My husband and I recently celebrated our eighth anniversary. The day of, we woke up late enjoyed a leisurely breakfast date, walked around the mall and otherwise enjoyed being sans kids for a few hours. Those things seem small but, since I’m an entrepreneur and he’s a busy insurance claims adjuster, between work and our two young sons we rarely get to do anything “leisurely”. Having some time for just us was nice, and though we’ve been purposing to do that more often taking in the meaning our special day made it all the more fun. We also took some time that day to take a few fun photos.
That weekend we took the laid-back, kid-free fun on the road with a quick getaway to Galveston island. We stayed at the Moody Gardens Hotel and took advantage of some of the attractions their on the Moody Gardens property. Moody Gardens is a public, non-profit educational destination with nature based attractions most well known for its three distinct pyramid structures.
I hadn’t been since I was a kid and my husband had never been. We had a delightful time. One morning, we enjoyed the breakfast buffet at Cafe In the Park, one of the on-site dining options at the Moody Gardens Hotel. I’ve been dreaming about those warm blueberry muffins with butter ever since.
Wanting to venture into other parts of Galveston, we decided to check out The Strand. Galveston’s Historic Strand District, commonly called The Strand, is a National Historic Landmark. Several of the buildings that line the streets are over a century old. Art galleries, antique or souvenir shops, restaurants, nightclubs and hotels make this a high point of interest for the town’s locals and visitors. It has likely experienced even more foot traffic since the addition of Cruise Ship Terminal just walking distance from this busy area. Although it’s on the island’s edge, The Strand is Galveston’s downtown.
On our visit, we stopped by the Galveston Bookshop – a great way to spend time and find some old books you didn’t know you were looking for. We also happened to be in town during Galveston Restaurant Week (which is actually more like two weeks). While walking around The Strand, we stopped in for a bite at the downtown location of Shrimp N’ Stuff. I really wanted a po’ boy but decided to give there Restaurant Week menu a try. I opted for the boudin balls appetizer, the crab cake & shrimp entree, and bread pudding for dessert. The boudin balls were pretty good. The entree, however, was disappointing. My favorite thing on the plate were the sauteed vegetables. To have been the main attraction, the crab cake was not up to par. The texture was gummy and not enough crab was present in view or taste. My husband could see I was disappointed but since we were having a good time, I really did not want to make a fuss. Our server saw I had not touched the crab cake, save for one initial bite, and asked my opinion. I was discreetly honest. They ended up taking a percentage of our bill, which was nice. The service was good, I just wish the food was better. All in all, I would have liked to try more places and had better experiences. I know there are good food spots in Galveston. On a previous business trip to the island, I visited Little Daddy’s Gumbo Bar. It was so good, that part of that same team building group made a second trip out from Houston . . . pretty much just for the gumbo. Their indulgent Mumbo Gumbo boasts shrimp, crab, oysters, chicken, sausage and prime rib. My hubby and I decided we’d be back to Galveston soon to seek out more outstanding bites on the island proper, and surrounding areas. A bit inland, about 20 miles from Galveston, there is a donut shop I read about in a Coastal Monthly article featuring Where the locals go. Santa Fe Donuts has square donuts and a signature golden glaze that has me intrigued. And as we’ve already established, I’m not one to think twice about a road trip for deserving fare. there is certainly more to see, do and eat out on the island. Since the drive is not too far from our busy lives in Houston, we may just have to make Galveston a regular outing.