I have never felt so tired and fatigued as yesterday morning. As we were waking up trying to get ready for the day each task required all of my energy. I eventually got it together and we left the hotel and headed for the historic section of Galveston. The area was lined with some of the most amazing old mansions. The business district was a series of tourist type shops with restaurants and beach apparel. We clearly caught the off season; I was just waiting for some tumbleweed to blow across the street.
Trying to get to the harbor waterfront we stopped in a restaurant, which turned out to have an amazing fountain made of a run of piping and valves with loose connections that leak back to the basin. Working in a power plant, I am very sensitive to leaks. I submitted several condition reports to ensure they would be repaired and trended through the corrective action program.
A little further down, we came across a boat tour of the harbor. We spontaneously joined the hour long tour and it turned out to be a relaxing way to learn about the harbor and take in the scenery. We saw retired oil wells, large container vessels guided by tugboats, shrimp boats, old navy vessels, and best of all a school of dolphins. We watched them swim just in front of the bow of the huge vessels as they rolled into the harbor.
After the tour, we asked the guide where the best place is to eat the fresh shrimp from the shrimp boats; he recommended Benno’s. It turned out to be a cajun style seafood restaurant right on the beach. We all split baskets of cajun shrimp, fried shrimp, and cajun oysters. It was all excellent, especially the cajun oysters. I would like to see the shell these came out of because they were huge.
After lunch we left Galveston for Richmond, TX, a suburb of Houston. On the way into town it was recommended that we swing by Frank Beard of ZZ Top’s house to check out their front gate. Jeff pulled up just as a pizza delivery guy was making his way through the gate. Afterward, the gate closed, and then a few minutes later re-opened. Half awake in the back of the car, I recognized this as a coincidence. Shannon had a different interpretation. She yelled, “Go Jeff their inviting us in.” We drove up to the house drove around the roundabout and headed right back out.
In Richmond we arrived at Debbie & Wayne’s house where we were invited to stay, unlike Frank Beard’s place. Debbie, a Texas native, worked with my father at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY for years and we heard all about Texas. It was great to see her in her element surrounded by all things Texas: longhorns, cacti, state logos, and of course margaritas, correction…beeritas, a subtle variation that was very tasty.
For some evening chow, Debbie took us to The Swinging Door, a local BBQ joint. The wild west was in full effect. I packed away some pork ribs and beef brisket. Grandma, on your recommendation I washed it all down with some veggies, which you pointed out have been absent from my diet. Not usually a green been fan, but theirs were excellent. Probably all the great spices. Does it still count as a veggie if it’s loaded with salt? Having gone head to head with Jeff on beignets and cajun oysters, it was time to take it to the next league, jalapenos. At first Jeff said “no, that’s where I have to draw the line.” However, with some mild instigation he caved easily. We both survived and walked away much stronger.