Friday Dec. 1st: Drove through Arkansas and into Texas on I-59 South. Northeast Texas is green and lush, dotted with small towns and farms. As we neared Houston, the traffic became insane. 12 lanes of highway, hundreds of cars and even more semis all driving 70+ mph. The interstates here are stacked like a roller coaster around and through the huge city. I speculated that every time Houston needed another ramp or bypass, they just built the newest addition higher than the others, no ripping up existing roads or halting the flow of vehicles. With the help of our Toyota’s GPS and my eagle eyes, we navigated across multiple lanes onto I-45 South to Galveston, our final destination.
We got to Wolverton Rental office in Jamaica Beach Galveston around 2:30, but were told we could not check in yet, as the Calypso, our rental cottage, was being inspected and would not be available until 4 pm. So I went back to the car and told Joe. The dogs were awake and stretching. Boomer, who has a heart condition, was standing with his legs rigid and shaking. Joe said, “That dog has a monkey on his back,” a phrase often used in the 60s to refer to a junkie suffering withdrawal. I started laughing. A little junkie dog. We decided to drive the 25 minutes into the city of Galveston to find the Comcast Xfinity office so we could pick up the Wi-Fi router we were going to rent for the month. (I had called them the week before and was told we could get the router and return it when we checked out.) Our GPS took us to the city building in Galveston on 25th Street with the address we had for Comcast, but we could not find any cable company there. I used my phone to verify the address and even asked a person on the street. No one seemed to know where the elusive business was. We pulled over and I called the 800 number for Xfinity and spoke to a woman who gave me the same address. I asked if she could give me the Galveston office phone number, and was told there was no local number to call. And then she spoke to me like I was an imbecile, asking if I had a smart phone, then telling me how I should use it to direct me to the address. No help there. I hung up. By now the dogs were starting to yip and get excited. They wanted out to do their business. So we pulled into the parking lot of the city building and took the dogs for a walk around the block. Then, Joe went back into the car with the four legged boys and I went into a back door of the building in search of a Wi-Fi router. A firefighter told me that Comcast actually had an office on the first floor of the city building. In fact he just learned about it the day before. So I ended up sitting in a room full of people waiting to be called by number to either pay a Galveston City Utility bill at the counter or to talk to the one woman at the one desk below the sign that read COMCAST Xfinity. After 30 minutes, I was finally next in line, but the guy ahead was having a hard time choosing all his cable channels and deciding what internet speeds he would need for his new account. Joe texted to say we needed to get going, ‘cause we had to drive back to Wolverton Rental before 5 pm and get checked in. So I just got up and left, losing 45 minutes of my life.
We drove west along Seawall Blvd with the shimmering Gulf of Mexico to our left. We got checked in at Wolverton where they gave me a key, a map and a flyer with a phone number to call to get Wi-Fi for the month. So I called the local number in the car and found out that if I gave this man, who called himself “Galveston WiFi”, a credit card number, he’d gladly charge me $50 for a month of Wi-Fi. He said when I got in the house, to call him and he’d activate the router remotely, which I did. He gave me a password and we had Wi-Fi. So we paid $50 for a password. The router and the service were already here. But we were glad to do it and I actually thanked him.
The Calypso is a two bedroom one bathroom cottage with a spectacular view from the row of windows facing the beach. There is no obstruction, no road, just scrub covered dunes and gray sand, (not the white sands of Destin, Florida) and ocean.The weather was awesome, sunny and warm, waves beautifully rolling onto the beach. This was why we came to Galveston. But the interior of the cottage had much to be desired. The shower is a tiny stall, more like a camper shower. The galley style kitchen has very little cabinet space so the food we purchased at Seven Seas Grocery, just a few minutes away, had to sit on top the frig and on the counter tops. But we were happy to be here and settled on the deck with our beers until dark. We came in relaxed and ready to find something on TV, but we soon discovered that we had only the basic cable channels, no CNN, MSNBC, FOX, History Channel, Nat Geo, or any movie channels. Good thing we brought our Amazon Fire Stick. With it we would be able to stream Netflix and Amazon shows and movies. So for the next month we got a break from the nightly cable news talking-heads, telling us what’s going on in Washington, in particular, what Trump is Tweeting, with up to the minute analysis and opinions, over and over and over again.
Sat. – Wed. Dec. 2-6: Beautiful sunny weather. In the high 60s, breezy and awesome walking on the beach. Spent most of the day on the deck listening to the waves. Morning coffee and evening beer. Joe set up his Bluetooth speakers and we listened to his ecliptic play list through the open windows. The dogs settled in, getting used to the new arrangements with some reluctance. It seems what looks like a lawn of scrubby grass is actually a mine field for dog feet (or bare human feet too). Hogan yipped and began limping within seconds of his first foray to potty in the yard. I checked his paw and had to remove a wicked tiny sand burr from between his pads. So for the remainder of our stay, all bathroom trips with the dogs had to be down the road or over the muddy path through the dunes to the beach.
Sunday morning we went to Mass at St. Patrick’s. Beautiful church, good service, and music. Pews full, people of all ages and colors. Lots of families. The young priest gave a good sermon.
Monday night thunderstorms rolled in. The rain was torrential and later the temperature dropped. Tuesday our daughter Deloris had the day off work so she drove down from Baytown, Texas (over an hour away) to spend the day with us. We walked the beach and had lunch and good conversation. She left around three. Wednesday it was much cooler, windy and rainy. Joe’s brother, Jr. and his friend, Jackie arrived around 9 pm. They flew in from Indiana and drove a rental car from Houston to Jamaica Beach. Wish the weather hadn’t changed.