Galveston Island January / February 2017

After Atlanta State Park, we were able to continue and traveled to our daughter’s house southwest of Houston, where we spent a long weekend on her driveway. We finally were able to give the grandkids and grown kids their Christmas presents. It was a wonderful weekend and then it was time to continue with our original plans. Monday morning we headed to Galveston Island State Park where we had booked a reservation for a month-long stay.

Our son-in-law and grandson on the beach

Staying at Galveston Island was a win win situation for us. Since our daughter is only 40 minutes away, we were able to have plenty of visits with them and continue to live our RV lifestyle. In the same day, I was able to take a long beach walk with Coda in the morning and go to pick up the grandkids from daycare, cook dinner, do laundry, visit, and be back not too late to my RV. We got together about twice a week. On the other days, we enjoyed some full days of beach time, or exploring new things in the area, doing chores or just relaxing in the coach.

One day we found several Portuguese man-of-wars on the beach, but that was the only day we saw them on the beach. This one was still moving the top of itself around.

My favorite things to do were my beach walks with Opa and Coda, and birding. The beach walks are meditative. There is nothing better than listening to and seeing the waves rolling onto the sand beach. It’s very soothing to walk along and then sometimes surprising to find a beautiful or interesting shell that is whole and not broken. And Coda was in heaven frolicking in the waves and always looking for new smells.

Driftwood on the beach

Galveston Island State Park campsites have electric and water, but no sewer. When we arrived, the ranger asked if we needed to be close to a bathroom. I quickly answered “no” because I can certainly walk to the bathroom in our loop. So she placed us in the middle loop (there are three), and I had forgotten that there is no bathroom in that loop, just one porta potty. Oops.

Our campsite

The solution was easy. Once every two weeks, we packed everything up, hitched up, and drove to the dump station and emptied the tanks. This really confused our pets because it was such a short drive and we kept coming back and setting up at the same place. In the end, we were very happy to be in that loop. It seemed less crowded and was always the last to fill up.

Wading birds at Galveston Island State Park

We explored a couple of food options on the island. One evening we went to Nate’s West End in Jamaica Beach. There is nothing special about the atmosphere but I ordered a signature dish that was absolutely fabulous. I had the Crawfish / Crab Ponchartrain. Very reasonably priced and very delicious. Opa ordered a hamburger which made him very happy. We also found a great pizza place, Mario’s pizza, that made and delivered pizza to our camper. And the extra jalapeño toppings were at no additional charge! Oooh, so hot! Another afternoon, we went into downtown historic Galveston for lunch at Rudy and Paco’s, which is number one rated on Trip Advisor. It did not disappoint. And then we browsed in a couple of the shops, but I didn’t find anything that I wanted to buy.

Sanderlings on the beach
White Ibis

We found that there are a lot of activities planned for Winter Texans. The activities that most interested me were about birding. So one Saturday morning we joined an activity with Moody Gardens that took us out in their van and showed us many, many birds. Without the guide, I would not have known where and how to look for these birds. He was really excellent at finding and pointing them out to us. We were able to see at least 60 species of birds. The trip was excellent and it was free. The only problem was that we were out for four hours and he never stopped for a bathroom break. I was extremely uncomfortable by the time we were finished.

The SS Selma, one of twelve concrete ships built around 1920. It was scuttled in the Houston ship channel in 1922 after a hole in its hull was unable to be repaired.
Driving on Crystal Beach

We spent one full day exploring, driving to the end of the island and boarding the ferry to the Bolivar Peninsula. We got a take out lunch at the Tiki Beach Bar and Grill and drove to the beach. We ate and then took a nice drive on the beach (vehicles are allowed to drive up and down the beach there) until we finally headed out to the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. This was a beautiful and large refuge where we were able to see many different bird species along the auto tour route. Now the trouble will be trying to identify them all as I look back at my photos.

Cargo ships anchored outside Galveston Bay

We were able to extend our stay for five more days at Galveston Island State Park for a total of five weeks there. I was having such a wonderful time! Listening to the sound of ocean waves crashing on shore, beach walks, shelling, bird watching and best of all-seeing our grandkids, daughter, and son-in-law frequently. Temperatures were consistently in the 70’s. I did much more cooking than I imagined, but that’s what I love to do too. Cook good food for the people I love. It felt like home and will be hard to leave, but that just makes coming back more special.

We started our Houston visit at the Baybrook Mall with the Friday pork chop lunch special at Perry’s Steakhouse. This is a fabulous humongous mouth-watering pork chop with mashed potatoes and applesauce for only $14.95. This is my favorite stop every time I visit in Houston. On the last Friday of our time in the Houston/Galveston area, we had to go back again and were joined by our daughter and son-in-law. And conveniently, there was an REI right where we parked, so we all went shopping afterwards. I scored a pair of shorts and cute camp dress (that will motivate me to tone my tummy), Opa found a great shirt and fleece jacket on sale, and the kids found stuff for our daughter and the little ones. I’m not a big shopper, but that was fun! After that, Opa and I went on to buy food and supplies for our next adventure at Padre Islands National Seashore where the kids will join us for a weekend.

4 thoughts on “Galveston Island January / February 2017”

  1. That was quite a special time for you, being able to be with family as well as enjoying the beach and the ocean. Some really good photos; I especially like the featured photo of drift wood and the neat bird photos.

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