September 2010: Day Trip to Galveston, TX

Galveston, TX, USA

It had been too long since our last road trip, or trip of any kind. We were all getting a bit stir crazy, so Labor Day we decided at the last minute to head for the beach, specifically the Seawall on Galveston Island.

Galveston is only a couple hours from us, southeast of Houston, on the Gulf of Mexico. We have only been to Galveston once before, on a field trip to see the sea turtle hatchery and ride the ferry between Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula, and that was before Hurricane Ike damaged and even wiped out some of Galveston’s long standing landmarks.

So we grabbed towels and swimsuits, and piled into the van for a quick day trip, well, afternoon trip. By the time we hit the road, it was already afternoon, and by the time we got there it was about 4pm.

Apparently many other Houston residents decided to head to Galveston on Labor Day too, because there was plenty of people on the beach. We parked on a grassy parking area across from the Seawall, and grabbed our stuff, and headed across the street.

Last time we were here, it was a Wednesday in May and during the day, and we pretty much had the beach to ourselves. Well, not this time. There was lots of families, a few surfers, and the umbrella & chair vendors set up. The waves were full of people body surfing and just enjoying a day at the beach. 

Growing up in Northern California, where the undertow is so strong that wading in the water is dangerous, and kills people every year, I am nervous about any member of my family heading too far out into the waves. So of course I lectured everyone on the importance of not going in too far, safety in the buddy system, and to “watch out for the undertow, it’s stronger than you think”. 

But in Galveston, it is relatively safe to head out into the waves, the undertow doesn’t grab you as quickly as I’m used to, so we allowed the kids to go play.

And they had a grand time!

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Even Greg got into the act, spending over an hour out in the waves with them. I was stuck on the beach watching the fun, while holding the electronics (cell phone, camera, etc) that couldn’t get wet and we weren’t willing to risk losing or damaging on the beach. But they had a ball. And next time…I’m taking a turn :)

After the kids had worn themselves out playing in the waves, they wound down playing in the sand. There’s always something therapeutic playing in the sand, restorative even. At the end of the day, the kids were tired out but clamoring about how this was the “best day ever” and “when can we come back.” So in all it was a great day at the beach, and a good cure for the road trip blues.

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