Author: Diane Tucker
Date of Trip: March 2014
Who knew Galveston TX celebrated Mardi Gras the weekend before the Wednesday of Lent & the weekend after? I confess that we didn’t know which is why we were quite surprised to find streets cordoned off, music blaring, crowds cheering etc. We couldn’t navigate to the restaurant we wanted to go to so we simply chose another one. Then we asked what was happening. Our waitress kindly explained the Mardi Gras celebration to us.
The next afternoon found us in downtown, historic, waterfront Galveston where music played, bead throwing seemed common, & people strode around with painted faces, costumes & drinks in hand. Police officers remained visible & tolerant. At one point, we sat for almost 30 minutes just people watching. The waterfront is also home to a fantastic train museum which was totally destroyed by a hurricane in 2008; you wouldn’t know this because they’ve done a fabulous job restoring this building although the museum did lose some trains in the flooding. The waterline is clearly marked at 9 feet in the building. There’s plenty of antique stores for those who like to browse for treasures as well as stores selling anything you may need, including beads! One rainy cool day we visited NASA in Houston TX; about a 45 minute drive from Galveston. Both of us were awestruck by the presentations & instructional films; the interactive children’s displays had quite a few adults trying them. The tram tour of the buildings(some of which you do visit)is an absolute must! At the end of the tour, you see Apollo 18 housed in its own building; its funding cut before it launched. This spaceship is huge; much bigger than you can grasp on television.
We flew to Galveston trying to escape our New Jersey cold, snowy winter; wanting to spend as much time outside in the sun as we could. On Friday, a nice warm day, we chose to take the free ferry to Bolivar; your car rides free too. This ferry is part of the Texas system of highways which is why there’s no charge. Round trip takes about 45 minutes & the ferries leave every 20 minutes or so from Galveston. Be sure to choose a sunny calm day to see Galveston from a different perspective.