It takes about an hour to get to Galveston from Houston. It’s an easy drive….as long as there’s no traffic. You’ll pass NASA and quickly see the land turn into sea.
It was my first weekend in Houston. Early July and it was stifling, sticky hot. It was one of those days when you are soaking in sweat as soon as you walk out into the heat and humidity. It was the summer swelter that smacks you in the face.
I was needed some fresh air and woke up before the sun. I was staying at Hotel Derek, one of my favorite hotels in Houston, while looking for a place to live. I had spent the previous day on the apartment hunt and just needed to go explore. Up and at ‘em, I decided to head to Galveston. Even though I had lived in Texas for ten years before, I’d never made it to the island. Ironic actually, being a meteorologist and having covered numerous tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes to hit Texas, Mexico, and Louisiana while I was working in San Antonio. I’d read the book Isaac’s Storm based on the 1900 hurricane that hit Galveston while I was living in San Antonio, but never made it over.
So this Saturday was my inaugural visit to Galveston. I didn’t have a plan – other than to see the ocean and grab breakfast somewhere.
Crossing over the bridge I rolled down my window to let the salty air kiss my face and hair. I drove to the sea wall, got out and just listened to the sounds of the waves rolling in and out.
The waves were roaring louder than the grumblings in my stomach, but the hunger pangs were getting stronger so it was time to venture on to find somewhere for breakfast.
I ended up at Mosquito Café. Partly because I loved the name and partly because of the inviting yellow house that is home to the restaurant. Perusing the menu I saw it – shrimp and grits. I ordered, grabbed a coffee and headed out to the delightful patio. I was already glistening with sweat so why not just embrace the humidity and dine al fresco in it.
Being from South Carolina, I love my shrimp and grits. But the shrimp and grits at Mosquito Café are different than Low Country shrimp and grits I love in South Carolina. These grits were served with spinach and topped with eggs….plus it was enough for at least two people!
Dining solo I was enjoying people watching while I ate. The table next to me filled up and of course I struck up a conversation over the adorable t-shirt one of the women was wearing. True to Texan form, folks say howdy and chat a spell. In Texas you don’t meet a stranger, just a friend you didn’t know.
After breakfast, I decided to wander through the historical downtown and see where the cruise ships come in and out of. In its heyday Galveston was the center of business and finance for Texas. While still a busy port city, tourism has now taken over instead of banking and business.
Before leaving the island I decided to head to East Beach to take a stroll out on the beach. I’d forgotten in Texas you can drive on the beach. So I parked and strolled with the July sun beating down. Amongst the sounds of the waves were the voices and laughter of families enjoying the Texas Coast on Galveston Island.
I’m sure I’ll get back over to Galveston for more beach time, maybe some corny fun at Pleasure Pier, Moody Gardens, and definitely to explore Galveston Island State Park!