Sat. Dec 7th Galveston
Breakfast and coffee in hotel lobby. Another nice day, 60s and sunny. We drove down to the Historic Strand district, in Galveston, near the harbor. We found the long-term EZ Cruise parking on Santa Fe Street for tomorrow. We walked a bit then headed back to our hotel.
Later we walked to Seawall Boulevard, down the steps onto the beach. We took a nice walk along the shore beyond the amazing Seawall built over 100 years ago. Every time I come to this beach and “hear the sea waves crashing” Glenn Campbell’s voice croons “Galveston, Oh Galveston” in my head.
Deloris and Rudy checked into the La Quinta about ten minutes from us, around 3 pm. Carolyn is staying with them. She arrived around 3:30 pm. We all met at Joe’s Crab Shack for dinner at 5 where we sat outside with a view of the Gulf and of the Crows (or Black Birds) goose-step around the other tables, picking over the leftovers. Made us mindful of the possibility of bird-germs on our eating surface. Our waiter was terrible. We told him when he took our drink orders, that we lacked 3 place settings and again while he was taking our meal orders. But when he returned with our entrees, three of us still had no forks to eat with and Dee, who only asked for water to drink, stayed dry. So we reminded him again and Rudy asked him if he could please bring Dede’s water. Those with utensils began to eat but when Joe started using my knife to get some food to his mouth, I got up and headed back inside to find our guy (Joe said he reminded him of the bad son, Danny, in the Netflix series Bloodline.) or if necessary go to the kitchen to get 3 forks. But just as I reached the door, I encountered our bad waiter and said, “Hey, we still need forks and a glass of water.” To which he replied “I’m getting them.” Back at our table we still had to wait a bit longer for the much needed eating utensils. Finally someone did bring us three more place settings. And Rudy, in frustration, went inside and came out with a glass of water for his wife. Other than our surly waiter, the dinner was good and the view of the Gulf helped our mood.
We parted ways in the parking lot, planning to meet back for Dickens on the Strand around 7. Me and Joe, JR and Jackie took an UBER from the Hampton to downtown and were dropped off on Harborside Drive at the first intersection that had an entrance to the event; just an opening between two barriers. We walked right in. We were prepared to pay the $12 per head that was quoted on the website, but there was no one to give our money to. So we got in FREE. JR was glad he hadn’t purchased tickets online earlier.
The whole historic district, which includes most of Strand Street, was shut down to make way for this three day Victorian Christmas extravaganza put on each year by the Galveston Historical Foundation. Vendors, food booths, crafts, three different musical venues and hordes characters in all manner of dress, that may or may not be historically accurate for the time period of Charles Dickens’ England. We missed many events, only having this one day, but what we did experience was so overwhelming to my senses that I don’t think I could have handled any more. With the help of cell phones we hooked up with the De, Rudy and Carol, who came in legitimately, paying to be here. Everything was decorated and lit up, Christmas music filled the air and the smells of county fair food filled our heads. Several of us got a $5 beer, others hot chocolate. As we walked along we stopped and admired the amazing costumes. There were multiple Scrooges and more than a few Christmas Past, Present and Future Spirits hovering around. The ladies were the best, in sweeping silk gowns, with fur muffs and large feathered hats. One lady in bonnet and bustle pushed a black baby carriage stopping as people peeked in to admire her baby, who turned out to be a plaster faced Victorian doll. We saw two men who thought they were at Comic-Con as one seemed to be part of the Borg with electrical facial implants and the other was dressed like Christopher Lloyd’s character in Back to the Future. Carolyn had a photo taken with Krampus, the cloven hoofed horned anti Santa who is part of Germany’s Christmas culture, invoked to scare children who do not behave. All the crazy calmed down long enough to allow the parade to pass. Horses and covered carriages, a kilted bag-pipe marching band and a plethora of men, women and children all in costume. We ended the evening eating ice cream as we sat and listened to a Celtic group, with an accordion, guitar, tambourine and fiddle. I thought it sounded like blue grass with a touch of Lawrence Welk. We said our goodbyes and UBERed back to our respective lodgings by 10pm.
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