Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Galveston a bustling port town

We are staying in a timeshare in Montgomery Texas called Sweetwater on Lake Conroe, totally reminds me of Barrie at home or Myrtle Beach.  A beautiful lake full of cottages/homes, boats and golf courses, with some amazing looking restaurants and shops around.  This is pretty well what I was expecting.  Yesterday we decided to take a trip down to Galveston on the Gulf.  Houston traffic is worse than Toronto, I'm not sure if that made Jim feel better or not, but it was a pretty straight drive down Hwy 45 and it allowed us to see the Houston skyline.  

First stop was the Pier.  Another thing I found out about Texas, this is considered off season so a lot of things are closed on Mondays including the pier.  It didn't deter us from having a walk along the beach.  

 I met Forrest Gump :) on the pier.

These pipes are part of a project to expand the beach, they are dredging sand from the channel to make the beach 100 to 150 feet wider.   Thank goodness, I thought they were very rusty oil pipelines.
 Happy feet, happy toes love being in the water.  A new part of the Gulf for these feet.  


 I was expecting this to be a little like Niagara-on-the-Lake.  Nope, not at all.  It is a little bustling port and oil town.  Lots of tankers, beautiful old mansions, you could definitely picture  the centre of town with lots of saloons and oilmen.  Most of these little stores are now quaint little shops.  And yes I found a Christmas Shop, a new ornament for my tree.

 Mardi Gras is very big in Galveston.  The town and local residences all dress up for Mardi Gras the way we do for Halloween and Christmas.  There were trees covered in beads and feathers all over the streets.

 One street over and we saw our first oil rig.  They are massive.

 Next stop was lunch at sure enough the Fisherman's Wharf.  A great location with great food.  Every fish I could imagine was mentioned on the menu.  I was brave and settled for shrimp :).

If you are in the area, make sure to make a stop in Galveston.  Lots of history in the area and a beach that is just going to get more beautiful.

 Time to head home, with a quick stop at the Houston Space Station.  We were disappointed that we couldn't go in as it closes at 5pm.  But just amazed to see the shuttle just sitting there on top of a 747.  And yes I burst into tears, my mom and I were always so excited when one of the shuttles were taking off, we always stopped whatever we were doing to watch it.  Amazing the great minds that are housed in this small area.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Nashville - Day 2 more surprises

Sometimes I think I live in a bubble, I never knew that Nashville was the State Capital.  Here I thought it was all about the Country Music business and lo and behold it has all this amazing history behind it.  The State Legislature buildings are at the top of the hill and when they were first built must have had an amazing view of the city/town of Nashville.  The architecture is amazing both inside and out and they do a lovely job of remembering their many heroes, from Presidents to Davey Crockett to the amazing men and women who served them in the wars.


This is the House of Representatives.  


And this is where the Senate sits.  

Down the road from the Government Buildings were the first churches, the oldest Catholic Church, the Methodist and the Presbyterian Church.  These old buildings are nestled in amongst some beautiful street art.  If it needs a wee bit of sprucing up then let's paint it.
Continuing down the street you come to the Ryman Theatre, home of the Grand Ole Opry and what we all think of when we think of Nashville.

And surprise surprise, looking down on the Ryman Theatre is my AT&T Building again.  :)

The Ryman Theatre is a busy place today as they are getting set up for the Little Big Town concert.  It is crazy how many people, lights, wires go into a production like this.  Unfortunately Jim and I don't have tickets.  We will just have to come back.

Continuing on our 15000 step day, we headed back to the waterfront.  btw all this without a beer :)  To think in one day, you could see a hockey game, an NFL game, a country concert and a symphony all within walking distance of each other.  It is an amazing city to wander around in with a good pair of shoes.  

It was a beautiful day and all the rooftop pubs were busy and hopping.

A private concert was playing on the waterfront as we walked by.
As we were walking around the city, every so often we would here a cheer and some girls screaming and sure enough one of these bicycle pedaled shooter vehicles went by, usually being pedaled by a bachelorette party.


 Back to the hotel for a break before we start again.  The plan was an early dinner, a couple of shows and then bed early to set off on our 12 hour drive to Texas.  Plan didn't work out quite as we planned.  There was just too much going on in the city.
 A wee margarita in Jimmy Buffet land before we had dinner as we were entertained by these 2 charming ladies.
 Just as many performers outside on the street corners as in the bars.  These young boys were amazing playing on plastic jugs.  This young girl was entertaining the crowd at Broadway and 4th while we had dinner at Merchants.  Btw if you ever go there you can be entertained all night sitting in the booth by the window.  She was very entertaining, dealing with all sorts of people.  We thought she was only about 15 but was actually 24.  Her poise dealing with an amazing number of drunk young men who wanted to dance a jig with her.  One young man not only danced with her, hugged her and then gave her $50 before his buddies led him away.  :)  It was one of our more entertaining nights ever.

Everywhere was standing room only.  The police were out in full force.  Even the fire department were parked at street corners making sure everyone was safe.  The girls on the bicycle pedal vehicles loved driving by the firemen, lots of cheering was done as they high-fived the firemen.  After dinner we bar hopped for a wee bit and saw some amazing acts and met some amazing people.  Whether you are young or old, celebrating a bachelor or bachelorette party, a special birthday party or a weekend with your spouse, Nashville is definitely the place to be.