"Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the things you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
~ Mark Twain
Tired of the mundane and craving an adventure, on Saturday, May 22nd, 2010, I embarked on the ultimate American road trip through all fifty states. After nearly a year and a half on the road, on a budget of less than 50 bucks a day, this is my story...
This morning I expressed my gratefulness to my couch-surfing host Lee in Corpus Christi, and headed to Galveston, about 230 miles away. I got there about 2pm or so, stopped into the Visitor's Center to pick up some information, and then popped into the library to check if anyone had gotten back to me about couch-surfing for the night - nope. *Sigh. It seemed so much easier in the beginning and the first half of my trip. Then I did a ton of camping and stayed with friends and family, and now, for whatever reason, it seems more difficult this round. Maybe it makes sense, since school is starting up and summertime is coming to a close. Maybe it'll be easier in a month or so when people's schedules become more routine. Anyway, I sent out a handful of requests, and one guy out of the 7 replied with a "Maybe; I have to talk to my wife and get back to you." He didn't. But I put all that on the back-burner and enjoyed the rest of the day.
Now THAT'S a Post Office!
I took to the streets, taking in all the Victorian-style architecture and charm, from the comfort of my air-conditioned vehicle - it was HOT out! "The Victorian Age was named for the time span when Queen Victoria ruled the British people: 1837-1901. The City of Galveston was incorporated in 1839, hit its zenith in the 1870s, and was devastated by the Great Storm in 1900. Its Golden Age was confined almost precisely to the reign of Queen Victoria."
A Residence in Galveston
"The downtown area, known as 'The Strand,' is the heart and soul of Galveston, and is generally used to refer to the entire five-block business district between 20th and 25th streets in downtown Galveston, very close to the city's wharf. . In the mid-to-late Nineteen Century, this thriving business district generated the tremendous wealth that built this city. Here, Galveston's businessmen created one of the finest examples of commercial Victorian architecture anywhere in the country! Today, it has been transformed into the home of over 95 shops, nightclubs, bars, restaurants, pubs, antique stores, boutiques, coffee shops, souvenir stores and art galleries; as well as many offices, apartments and lofts. For a time, the Strand was known as the 'Wall Street of the South!'"
After checking out the wonderful architecture, I went over to Pier 21 Theater at the wharf to catch a showing of the 30-minute film, "The Great Storm," "a documentary which shares the personal stories of survivors and the recovery of Galveston following the hurricane of 1900, deadliest natural disaster in United States history." The film was informative and moving, and gave me a real appreciation for this beautiful city and its people, that have been through so much.
The Coast & Seawall
I went to the beach and checked out the Galveston Seawall, built after the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 for protection from future hurricanes. "It's presently 10 miles long, 17 feet high, and 16 feet thick at its base. The seawall was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 and designated a National Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2001.
After blogging at McDonald's for a while, I decided since I would be visiting Space Center Houston tomorrow, and I don't have any commitments with couch-surfers tonight, I left Galveston and drove the 45 minutes or so to Houston, and stayed at the International Hostel there.