I'm back! Our vacation was a nice success. I'm in the process of recovering from it as well as getting ready for the new school year which starts next Monday.
We were very happy that my parents were able to join us on our vacation to Galveston Island. The beach house we rented was just the right size for all of us and the views of the Gulf of Mexico from our deck were beautiful.
Below is a photo of the house from the beach gate.
Our rental withstood the winds and rain of Tropical Storm Erin very well. A bit of water blew in through the storm shutters during the worst of the storm. Erin was not as scary as the three 2004 hurricanes that hit us in Florida, but the waves were awesome! There is nothing quite like being in a two-story house on stilts during 40 mile per hour winds. We were rocked to sleep on two evenings. As you can see in this photo, the clouds were already blowing in as we fed the seagulls.
While my son preferred body-boarding on the waves, I enjoyed hiking along the shore.
I saw interesting plants as well as wildlife on my daily walks. This dune grass danced in the wind.
I'm not sure what this yellow-flowering plant was by our fence, but it was in abundance along the dune.
Seagulls and Sandpipers tirelessly combed the waterline for food.
We found a lot of dead blue crabs after the Erin ran its course.
I'm hoping to discover the names of some of these dune plants. The yellow of this flower was so bright it overwhelmed my camera lighting.
I have to admire this little daisy's ability to live with so much sand and salt air.
In addition to our time on the beach we made excursions to local sights including Moody Gardens Aquarium, the Galveston Seawall, The Strand and the seaport at Pier 21. We took a driving tour to view many of Galveston's historic homes and enjoyed an informative tour of Moody Mansion; a beautiful 112 year old house that survived the devastating Hurricane of 1900 that killed more than 6,000 people.
The sago palms outside Moody House rival any I've seen in Florida.
This variegated hibiscus was just begging to be photographed.
So, I happily obliged and now, of course, I want one of my own.
At the end of each day our stalwart resident Gulf Coast Toad (Bufo valliceps) -- along with dozens of his family members -- would be waiting for us under our beach house. A leaky hose created the perfect environment for the little fellows to flourish. We enjoyed watching them catch crickets under the house light at night.
All in all our vacation was a real pleasure. If you ever have a chance to visit the area, a trip to Galveston Island is definitely worth your time.
“A vacation is like love - anticipated with pleasure, experienced with discomfort and remembered with nostalgia." author unknown