Galveston 2

I’ve never seen so many miles of empty beach except along the coast of Baja.

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Maybe it’s empty because it’s a climb to get back to the road.

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I’m sure when the season starts, things will get busier. Spring Break brings thousands of kids here. Most go to the public beach at the end of town where you can drive on the sand and alcohol is permitted. As you leave that beach there is a sign that says, “Drive Safely”. Just underneath that sign is another that says, in bigger letters, “DRIVE SAFELY”. Now I figure if you’re drunk the size of the letters won’t make any difference. It should say “DDRRIIVVEE SSAAFFEELLYY”. That way the driver’s blurred vision could decode the message.

Galveston used to pretty wide open with the Balinese Room at the end of a long pier, the liquor and gambling place to be. Bob Hope, Tony Bennett, and Sinatra performed there, among others. Every night the slots and tables were busy. But, why that long hall to get to the happenings?

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Here’s the way it worked. When the troopers made a raid, the doorman would push a buzzer letting them in and notifying the band that visitors were on their way. The band would burst into “The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You”. When the music played, the slots disappeared into the walls, the tables became dining tables and all was cool. And that is the answer to the long hall. The troopers had to run down the hall and never made it it to the main room in time.

I’m sure The Balinese Room looked better back then.img_2998.JPG

I can’t imagine Sinatra in the place as it now stands. By the way, it’s for sale.

I am with a press group and we had a busy day. We were only in one place, but it’s a big place. It’s called the Moody Gardens and has three pyramids.img_3023.JPG

One housing an aquarium,img_3019.JPG

another a rain forest,img_3027.JPG

and the third, a 4D Imax experience featuring dinosaurs. I asked what the fourth dimension was, and apparently it’s smell. “How do dinosaurs smell?” I asked. “Rotten”, our guide sniffed.

a trainer opened a door to the penguin place, and the first penguin that felt like taking a walk could come with her .

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On the second floor is an exhibition of the sinking of the Titanic.

img_3024.JPGAs you can see, I can’t show you anything, but this is more impressive than the one in Ireland at the site of the doomed ship’s departure.

There also is a huge water park, and a 5 diamond hotel. Great place for kids. Imagine being able to go back to school and being able to tell everyone how dinosaurs smell.

My favorite spot was the flight museum.

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You can actually get flights in a B-25 ($375), a B-17 ($425) and my favorite, an open cockpit Stearman ($225).

And there, under it all, was a Ford from 1941

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As I remember, automobiles were not manufactured until after the war. The “A” on the windshield rationed the monthly amount of gas one could buy. Now the letters are replaced by the $ sign. Check it out at www.LSFM.org.

Also check out http://www.Galveston.com . Scroll towards the bottom of the page and you’ll see webcams. Take a look at who’s on the beach, which cruise ships are in port, and who’s doing what in the Galvez Hotel lobby.

Dinner was at Sky Steak and Sushi.

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Great sushi rolls and the hottest wasabi I’ve ever had to extinguish.

The group then went across the street to a performance in The Grand Old Opera House built in 1894. I’d like to see the theater, but “Menopause, The Musical” may not be my thing, as they say. I heard it really doesn’t get started until after intermission. (And if you get that obscure reference, I salute you.)

I opted for Jazz here at the hotel. These guys have been around a long time. The trio was piano, electric bass plus a guy who banged a tambourine on his knee, and played the tenor sax — ..badly. When he hit the right notes, which was seldom, he was way out of tune. I guess the difference was, I wear hearing aids and so could pick up the nuances. If he wore hearing aids he’d stick to the tambourine.

Tomorrow we’ll see some of the historical homes, view the great storm video, and then board Ecstasy.

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