Saturday, July 4, 2015

2015 Road Trip, Day 13: Shoobies

 Today we explored two places near Houston; first the USS Texas and then Galveston.  Each was about a half an hour from our hotel, but of course in opposing directions!

First was the USS Texas.  It is a retired battleship that saw combat in World Wars I and II.  We met with some more "allergy friends" and headed aboard!

Kristin and I have known each other for probably close to 10 years.  It's so awesome to meet her in person!!

 Everyone enjoyed exploring the ship.  Most of us stayed within a couple of decks.  The younger kids really enjoyed working the ship's guns.

The girls!

While we were above, Luke went exploring on his own belowdecks.  More of his pictures will be featured later in an upcoming post, but this one made me laugh.

 He said there was no mate to was just laying around!

Group shot!

After exploring the ship and saying "So long!" to our friends, we headed toward Galveston.  You can send the Philly girl to Texas, but she's still a Shoobie.  It's the 4th of July weekend, so of course we went down the shore for the day!

We arrived in time to take a tour of the island.

Our guide took us all around Galveston Island.  Some of the homes were simply amazing.  Many had survived the "Great Storm" of 1900.  Others were being restored after 2008's Hurricane Ike.  Some of our favorites from our tour:

The brick portion of this church is "newer" - from the early 1900s.  The white wooden part is the remnants of a church building that survived the Fire of 1885.

This house was modeled after a Danish castle.  Luke looked at me and said he couldn't quite see the resemblance -- he rather thought it looked like a pastry.  (Go ahead and groan.) 

This formerly private home was donated to the Archdiocese of Houston-Galveston. It then was known as the "Bishop's Castle." It has since been sold to Galveston's home preservation committee.

Being  a port town, Widows Walks were not uncommon.

 This is the only "Southern Plantation" style home on the island.

These steps mark how high the water surge from Ike went -- about 8 feet.

 This one shows both the high water for Ike, and that it is a 1900 storm survivor.

This is the town's library.  Check out the engravings along the top.

After the 2008 storm, many of the island's oak trees were uprooted. Many were then carved into statues for the front lawn.  This house once belonged to a cinematographer for "The Wizard of Oz".

There are also several historic commercial buildings:

The first ice house.

The last bank allowed to use the words "United States" in its name.

The first drug store in Texas.

And finally, this home decorated for the 4th!  Happy Independence Day!

We've had a fantastic whirlwind tour of Houston.  Tomorrow, we head to Louisiana!

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