Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My Big Fat Galveston Vacation

Copyright © 2007-2009. Suburban Wildlife Garden. All Rights Reserved.

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
Copyright © 2007-2009. Suburban Wildlife Garden. All Rights Reserved.


Anonymous said...

It looks like a lovely vacation. I'm glad the hurricane didn't adversely affect the trip.

We spent one day/night in Galveston last year and had a really nice time. The water was cloudy but the waves were good, and the beach was nicer than I remembered from many years ago, when it was tarry from spilled oil in the Gulf. We will definitely go back sometime, although lately some friends have been telling me about Port Aransas . . .

Libbys Blog said...

What a fantastic place to have a holiday and so close to the sea, I am sooooooooooooooo jealous!!! Lucky you!

Mary said...

Sounds great, Dawn! Your photos of the beach are wonderful and creates a mood. I used to live very close to the Atlantic. Now I'm farther inland and really miss it! Thanks for sharing your good time. All of your photos are excellent!

Anonymous said...

We just returned from Point West 2 weeks ago. We had a 4/4 seaside cottage and loved every min. They had lagoons stocked w/those blue crabs, so we did crab boils at night. We all enjoyed the beautiful white sands and the great bodyboarding. We're going to make it an annual affair to Point West.

Annie in Austin said...

It looks like the ideal place for you and your family, Dawn - lots of action and nature with some weather suspense thrown in!

We were on Galveston Island for a day and a night, too, but not at a 'beachy' time of year. Our sandcastle days have always been spent on the Carolina Coast.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Wild Flora said...

Hi Dawn,
I'm pleased to let you know that I've given you a Bloggers for Positive Global Change award. Thanks for all you do to encourage wildlife-friendly gardening and appreciation of nature.
Wild Flora

Wild Flora said...

PS: I forgot to mention that you can find out more about the Bloggers for Positive Global Change award at http://climateofourfuture.org/bloggers-for-a-positive-global-change/

Dawn said...

Hi Pam!
Yes, I'd been warned that the water might be brown or have bits of oil in it, but luckily we didn't have that experience. The waves were quite small until just before Erin hit. Some of our friends have recommended Port Aransas to us as well. They say it's a lovely section of the coast.

Thanks Libby!
I wish I could have brought all my garden blogger friends with me. :-)

Hello Mary!
What a treat for you to have lived so close to the water. I'll bet you have some terrific memories and photos!

Dear Hilary,
So glad you had such a nice time. I was tempted by the Point West website. Your experience with the crab boils sounds delicious! I could happily eat fish and shellfish everyday of my life. Yum!

Hi Annie!
The Carolina Coast is gorgeous! I can understand why you'd make that your destination. One of the things I miss about living in Florida is the ease in which I could join friends on the coast. One of my favorite passtimes was to walk along the Florida beaches, even in winter.

Thank You, Wild Flora!
Wow! It's such an honor that you've given me a Bloggers for Positive Global Change Award. You are so kind! I will definitely add this to my blog and make a special entry thanks to you. :-)

Happy Gardening!