Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Road Trips and Inspiration (part 1)

Last week I had the pleasure of skipping town and going with a friend (and her mom) on a road trip from Minneapolis, MN to Galveston, TX ... 21 hours of straight driving! Which meant I woke up early on Friday morning and I didn't go to sleep until late Saturday night. I was up for 40 hours with a 45 min dozing on and off on the drive.  By the time I slept, I didn't move all night ... woke up in the exact position I fell asleep in.

I would love to say the trip was full of sun and warmth but since I don't consider myself a liar, I will say it was REALLY nice on Fat Tuesday. Yes, FAT TUESDAY ... did you know then celebrate Mardi Gras in TX? Well in Galveston its Huge and while we missed the BIG parade we managed to celebrate big last Tuesday!  I came home with 48 strands of beads (no flashing necessary) and had a blast!

We did get some beach time in on Tuesday as well, but the Gulf of Mexico is COLD! lol  I didn't swim as 68 is not swimming weather, but it was fun to get yet a 3rd body of water under my belt  ... this trip also added 4 new states to my "traveled to/through list".

The 60 degree foggy weather didn't get us down, especially me ... I love museums and Galveston has LOTS of history. I toured the Moody Mansion and the Bishops Palace.

The Bishops Palace  was AMAZING!! It was completed in 1892 at a cost of $240,000 the equivalent of 6.5 million today! It is 20,000 Sq ft. and has 14 foot ceilings on the first floor and rare Sienna marble columns in the  entry way. There is an octagonal mahogany stairwell that is forty feet tall with stained glass on five sides. The stair is lit by a large octagonal skylight. There is also a massive fireplace in the front parlor that is made of Santo Domingo mahogany  This house has 23 inch thick walls that survived one of worlds most awful natural disasters on Sept. 8th, 1900 ... half the town was gone killing approximately 8000 people and leaving 28 million in property losses.

The house only had 7 feet of standing water in the raised basement and that was it!  The woman of the house Mrs. Gresham was left alone after her husband (a lawyer and politicial) passed away and the children were grown and out on their own. Not wanting to abandon the house of their dreams she sold it to the catholic church for 37,500 in 1923. She was not a catholic, but knew the house would be in good hands and thus the bishop moved in.

Very little was changed when the Bishop lived there. He passed away from a heart attack and since then the house has been a museum.

The best part of the house was all the amazing art work ... YES, ART WORK!! Mrs. Gresham was a painter and had her own studio on the 3rd floor. She had zero formal training, but you would never have known that. The portrait work she did of her family members is just beautiful ... not all of her works of art are in the house however. After she moved in 1923 there were some bare walls that were filled with biblical works of art from one of the nuns ... again no formal training, but BEAUTIFUL stuff!! I wish I had pictures to show, but no photographs allowed.

We also went to the zoo and Moody Gardens ... that is basically a cage-less zoo. Exotic birds and monkeys are free to roam, it was Awesome!!  We also went to the Natural Science Museum and before we left we stopped at the Fine Arts Museum of Houston ... Wonderful!! 

Just "MY" size palm trees!

First time in the Gulf of Mexico

A few Zoo-spirational pics

Laughing at the Kookaburra, but he didn't laugh back.
Kookaburra's are one of my favorite birds. I know
the Kookaburra song and everything. LOVE these!!

Flamingos!! I could watch these guys all day. 
They were more salmon then the bright pink I've seen
before, still love the color though.

This guy is interesting, the Shoe-Bill Stork,
he has a beauty all his own!

This is all for tonight, I will post more pics of 
Moody Gardens and the fabulous art tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. Great story, Julie. I've been to Galveston too. Wish we could have seen pix of that mansion...too bad, but you did a great mental description for me.
    Coleen, an American in Ukraine


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