In order to relax before RV Driving School and Boot Camp, Tom and I decided to spend a relaxing day at the Galveston Island beach. Driving to Galveston requires going through Houston, which is not relaxing at all, but the day at the beach was worth it.
Galveston Island is a barrier island off the coast of Texas that is 27 miles long and three miles wide. Unlike the barrier islands of Mississippi, Galveston Island is very developed with lots of hotels, restaurants, and homes. 50,000 people live on the island year round. Homes that are oceanfront sell for close to 1 million dollars and get wiped out routinely by the hurricanes that strike here on an average of one every nine years. Even though there is a seawall, Hurricane Ike in 2008 had a storm surge of 15 feet, which wiped out most of the things along the beach. The Great Galveston Hurricane in 1900 killed 8,000 people and wiped out almost every building on the island. I can’t imagine choosing to live here.
But it was a beautiful place to come for the day. We spent most of our time at Galveston Island State Park. The State Park has wonderful RV campsites right on the beach. But if you want to stay there, you will need to reserve your site well in advance. We parked and walked to the beach. The boardwalk and restrooms had been wiped out by Hurricane Ike, and had not yet been replaced, so there were port-a-pots (from the Pot of Gold Company) in the parking lot.
There were very few people on the beach and a handful got into the water to play in the waves. Tom and I enjoyed walking along the beach and watching the birds. I sat and read and Tom built a sand castle and we enjoyed relaxing with the wind, the sun, and the beauty of the unspoiled barrier island in that place.
We ate supper at Rainforest Cafe before heading back inland to Livingston. On the way back we drove through the oil refineries that go on forever in Houston. It was interesting, but again, I wouldn’t want to live there. And if you want to go to Galveston Island – check the weather forecast first!