Post-Ike, more of the stores and restaurants are back. Some of the chain outfits didn't return, but one of the store owners told us she thinks this is actually helping the local merchants. We went down to the beach house we stayed at right before Ike, and noticed the beautiful beach grass had grown back. It's all mixed in with wildflowers, and harbors a lot of insects, frogs, etc. Murdock's Pier, which has been on that spot for 100 years this year, has been completely rebuilt. (After Ike it was a pile of rubble and wood in the middle of Seawall Boulevard.) Gaidos Restaurant, which was originally built on Murdock's Pier, but is now on the Seawall a little further down from it, is 99 years old this year.
The historic Balinese Room, famed in song and story and the annals of law enforcement, favorite of the Rat Pack, raided multiple times by the Texas Rangers, is still dead. There are only a few pilings left and a marker to show where it was.
We also ate at Rudi and Paco for the first time. It's next to the Opera House, and has seafood and South American-style dishes in a lovely Art Deco dining room. It was good. Like, very good. Like, "sweet mystery of life, now I've found you" good.
And old stone Victorian with the scary back yard from every children's book with a haunted house ever written.
The Bolivar point lighthouse. We were hoping for tours and a gift shop, but it's just been left to sit. I don't think there's much money in Bolivar to fix it up now.
Fort Travis park, near the lighthouse. These are WWII bunkers and gun emplacements, like the one under the San Luis on the Seawall, which is used as a hurricane command center and shelter.
The same bunker from the front, facing the water.
Another smaller one, same location.
For comparison, the bunker at the San Luis.
The view from the Elissa. I think that's one of the old Moody buildings? It's the one where the railroad museum is now.
The Elissa. This is an older photo, but it still looks like this.
Inside the Elissa, in the captain's area.
The best dolphin picture I ended up with. This is off the side of the Bolivar Ferry.
The view from the Spot, on the Seawall. It's been there a long time, a biker/tiki bar/hangout place with food and ice cream.
The view from the east end of the island, standing next to the platform that's all that's left of the WWII Fort San Jacinto gun emplacement, watching people fish.
A Portugese Man o' War, washed up on the beach. Don't touch.
Here's a link to my whole Galveston gallery, including some beachhouse photos.