONBILLS.   Wow --what gorgeous birds.  Wish I could have seen them closer and not sleeping!!!  Bert (son) raved and raved about these beauties --which were not far from where he lives....

This  is what I wish I had seen instead of them taking their morning naps!!!!! ha  (Photo from the internet)

OR-- wouldn't it have been fantastic to see THIS????? Wow--one of the most beautiful birds I think I have ever seen.  (Photo from the internet)

This is another picture (not cropped) of the Spoonbills --but it also shows a couple more birds,  a Great Egret (white one) and a Tri-colored Heron (darker one)....  What a great place for birds to enjoy!!!!

When we were riding around Bert's resort,  he saw a LONG-BILLED CURLEW...  I jumped out of the cart and tried to get a picture.  But--he kept running away from me.  This is the best I could do!!!!  Look at that bill!!!!!!

Here's another photo (from the internet) of the Long-billed Curlew.  Beautiful birds, aren't they?

As we kept riding around the area on the golf cart,  I also saw an immature BLUE HERON.  I have seen Blue Herons before --but it was fun seeing one in Texas.

Later,  while we were riding the ferry across Galveston Bay toward the Bolivar Peninsular,  I enjoyed watching lots of birds following the ferry.  There were several different birds around including PELICANS.

Then Bert saw HIM......  (Lots of excitement here!!!!)    There he (or she) is:  a MAGNIFICENT FRIGATE BIRD.  You can't tell it from here --but the wingspan on this bird is HUGE.... Wow!!!!!!

Here  is a picture of a female Magnificent Frigate Bird  (from the internet).

AND,  here's another one from the internet showing the female and a male Frigate Bird (which has a red neck) ----'blowing' himself up to get the female's attention!!!!!  Wonder if he will POP?????? ha ha

IF you want more information about any of these special birds,  there are quite a few sites on the internet.  One I chose for you today is All About Birds.  Click HERE for any info you are looking for when checking out birds.

Back to the ferry,  another area of excitement for me during that day was seeing the DOLPHINS.  They jumped in and out of the water ---but neither George nor I could catch a picture of them totally ABOVE the water.... ha

Here's  another DOLPHIN ---or is it part of two Dolphins??????  We had so much fun watching them --and 'trying' to get some good pictures... ha

OKAY---for all of you who are not interested in Birds or Dolphins,   I have four more cute pictures taken when we were wandering around the STRAND in Galveston that afternoon.    First, I took a picture of son Mark in an old telephone booth...

Then,  George just had to take one of me in that telephone booth... By the way,  that door was heavy... Maybe George wanted me to STAY in that booth for awhile... ha ha

More Info:  Do you see the crown  above the word TELEPHONE?????  That means that this was a British Telephone Booth.... Bet my British Blog Friends will know something about this booth....

Finally here are two cute shots of George and me ---while visiting a HALLOWEEN Shop on the Strand....
George seems to be having a conversation with a couple of Cutie Pies!!!!  Ya think????

I was trying to have a conversation with this guy --but he wouldn't talk to me... (A little boy walked by at this time, and gave me a strange look....  I looked at him and said:  "This man won't talk to me."  The boy's eyes got big,  and he ran back over to his mother probably telling Mama about this strange old lady!!!!!! ha ha)

I'll  finish my posts from Galveston, Texas by sharing one last picture of my THREE GUYS:  Son Mark,  Sweetheart George,  and Son Bert.   (photo taken from the balcony at Bert's condo)

Hope you have a wonderful day.  We are in for some cold weather on Saturday --with a low of  26 degrees F  and a high of 42 degrees.  We also 'might' have some snow showers....  Wooooo--welcome to winter...  (Think I wanted to enjoy Fall a little more--although I do LOVE snow!!! ha)


Monday, October 13, 2014

A Visit to Galveston Island, Texas -- 9/20/14

Mom and son,  Bert,  taken at Galveston, TX on 9/20/14
On our recent trip to Texas,   we visited my oldest son,  Bert (goes by Tre now) and his busy family who live on the west end of Galveston Island...  I will have at least one more post showing you more from Galveston.  Today's post will be a tour of the island. 

Galveston, Texas is south of Houston and is truly an island with Galveston Bay on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other side.  I have marked this map so that you can get an idea of the way Galveston is laid out.  The island is 27 miles from one end to the other --and in some places --it's only about 3 miles wide.

Bert and family have their own vacation rental business (bestofthewestgalveston) in that area..  They have about 15 rental properties (part of Pointe West Resort) --so as you can imagine,  they stay very busy.  They rent condos/houses on both the bay side of the island and the beach side.  What a beautiful area down there.  If you ever want info on any of their properties,  contact Bert (Tre Wilhite) at the link above.

Today's tour will begin on the west end --where Bert lives and works.  Then we'll head east to Galveston and tour the "Strand" area  (downtown with lots of shops and restaurants).  After that we  will head to the east end of the island and take the ferry across to the Bolivar Peninsula.  (You can see these areas on the map I provided.)

Looking out from the front of Bert's condo,  you can see that he is at the end of the island.  From this angle,  the bay is behind me (out of sight)  and the Gulf of Mexico is what you can see in the distance.    This area is called the San Louis Pass ---and if you pay the toll,  you can go across a bridge and the road goes south to Freeport and to Lake Jackson.   This area is truly a BIRDER'S Paradise... Bert has gotten very interested in all of the different birds --and we got to see some of these birds while there.  That will be another blog post.

This was also taken from the front of Bert's condo --looking east.  Some of the units you can see in the distance are Bert's rental properties ---which are on the beach.

NOW--I'm on the other side of Bert's condo --looking out toward Galveston Bay..  I love the pool area of this huge complex (Pointe West Resort).   See the rain in the background over the bay?  There was rain all around the area --but it turned out to be a gorgeous day.

Here's one more photo from the back of Bert's condo ---looking toward Galveston Bay.  You have to SEE this area in person ---if you want to be somewhere where you feel  as if you are truly in another world---away from everything...   SO gorgeous!

Next,  after leaving Bert's condo,  he took us on his golf cart around the entire facility showing us some of the properties that they rent.  This is a fantastic area --as long as the hurricanes stay AWAY.    Six years ago,  Hurricane Ike hit Texas ---and did alot of damage to the Galveston area (especially the east side).   That is when Bert and family moved to Las Vegas for a year while Galveston 'cleaned itself up' after the big storm, and things started over.  NOW---Galveston is booming ---and I was impressed at how well the community has bounced back.

Here's more of the Pointe West Resort area.

One more photo of this amazing area!!!!

Next,  after leaving the west end of the island,  we headed toward the town of Galveston.  Galveston had another horrible hurricane in 1900 --where over 6000 people died... If you want to read more about that horrible storm,  click HERE.     Here is a picture of the Gulf of Mexico in Galveston --taken on 9/20/14.  The sea was rough on this day ---which I'm sure made surfers happy!!!!

Here's  one more picture of the ocean taken that day.   After that horrible storm in 1900,  Galveston built a 10-mile-long seawall --which was completed in 1904 to help protect the city from future storms.  The seawall 'helped' during Hurricane Ike in 2008,  but there was still quite a bit of damage to the entire city/area.    I took both this picture and the previous one from the seawall.

From the seawall, we next visited the STRAND  (touristy area filled with shops, restaurants, etc.),  There is so much HISTORY in this area --and one could spend an entire day just walking the streets while checking out the shops and history.  I love the old buildings (photo above)--and since the 2008 storm,  Galveston has done so much to clean up the area and make it what it is today.  By the way,  there was about 12 feet of water in this area after the storm --so they did have LOTS of damage.

Most of the STRAND area is composed of older buildings built many years ago.. But I was interested in this modern 'top' located on a building in the midst of the Strand area.  Neat, huh----although I still like the older buildings better.

After spending some time in the Strand (and having lunch there),  we then checked out the east end of the island.  After that we took a ride on one of the FIVE ferries (photo above of one of them) across Galveston Bay toward the Bolivar Peninsula.  (Note of interest:  there is NO bridge from Galveston to Crystal Beach --which is on the Bolivar Peninsula. SO--many people count on these ferries to get back and forth.   IF you want to read more about these Galveston Ferries,  click HERE.)

Galveston Bay is gorgeous --and we even saw dolphins (another blog post) in the water.  This is part of the Houston Ship Channel --so we saw many large ships while going across the bay.  The trip across the ferry is 2.7 miles and takes about 18 minutes. I read where about 7000 ships pass this way each year going to and from Houston.  IF you ever get to Galveston,  take this FREE ferry ride back and forth.. SO MUCH FUN!!!

Finally,  here's one last picture taken from the Bolivar Peninsula.  This area experienced more damage in 2008 from that storm than any other area, but the lighthouse made it through the storm.  Entire communities on this side of the bay were totally wiped out.   We drove just a little ways --and I snapped this photo of the Port Bolivar Lighthouse,  built in 1872.  It was retired in 1933.  In 1968,  a movie, "My Sweet Charlie",  with Patty Duke and Al Freeman Jr. was filmed here.  For more info about this lighthouse,  click HERE.

Well---after turning around and taking the ferry back to Galveston,  we headed back to the west end --and then back to Kemah for dinner with more friends... That was our day ---and our tour of Galveston.   Hope you enjoyed it.   As I said,  there will be one more post from this area sometime --but I wanted to give you the tour first.

Have a great week and enjoy NATURE---if your weather permits!!!!! ha... We've had rain-rain-rain recently --but I'm not complaining since we needed it so much!!!!!


Thursday, September 25, 2014

TEXAS Trip to Visit Family and Friends (9-18 to 9-24, 2014)

On the Road to Texas,  we stopped to see Noccalula Falls in Gadsden,  Alabama (9/18)
George and I had a wonderful trip this past week to Texas ---to visit family and friends... I have two (of three) sons who live there  and since I lived there for 12 years (before moving back to Tennessee),  I have TONS of friends there also... SO---we took this trip to get lots of hugs and love from those wonderful Texas people!!!!

Today I will share with you some of the personal photos we took while there... AND--as you can imagine,  we did alot of things while there, so I'm sure we will show many more photos in upcoming blogs telling about this fabulous trip.

The photo above was taken on our way to Texas on 9/18.  We love to break up our trips by stopping to see some waterfalls.  This time we stopped at Gadsden,  Alabama at the Noccalula Falls Park.  You can't tell it by this photo--but that waterfall is 90 feet high..  This is a gorgeous waterfall AND park --so if you ever get to Alabama,  check it out. 

Our first night in Texas (9/19),  we had dinner with my son,  Mark,  at Jimmy Changas Mexican Restaurant;  Mark is my middle son --who lives in League City, Texas.

The next day (9/20),  we drove to Galveston, Texas where my eldest son,  Bert (who is called Tre except to family and old friends) lives in a beautiful resort area on the west beach of Galveston.  (Mark is on the left and Bert is on the right.  These two brothers look alike although Bert was born in 1963 and Mark in 1970.)

Three of the FOUR men in my life:  Son Mark,  Sweetie George and Son Bert;  (Wish you could have been here,  Jeff --my youngest son).

Mom and son,  Bert,  on the Strand in downtown Galveston

Mark,  a HAPPY Mom,  and Bert

We took a ride on the ferry boat from Glaveston Island to Port Boliver (and the Boliver Peninsula)--and,  as you can tell,  it was quite WINDY!!!! ha..   BUT--our weather the entire time while there was EXCELLENT.  It wasn't too hot/humid --and the rains stayed away!  Yeah!

Three wonderful Men:  Mark,  Bert and George,  on the ferry boat toward the Boliver Peninsula;

We drove to San Marcos (9/21) to see Mark's oldest daughter,  Bay Lee,  who is in college at Texas State University.   We had a fantastic day with this beautiful young lady --and her pooch!!!

Here is a very happy Papa--and his beautiful Bay Lee.   Mark is a fantastic father to his two daughters, and I am very proud of this Granddaughter--and her Daddy.

On 9/22,  we spent 4 hours with about 35+ friends at Clear Lake United Methodist Church,  where I worked for 12 years before moving to Tennessee.  This photo is  of just some of the people we saw--since it was a 'come and go' get-together.  It was SO much fun --and many of these people had not met George.  SO--I enjoyed showing him off to my friends!!!

"George and his Women" ----George was in 7th Heaven with all of that attention.  I told all of those beautiful women though that they couldn't have him.  He is MINE.... ha

Hmmmmm--wonder what these guys (Mark, George and Bert)  are looking at on TV??????? There was a beautiful woman on there --and it captured ALL of their attention...  They didn't even notice that I was taking pictures... ha ha   (This was at Mark's apartment on 9/22 --before we went to see his daughter, Brooke, play softball.)

Mark and his other beautiful daughter,  Brooke.  On the evening of 9/22,  we all went to Brooke's softball game and then out to dinner.  Brooke is a Senior and will be going to Texas State next year also.  I love this photo of Brooke and Mark. 
Well---you can see that we had a great trip ---and saw a lot of people while there.  We went-went-went from early morning to late at night every day!!!!  My goal was to spend time with both sons (Bert and Mark) --and also two Granddaughters,  Bay Lee and Brooke, who live in Texas.   AND--I wanted to see many old friends,  most of which I have caught up with on Facebook since being gone from that area for 14 years.  AND--we did all of this!!!

As I said above,  we will talk about some of the things we did in other upcoming blogs.  BUT--I wanted to show off my family/friends in this post.  Hope you enjoyed seeing all of them!!!