Monday, June 09, 2008

My partner and I started our journey together when I was a medical student at UTMB in Galveston. That was 52 years ago. Many waves have hit the beach in that period of time. We have recently been on a little trip to Galveston with some of the grandkids. We walked along the beach and reminisced as we watched a few more waves wash ashore. We went to see the beach, Moody Gardens and other sites. Even drove by the place where we lived when I was in school. The house looked surprisingly like it did 50 years ago. Galveston is a mixture of Victorian and dumpy houses with dumpy predominating. They built Galveston to look like that after the 1900 hurricane. It never recovered from that hurricane.

We had our first meal at the popular Rainforest Café. This is a place the kids love. It’s decorated like a jungle rainforest with all sorts of fake trees, undergrowth and mechanical animals that roar and screech during the meal. Every few minutes there is a simulated thunderstorm with lightening and thunder but fortunately no rain. We sat next to the elephants who were constantly moving their heads and letting out loud trumpeting sounds so that we never heard each other talk or what the waiter had to say. Just as we started to eat our mediocre meal, a giant cockroach climbed over the back of the seat in our booth. At first the kids thought it was part of the animal effects and a fake creature of the jungle. When it retreated at our screams and swatting we knew it was real. It made an appearance several times during the meal and soon became like part of the family. It did dampen the appetite of everyone and I double-checked my food to make sure none of its kin was in my entrée. We complained to the waiter about our visitor. The manager came to our table and apologized and offered what sounded like free river ice. She kept repeating the offer and finally between the screams of the elephants I understood her to say free river ride. We accepted and sure enough they have a fake river that runs through a jungle setting with big cats, monkeys and poison dart shooting natives. That was the most fun part of the experience, but we probably won’t eat there again.

Moody Gardens was exciting with the rainforest and aquarium. We saw three IMAX movies on the subjects of the Grand Canyon, the Titanic and dinosaurs. The movies were very educational for the kids and seniors. There was a special exhibit on the Titanic that was fantastic.

The problem at Moody Gardens and especially at the beach is the massive number of people. I don’t think the price of gasoline has affected tourism in Galveston. There is a constant stream of cars parading on the seawall. The appearance of the people in skimpy clothing is gross. Most are morbidly obese and I thought there must be a Sumo wrestlers convention on the island.

After learning about dinosaurs, I’m pretty sure it would be safer living with them than with the humans I encountered. I think a herd of Raptors would be more pleasant company than the folks who stayed at our motel. As far as our initial encounter with the cockroach, that was really no big deal. I attended school in Galveston and become very accustomed to the cockroach. I think this pest actually originated in Galveston and then spread to the remainder of the world.

I loved the trip with the grandkids but it is good to be back on the porch. Global warming, that has been going on for thousands of years, eliminated the dinosaurs as a threat and the exterminator makes the porch relatively safe from the cockroach. What I worry about most is the ever-increasing population of the morbidly obese. Maybe global warming will make them eventually go the way of the dinosaurs.


Blogger jeff ludwick said...

Every time I read about one of your vacations it reminds me of why I limit my travel to the ranch in San Saba. Last week when I tried to discuss the Mid-East situation with the fellow that owns the feed store he thought I was talking about a storm that had hit between Lometa and Lampasas. I decided not to worry him any further.

I have always wondered what would happen if they put all obese people on a steady diet of fried cockroaches. Who do you think would become extinct first, the cockroaches or the obese? I think they should try a closed experiment at a WalMart just to get the feel of it.........

6:35 AM  

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