February 12th, 1998

Natchez, MS Some thirty miles south of Houston, at the end of Galveston I-45 is the sea port island of Galveston. Texas’ offering to the sun and fun lovers of the coast. Besides its 32 miles of pristine beach, there are many other points of interest. When arriving we found it quite an advantage to stop at the visitor center at 21st St. and Seawall drive.  We watched an 18 minute movie on the history and attractions of the Island. We also learned early that parking downtown is expensive, $1.50Galveston per half hour. But parking along Seawall Dr. is free, and the old time trolley is only 60 cents. We took the trolley which included a monologue from the driver on each historic building along the way. We got off on the wharf, where there is much to see.  Seeking some history, we attended the Pier 21 Theater to see the "Great Storm". This slide presentation of the hurricane of 1900, is billed as the worst natural disaster in US history. Six thousand dead and three thousand missing after the Island was completely flooded. At the height of the storm (in the presentation) the power went out on the wharfGalveston and sent everything into blackness.  Very sensational but unfortunately they were unable to start the slide projectors and we missed the gruesome ending (for which,Galveston Laura was extremely grateful). We wandered over to the Texas Seaport Museum to see the display, model of the city in 1900 and the 1877 Tall Ship Elissa, that once ported in Galveston, and now rebuilt by the local historical society manned by volunteers.  Not far from the museum and Theater, is a working oil rig which is a museum. These monstrosities are actually floated back and forth from their ocean stand to port for refurbishing. Some of them even are self propelled by huge engines mounted on their corners. Of course a place such as this cannot be without its fabulous mansions such as the Moody House and the Bishop’s Palace.

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