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March 29, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Simply a damp slipcover.

Blog Post inside care label: “Little thought needed. Prefer sunny line dry. Shrink resistant.”

There now. Reassured. A “no effort required” end of week post.

Too limp for more.

A damp fog is slipcovering Galveston. Perhaps as encouragement to sleep in.

One crafty reason is to hide birds, wild life, and beaches from oil sheen. (and that seems to be working fairly well so far.)

A more haunting reason is to hide a time slippage.

closeup with flag

No Statue of Liberty in Galveston, but the docks still a welcomed sight to many who arrived. ( webcam)

The Tall Ship Elissa was built in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1877.

Now protected by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, she’s now docked by the Texas Seaport Museum.

You can sail on her as a trained volunteer or as a wedding party or reception guest.

 Sail along with the Tall Ship Elissa in this video 

No doubt during her misty trips or moonlight sails, you might hear whispers by sailors or passengers from long ago.

Galveston’s port of entry was once known as the “Ellis Island of the West”. Many immigrants who arrived here are listed in the museum’s database.


Not the Houston Ship Channel, but a small Galveston channel lined on one side by restaurants, cruise line docks, and warehouses with commercial ship building docks lining the other side. Those are jack-up rigs lurking on the right. ( webcam)

Although a commercial area, this waterway a pleasant place to sail with interesting sights to see, people to wave at, and you can usually dock by the restaurants.

Sailors will need to watch for tugs and barges, because obviously they aren’t paying attention.

Shrimpers along here may have small children at the wheel – sometimes they aren’t tall enough to see very well.

Below is a picture of an ocean-going jack-up rig being serviced.

Compared to the white car on the road, it’s a giant. Even the yellow dock crane looks small beside it.

During use, the deck inches upwards on the girder legs. The vertical skeletal outline of one leg can be seen.

(It may be planning on doing a Hillary: you know, leaving the country until controversy dies down.)

A jack-up rig in for service. It's big

A jack-up rig in for service. It’s big, but in hiding? Knows how Gov.Christie’s staff must feel: getting blamed for all the bad stuff? ( webcam)

During the late 1800’s and early 1900’s Galveston was called the “New York of the South” or the “Wall Street of the South”. Many vintage buildings survived multiple hurricanes. (So if they could construct buildings this strong back then, what happened with modern architecture styles and new construction methods? They should be even better, right?)

Below is one side street leading from the Strand to the cruise ship docks.

The rigs are awkwardly huddling in the back.

The trolley rails across the bottom aren’t old, but these recent ones following those of past years.

late 1800's this was the New York of the South. Wall Street with street side and docks out the back. This is a side street leading to the pier with tall ship. trolley track cross the front

During late 1800’s a fancy place for strolling along. Getting ice cream. Emporiums then and now. Then the docks were actually at the back door these buildings. The water was filled in and docks moved back. ( webcam)

Galveston? People naturally think beaches.

Chat while heading over to other side of island for that. Better prepare you.

Don’t bring those blindingly white sand and blue water dreams. Just don’t.

The geology is completely different. An old place.

The coastal shelf here is shallow and sandy. You can walk a long way out (Carefully – there’s deep drop offs between sandbars. And strong currents…easily able to take you to Cuba.Watch your step there.)

The waves constantly stir up the sand, so the water will look sandy-colored. (Except in winter it can be blue. Sail off shore and you’ll see blue water most days, still it’s not clear like the Caribbean.)

across on the other side of the island. the beach and one of the jetties. surfer. undertow

Looking down from the sea wall with the boulevard and parallel parking on top. The jetties break up the wave action and protect the wall. Walk them in the mist and it’s like a movie set with waves crashing over you. Don’t slip! No mystery. Could be a horror. ( cam)

The jetties are fingers made of giant granite /concrete boulder-sized cubes.

There’s a pretty broad walkway down most of them. More fun to hop from slick rock to slick rock, but easy to twist ankles or break limbs.

Popular spot: for strolling, for fishing.

Probably an over-protective mom’s worst nightmare.

There’s a surfer dude with a red board right at the water’s edge on the left. He’s a local.

Surfing discouraged here: jagged rocks and strong undertow.

Besides you have to carry your board across the street, down the sidewalk, down steps in some places. And metered parking.

So why surf here? Always an adoring female audience on the seawall looking for surfing stars.

good place to watch oabove it all. harleys and kids

The Spot. Not a morning person. ( webcam)

The Spot, a favorite place to eat and observe.

Get there early if you want to park the Harley up front.

Bar’s on the east and multi-story indoor and outdoor decks for eating on the west.

Weekends pretty wild here. All welcomed. Always good food and fun, but most enjoyable during off-season or when school’s in session.

With a big view of beach, waves, and people, you could sit for hours and work on that novel.

Pyramids. 3 of them. bet you didn't know civilization here was that old

Pyramids. Bet you didn’t know civilization here was this old. ( webcam)

There in the mists, three pyramids. A mirage? A time warp?

Moody Gardens. (Named after a prominent BOI family, not a response to mists)

A non-profit created to use nature and science for rehabilitation that grew into an educational destination for conservation, recreation, and research – while still focused on advancing rehabilitation.

Moody Gardens glass pyramids. A nod to the Mayans and Aztecs

Best secret? There’s a beautiful white sandy beach with clear fresh water lagoon.

(Finally, the tropical vision you expected.) Moody Gardens webcams

Locally, none too sad about quietly standing under cover of mists.

Perhaps hiding a bit longer before the onslaught of giddy tourists.

With luck no one will find the off switch for those commercial grade fog machines.

Things still under wraps. Maybe tomorrow, sun lovers: Galveston webcams.

Warm moisture keeps you looking young, they say (like anyone could tell in this fog).

Think that covers it. Slip on into the weekend

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

all afternoon

Barely able to make out the waves and a jetty on the left. It’s a big drop off to the beach from the top of the seawall here. Always a hazard for cars, bikes, and people not paying attention. Big medical center nearby, luckily. ( cam)


  1. robstroud / Mar 29 2014 12:21 am

    Been to many interesting places in Texas, but never Galveston. Thanks for “taking” me there!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 30 2014 5:33 pm

      Someday the fog will lift (and the place will be less crowded) and I’ll get around to more local scenes. There’s a lot of very interesting architecture with big buildings and even small houses. Galveston is slowly coming out of hibernation.
      We really hope that investor is serious about reconstructing the Balinese Room/Pier – that was like Vegas before Vegas was built…and so many wild stories about the place. Will update. Thanks for touring


  2. Snoring Dog Studio / Mar 29 2014 2:29 pm

    Those pyramids disturb me. They seem so horribly out of place – but that’s Texas for you. Did you ever read, “Isaac’s Storm”? It’s an accounting of the massive flood that wiped out Galveston in the 1800’s. It’s a fascinating and horrifying read. And the resilience of people who build back a town is incredible.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 30 2014 5:50 pm

      We worried about the glass pyramids – but they withstood a direct hit and the people, animals, and plants survived.
      Actually the shape was chosen for specific reasons. TX does have Indian mounds – not as big as the Mayan/Aztec temples, of course (did they know something about channeling energy? Some say so). As as research center exploring experimental/non tradition as well as traditional options in rehabilitation, the pyramid’s potential for focusing energy/healing seemed natural…water, wind, and sky do make people think a little outside the box. (We had a friend who’s autistic child benefited from their hydro-therapies and horse back riding)
      Started with 1 pyramid – but now the 3 look really cool reflected in Offat’s Bayou (really could be called a bay or lake) as you come over the causeway. The gardens are beautiful and also used in therapy.(parts of the complex are off limits for tourists – only for clients)
      I had forgotten that one. Galveston is an island with little elevation. It can be completely covered – (newcomers don’t understand when they decide to stay during a storm to party)
      Local families, historical societies, and the museum have gathered many “first hand” stories of Great Storm/1900 storm (cat 4+) Here’s some of them that were collected.Clara Barton even assisted.
      Only the strong survived. Quite a fascinating history. Thanks for floating along


  3. PiedType / Mar 29 2014 4:15 pm

    One can actually sail on Elissa? Remarkable. And I love the foggy photos!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 30 2014 5:23 pm

      The sun came out yesterday and the Elissa sailed for the first time in 4 years (hurricane damage and age meant a $3 million overhaul. Volunteers and groups sail on it – and now they offer event/wedding sails. Here’s some pix of yesterday(
      Thanks for sailing along!


      • PiedType / Mar 30 2014 6:21 pm

        The photos gave me goosebumps. Literally. There’s something so romantic, so remarkable about the tall ships and the men who sailed them back in the day. But then, I think all sailing ships and boats are gorgeous.


  4. jannatwrites / Mar 31 2014 5:58 am

    I’ve never been to Galveston – but it looks like an interesting, historical place. I know fog makes things more difficult (and dangerous) but it makes for great photos, too 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 31 2014 2:59 pm

      Galveston is like an eccentric elderly relative – always a surprise. Thanks for slipping into the fog


  5. Robin / Mar 31 2014 11:52 am

    Beautiful photos. The fog wraps everything in magic and mystery. I especially like the pyramids, and the tall ship.


  6. jmmcdowell / Mar 31 2014 7:50 pm

    Well, I’ll take today’s sun over fog and yesterday’s unpredicted snowstorm in the midst of heavy rains. We actually had about two inches on the ground yesterday, mixed with sleet and way more rain than we need.

    Spring break and fog are likely not a good combination! Hope those tourists get some more sun before they leave!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 31 2014 9:03 pm

      More snow! Just pull the covers over your head and go back to sleep. The fog held the whole day Friday – but we’ve had bright sun since. The Elissa actually sailed on Sat. – the first time in 4 years and after a long make-over. Just love those tall ships sailing! Thanks for splashing by


  7. Kourtney Heintz / Apr 2 2014 12:58 am

    I love the fog photos. It makes me feel like something could happen at any moment. Especially with the tall ships.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 2 2014 1:25 pm

      Fog does trigger a whole “is it real or…” response. The brave create. Thanks for drifting by


  8. Russel Ray Photos / Apr 17 2014 2:59 am

    Galveston is such an awesome city! Spent many a weekend on the seawall while I was in college at Texas A&M University.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 17 2014 7:09 pm

      Galveston is like a quirky relative – eccentric yet endearing. Think I heard the seagulls inquiring about you. Thanks for stopping by to splash in the comment pool


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