Southern Hospitality

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.

Galveston Business District

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.

Pipe and Valve Fountain

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.

Container Boat

Retired Oil Rig

School of Dolphins

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.



Galveston Beach

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.

Frank Beard's Front Gate

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.

Debbie Holding Down the Fort

The Ultimate Home Protection Weapon

Shan has a Little Problem with the Beeritas

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.

The Swinging Door

Creepy Statue Guy

Jalapeno for Jalapeno


About bhoefen

Going on a road trip.
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11 Responses to Southern Hospitality

  1. Cousin Mike says:

    Brett is sucking you in—resist the urge to do nothing but eat. Get out and exercise before it’s too late. Take a hike, there’s gotta be trails in texas–or at least desert. Maybe don’t hike, you know what happened to Clark Griswold when he hiked in the desert…

  2. terry concessi says:

    maybe i missed it, but where is your dad?

    i love the blog

    Terry from Grosse ile, MI

  3. Dawn DeBadts says:

    That boat video is priceless. You guys are beautiful. But Brett please don’t let that creepy statue guy follow you back home here. He creeps me out. That was funny stair action Jeff.

  4. Betsy Wager-Stenclik says:

    I along with MANY others so enjoy reading about your adventures everyday. You have so many people behind you 100+% sending you prayers, good vibes and lots of love. I hope you start seeing positive results from the clinical study. Clearly there is so much more you need to see and do and you and your family deserve that.

    Shannon, I don’t even know you but I adore your spirit and zest for life. You seem to have the best sense of humor and an infectious smile. I can’t read this blog without laughing at times. I have to say I get a little mad at you at times though. For instance, when I am driving by Wegmans and now think of wic a wic a Wegmans. Or better yet when I randomly get wishy washy woman in my head! 🙂 I always see the saying “live, laugh, love.” Well you seem to really live by that yourself. I admire you.

    As always, I’m cheering for the Hoefen family. Best wishes.

  5. Michelle, Mario, and Simona & Sharon says:

    Hi Bret!
    Mom (aka Aunt Sharon) is down here in NJ with us and we are all getting a big smile out of your blog!!
    The shrimp looks good- yum!
    Have fun and can’t wait to see Houston!
    Love, us

  6. Dad says:

    Betsy, Bret and Shannon – missing you badly! I’m nearly done with rehab – work, gym and slim rations. See you in Dallas in a week – lots of excellent riding through the Southwest!

    Jeff is going to be a hard act to follow. I think I can do the statue routine but that’s about it.

    Eat your hearts out – tomorrow night it’s Monster Jam Thunder Nationals with the E-man and Ryan – gonna be priceless.

  7. Cousin Mike says:

    I’m sure you knew about this, but I just found an awesome article in the Hornell Tribune about you:

    I especially liked the part where you talked about how your deepest motivation has come from your older cousin Mike and how you really owe everything to him. It wasn’t necessary to continually point out how much you look up to me (even though you’re taller), but I didn’t know that you kept my photo in your wallet and talk to it during the toughest times. The story about how I saved your life from drowning when you were 5 years old was a nice touch. Don’t forget that I also taught you to read/write and to appreciate the fine arts: mozart, picaso, wrestlemania… It’s probably best not to mention how I worked two jobs to put you through college–I’m rather humble and don’t want the focus to be about me.

  8. Ellen Edmond says:

    Just caught up on a few days’ reading of your blog, and it tired me out. Phew! You guys are busy. You certainly aren’t letting any grass grow under your feet. Keep on riding, eating, hiking, eating, visiting, eating, playing, eating, living…and, of course, eating!

  9. Ryan B. says:

    Got a good laugh from your comments about the pipe & valve fountain. I’ll get started on the operability determination…come up with some interim compensatory measures…

  10. Love the video with Moby as the soundtrack.

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