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

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!!!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Painted Churches in Texas

As I look back on my life, one thing that I remember from my twelve years in Texas is visiting the Painted Churches. We took almost every visitor we had to see these gorgeous little churches, west of the Houston area. I don't know how many times we visited this area -but it was SEVERAL times.

Research says that there are about 20 of these little churches--but we only visited about 5-6 of them near Schulenburg in Fayette County in the Texas Hill Country (Dubina, High Hill, Ammonsville, Praha, etc.). These little churches --dotted on the country hillsides--- were built by 19th century immigrants, mostly German and Czech. We found it breath-taking as we drove on the little country roads, especially when we would go around a curve or up a hill and see those gorgeous churches with their steeples standing tall throughout the little communities.

These churches were called the "Painted" Churches because when you entered the sanctuary---you would see all kinds of bright paintings, exuberant murals, and TONS of color all around. The wooden columns and baseboards would shine like polished marble in shades of green and gray. The stained-glass windows were incredible. Each of the churches told a story---a story about a people striving to succeed in a new country and yet still preserving the values and culture of their homelands.

If you ever get to Texas, be sure and check out the Painted Churches. They are truly awesome.. The picture above was typical of all of them---showing the color and elaborate designs. The picture above was from St. Mary's Catholic Church in High Hill. This church was built in 1906 and painted in 1912. Below are a few more.

I show you this one so that you'll see just how 'ordinary' these little churches look like from the outside. BUT--when you go inside, WELL----all you can say is "WOW".

The inside of one of the churches

The inside of another one of the Painted Churches

One of the gorgeous stained-glass windows

Here's a close-up of the ceiling area in one of the churches. When they say "Painted"---they really mean PAINTED all over!

Here's one more close-up picture of one of the churches.

You just have to see these churches to believe their beauty. I have many more pictures--which need to be scanned. SO---I'll post more at another time.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Wish I Could have Seen This!!!!!

Yesterday, I received some fabulous pictures from my Texas family. Son Mark is the coach of his youngest daughter's softball team. When we visited them in April, we had hoped to see both daughters play softball.. WELL---you may remember that it rained all weekend and we didn't get to see ANY games. I was so sad---but one of these days, I hope that we'll get to see them play!

In the meantime, photos are the next best thing!!!! This past weekend Coach Mark's team won a big tournament. Here is what Mark wrote on the team's webpage:

You brought home the Championship Trophy in this past weekend's Ballerz Bash tournament held in Southbelt. Great defense, clutch hitting, and outstanding pitching highlighted the weekend for the Surge. Led by tournament MVPs Sarah and Stephanie for their outstanding pitching performances, the Surge never gave up more than 2 runs in any inning and held their opponents scoreless in 14 innings. The Surge were tied in or trailed in four of their five victories, but showed incredible heart and desire by never giving up and finding a way to win those games. It was a FANTASTIC weekend to be a Surge! Great Job, Ladies!!

Pictured above is my son and my granddaughter (who incidentally is the team's catcher). Below are more pictures of the happy team.

This granddaughter of mine (age 12 --in March) is certainly VERY happy after the big win!!!! Isn't she a cutie????

Here is a picture of the entire team. Mark is on the back row in the center--barely visible!!!!!

After a big win, there's celebration for the ladies. They had a pool party at Mark and Lara's beautiful home. AND---as you can tell---they enjoyed their CAKE, in many ways besides eating it!!!! ha ha (Oh to be young again!!)


This is my oldest granddaughter (Mark and Lara's other daughter--aged 15 1/2) who is also playing softball this summer. However, she is now EMPLOYED...... She took lifeguard training this spring and will be a lifeguard all summer at one of the local pools in their area. I wonder what this gal will spend all of her money on??????

It's hard to believe that I have a grandchild who is old enough to be gainfully employed... Yipes!!!!!


Finally, after showing you my beautiful grandchildren (and my wonderful son), I will close with another beauty. This is my all-time favorite ROSE. I am partial to red ones --and this one is named VETERANS HONOR. It is a big rose (which I love)--and it smells SOOOOOOO good!!!!!