During a recent inventory of my crafty supplies, I discovered I was extremely low on seashells used to make wind chimes and wall hangings. Being Valentine’s week, we decided to “kill two birds with one stone” and celebrate Valentine’s Day a (few days early) in Galveston. For this adventure, we chose the historic Hotel Galvez, on Seawall Blvd with great views of the beach and ocean.
The drive to Galveston was quite the adventure. Somehow we got “trapped” in an express lane that didn’t allow us to “escape” until we were in the middle of downtown Houston. Thank goodness for two things: 1) we were not driving the 42′ RV and 2) I had sufficient cell service to navigate via Google maps. We did arrive safely, although a bit later than planned. Turns out the “express lane” is a bit slower than the toll roads.
Hotel Galvez and Spa
We arrived in time to enjoy the Sunday Champagne Brunch at the Hotel Galvez, our home for the next few of days. What a beautiful property, full of history. According to Wikipedia, the Hotel Galvez opened in 1911. The building was named the Galvez, honoring Bernardo de Gálvez, 1st Viscount of Galveston, for whom the city was named. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 4, 1979. The Sunday Brunch is a complete dining experience and a definite “must do” anytime you find yourself in Galveston on a Sunday.
Our ocean view room delivered on the promise of a great view! We enjoyed lounging in the room before going out to dinner that evening.
Jim has had a craving for Prime Rib for several months and we haven’t been able to find it. However, after doing some research on where to find Prime Rib in Galveston, we discovered Prime 13 Steak and Seafood. Bonus points for this restaurant is its cigar-friendly Terrace. With this destination in mind, we headed downstairs to inquire about the availability of taxis and/or Uber. We were told the hotel provides complimentary transportation for hotel guests. We jumped in the hotel’s Lincoln Town Car and were dropped off about 15 minutes later in front of the restaurant, located in Pelican’s Rest Marina.
We had a great meal that was recommended by an extremely attentive and friendly bartender. It seems we timed our visit with the last day of Galveston’s Annual Restaurant Week. Therefore the special menu was still available. Despite Jim’s desire for Prime Rib, we decided on the Beef Wellington for two. It was perfectly done and a great choice. After dinner, Jim asked the bartender about the whiskeys that were available, along with a request for the cigar menu. Lo and behold, we were offered a flight of Pappy Van Winkle, an extremely hard-to-find whiskey.
I didn’t even know they made different types…and have only been able to try one glass a couple of years ago. We called our nephew Chad Brown in Kansas City, who is a fellow whiskey/cigar connoisseur, to share our excitement..he seemed happy that we called, and surprised that we found a flight of Pappy van Winkle (while a late night drunk dial can be “not so fun”, it was a great time with our favorite niece’s good-natured husband:) )
I got up fairly early the next morning in order to hit the tides right when looking for seashells. The day was fairly cold and very foggy. Nevertheless, I ventured out to East Beach, which I had never visited before. WOW!! I got some fantastic shells, including a perfect Lightening Whelk. I filled two gallon ziplock bags, plus one smaller bag with the more precious finds. For the first time, I found pure black shells, of all types, which will make a beautiful wall hanging.
At this point, we were having so much fun, that we extended our stay one more night, and hopped on the Trolley headed to the Historic Downtown Strand District.
After a couple of hours shopping the souvenir shops and our mandatory stop at the old fashioned candy store, (it seems like their counters filled to the brim with old fashioned candy and hand-made fudge went on for miles) we headed to the Black Pearl Oyster Bar Jim read about on Facebook. What a great place! Oysters were the specialty, of course, but they also offered an abundance of other types of seafood. We literally stuffed ourselves and headed back to the hotel.
Breakfast the next morning was at the Sunflower Bakery, a restaurant highly recommended by several members of the hotel staff. (Hmmm….I detect a definite vacation vibe here…one meal to the next…) The restaurant delivered on our expectations and then some. The food was incredible!
After breakfast, we headed back to the hotel and lounged around (digesting the scrumptious food and beverages consumed so far). I walked across the street to put my toes in the sand one more time before our departure the next day.
Here’s a reminder that Jim was still on a quest for Prime Rib, so we went to Landry’s Steakhouse for dinner that evening. We were so positive that Landry’s would have Prime rib, we didn’t bother to call ahead. We should have called…no Prime Rib available that evening. We were extremely disappointed, but nevertheless ordered a substitute. After waiting more than an hour for our food, we paid for our drinks, and walked out. This particular restaurant is the only disappointment we’ve ever had in Galveston.
We had an uneventful drive back home to Livingston, where we planned to stay until mid-April. Stay tuned for more catching up on our adventures!