I Can Hear Your Sea Waves Crashing – The True Highlight Of This Trip

Herb’s Blog, Herbdate 23391 – 1193

My most dearly beloved fans, friends, fiends, foes, foundlings, frogs, foundling frogs, fingerlings, fish, fish fanciers, fishmongers, and fishy storytellers,

A lot goes on around here these days and even though I have subject matter I have to find time to type it all up. Today’s post is about our favorite part of the trip. Mrs. Herb enjoyed the Ladies’ Retreat, of course, but this was the highlight for both of us. I think the fact that I wanted to try to capture it and do a post that I would be pleased with also slowed it down. There was also an unexpected wave of unidentifiable emotion that swept over me when I found the video for the song that was caused by events related to the introductory paragraph.

I’m putting a couple of videos at the end of the post that are related to the post but not necessary. Anyway,

Here’s The Haps:

In 1969 I was 9 years old and there was a lot going on in the world. I was what is nowadays called a latch-key kid and I could listen to or watch whatever I wanted but I had to stay in the house with the doors locked until an adult got home. My mom had a portable stereo system and I would play records on it by the hour. My dad was 12 years older than she was so I listened to everything from Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole to Elvis and Glen Campbell and I don’t remember what all.

One of the albums I used to like was this one:

I sang a duet with Glen on the album cover song over and over many times. My 9-year-old mind didn’t really get it all but I knew it was about a guy who didn’t want to be where he was but wanted to be back home in his town named Galveston with his girl named Galveston. I couldn’t tell which he was singing about, the girl or the town a lot of the time but it didn’t matter. I thought maybe the girl’s parents loved their town so much that they named her after it. Or maybe that was her last name but a guy wouldn’t call his girl by her last name. I imagined the singer as a Civil War soldier; I didn’t know. I really didn’t know where it was but I knew I wanted to see it. The song made my young mind long to go there and maybe see the guy running on the beach with his girl. The pictures on the front and back of the album punctuated the song with mystery for me.

Fast forward 55 years or so and realizing that since we would be arriving a whole day and night early in the Houston area it could fit into our plans to see something we both have wanted to see, the ocean. I knew we would go to Galveston. It was intentional, especially after I showed my wife where it was on the map (Sometime during that 55 years I figured out where it was) and she was emphatic that that was where we should go. I knew what I had to try to do, but I didn’t know if I could pull it off or not. I wanted to get a room right on the beachfront that opened out as close to the water as possible. I also knew it could be impossibly expensive. I started searching, though. Just to see. And there it was! Gaido’s on 23rd and Seawall. And I had forgotten that this was the off-season and they are happy to get whatever they can for a room, even a premium room like this. It was only $69. I checked reviews on several sites, wondering if that price was possible for anything decent and it had good reviews, clean, no bugs, comfortable beds, beautiful view. Later I learned that for our anniversary in June, it would have been $279 and on the 4th of July it goes for $399. Now, I know I have at least one independently wealthy reader (who I believe is secretly George Soros under an alias) for whom this would be nothing but for us, 399 bucks would have been a lot of hay for one night.

So, Gaido’s Seaside Inn it was. This brings me to a hard part of this post because I think this was probably our favorite thing we did during the whole trip. I have so much to say and a lot of pictures to share and I have to prune it down to be readable and lookable. Check-in was a bit wonky because we only had Google Maps to tell us how to get to the place. Again, the people were great. I think the marketing tagline for Texas should be, “Texas, the nicest people on the planet, but don’t mess with us.” Anyway, we drove around the corner to find the room and saw the Gulf of Mexico for the first time. “I hope our room is where we can see it.” As we pulled up I realized that we had gotten the best room in the house. Mrs. Herb loved it before we even got out of the car.

Gnerbie and Gnargaret loved it, too.

We got our stuff settled then walked across Seawall Boulevard, which is controlled by a light and we were on the beach. The most gruff greeting we received was from this curmudgeonly-looking fellow:

A snowy Egret(I think). The picture quality is poor but when I looked at this bird the first thing I thought was of a grumpy old man with hunched shoulders saying, “Get off my rocks!” He didn’t say anything but he kept watching us the whole time.

We then went to the seafood restaurant of the same name. Gaido’s is seafood dining at its finest. Built in 1911 it has its own Texas historical marker.

The story goes that this giant blue crab was caught in Galveston Bay. I would never question the word of a Texan although they have been known, on occasion, to tell a tall tale or two.

I didn’t take a lot of pictures because it wasn’t that kind of place. It was very elegant and fine. It was the kind of place with white linens on the table and the waiter comes and stands at attention while telling you all of the specials of the day. Mrs. Herb had SHRIMP PEQUES – Bacon-wrapped shrimp stuffed with pickled jalapeno and cheese then fried and basted with brown sugar-chipotle glaze and I had THE COMBINATION PLATTER – Charcoal-grilled Gulf shrimp, deep sea scallops, and tenderloin of catfish. By the time we were done, we had spent more on dinner than we did on the room. Which was just fine.

It was still early and we went to the beach again and decided we needed coffee. I found a Starbucks in a nearby Kroger store and got a 96-ounce Starbucks Traveler for twenty bucks which more than filled our needs.

Somewhere around 6 in the morning I woke to the bustling and scurrying around of Mrs. Herb getting dressed. “What’s going on?” “The Google says that sunrise is at 7:09AM but that’s when the sun will be up. We have to get out there before it starts to come up.” I glanced out and sure enough, the sky was that light gray color that it turns in the pre-dawn. I got dressed and we poured a couple of cups of coffee, not taking time to nuke it (but it was still warm enough to drink, thankfully) and I grabbed the camera and my phone. We didn’t have the nice Kodak with us but the cheap junky one I had been conned into buying at a low price. You really do get what you pay for. My phone actually takes better pictures. The sunrise, however, was not a disappointment. The first picture is my very favorite of the whole trip.

As I was looking stuff up for this post I found this video. When I was 9 I didn’t know about the Vietnam War. Apparently, before Glen Campbell sang it the song was more of a protest song and had been released by Don Ho the year before. Glen rewrote the second verse. I’ve never listened to any other version and don’t really care to but this video was really moving:


  1. A delightful post, Herb. What a wondrous trip. I’ve always wanted to see Galveston, too; and for the same reason – because I heard Glen Campbell sing about it. You story makes me want to now more than ever. ~Ed.

  2. I was just reading on Facebook that people prefer San Antonio to Tampa. They miss Texas. The Herb I know fits in with the Texas vibe. Where’s all the Louis L’Amour???

    • Thank you. I haven’t talked much about Louis lately but I re-read him over and over. You know, he actually went all over the West and knew most of the stuff he wrote about first-hand. His autobiography, “Education of a Wandering Man” tells about all of that.
      That would be an interesting trek, visiting the places described in his books. It would take a long time, though, because most of his scenery actually exists.

  3. Sometimes when you plan an important adventure, it can disappoint but surely your Galveston side trip exceeded all your expectations. My wife and I drove across Texas in February 1972 (that is one big state) and we have been back many times since. But I sure regret we missed Galveston based on your splendid and heart warming trip report. And I was even a big Glen Campbell fan. I was partial to Wichita Lineman.

    • Yes, sir, it is one big state and we did enjoy it, for sure and I know we will go see more. Wichita Lineman was a good song. He had a lot of good songs.

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  5. We stayed in a hotel over the summer, just so the kids could have a fun night of hedonism while Dad was out of town. It was a similar price point: hundreds during tourist season but actually affordable when I booked it.

    I’m so glad you checked a bucket list item from your childhood. The view looks amazing.

    • The view was amazing. Now that you say it I guess it was a kind of childhood bucket list item. I hadn’t really thought if it like that.

      • I have those. Writing to and meeting a pen pal was one I’d forgotten about until we were traveling and I faced my potential first blogging friend meetup! It felt so satisfying to remember and check that one off a forgotten list, so that’s what I pictured with yours.

  6. What a view! I remember the Glenn Campbell song playing on the radio, but have always been someone who paid more attention to voice, melody and harmonies than to a song’s words, so thanks for this.

    I am reminded that we have a Galveston in Indiana. But of course, the locals play with the pronunciation and call it Gal-VESton. I am guessing that neither the sunrise nor the seafood compares.

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