Summer vacations, I LOVE those. Doesn't matter where I go, as long as salt water and sand are included. Galveston Island has always been a special place for my family when the itch for some summer sun comes around so it was a very exciting and super special trip the first we took Jackson. It was just a short weekend beach trip but a trip that was much needed at that time. I crave Galveston, itch for it even. It is just an island about an hour away from Houston. Nothing too spectacular about it really. There are no white sand beaches. No clear blue water. No amazing resorts with million dollar golf courses and spas. No hot night club spots for the spring breakers. It’s actually pretty disgusting {brown water, LOTS of seaweed, the works} and I LOVE it in all of its horrifying glory. It's a great place to get away. Delicious seafood restaurants, friendly people, and our favorite spot to lay our heads, Casa del Mar. I love the memories I have of this place from when I was younger. The songs that remind me of it. The smell of it when you pull onto Seawall Boulevard. The nostalgia I feel when the salt-filled air hits me is almost overwhelming.

Jackson had never been to the beach and to say I was excited about his first trip is an understatement. I prepared as best I could. Bought everything beachy nearly 2 months before our trip and caught up on all of the tips and tricks from other Mama blogs. I couldn't wait to get my little man on the beach and see how much he loved it {or hated it, I had no idea} because if he had any ounce of me in him, he'd love everything about it....And I was right.

It was a spectacular site when those tiny toes hit the sand, squished themselves in a little, and he pounded his way down to the water, not one ounce of fear in his step. I couldn't have been prouder of that little boy. And, yes I do realize that it's just sand but it was the picture of his independence that made me so proud. He had no fear. It was like he had been there 100 times before and in that first taste of the water...he was home.

Murdochs is one of those places that is a MUST STOP when you go to Galveston. It's over 100 years old and used to be a bathhouse for people to change into their swimsuits. It's been rebuilt after being blown away from two {maybe 3} different hurricanes. It features any sea themed home decoration you could dream of, polished seashells, t-shirts, postcards, adult beverages and other touristy stuff. Need a hermit crab? They got it. You want a hermit crab painted burnt orange with a longhorn on its shell? They got it. If you want a strong pina colada that will knock you on your butt but still tastes delicious, this is your place. The best part is the patio between the two buildings. It’s lined with wood rocking chairs that face the gulf; kids can get an ice cream while you sip your adult beverage. So relaxing. You can also take the ever so popular tourist photo with the Pleasure Pier behind you. Perfect!

I love the beach, the smell and feel of the cool breeze, the salt on my skin, the sand in my toes, and the strength of the waves crashing into me. The beach is beautiful, and always seems to make me feel incredibly content and happy.

Galveston one of the oldest American ports in the Gulf, a sort of sister port to my FAVORITE city, New Orleans. The city was for a time a hustling, bustling city of economic strength all through the 1800’s. A melting pot of Spanish, Mexican, German, and Jewish cultures. Galveston was a cultural hub at one point. If you can believe that. But of course all of that ended when “The Hurricane of 1900” devastated the city, killing thousands and nearly wiped the port off the map. Sound familiar at all? Walking around downtown Galveston even sort of feels like New Orleans minus all that amazing music and food. I was looking for a cool spot to snap some pics of Jackson and I, so I turned a corner and found this great abandoned arts center with red brick everywhere. As I looked up I saw the words “IKE WATER LEVEL”.  The chills it gave me almost felt like a post Katrina New Orleans. Still very raw and broken. Never completely healing but the history is there. It’s just surrounded by tourist wearing bright yellow t-shirts that say “YOLO Galveston”. That sounds about right. Press a souvenir penny for 50 cents. That’s my style.  

If you’re ever in Galveston, I can personally recommend that you check out “La King’s Confectionery” down on The Strand. Paper hats, white aprons, tall glasses of ice cream and soda fountains, surrounded by every gummy shaped and chocolate covered candy you could possibly imagine. Enough sugar to shake the enamel right off your teeth. And not to mention, the most fun time watching a little boy have his very first ice cream cone! 

This weekend was so necessary. It literally could’ve been prescribed to me by a doctor. I neeeeeeded it. There is nothing like a weekend of fun. Galveston, I love you.

Half Moon Holidays.

The Best of Times.