Our Trip to Galveston Island

Michael and I took the kids down to see Grandma and Grandpa Smith in Texas for the Thanksgiving holiday.  While we were there, Mom Smith was kind enough to keep the kids while Michael and I stole away for a day to Galveston.  We’ve been to the Houston area many times, but had never spent much time away to explore the fun places in the surrounding country.  So this time we decided that Galveston would be on our list of places to see.

Upon researching the possible places to stay in Galveston, a bed and breakfast was clearly the way to enjoy the history and old personality of this beautiful sea port.  Grace Manor, at 1702 Postoffice Street, turned out to be the perfect choice.

Grace Manor was built in 1905, soon after the deadliest hurricane in U.S. history had destroyed the seaside town of Galveston, TX

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Being that it was the weekend right before Thanksgiving, they had only one other couple staying there on that night.  According to the lovely woman who managed the B&B, when Hurricane Ike hit landfall on September 13, 2008, the whole island was hit hard. The historic district was no exception.  According to her account, Grace Manor had eight feet of water in the basement after the category 2 hurricane made landfall, and the entire yard was destroyed.  Fortunately the upper levels of the home were left undamaged.

It was such a beautiful old home, I had to take pictures of the rooms.  I was so interested in the history of the old place, and enjoyed the ambience so much.  I actually dreamed that night that I was living in Victorian times.  We chose to stay in the largest suite, the Island Palm Room.  It is beautiful, with a veranda off to the side.

The Veranda

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The View from the Veranda

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The Gorgeous Island Palm Bedroom and Bathroom with Original Clawfoot Tub

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 Michael Peeking out of Front Parlor

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Lovely Reading Room full of Magazines and History Books about Galveston

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Gorgeous Breakfast Room

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We were served a three course breakfast along with the other couple who was staying there.  We had such a great conversation that lasted two or three hours, long after the delicious breakfast foods were consumed.

Much commiserating about Mitt Romney’s recent loss of the presidential election, and just great conversation was had with a Houston native and her husband, who hails from London.

The Grand Old Opera House, built in 1894, Main Entrance and Stairway going up to the Lobby

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Inside the Auditorium, facing the Stage

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View from the Stage

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View from the Coveted Box Seats, Stage Left

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It was worth the $2 price to go on a self-guided tour! We explored all of the nooks and wonders of this beautiful old arts venue.  My pictures turned out poorly, but there are better ones on the site I linked in the title above.  We really enjoyed the freedom to just wander around and enjoy the spirit of the place.

This amazing sand sculpture, created on site by Tibetan monks in 1993, is still preserved in the lobby off the second floor.  It is a marvel to behold.

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Touring the Strand District of Galveston

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Lots of Personality.  This random trumpet, in front of one of the buildings just begged to be photographed.

On our way out of town, we stopped at the Sea Wall, also constructed soon after the deadly 1900 hurricane.

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Aren’t We Sweet???

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These huge blocks of stone were more colorful than they appear in this picture.  They reminded me of the granite countertops that many people have in their kitchens today.  I actually had an image in my mind of walking across piles of countertops, as we made our way to the sea.  Worth the stop.  I sometimes miss the beaches of Northern California where I grew up, and this little detour was a happy reminder of the good old days.

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2 thoughts on “Our Trip to Galveston Island”

  1. Beautiful photographs and personal accounts of Galveston and the bed ‘n breakfast. It was such a pleasure to meet you – Sorry you didn’t get to meet Barb and Joe – so you must come back to Galveston on your next visit to Texas and spend another night at Grace Manor!

    1. RoseAnn, thank you again! We would love to come in future, and spend a whole weekend at Grace Manor. You were marvelous, and all travelers who wisely choose to stay at your lovely old manor will be blessed by your warmth and kindness.

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