|Crossing the Mississippi River into Louisiana.|
|A Mississippi ship being loaded.|
|Onward we drove through the gloom.|
|Louisiana is called the "Wetlands State".|
|Water was sitting everywhere.|
|The rivers were overflowing.|
|Finally, we hit the Texas state line. It was still raining.|
|Crossing a bridge near Galveston.|
|Whoa.....is that a little blue sky we see as we are driving down Seawall Blvd on Galveston Island?|
|This may be an oil rig in the distance.|
Galveston is a coastal city located on Galveston Island which is a barrier island off the coast of Texas. Named after Bernado de Galvez y Madrid, the Count of Galvez, it is the first European settlement on the island and was constructed around 1816. The Port of Galveston was established in 1825 by the Congress of Mexico following its independence from Spain. The port served as the main port for the Texas Navy and later as the capital of the Republic of Texas.
In the 19th century it was a major commercial center and one of the largest ports in the US. Then a hurricane hit on September 8, 1900, killing an estimated 6,000 to 8,000 people. Following the storm, a 10 mile - 17ft high seawall was built to protect the city from floods and hurricane storm surge. The plan raised much of the existing city to a sufficient elevation behind the seawall to help maintain confidence in the city but Galveston never fully recovered. To rebuild the population, the city actively solicited immigration of 10,000 Eastern European Jews from northeastern US cities. Additionally, numerous immigrants including Greek, Italian, and Russian Jews came to the city which altered the ethnic makeup of the island as well as other areas of Texas and the western US.
Competing with Houston harbor, the city diversified into tourism and banking. During the 1920s and 1930s Galveston exploited the prohibition of liquor and gambling and became known as the sin city of the Gulf.
|Standing on the spot which was the base of one of the 60mm gun placements. Do I look cold?|
|The weather improved each day and we were able to walk along the Gulf with the pups.|
|Seawall Blvd is the main drag along the Gulf coast in Galveston with piers that have all kinds of entertainment.|
|Huge granite slabs stretching out into the Gulf are used to control the waves. One of the nice things about Galveston is that there are no buildings on the water so everyone can enjoy the ocean.|
|Another tourist pier on the blvd.|
|A beautiful hotel overlooking the Gulf.|
|It is called Ashton Villa and was built in the 1800's.|
|Notice the rectangular plaque on the right side of the door several feet high.|
|Even today the island still experiences hurricane and flood damage. Imagine the damage to the buildings closer to the water.|
We toured the older district to look at some of the beautiful homes and also the tree carvings that evolved after Hurricane Katrina damaged the island. Many of the stately trees fell during the storm but a creative resident, working through the city's approval process, found three chain saw artists to create the artwork. Each homeowner chose their subject matter, and commissioned and paid for the work to be completed as a tribute to the trees lost in Galveston.
|Hard to believe this was sculpted from a tree trunk.|
|A stately home.|
|A squirrel with a Xmas hat on.|
|The Tin Man with Toto on the left.|
|One of my favorites, this tree was partially destroyed and then turned into beauty.|
|The remaining branches are in perpetual bloom.|
|Dressed for the Mardi Gras.|
|Even the parks had tree art.|
|A magnificient pelican.|
|A beautifully renovated home.|
|This abused looking house is in renovation with completed homes to each side. It is a common sight in the older parts of Galveston.|
|Another remodeling job, the roof was unique.|
Another one of our visits was to the historic downtown Strand District. The area is full of shops and restaurants and bars and they were decorating for Mardi Gras. Kind of like a miniature Bourbon Street.
|We stopped at a sidewalk cafe and had a drink. They didn't sell hard liquor so I had a glass of margarita wine. Not bad. If they hadn't told me, I would have thought I was drinking a real margarita.|
We also toured the Ocean Star Drilling Rig Museum and the following is a a ten thousand foot overview that still makes my head hurt.
|Some of the current crew members taking a break.|
|A dive suit up close and personal. What do you do if you have an itch?|
|This is called a christmas tree. It is an assembly of control valves, pressure gauges and chokes located above the wellhead. The valves open and close to control the flow of oil and gas.|
|The hyperbaric chamber that was on the rig. The divers must lay in this for several hours after they have completed their work to allow the air bubbles absorbed in their blood to dissipate.|
|The drilling area of the rig.|
Finally, a few other pictures of the area before we move on. Galveston is a fun place and we plan on coming back this way again.
|A barge moving through the harbor.|
|Getting vibes from the sun.|
|My drilling man......hmmm.......not sure if that came out right.|
|Another stately mansion.........|
|........homes with color.........|
|..........and homes to be forgotten.|
|As the sun rises on another beautiful day,|
|we bid adieu to this peaceful scene|
|and head out to our next adventure. Peace!|