Driving into Houston at night and only finding my way based on my maps app, makes seeing it in the daylight a bit surprising. I was in the middle of oil refineries. I had never been so close to this part of Houston and the mega oil / shipping industry that happens here. San Jacinto Monument / Battleground and Battleship Texas which are both a part of the same complex are right in the middle of this industry. Since this is not something that I have been exposed to it was quite surreal to be driving in these areas. I certainly felt out of my element. This was a common feeling the next few days…
San Jacinto Monument = Amazing. I knew that by planning park visits throughout the year, there would be the potential for some days to be cloudy and a little cooler than the usual 90+ and sunny. I really would like to get pics of this place when the sky was a beautiful blue with white fluffy clouds. But this is not the hand that I was dealt. It was cloudy and dreary. The pics were still amazing just not really amazing. This was also the start of my Texas history education. Not being raised in this state where Texas history is a standard class for all home gown Texans, I get to educate myself the old fashioned way. Luckily this monument tells the story on its walls and I took pictures of all of the walls so I now know the big picture story too. No, I did not read the walls at the time. As impressive as the outside is, you can also take the elevator to the top to get a view from just underneath the stars that sit atop the monument. The monument itself is 570 feet tall. 15 feet taller than the Washington Monument. This is one of the must do locations that I wanted to visit for an “Only in Texas” moment of a reflecting pool and monument that is very similar to the one in the nations capital. This stone column memorial is the tallest in the world…
There is also a museum attached to the monument. Frankly neither the museum or the elevator ride was really worth the additional cost. The outside and the various markers showing key battleground locations was much more impressive to me.
There were trails here too, but I had beach time planned for later in the day and did not take any of the trails in the cold windy morning.
This ship has been through 3 major upgrades and through both World Wars It always amazes me when I see these old battleships of how the sailors lived out on the open seas on these vessels. Let alone fight and be in a war.
Galveston Island State Park – As I mentioned, beach time. It was a big first for the four legged monsters -sand, gulf & waves. Lots of good smelly things to roll in so the day was not lost on them. It was a bit chilly to be getting our feet wet, so we had to do a lot of beach walking and trail exploring on the bay side to make sure that we stayed warm.
When we are on the bay side, the sun did peek out for a bit and it was a very pretty time. Muddy, but pretty. Then the clouds cam back to take over again. I do not remember the surf being so loud the last time I was here. I had been to Galveston once before and spent some time finding shells along the seawall. The park is not on the seawall, it is about 10 miles up the road form the mail sea wall area in Galveston. It was too windy and chilly to spend much time on the wall, and it was time to get on the road to our next full day of parks. I was spent some time exploring new roads which took me through other major refinery areas that I had no idea existing in that part of the world. But then again there is a lot about Texas that I don’t know about. This will certainly be a learning year for me.