July 4th Weekend, Pt. 3–Fireworks on the Beach

We are back home in Fort Worth, now. I wish I could say “It’s good to be home,” but I would really rather still be in Galveston. Or somewhere else right across the street from an ocean. Doesn’t have to be Galveston…that’s just the closest one.

Yesterday, we woke up and spent a leisurely morning in our condo, drinking coffee (I was doing my devotional blog, as well as recapping the previous day in this one), and just enjoying the view from the patio. After finally getting out, we drove down the island to Chili’s for lunch. On the way, we saw one of those “Duck Tour” buses, and thought that would be a fun thing to do after lunch. As we were entering Chili’s, we found a credit card on the ground. It had a girl’s picture on it. We took it to the hostess in Chili’s, and she went right to their table. Lucky for her, she was still in the restaurant. So…”Doomsday Averted” for one person, huh? She’s lucky we are honest people. Anyway, lunch was pretty good.

Afterward, we did, indeed get onto one of the Duck Tours. We just happened to get there a few minutes before one was to leave. We had a good tour guide/driver. He took us out Seawall Blvd. a little bit, then turned inland. We went to a little bayou, called Offat’s bayou, where we drove right into the water. I don’t care how much you are expecting it, it’s still a little unnerving when your tour bus drives into the water. You see, these vehicles, really called “DUCW,” were WWII amphibious vehicles, designed to transport troops and cargo from ships to the shore. There are quite a few of them still around, and most of them have been converted/modified into touring vehicles all over the country. Anyway, we drove into Offat’s Bayou, turned off the wheels and rode around the bayou at a scorching 6.5 mph! It was quite fun. When we exited the bayou, we went to Broadway, saw some historic sights, including “The Strand,” and then headed back to 25th and Seawall, where we had boarded.

When Christi and I saw The Strand, we decided we wanted to go back there. As many times as I have been to Galveston, I’ve never been to The Strand, which is a historic shopping area close to the harbor. Oh, I almost forgot. While on the Duck Tour, we saw the “Carnival Ecstasy” cruise ship in the harbor. When we drove back to The Strand, she was pulling out. She was a HUGE ship, and it was very cool watching her pull out. The tour guide said she was on the way to the Yucatan.

Anyway, we dropped Stephanie off at the condo, and headed back to The Strand. We walked around there for a bit, going into shops, buying a few gifts for family, and eventually pretty much wore ourselves out. We had a good time, though.

We headed back to the condo, where we collapsed for a little bit. We really just kind of sat/layed around for a couple of hours. At that point, it was close to 7pm. They were planning a fireworks show out on the rocks at 39th and Seawall that night, and the street would be completely closed off for a number of blocks. We packed up some water and sodas, our folding chairs, put on our swimsuits, and headed that way. Knowing that there already wasn’t any parking on Seawall, we decided to go away from it for a few blocks, then head east, PAST the place where they would be having the fireworks, and then see if we could park on a side street. We found a spot to park on street “R 1/2.” I’m not making that up. All of the north/south streets in Galveston are numbered and all the east/west streets are letters. But, apparently, they had some afterthoughts, because there are some “1/2” streets like “P 1/2,” “Q 1/2,” and the one we parked on, “R 1/2.” I’m still not sure you can have “R 1/2.” Maybe it should be “R.5?” Or “R2,” as long as it’s not too close to “D2.” Get it? R2D2? Never mind.

After parking, we got the chairs and stuff out of the car and started walking toward the beach. It was a little scary…it wasn’t a great part of town. But there were TONS of people out there!! People were gathering in their front yards, cooking out, sitting on their porches, and the parking lots were packed with people sitting on their cars. We got to Seawall, and it was blockaded from motor traffic, so people were all over the streets, sitting on the sidewalk, and down on the beach. We were able to get a nice spot on the sand, and it really wasn’t too bad down there, in spite of all the people. It was still light when we got there, so we took turns playing in the water. That was great fun, and other people around were pretty nice. There’s not a lot you can do in the ocean water, but it sure is fun to be in it. Finally, it began to get dark, so we got out (not everyone did…there were people in the water after dark, too), and sat down to wait. This was a first for us…watching fireworks from the beach. A couple of years ago, in New Hampshire, we got to watch some from a small cruise ship out in the ocean, but this is the first time we have watched them from a beach. It was great fun! The reflections on the water lit up the ocean water with all kinds of colors. The show lasted about 20 minutes with the biggest, most colorful finale I have ever seen. After we had climbed the stairs back to the street, three more went off, as if they found a few that they missed. That was kind of funny.

We had not eaten yet, so after the fireworks (and after sitting in traffic for about an hour…it seems we got on the road that leads out of Galveston, and were stuck in traffic leaving town), we went to Jack in the Box (where we sat in a long line for about 30 more minutes), got some food and headed back to the condo. By this time, it was between 11pm and 12am, which is why I’m just now getting around to writing about it.

After a good night’s sleep, we packed up and left the condo (sad face), stopped at Sonic for some breakfast, and hit the road. About halfway back, we stopped at this semi-famous place called “Sam’s” that has a pretty good buffet. It wasn’t bad, but their vegetable content today was lacking, at least for me. I was hoping for green beans, and maybe some corn. Instead, they had carrots (yuck…I have absolutely NO use for carrots), spinach (more yuck, but at least you can make a decent dip out of spinach), sauerkraut (??really??), and black-eyed peas. At least I like peas. So I got some salad, some peas, some mac-n-cheese, and some beef tips over rice and a piece of brisket. It was pretty good. We topped it off with some pie (we shared some chocolate-pecan and lemon meringue).

After a few more hours, here we sit at home. I’m most definitely NOT ready to go back to work tomorrow, but I have to anyway. At least I only have to work three days this week.

TTFN, y’all

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