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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!!!!!

Hugs,

55 comments:

annieelf2012 said...

I had no idea Galveston was an island. I thought it was a coastal city. So much for me thinking I know geography.

Love the lighthouse.

Carol Z said...

Betsy, this is fascinating. I think I need to put Galveston on my to-visit list.

ladyfi said...

What lovely shots of this beautiful island!

Jo said...

I love Bert's ageing process. He is looking so debonair! Perhaps it's the busy business and happy family life? Interesting that he's changed his name. I love the photos of this beautiful island. Thanks for sharing, Betsy, (((Hugs))) Jo

Ms. A said...

Hubby and I got married in Galveston. I haven't been there in years and years... but it's on my to do list when I feel stronger. My middle Son works in the Strand area occasionally. They are getting ready to do another phase at Del Monte.

Fun60 said...

What an interesting visit. Many years ago when my brother was living in Houston he drove me down to the bay to have a look but he wasn't as good a guide as you and I didn't see much at all!

Ann said...

Galveston is a beautiful area. Not only did you get to have a great visit with your son but you saw so many wonderful sites too

Optimistic Existentialist said...

What strikes me the most about these pictures are the incredible cloud formations!!

Beth of ".E." Lizard Breath Speaks said...

love the lighthouse. always a fan of any kind. ( :

we were in Galveston 2013 ... Nov or was it Oct.? any who ... i think i remember this place or maybe one something similar. a gorgeous area. i can see why so many love it there permanently.

i can't wait to see more ... i am so happy that you & your family got to spend some quality time together.

From the Kitchen said...

Some year's ago, I read "Isaac's Storm" by Erik Larson about the 1900 hurricane. Excellent book! Prior to that storm, Galveston was intended to be what Houston is today. Loved your tour as I've never been there.

Best,
Bonnie

Terri D said...

Well, this wonderful post and tour makes me want to visit Galveston! What a lovely place, and how fortunate is your son and his family to be there, where they have those views every day! Wow.

Out on the prairie said...

I would really enjoy visiting here again. What a gorgeous area.

linda m said...

Wonderful pictures! Galveston sure has recovered from Hurricane Ike. It is going to rain here today; we sure need it. Have a lovely day.

Liene said...

It's so green! Looks like a lovely area, thanks for the tour!

MTWaggin said...

What a pretty area and I can see why they love it there. I couldn't handle the stress of hurricane season though! Thanks for sharing the tour!

Shug said...

Gosh, it has been a while since we have been to Galveston. These are some beautiful places and looks like a fun place for a weekend trip. We are about 4 1/2 hours away from there. Need to put this on our "Trip" list. Are y'all getting rain? Lots of it here today!
Have a good Monday.

Linda Kay said...

Betsy, we are fairly new residents of Texas, but Galveston is on our bucket list of things to see. Now I'll have to move it up. Your pictures are quite lovely.

I Am Woody said...

How awesome to get to live in vacation paradise!

David said...

Betsy, Thanks for the tour of Galveston Island and the city itself. It's been many, many years since I've been there but despite the storm's impact, it's looking good. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

George said...

You gave us a beautiful tour of Galveston. I enjoyed that day very much and am glad to relive it through your pictures.

Betsy said...

Beautiful pictures of Galveston Betsy. I've never been there, in fact I've only been to Texas once to visit my sister when her husband was stationed at Ft. Hood. Thank you for sharing this lovely place with us.
Blessings,
Betsy

DeniseinVA said...

Thank you for taking us on this great tour of Galveston Betsy. Loved the photos and especially the one of you with your son. Have a great week :)

Retired English Teacher said...

That is such an interesting area. I think I would enjoy going down there. I've known of others who go there to bird watch. Thanks for sharing.

I'm sure you love the time with your son.

Sweet Posy Dreams said...

Looks like a lovely resort area. The old buildings are really neat. I love old downtowns.

Grandma Bonnie said...

That is such a beautiful place to visit. I love how green the grass is. Its not so green here in SD.

Ginny said...

The two of you do look a bit alike. The pool area is gorgeous! I have never been on any kind of ship or boat, and I would love to go on this ferry. I have always thought that ferrys are safer than regular boats, but it is just my own thinking. I WANT to walk on the strand with you!

wildlifewatcher said...

Hi Betsy, I have been to Galveston once and enjoyed it tremendously. Lots to see and do. Very interesting history, too. Glad your children are in such as good business. Have a fine coming week!

Tabor said...

I used to work on that island! Had two babies and job, so did not spend much time touring. Just hit the beaches every so often.

Terry and Linda said...

Wow! I would love to go there sometime. My brother wants to move there.

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com/?s=The+Adventures+of+Fuzzy+and+Boomer&submit=Search
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

Beatriz said...

That's really an interesting place to visit, for sure!
Certainly I would like to take a ferry to know everything around, especially the lighthouse!!!

Have a nice week Betsy
Hugs
Bia

LV said...

Glad you took on this venture to Galveston. I have not been in many years, and things have really changed. Your son lives in a gorgeous area.

Happyone said...

What a great place. I didn't realize it was an island either!
The land is all so flat, so different from what I'm used to. : )

Arkansas Patti said...

So glad you got to spend time with your son and tour his town. Thanks for taking us along. All I knew about Galveston before was the hurricanes that hit there and of course Glen Campbell. Now if I can just get that song out of my head.

Chatty Crone said...

I have never been there - but my hubs was stationed in the middle of Texas and went there a lot. Looks like a great place - unless you are in hurricane!

Ruth Hiebert said...

Fascinating pictures. I have walked along the shore at Galveston,hand in hand with my true love,but that was soooo many years ago.Of course nothing looks familiar by now.

Beth said...

I've always wanted to visit Galveston. Your photos certainly show how gorgeous it is! Looks and sounds like a lovely trip! :>)♥b

Helen said...

what a lovely place, not what I pictured when I heard Texas.

Small Kucing said...

What a wonderful trip, Betsy. Lovely weather and lovely snaps.

From all the stories books that I have read, i thought the place would be very dry. So lovely there from your photos

eileeninmd said...

Hello, what a fun visit with your son.. Galveston is a pretty place.. I enjoyed the tour, thanks for sharing..Have a happy day!

Linda Gross said...

I spent a couple weekends in Galveston in 1975. I don't remember much about those visits, except that I swam in salt water there for the first time.

Jeevan said...

That’s a wonderful place surrounded by water... the landscape around your son’s condo looks awesome. I too love the fenced pool and well grown palms. Galveston also sounds historic and the lighthouse stands strong still despite heavy storms. Looks as it built in iron?

SweetMarie said...

This is a beautiful area! I love that you included the map. Sounds like your son has the perfect business for this area. It looks so peaceful and pretty. :) Looking forward to your next post!

hugs,
Marie

Bouncin Barb said...

Hello my lovely friend Betsy! What a great post. Your son has quite a beautiful spot to call home and I will now think of him and his family whenever storms are brewing, for safe keeping. The pictures you took are gorgeous. I've never been to Texas and I've only seen the Gulf from south Florida so this was an enjoyable tour! You make a great tour guide!! XX

Our photos said...

Looks like a nice place, Galveston

Pam :) said...

Hi Betsy, your son lives in a beautiful place. I'm sure you all had a wonderful time sightseeing together.

I did hear you clapping. Giggle.
Be well, be happy : )

diane b said...

It must have been great to spend time with your son and to be shown around this interesting place,

Busy Bee Suz said...

How lovely that they get to work/live so close to the water! I'm glad you were able to visit and see all of this lovely area.
XO

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

When we lived in Houston we used to go to Galveston often on the weekends with the dogs. It was a lot of fun, although the water was always kind of dirty.

Chris Rohrer said...

This is definitely an area I can't wait to visit. And I look forward to your bird finds! I'm glad you got to visit:)

Marie said...

Galveston is very interesting! In the years we lived in Ledbetter, we only went to Galveston once and just to the beach. We missed a lot! Love your photos! This looks like the most wonderful trip and so glad you had that time with your son. Glad you liked our "winter snow run-off" waterfalls! I can't tell you how much I thought about you two each time we saw one! :-) I planned the post for ages! :-) I hope you clicked on the link to see the one really dramatic one in Ouray. I have to go back there some time and explore!

Susie Swanson said...

You have a very nice looking family. I'd love to visit Texas sometime. It looks so beautiful and nothing like spending time with ur kids. Hugs, xo

Daisy said...

What fantastic photos, Betsy! This looks like a private paradise. Sounds like you had a wonderful trip there.

Cheryl @ TFD said...

I know you were so happy to get to spend quality time with your son! I'd love to visit Galveston again, I loved it there. Loved the ferry boat ride, seeing the dolphins, and the Strand. If I weren't a small-town girl or afraid of hurricanes, I could easily live there. I enjoyed the tour and photos!

Janie said...

Your son looks a lot like you in that photo.
We used to take our kids to the beach on Galveston Island, many years ago. The resort area looks beautiful.

amanda | wildly simple said...

Have not been to Galveston.. It sure looks like a fun place to visit!