Galveston weekend

The Wifecita and I were treated to a weekend at my cousin’s and her husband’s, we’ll call T’s, canal house on Tiki Island. We were greeted with prime filets from Costco grilled perfectly rare. We contributed some lobster tails from MY HEB which T broiled to perfection. Another cuzin and her husband were also there and the margaritas, wine, and vodka flowed.

T and I managed to get up at dawn to fish in his nice boat. While we were getting pounded by 20-25 mph winds, not the 8-10 forecast Wifeacita and kuz went to Benno’s for blackened oysters for Wifeacita and fried shrimp for kuzzin. The oysters are splendid but I’ve had the shrimp there and can only be described as pedestrian.

While T and I were getting pummeled by Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico Wifeacita and cuz were feeding and they brought back two oyster orders and some splendid boudain and it all hit the spot after a day on the water. We did catch some fish and sharks but not the hoped for speckled trout and redfish. Yes, the Gulf off of Galveston is thick with sharks.

The next day we had to go back to Benno’s for mas blackened oysters. It was a toss up between the whole fried catfish and the fried, spicy Cajun crab with the oysters. We went with the crabs and they were perfectly cooked, not an easy task, and the meat was so sweet. I cannot remember better ones and I’ve been going since the late 80’s.

Just a fantastic weekend.

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Sounds awesome! I haven’t been to Galveston in over a year, unfortunately.

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Excellent report.

I need some better relatives.

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It gets better. T likes to fish and I like to fish. My cousin doesn’t like him going out alone and he can’t find anyone to fish with. Enter jc.

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Galveston gets a bad rap by many from Houston. I’ve worked and fished down there since the mid 80’s plus many trips as a kid and it has really cleaned up it’s act. I’m even okay with Fertitta’s gaudy Pleasure Pier that brings tourists to help feed the economy. It replaced the decaying Flagship Hotel that Ike finished off.

Lambsy, next time down hit Murdoch’s not so much for the nautical stuff but the breezeway over the water that connects the two piers. It’s very relaxing with rocking chairs and adult beverages if you desire.

As for the water, it appears dirty but this is sand as the water condition is a function of the wind. A light SE wind for three days or so and the water turns emerald green and the fishing explodes. A sustained lack of wind and the water becomes crystal clear where you can see your toes in neck deep water. Yes I’ve seen it and said it and have observed in both Galveston and Surfside. It doesn’t happen often and by the way it ruins the fishing.

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Galveston was a second home to us for 8 years, but our stint there ended last year. I never went on Murdoch’s though because I thought it was a tourist shop. I loved the ability to hit Katie’s Seafood Mkt anytime I chose and I miss that. Once they were filming when I was there. The show Big Fish Texas wasn’t renewed for a second season, but I enjoyed it.

Our standards were Olympia Grill, Mario’s Seawall and Gaido’s.

My favorite time of year was winter. On a sunny day in winter, the water is beautiful blue.

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I also prefer Galveston in winter. Murdoch’s is great anytime except summer. We drove by on Monday on our way to Benno’s and there wasn’t a parking spot in sight.

I haven’t been to Gaido’s in a while but have hit Mario’s many times for a pizza after a 4 am wake-up call to wade fish Bolivar. I order it from the ferry, so hungry, so good.

I also enjoy Katie’s and that’s where cousin’s husband T gets his shrimp which we had last time.

Growing up in Lake Jackson/Brazosport, we almost never went to Galveston, except to joy ride the ferry or to take 87 up to Beaumont/Port Arthur/Orange when the state was still maintaining that route. As a family, we went to Surfside but by the late 50s Surfside was getting to be a very rowdy scene. When my bro and I were able to drive, we’d go to Bryan and Quintana beaches, on the other side of Freeport. Still prefer them. But there’s no Red Snapper Inn over there.

We fished sometimes from the jetties - Surfside side, or in the Old or New River at Freeport. I was the best fisherman in the family but haven’t been in years. Watched the boat races on the Old River behind the Tarpon Inn and marveled at the pictures in the local paper of the catches during the big tarpon fishing festival each year.

I’ve seen the Gulf green and blue but never crystal clear. I gotta put that on my Bucket List but won’t be surprised if I never get to check it off.

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We used to crab the San Bernard River mouth off Bryan Beach, quite a hike from Houston but a very good spot.

I wonder if people still go to the beach like we did? I know Galveston draws a big crowd but I’m curious aboot, (Canadian lingo), beaches like Surfside and Bryan. Saturdays and Sundays were always packed at Surfside. The beach was almost all we had and I just don’t see millennials hanging out in the surf for more than five minutes without their phones.

I saw something somewhere aboot phone separation anxiety.

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A good question, Sr. Ostiones. I don’t know. Now that I’m retired about the only contact I have with millenials (or GenXers for that matter) is as grocery checkers, waitpersons, etc. I never go down on weekends. Surely there must still be families that take their kids to the beach???

I was down there last November and drove down past the Port of Freeport. It’s a port for autos now, fer cryin’ out loud. Huge ship, looking like an ocean going ferry; lots and lots of cars (Kia’s I think, but I couldn’t tell for sure). Bryan seems more desolate than ever. There’s a big plant looming over the settlement at Quintana; pretty much ruins it.

25 years ago I was on the verge of buying a place at Quintana but ran into some financial difficulties and had to pass it up. Still have the cooktop I bought (going out of business sale) to put in it! In a box in my storeroom. I’ll give it to a museum someday, I guess. Pristine example of late 20th Century cooking appliances.

I can’t drive on the beaches anymore so have to observe from ‘dry land.’ Used to drive on the beaches, any hour of the day, all by myself. Never got stuck and if I did I knew how to dig out. Last three times I’ve been and drove out on the beach, I’ve gotten stuck and had to call a tow truck. Something about the different handling of front-wheel drive vs. rear wheel, I guess, and I haven’t figured it out.

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I continue to be gobsmacked that Texas allows driving on beaches anyway. The number of near misses I’ve seen would curl your hair. This should have been stopped along with the Texas Blue laws. Just dumb.

I don’t know Lambsy, working in retail Blue Laws made Sunday beach day as every Saturday was worked. We drove to Surfside Beach near San Luis Pass and it was virtually deserted. Nothing better than the beach in the evening for relaxing or the crack of dawn for fishing.

I went to Surfside a couple of years ago and it was still deserted!

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

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