My maternal grandmother, Lottie, had a good number of siblings, which inevitably means a large number of cousins (first, once removed) that I probably met and certainly heard plenty of stories about growing up. But as best I can recall I had never actually met one of my mother’s and aunt’s favorite cousins, Geoff. Uncles Harold, Dickie and Leonard? Yes. A dozen other aunts and cousins on that side of the family? Sure, met them all during annual trips to my grandparents in Lexington or the great grandparents place in Martinsville, VA. Cousin Geoff? Surprisingly, no, best I can figure.
So encouraged by mère and tante, while in route west we detoured south and remedied that family gap with a stop in Galveston, TX. We parked at Galveston Island State Park, a lovely place when the weather cooperates, backed up on salt marshes. Day 1 was fantastic, day 2 we hunkered down all day since it rained near continuously, and day 3 we were able to get together with cousins Geoff and Missy. They took us to a fantastic restaurant, Monument Inn, and we feasted on a couple of dozen raw Gulf oysters (yes, I know, I can’t get enough) and various fish including a delicious blackened catfish with crab and crawfish sauce. I also had my first Hopidillo IPA from Karbach Brewery in Houston, the best local IPA I have had since we started this venture.
Galveston Island State Park is quite nice, with electric and water hook ups, a nearby dump station, a reasonable price (thought with a caveat about the Texas State Park fee structure), and the option of parking either gulf ocean side or bay side. We elected bay side and do not regret it: honestly I think we had way better views and a bit of protection from the wind on day 2. The RV camping loop is quite well organized: its like a traditional wagon wheel layout but with all the spokes slanted at a severe angle, making it very easy to back into with only a minimal amount of turning. Given how many times I have had to brush up against tree branches and whatnot while trying to cut an acute angle into a tight spot, this was a real blessing.