I ended up passing on the mountains this weekend to get some girlfriend time from my Texas girlfriends. The weekend before I was feeling lonely, and I knew that going camping by myself takes an adventurous spirit and me feeling on my game. I didn’t. So, I did what all great women have the prerogative to do – changed my mind.
My friend Kristi made the suggestion that I meet her in Galveston on Saturday night instead of hanging out in Houston. I’d never been to the island, and I thought it was a great idea. After hunting for at least an hour for a pet-friendly, reasonably-priced hotel near the Galveston area, I stumbled across the Avenue O Bed and Breakfast. It normally required a two-night minimum on the weekends, but a couple stayed Thursday and Friday night, so Saturday night was free and available to me. The price was reasonable and cost about the same as a cheaper hotel with a pet fee, so I decided to splurge and treat myself.
One of the reviews that I read mentioned that “some people think a B&B is weird”, and I’ve heard that before. But I’ve always liked to stay in someone’s home. My experiences at B & B’s have all been very good, and I love meeting new people. At a bed and breakfast, you have to want to talk to the owners and visit with the other guests at breakfast. If that’s weird, then so be it. I just think it’s friendly.
I arrived about 5 PM, and Connie met me at the door. She was very welcoming, and there was a little greeting for me that made me feel pretty special. She took me upstairs to the Rainforest Room and gave me the short tour. There was a whale’s tail tub, and she showed me how to turn on the “lights and bubbles” and the jets. I already knew I wanted to try that out. She took me out to the back deck and showed me the backyard where they would have a firepit from 7:30 PM – 10 PM. She even included a s’mores “kit” for me to use that evening and said if Kristi wanted to join me to let her know. She’d get her own kit for the fire that night.
Kristi and I walked down to the beach which wasn’t all that far from the B&B. It was a holiday Saturday night, and the crowds were thick on the streets and on the beach. I’m really not much of a beach person, but I suppose you can’t go to Galveston without going to the Gulf of Mexico at least for a few minutes. We drove over to The Strand which is a street with shops and restaurants and had dinner at Fisherman’s Wharf. It was a beautiful evening, and we sauntered over to La King’s for candy and ice cream afterwards. I got a scoop of Lemon Cream ice cream that was divine and a piece of Rocky Road candy for the an Easter treat. I would have loved a hot fudge sundae from the old-fashioned soda fountain, but enough is enough. I called Connie to tell her we wouldn’t make it because dinner ran late, but she said her husband would restart the fire for us when we got back around 10 PM. They were so nice!
La King’s Confectionery and our view at Fisherman’s Wharf…
Kristi and I sat around the fire with a twenty-something couple that had just gotten married on Friday. They were really cute and really sweet. Connie’s husband (can’t remember his name) told us that they were from up north – Minnesota I think – but his job brought him to Galveston. Connie always wanted to run a bed and breakfast, and she’s been doing so for about 10 years. I could tell she was passionate about it. Every little thing was just perfect, and she was so accommodating.
Kristi and Ashok out by the fire
I drew my bath in the crazy fun tub late Saturday and took a long soak. It took so long to fill it that it never even got completely full, but I enjoyed the lights and bubbles. Ashok passed out on the bed. It had been a fun and exhausting day for her.
The next morning I got dressed early and took a walk down Avenue O before breakfast was served at 9 AM. Lovely Victorian homes perched under magnificent Live Oaks and palm trees. The temperature was perfect, and we walked for about 40 minutes before returning.
Lisa and Scott were at breakfast when I got there. They had stayed at several bed and breakfasts in Galveston and were really liking this one. They were former bloggers themselves, and we had a great time talking about blogging and travel. At one time, they traveled the boudin trail in Louisiana and hosted their very own boudin tasting contest. Like me, they love talking to people and told me how they met a bartender in Galveston years ago, and they go see her every time they are in town. They’ve kept in touch over the years, and she’s since left the bar where they met her, but she meets them out for drinks and conversation. Before I left I had an invite to their big party in Texas called Moody Gras. (Scott’s last name is Moody.) It’ll be fun to check that out!
My breakfast buddies….
Momma talks about reading the book about the hurricane that destroyed Galveston in 1900, and I’ve always wanted to read it. Lots of people died because there was no warning system back then. Vacationers were surprised when the storm hit and wiped out the town. Scott and Lisa are history buffs, and they said they spend most of their time discovering Galveston’s history when they are in town. Their favorite pub in town, O’Malley’s, was originally a brothel. When the most recent hurricane struck Galveston, the bar got water, and they had to clean up the entire building. While they were cleaning up the mess, they found a poster with pictures of the “ladies of the evening”. Each girl on the “menu” was marked with a number instead of a name. What a find! It’s on display now if you’re interested in stopping by for a beer and a history lesson.
Breakfast started with fresh strawberries and blueberries and a home-made sticky bun. Coffee was delicious, and Connie had a little pitcher of sugar-free mocha and half and half. It was so good I didn’t even have to go to Starbucks. The main dish was a sausage casserole made with herbs from her garden, bacon fried perfectly crisp and a yeast-risen biscuit with home-made jam and fresh butter. It was better than any restaurant fare I’ve eaten in awhile. And to top it all off, I made some new friends and got to chat with the chef. The young married couple came down for a bit, but they weren’t very hungry and didn’t stick around long.
I have to say that the Avenue O stay made my visit to Galveston . I had a blast with Kristi, and the town is really cute, but the hospitality and experience at the B & B was just perfect. Kristi works for the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and at dinner she was telling me about a summer exhibit they are having that will feature “living art.” Instead of viewing the art as an observer,a patron will actually have an “experience”. That’s sort of how I feel about my stay in that beautiful old home on Avenue O. It provided a place to rest my head to be sure, but most of all it provided an “experience” that I won’t forget anytime soon.
If you want to stay at Avenue O, here’s a link to their website.
P.S. Tell them Sharon at Midlife Moments sent you….