Well, here is the long delayed post about our vacation in July. I cannot believe it’s been over a month since we returned. It was really nice to go to some new places and just get away from our boring little town for a little while. Most of this was written the day after we got home, so keep that in mind when it says yesterday.
Well, our vacation is over. We arrived home yesterday evening. Whenever I think about going on vacation, I think of having fun and relaxing, but it always ends up being more exhausting (but still usually fun). I think we had a good time, for the most part.
We made the long drive down on Tuesday. We actually managed to get the truck packed and on the road earlier than we thought we would. Evie did really well. We ended up getting a bit of rain just over the half way mark, in College Station. We made a pit stop there to have lunch and get out and stretch our legs. Evie was not a fan of the idea of getting back in the truck, so she was rather cranky. I ended up riding in the back with her the rest of the way to our destination to help keep her occupied.
Traffic in Houston was a beast, as usual. We made it through right before rush hour. We arrived in La Porte and found our hotel. This was one of the more unpleasant aspects of the trip. I reserved a king sized room, non-smoking. They said that the reservation did not specify smoking or non (I made the reservation on their website). All they had left was smoking or I could switch to 2 double beds. That would not work well for us since Evie sleeps with us on vacation. We would either have to al squeeze into a small bed or I would sleep with Evie and D would sleep by himself. No thanks.
So we took the smoking room. Luckily it didn’t smell. The place was no where near as nice as where we usually stay. Really out dated with a loud ac that ran non stop. We were also sharing the room with some spiders in the bathroom. Luckily, the bed was comfortable and it was a place to sleep. It was defiantly not a destination hotel. It served its purpose though.
It was about dinner time when we got settled in. We went just down the block and visited a little beach. Evie got to walk in the sand and put her feet in the bay. From there we made a run to the grocery store for milk and yogurt and picked up some dinner. The rest of the evening was spent relaxing in our room before bed time.
The next day we talked about visiting Space Center Houston. I was a little on the fence about it since Evie is so young and the activities are geared towards older kids and adults. I spent some time reading different reviews and made the decision to wait. There are many things for teens/adults that we couldn’t do with her and other stuff for kids a bit older. I would like to go when she can enjoy it as well.
Since we scrapped our plans for the space center, we decided to drive down to Galveston Island. We got a little bit of a late start, so our first plan was to grab lunch. We really didn’t have a set plan so we made it down to Seawall and drove for a little to see where we wanted to stop. On the drive down, we ran into some rain in the Kemah area. Luckily it didn’t last very long, but it was pretty dreary looking the majority of the day.
One place we were interested in checking out was the Pleasure Pier. When we visited Galveston last, they were beginning to work on tearing down the old Flagship Hotel. Now it is totally redone with rides. We parked in the lot across the street and decided to eat at Bubba Gump’s, since Dave has never been to one. We got a nice table that overlooked the ocean. Evie was pretty excited to watch the waves. We played trivia with our waitress and found that we suck at Forrest Gump Trivia. Lunch itself was pretty good, albeit expensive.
We headed out after lunch and found that you had to pay to just walk out on the Pleasure Pier. It would have been nearly $30 for us to just WALK around. Since we weren’t planning on riding any rides, we decided to pass on walking on the pier. We headed down Seawall to go browse around Murdoch’s. We bought a few souvenirs and D met up with a local Ingress player while Evie and I hung out. I love that Murdoch’s has a little breezeway with chairs that you can go out on to watch the ocean.
After we did our shopping, we decided to go over to The Strand, where we did some shopping. Evie was pretty cranky since she hadn’t taken a nap, so luckily she feel asleep for awhile in her stroller. Shops were starting to close up so we decided to hit the road back towards our hotel. We made an Ingress stop for Dave in Texas City, where we visited a bunch of portals and drove out to the dike. From there we had dinner then went back to the room for much needed showers and sleep.
The third day of our trip we headed back to Galveston. Like the day before, we hit rain on the drive over, but it let up by the time we made it into Galveston. We were hungry so we hit up Joe’s Crab Shack for lunch then drove down to the ferry port to ride the ferry to Port Bolivar and back. I think Evie enjoyed it. On the way to Port Bolivar, we rode in the “front” on the bottom deck. After we came into port, we went upstairs and stood at the “back.” I was hoping we would get to spot some dolphins, but no such luck.
After our ferry ride, we went to the beach. I got Evie changed into her swimsuit and coated in sunscreen. We spread out a beach blanket and let Evie check things out. At first, she wouldn’t step off of the blanket. She would go to the edge but never further. She finally worked up the nerve to step out in the sand, and then she running was all over the place. She was a little off balance walking in the sand, but even falling face first into it didn’t phase her!
We brought a little bucket and some shovels for her to play with. She mostly carried them around, but Dave got some use out of them (probably more than she did!). I gave her a little space to explore a bit, reeling her back in when she tried to get too far away. She seemed to really enjoy herself. I took her down to the water to put her feet in. I had to walk through several feet of sargassum, which wasn’t the most pleasant thing. (They are having a huge influx of seaweed this year, so all the beaches have a ton. Some are better taken care of than others. The beach we visited wasn’t bad at all. Other beaches, like along the seawall, have huge piles that are rotting and smell disgusting.)
After our little dip in the water, we went back to play in the sand. Evie was COVERED in sand. She also spread the wealth by getting sand all over me too. She was starting to get grumpy, partly because it was past nap time and partly because of the sand. We took her back down to the water before we packed up and headed to the truck. Everything was sandy, and because the parking was on the beach, it was impossible to get it off. There weren’t any near by showers, so we did the best we could to get the sand off with the baby powder I brought and headed back to our hotel for showers.
Unfortunately our drive back to the hotel took longer than we anticipated. There was an accident on the bridge getting off the island so traffic was at a stand still. Evie fell asleep for a bit but woke up crying. I’m sure it was because she was still sandy and uncomfortable from that. As soon as we got in the room, she went straight into the shower and was a much happier kiddo.
The next day we had scheduled ourselves to visit the Battleship Texas. It was a short drive from our hotel. Unfortunately the weather was looking dreary. It began to rain as we arrived. I put Evie in her Boba 3g carrier and we went to explore the ship.
Since it had rained (and was still drizzling on us) everything was very slippery. I was kind of nervous that I would eat it while wearing her since I am not the most graceful of people. The ship was really interesting to explore. I didn’t go below deck since, like I said above, fearful of falling, but Dave checked it out.
Once we were done on the ship, we walked around the grounds a bit before a swarm of mosquitoes attempted to eat us alive. The drizzle had stopped and we could feel the temps and humidity rising, so we went back to our hotel for Evie’s nap time.
After little miss was nice and rested, we got ready to go out to the Kemah Boardwalk. We walked around for awhile checking out all of the rides and such. We also wondered over to the lighthouse district. We bought some yummy fudge and explored some little shops. By then we were really hungry, so we went to Saltgrass Steakhouse for some dinner.
After our delicious dinner, there was a lot of waiting for the firework show. I got us a spot right in the front so we could have a good view of them over the bay. Finally it was dark enough and the show began. I was a little nervous that Evie would be frightened by the noise, but it didn’t faze her one bit. In fact, she was more interested in watching a guy with a camera, thinking she was going to get her picture taken, than with the fireworks. It was a nice show, but not too long. I enjoyed it since we didn’t make it to our town’s for the fouth.
That was our last day down in that area. The next day we packed the room up, checked out, and headed to Austin. We got there mid-afternoon and relaxed in our room a little while.
I had really wanted to visit the HOPE Outdoor Gallery, so that was the first stop we made after we rested. I can say that I was really excited to see all of the graffiti art, since I had discovered it on instagram. It was hard to find parking on the crowded residential street. Since it was so packed, Dave stayed with Evie in the car while I went to get some pictures.
There was so really cool graffiti, but overall I was disappointed. Not at the art, but mainly how poorly people had treated this area. First of all, there was trash EVERYWHERE. It was awful! Second would be the fact that many visitors left their marks on the walls, sometimes going over other art. Art changes there on a regular basis, but much of it was messed up because Johnny thought it would be great to spray paint his name over a bunch of it. If you go to HOPE’s facebook, it clearly states:
INDIVIDUALS WHO DO NOT HAVE PROPER CREDENTIALS MAY BE ASKED TO LEAVE OR ARRESTED FOR TRESPASSING.
You will be asked to ﬁll out a question form, provide proof of ID, submit a sketch or mock-up of the art intended, and sign a waiver in order to receive credentials.
HOG Paint Passes are available for participating artists and volunteers that are 18yrs. old or accompanied by an adult.
All participants must respect the existing art, be courteous to the neighborhood and dispose of all your trash.
I just wish people would be more respectful. A few inconsiderate people can ruin things for everyone, and that’s sad.
After I got some pictures, we headed down to South Congress. We went into D’s favorite store Monkey See, Monkey Do. Since we were there he had to add to our vinyl figure collection, of course. After we were done there we went over to Noodles and Co for some dinner. Dave was in heaven since that was his favorite place to eat in Utah, while he was stationed there. We defiantly don’t have one where we live, so we had to hit it up for him.
The next morning we hit the road again towards home. We had a great time, but it was really nice to sleep in our bed and see the kittys.