With temperatures in the low 60’s and partly sunny skies we had a great day to tour Austin. Fortunately we were able to find acceptable parking for our RV enabling walking jaunts for photo ops. Below are some of the results.
Known as Bishop’s Palace, this Victorian style mansion was originally the home of Josephine and Walter Gresham. Gresham was a railroad magnate and hired famed architect Nicholas Clayton to design the home. The structure was completed in 1892, and it survived the disastrous 1900 hurricane.
From 1923 until the 1960’s the house was used as the residence of the Bishop of the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese. It is now owned by the Galveston Historical Foundation. Guided and self guided tours are available for an admission fee.
The original Sacred Heart Church was built in 1892, however it was destroyed in the hurricane of 1900. During the years 1903 to 1904 the current edifice was built.
You can’t miss the Sandpiper RV Resort after you get off the free ferry and drive towards Seawall Blvd. Sher and I saw the large sign for the park as we headed towards a local CVS store.
When I stopped later at the office, a very nice fellow told me that yes, they did have a back in space available. At $40 (using a 10% senior discount) we decided to stay, considering that I was told that the park WiFi had been upgraded last summer and was very strong.
This is a nice park. The sites are all on concrete with paved roads. It has full hook-ups including cable TV and the so-called upgraded WiFi. Yes, that is our only complaint about this park. When we were able to connect to one of the several routers, the load speeds were very slow, and connections kept cutting out. This was very disappointing as the office had said the WiFi was strong.
If you don’t care about having good WiFi then staying at Sandpiper RV Resort is a decent choice.
Today we headed to Galveston Island from the town of Winnie, home to the large flea market known as Larry’s Trading Days. The direct route took us down to the Bolivar Peninsula, a very narrow spit of land with the Gulf on one side. Most of the way the road ran right next to the Gulf shore.
We stopped at the sign for a historical marker and ended up at a fascinating park that was once an artillery battery that was built in 1925. Fort Travis had several gun emplacements and several magazines.
We then went on down to the free ferry that runs daily from the south end of Bolivar across the water to Galveston Island. We had a little delay for the ferry, as we did not make the cut for the first ferry that came to the dock and had to wait for the second ferry boat. The ferry ride was really pretty cool as we saw lots of large ocean going cargo ships.
Sher and I are planning on seeing the sights here in Galveston for at least a day or two. We’ll let you know what we see, and we’ll give you all another campground review as well.
When looking for an RV park east of Houston that accepted Passport America Rio RV Park on Turtle Bayou made my short list. We ended up stopping here after our drive from Austin. I did call ahead to make sure there was space available. The Passport America rate was $22.00/night.
The park is right off of I-10 near Wallis. A very nice husband and wife couple are managers. We were escorted to our site, and given a choice. We opted for a newly placed concrete pad, a back-in site.
The hurricane had flooded the lower level of the park. Our hostess said that four (4) units were swept away and the water level was neck high! Our site was part of the reconstruction.
This is a very nice park that is gated at night. Local over the air TV is more than adequate, and free WiFi is available anywhere in the park. The WiFi service is pretty good, however it did slow considerably in the evening. There is a nice restroom and laundry building. We recommend the Rio RV Park. Here is their website.
On our way from Austin to Houston we drove through Giddings.
There are First Watch restaurants all over the country. Tagged as “The Daytime Cafe” these upscale eateries are open for breakfast and brunch only, with the Northcross location in Austin open from 7:00 am until 2:30 pm daily.
The service was excellent. We hit the door at a great time, about 9:30 am, and were immediately seated. The coffee was strong and hot. Sher enjoyed a local menu specialty drink: the chilled pear cider was made with Red Anjou pear, Fuji apple, organic ginger, lemon and cinnamon.
The food was served in good time, and was hot when delivered. The pancakes I had were huge, and the eggs cooked to perfection with the fried potatoes. Our son had a Chimichanga with fried potatoes and fruit. Sher had the Cinnamon Roll Waffle, complete with cinnamon syrup, cream cheese frosting and more.
We highly recommend the Austin Northcross location of First Watch. The staff is great, the ambiance is inviting and the food is excellent! Visit the First Watch local website here for directions and other information.
On our way back from San Antonio to Austin we stopped to see the view of Lake Austin and to get a bite to eat. We decided that we’d try a place called the Hula Hut. Because it was so cold, none of the outside eating areas or two of the three bars were open. The five of us gladly took a table inside!
The ambiance was unique with its island themed decorations, including palm trees scattered throughout. The Christmas lights were still up, adding to the festive feel.
The wide selection of the menu was intriguing, with American, Mexican and even “island” fare offered. The service was excellent and our food was served quickly. Flour tortillas are made on the spot. All of our orders were served hot and fresh.
In the vernacular of restaurant reviews, I’d call the Hula Hut $$ to $$$ on the price scale. I’ll give it a solid 4.5 on the one to five thing. Bottom line is that we recommend the Hula Hut on Lake Austin.
We were having lunch in Austin at the Hula Hut on Lake Austin. Before we were seated I looked over the deck and saw this duck. I think he might be some kind of cross-breed. I like ducks, thus this picture.
If this is a breed of ducks, please chime in with the info, or if you agree it is a cross-breed, go ahead and chime in too.