Of A Galveston Vacation and Hurricane Proof Homes

Arrival

It was mid afternoon on a cloudy day when we arrived. We went down to the Seawall blvd to see the sea.

After a brief look at the turbulent, murky looking ocean, we went to our motel to check in. We were an hour early. Our room was not made up yet.

A walk and the motel

And so we went back out on foot determined to walk to Pleasure Pier and beyond. We were about two thirds of the way there when I suggested that we go back and get the car. My wife wanted to go on walking and so we did. About three quarters of the way there she spoke of turning back but first she wanted to know how close we were to Ferry road. I did not know exactly how close we were but I assured her that it was over 30 minutes further away at the pace we were going and so she agreed that it was time to turn around.

When we got back to the motel we strolled past the screaming kiddies in the pool and made our way to the front desk.

The desk clerks were nice, informative and friendly. There talk was of the local color, the storm that came the night before and the live band which may or may not play during the evening.

The room was okay but the door was a bit sticky and thus very loud when you finally forced it closed. Both the sink and the tub were slow to drain. The TV clicker was a bit strange. I found that I could not change the channels in the usual way. Rather I had to go to the on screen TV guide and thumb through and select channels from there.

Free ferry ride

When we finally got back to the car and back to Seawall blvd, we made quick work of driving down Ferry road and into the parking lot of the Ferry terminal. We quizzed one of the local employees about the best time to take the Ferry. Earlier, one of the motel desk clerks and indicated that if you came at the wrong time you could be waiting in your car for two hours just to board the ferry. The Ferry employee said that right now was the best time to board. Given that it was a cloudy day the lines to enter the ferry were short. Moreover, the ferry was free. We did not pay a single penny to ride it. So we pulled out of the parking lot and into the short line of cars waiting to board the ferry.

We had briefly discussed not taking our car but when we heard that Bolivar could be driven we decide to explore the place by car.

As the Ferry plied the waves toward the port Bolivar I stayed with the car and the wife ran around with her camera phone taking pictures. When a pack of dolphins swam up she was particularly excited.

Bolivar Peninsula

When we got to the port we waited our turn and drove inland.

Call it a lack of cleverness on my part but I did not really notice the number of buildings up on stilts and pylons around the Galveston area until we took the ferry to Port Bolivar and the Bolivar Peninsula. What really brought the concept home was seeing a middle school suspended in midair up on pylons. You could run all under the school if you were of a mind.

After that we noticed that most of the houses on the peninsula were up on stilts or pylons. I took to calling them hurricane houses since I believe they were built that way to avoid the tidal surge and sometimes accompanied a major storm.

We tried fruitlessly to get to the end of the “island”. Whilst tilting at that particular windmill we noticed that the hurricane evacuation signs were all pointing inland away from the ferry dock. Later, back in the motel, we confirmed that the Bolivar peninsula was actually connected to the mainland. During a real hurricane no one in his right mind would wait in line to take a ferry. He would drive like a bat out of hell to the mainland.

The return trip seemed quicker. Since we were about the last car on to the ferry we did not need to wait as long for it to fill up.

In retrospect, thinking back on Bolivar peninsula there were many clues that it was not an island. One clue was gas was only about thirty cents more expensive on the Bolivar side—not a huge jump. Also there were for sale signs all over the place. A small island might have hard time supporting those situations.

Hurricane Houses

Back in Galveston we spotted more hurricane houses now that we were looking. There were all kinds of establishments up on stilts or pylons to avoid storm surges.

Waffles at sunrise

The next morning I awoke way too early and left my wife sleeping whilst I took to walking down to Pleasure Pier again. It was closed of course. The eerie predawn darkness was pierced by the lights of fishing boats and what looked like oil tankers. Some of the very, very few folks that roamed that twilight world looked unsavory and one asked me for money. Fortunately there were some hardy souls setting up for a marathon the next day so I did not have to find out what the inebriates and moral reprobates might do on a dark and moonless light with few witnesses.

After I got back to the room my wife got up and made ready and we went out to watch the sunrise. The sky was as clear as a bell. My wife took many pictures of the sea, the sun and the surf.

After sunrise, we returned to the motel and we ate the breakfast that came with the room. I rather enjoyed the flip over waffle maker.

Galveston landmarks and historic buildings

After breakfast I drove my wife to each of the dozens of historic landmarks she had printed out before we left North Dallas and she took photos of each and everyone.

In the evening we ate at a restaurant that neighbored to the motel we were staying at. I enjoyed a pork chop since I don’t really like seafood and my wife had some scallops. The people watching was good at the restaurant since we were seated near the window but it was not nearly good as the beach since there were fewer bikinis!

We returned to North Dallas the next day and my only regret is that I have still never been inside that truck stop that uses a giant beaver for a mascot. I think it’s called Buc-ee’s?

Hurricane IKE

Hurricane IKE Storm Surge

Pleasure Pier Iron Shark

Pleasure Pier at Night

Galveston Surfer Girls

Comments 32 comments

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 19 months ago from Houston, Texas

You got some great shots of Galveston and one of Houston mixed in with the rest. For some reason many of your photos showed up more than once. We have a friend who lost her home on Boliver during the last hurricane. She now lives in Houston with her daughter. There are probably many bargains to be had on homes for those who wish to chance living on the Boliver peninsula.

Many of the old buildings, churches, etc. in Galveston were actually raised up by many feet after the 1900 hurricane in Galveston. As you noted, many of the homes, etc. are still on stilts and for very good reasons.

Looks like your wife likes taking numerous photos. My hubby can relate!!! :)


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 19 months ago Author

Thanks for dropping by and commenting Peggy. We had a good time.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 19 months ago from England

Interesting to see the raised up houses, I learn so much on here, and the photos were amazing!


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 19 months ago from The Beautiful South

Great article and fantastic photos! Very generous, too. Thank you. Voting up and sharing.


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 19 months ago Author

Nell I am glad you found the raised up houses interesting and enjoyed my wife's photos. Have a blessed day!


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 19 months ago Author

Thanks for the vote of confidence Jackie. Be blessed!


lollyj lm profile image

lollyj lm 19 months ago from Washington KS

Thanks so much for sharing the photos and descriptions of Galveston. Loved the photos and enjoyed reading about your adventures. Excellent hub.


Rachel L Alba profile image

Rachel L Alba 19 months ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

Hi Poetryman, I feel like I was on vacation with you. The pictures were beautiful and I could only get one video to work but it was of a hurricane and not living near the ocean, I never saw anything like that, it was awesome. Thanks for sharing your vacation.

Blessings to you.


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 19 months ago Author

Laurel Johnson (lollyj lm) I am glad you enjoyed the hub. We had a good time by the seaside.


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 19 months ago Author

Rachel, glad to have you on board. I am happy that you enjoyed the vacation. Have a blessed day!


SandyMertens profile image

SandyMertens 19 months ago from Frozen Tundra

I do find the raised home interesting. But if they will hold up to a hurricane, all the better.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 19 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

Thanks for the interesting tour, poetryman. I love the architecture.


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 19 months ago Author

Sandy it was a bit of a surprise to see a middle school up on stilts. Definitely something I don't see every day.


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 19 months ago Author

Glad you enjoyed the tour Alicia. Have a blessed day!


Besarien profile image

Besarien 19 months ago

This was a wonderful introduction to a part of Texas I have never seen. I have a sister in Dallas and friends in San Antonio. I love the pictures of historic Galveston! Great hub! Voted up!


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 19 months ago Author

Besarien thanks for much for dropping by and giving the vote of confidence. I am glad you enjoyed the hub. Texas has some sites to see and it's certainly worth your while to see them.


Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 19 months ago from Northeast Ohio

Poetryman, I love those photos of Galveston you took, especially the sunrises and sunsets. They were beautiful. This was a wonderful travelogue on your vacation there. Voted up for beautiful!


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 19 months ago from USA

Beautiful photos, especially of the old homes and sunset. I wonder if the homes are raised up so high to prevent zombies from climbing into the windows at night?


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 19 months ago Author

Thanks for the vote of approval Kristen. My wife likes taking photos. She kept taking sunrise photos until the birds cooperated and flew before that golden orb.


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 19 months ago Author

I am glad you liked the photos FlourishAnyway. You know what they say, any good plan always includes the possibility of zombies. Going to the Kentucky Derby--take your summer bonnet and your chain saw!

Be blessed!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 19 months ago from Southern California, USA

I enjoyed all the photos from your trip.


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 19 months ago Author

SweetiePie I am glad you enjoyed the photos. Have a blessed day!


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 19 months ago from sunny Florida

What a collection of photos. I traveled to Galveston four years ago for a memorial service down by the sea for my brother in law who fished there many times after retiring to Austin.

Angels are on the way to you this evening ps


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 19 months ago Author

Patricia, sounds like a nice place to have a memorial.

We had a lovely time in Galveston.

Blessings!


CorneliaMladenova profile image

CorneliaMladenova 19 months ago from Cork, Ireland

Super awesome hub. You had really interesting experience. Love the photos :)


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 19 months ago Author

Cornelia, I am glad you had a good time with the hub. Hopefully you can visit the area some day.

Have a blessed day!


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 18 months ago from Southern Oklahoma

It looks like you all had a great time! I have been to Galveston once but didn't get to spend much time there. I would love to go back and see more of the sites! You pictures are great, thanks for the "tour"!


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 18 months ago Author

Glad you enjoyed the tour Sheila. My wife is a serious shutterbug.


colorfulone profile image

colorfulone 17 months ago from Minnesota

I would not want to live there as beautiful as it may be to those who call it home. The sunsets must be totally gorgeous. I would be excited to see a school of dolphins. You got some great photos of historic buildings.

Beautiful hub!


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 17 months ago Author

I am glad you enjoyed the hub Susie. My wife greatly enjoy taking most of the photos.

Have a blessed day!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 17 months ago from North Texas

Lots of great photos and very interesting too. Thanks to your photos and information I know a lot more about Galveston that I did before -- which was all but nothing. :)

Voted up and BAUI!


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 17 months ago Author

Thanks for dropping by Au fait. My wife is quite the shutterbug.

I appreciate the vote of confidence.

Have a blessed day!

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