Friday, December 31, 2010

Galveston: A Whole Lot of FUN

After Christmas, we set out for a three-day trip to Galveston.  We had never been there, but we packed it in with things to do.  We took the ferry onto the island.  We could have gotten there by bridge, but I thought the ferry would be the best way to go, because it would make it seem more remote. The picture above is one of the ships we saw from the ferry.

I fell in love with the tall ship Elissa.  We were able to explore the top deck as well as the quarters below.  I think it was $8 per person.

Moody Aquarium was nice, but we almost missed the water tunnels.  Do not leave without seeing the tunnels, or you will feel ripped off. The tunnels are below:

There are two tunnels and a junction between, making a huge aquarium where sea creatures swam over us and beside us.  I could have sat there for an hour, just watching and being hypnotized.  If not for the tunnels, I would have felt that it was not worth the price.  We paid almost $40 for two tickets.  Still, there were other attractions.  You can see penguins being fed, then go below and watch them swim at and above eye level.  Oh, wait, did I say swim?  They flew under water, their petite wings flapping as if they were in the air. There were several other creatures as well.

This is the doomed Flagship Hotel.  I read in an online news article that the hotel is to be demolished to make way for an amusement park.  Ironically, there used to be an amusement park there, which was damaged by hurricanes and demolished to make way for the hotel.

 We toured the beautiful and majestic Bishop's Palace.  Unfortunately, photography is not allowed inside the house.  It is huge and truly magnificent.  You can read more about it at The Galveston Historical Foundation

Above is the Moody mansion.  We did not tour it because we wanted to explore the wharf.  However, we ended up going to Pelican Island, and what a marvelous discovery!  We toured the Cavalla, a submarine, and the Stewart, a Destroyer Escort. Below is a scene from inside the sub.  

I highly recommend this self-guided tour.  Going inside that submarine really made me realize how tight it is in there. We counted 55 beds, but the brochure said as many as 80 men were there at one time.  In the interest of space, some fortunate sailors got to bunk directly over a nice, toasty torpedo.  We spoke with a man who had been on a sub, and he said the guys would just pat the torpedo, say, "good night honey," and drift off to sleep.

To go onto the pier below, you either pay to fish or buy something from the little store.  From here, we got to watch the sun set over the water. We peeked into so many worlds while on this trip.  We glimpsed the underwater worlds of the sea creatures at Moody Aquarium; the Victorian culture of the Gresham's in the Palace; the tight, chancy world of  a sailor surrounded by ocean; and the fun of watching fishermen on a pier jutting out into the Gulf as we faced the ocean, pretending the nearby sand bar was nowhere in sight.