Images (not) from New York, Galveston Island edition.

View of the Historic Pleasure Pier

Truth time: even though this trip was two months ago, I struggled with writing this post because I felt guilty blithely writing about a state that passed a barbaric law that takes away agency and bodily autonomy from pregnant people. After a lot of personal deliberation and some inspiration from a friend who did something similar, I donated to Act Blue as they evenly divide your donation across ten Texas abortion funds, and that way they all get some love. I think I’m going to do this going forward because whether it’s helping people get to a state where they can get the healthcare they need or helping out the states that will have a greater demand due to an influx of out-of-state patients, it’s a tangible way to counteract a potential decision that will be catastrophic for tens of millions of people in this country. As they are relevant, I will share them in this space!

View of the Gulf and our hotel’s pool.

Like with our trip to Daytona Beach earlier this year, Galveston was admittedly not high on my list of places to visit, but when Michael had to go in early April for work and I had Southwest vouchers on the verge of expiration, I figured it would probably be an interesting trip. Prior to this my only exposure to Texas was a few trips to Dallas-Fort Worth for focus groups, so I was curious to see what the Houston area was like for myself.  I naturally did my research, and while we had some travel delays thanks to technical issues with Southwest and bad weather in Florida, we made it to Houston at a decent hour and managed to get ourselves a Mustang convertible because that was one of the only cars left in the Hertz lot. Following a quick trip to an enormous H.E.B. for sunblock and room snacks/drinks, we drove down I-45 to Galveston ready to explore the next day.

Shrimp and gouda grits from Miller’s Sewall Grill

Our first full day dawned bright and sunny, and would end up being our best day weather-wise. Our hotel was along the Seawall against the beach, so we took a nice walk to see what was within easy walking distance of where we were staying before getting brunch at Miller’s Seawall Grill. Following a positively delectable meal of chicken-fried steak (Michael) and shrimp with gouda grits (me), we then decided to head north on 21st Street so we could check out the historical district on the other side of the island. 

For those of us non-Texans, Galveston might be best known for being the city where enslaved people found out that they were now free two years after the Emancipation Proclamation (which is the origin of Juneteenth) and for being where Hurricane Ike made landfall in the US back in September 2008. You see memorials to the former especially in the historic district, while the effects of the latter are still extremely evident all around the city. The Strand Historic District gives you a very distinct New Orleans vibe, while closer to the Gulf it’s a sleepy beach town, so it made walking around really interesting. Also interesting but in an annoying way was how inconsistent the sidewalks were, but if the homeowners were fine with us walking on their grass, we could certainly make do for ourselves. 

Shrimp cocktail and seafood campechana from Fish Tales

We ate a lot of seafood while we were there, from po’ boys at The Black Pearl to shrimp cocktail, shrimp kisses, and seafood campechana at Fish Tales to southwest shrimp cocktail and seared tuna tacos at The Point. The best dish might have been the aforementioned shrimp with gouda grits, and I have a feeling I’ll be making that for brunch sooner rather than later. We also had our fair share of local brews and margaritas, especially at the hotel bar that was attached to the pool but also accessible to the public. It’s not often that I’m a huge fan of hotel bars that I’ll go there more than once or twice, but this one was definitely a gem.

One of many oleanders we saw in the

We finally took the convertible out on our last full day, driving to East Beach in the hopes of seeing a dolphin statue that’s one of the first LGTBQ+ specific statues in the South, though it was still being repaired after withstanding storm damage a few years ago. It was a nice beach to explore regardless, and when this season of Top Chef set one of their Quickfires in the beach’s pavilion, I definitely geeked out a bit. Following that we put the top down and drove into downtown, walking around Broadway and checking out an oleander garden where we were able to see a few early blooms. The Houuston area is apparently rife with Irish pubs–we found two alone in downtown Galveston–and so we went to O’Malley’s Stage Door for some of their famed sandwiches and to hang out with some locals.

Obsessed wtih this sign!

I’m saving the most interesting place (or rather, the site of said place) for a separate post, because there’s a lot of interesting history to it and it gives me an excuse to play around with margarita recipes. 

The sign from the Longboard Beach Bar

Leaving gave us a little more drama in the form of a power outage. We had to shuffle our way down the hotel staircase with all of our luggage  in complete darkness as their flood lights weren’t working, but once we made it out we took one last walk, drove around to check out some more interesting buildings, and then drove down the Seawall on a more scenic route to the airport. It was annoying at the time, but I did appreciate the chance to see a little more of the island before we headed home.

Were the opportunity to arise and the flights were reasonably priced I would like to go back to Galveston–I think there’s a lot more there to explore, and it’s fun to go off the beaten path every now and again.

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