Leaving New Orleans to drive into Texas was a very cool experience. We crossed the Louisiana Texas border into very poorly paved roads, but ended up stopping at an incredibly inexpensive grocery store. It was just your usual Kroger, but traveling through so many state lines you do notice a difference in prices in certain things. After the grocery store we went to our free campsite for the night.
The site we had picked out was literally right on the Gulf of Mexico on what used to be Highway 87 in Bolivar Point. This road was completely destroyed in 2008 by Hurricane Ike. What’s left is now a dirt road, chunks of the asphalt of what used to be the road and a bunch of oil rigs. Setting up the tent wasn’t easy by any means, it was super windy but it got done. After we were done setting up we decided to make our macaroni & (dairy free!) cheese with pork & beans Valentine’s Day dinner. It was so windy we just went with what was going to be easiest. The stars that were out that night were no joke! It was absolutely amazing to look up, but then some clouds rolled in and we got in our tent that was whipping all over the place from the wind. We had to get back out and tie the guy lines down to stop the tent from blowing over, or worse.. one of our tent poles breaking!
The next day we went into Galveston to explore. Our first stop was to Moody Mansion, an estate that was owned by William Moody, a clearly successful business man. The tour through the house is audio guided and tells stories about the family and gives you information about his business moves. The house has 31 rooms, most of its original furniture and is part of the National Register of Historic Places. The mansion stood through several hurricanes like the Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900 and Hurricane Ike. We learned a lot about how they built a 14 foot wall to lift Galveston up to protect them from future hurricanes better.
After a quick lunch in the parking lot we ventured down to The Strand to check out their downtown area. Apparently Galveston has a whole Mardi Gras celebration too! We had no idea, but they had everything set up for the festivities and the parade route. We dipped into La King’s Confectionery where they were pulling their own salt water taffy! Apparently much like anywhere else that celebrates Mardi Gras they also don’t have laws in this specific district about drinking on the streets, and they had amazing 2 for $5 deals on beer and wine, so we grabbed a drink and made plans to visit the beach area.
There are a few beaches in Galveston but there’s one area that has a pier with an amusement park on it and a whole slew of restaurants. We thought we’d be able to walk the pier, but the amusement park was closed so we just walked along the beach for a bit before heading to East Beach for the sunset.
That night we drove up to Houston to meet up with a bunch of Elliot’s family that were letting us stay in their home for the next few days. We went to Pico’s Restaurant for dinner and margaritas. Pico’s was a bit different than the typical Mexican food in the Houston area because they focus on more authentic flavors from the seven regions of Mexico. I had the pork shank that was recommended by the waiter and Elliot had Mancha Mantales, a chicken & pork dish with a peanut sauce and mole served with plantains, sweet potatoes, fruit and of course rice & beans. It was nothing short of amazing, what a great way to end our day!