Gallivanting in Galveston

Just a reminder that this post is part of our Live Like No One Else series. Some parts of it appear in past posts during our Get Living Adventure. You may have also noticed the title of our blog/website has changed to ‘Get Living’ from ‘Just Happy’. We are still happy of course, but happiness can come and go depending on the circumstances. Yes we are grateful and are Just Happy To Be Here, but we want to portray a sense of action. ‘Just’ sounded like settling – whereas ‘Get’ is a verb and inspires movement. We gotta get up and Get Living, we say, for Life is an Adventure!

We know it may be a bit redundant to keep looking back and writing about the past. We know our future is not determined by our past, however we recognize that we are all products of our past. And we are also learning what happens is not as nearly important as the decisions we make. It wasn’t the adventure and what we did that was important, but instead that we made the decision to Get Living. “We make choices and then they make us. Our choices determine our character” (thanks Pastor Rick!).

So what do you need to do today to get where you want to be tomorrow?

February 19, 2017

After leaving Lake Texana State Park we drove to Galveston and were excited to get back to the beach! No issues on our drive, filled up with gas along the way and arrived at Galveston Island State Park. The state park is made up of over 2,000 acres of dunes, estuaries, wetlands and of course the beach!

We are staying in the bay side of the campground, deep down we really wanted to open our front door to the beach however the only space they had for our stay was across the highway on the bay. We have a great view of the bay and we are in site number 65.

There is plenty of wildlife viewing – mostly birds and a beautiful sunset this evening. At some point today after setting up, we went to the beach. Kids enjoyed some seagull feeding.

I know I know I know – not supposed to the feed the wildlife – but these gulls are funny! Laughing gulls they are called and really they sound like laughter. Having grown up at the beach we never fed the seagulls, you just didn’t, but down here along the gulf it is apparently the thing to do.

February 20, 2017

It was a rainy day today – rained most all day. Rain here in Galveston does not soak into the ground very fast – or really at all. Living in RV in the middle of large puddle on a small island with the Gulf to our back and the bay to our front is proving to be a small challenge, Nolan is going stir crazy! And so are we because of that! Cortney had to get them out so they packed up school and went to town for school at a local coffee shop while I worked from the RV.

February 21, 2017

Cortney and the kids ventured out for a morning walk, hoping to visit the state park visitor center and nature center – which was closed – bummer. So instead they opted for a  walk along the beach, collecting seashells, sticks and other fascinating finds. SO grateful to have a break from the rain.

After their morning exploration they came back and did school mostly from the RV. Later in the afternoon we went to the little beach on the bay next to our campsite and explored the wetlands (and all the rain puddles!), watched kayakers, and found hermit crabs. At one point Cortney turned around to find Nolan sitting in the bay, totally unaware, without a care that he was fully dressed and in the water. The boy loves the ocean!

We came back to the RV, cleaned up, got the kids showered (and sand free!) then headed up the Island to the Galveston-Point Bolivar Ferry. It crosses the entry from the Gulf into Galveston Bay. The free ferry service (we love free!) is the only way motorists can connect across the waterway between Bolivar Peninsula and Galveston Island without driving I don’t how many hundreds of miles around.

It was a neat (windy) sunset ride on the ferry.

We Yelped a place for dinner and ended up at a seafood joint called Steve’s Landing. After nearly a month of meals in the RV with limit space for Cortney to work her culinary magic, we felt spoiled. It was very yummy! If ever on the Bolivar Peninsula again – I have no doubt that we would go again! The restaurant sat on a canal where barges go by regularly, the kids loved the free entertainment!

February 22, 2017

I mostly spent the day working while the kids and Cortney did school. The kids worked outside while the dishes sat dirty. As Cortney said, “Today, I am making a choice, that these beautiful hearts who are eager to learn in this beautiful place are WAY more important than the beautiful mess we’ve made.”

We love this pace of life and are enjoying the views of the bay.

The kids went on a nature walk and found hermit crabs for their science lesson today. They held some hermit crab races. Too funny! Later this afternoon, the kids and I laid in our ‘family room’, couch folded out to a bed and enjoyed a movie before dinner while Cortney went shopping for food with no interruption or distractions from the kids!

February 23, 2017

On the move today, The state park only had a few nights available and I can see why – a beautiful spot on the bay. Glad we had the bay side, though again, we were slightly bummed to not have the beach side campground but enjoyed less wind and more wildlife I think. We are heading 2 miles south today, a short jaunt for a new campground.

Arrived at Jamaica Beach RV Park and well it is an RV park! We are glad to have a site with full-hook-ups for Cortney so she doesn’t  have to move the motorhome home for the next week as I head back to Denver in a couple of days for work. Our site is in brand new addition to the park, a good, nice, little place at the end of the row. After setting camp, we checked the place out and ate dinner outside on the provide picnic table. Then we went for a late night drive down the highway to check things out down the western end of the Island, uneventful and nothing to really report.

February 24, 2017

I worked while the kids and Cortney drove to town to do our laundry (again!). Life on the road while it has its perks is not much different from normal life, laundry and groceries still dominate the week!

(It is definitely interesting as we read through these entries to realize how the ebb and flow of life – seemingly mundane – occurs during life on the road – as it does at home. There were uneventful days, where we worked, schooled, shopped and did laundry. And then there days when we did very exciting things and fun and unusual and seemingly random things occurred while we were on the road as well – like it happens in life. There is season for everything; even within a day and a week.)

Tomorrow we are going to the Space Center in Houston, we hope to not have any problems – ha ha!

February 25, 2017

We visited the Houston Space Center today.

Quick note, on our way the the space center we went to local Ford dealership to have our RV smog tested for titling the RV. It passed – whoo hoo! To celebrate – and well just because we’re on vacation – we stopped for some donuts at Shipley Do-nuts (THE BEST)!

We arrived at the space center at 9:45 for a 10 AM opening. Very excited about the center and we don’t know when were are coming back, so really wanted to maximize our day. First things first, we did the tram tour. They had a couple of options and we choose to view the training facility – where currently they are trying to work on the details on how to get to Mars and back. Quite the challenge. The tour also included the Saturn Five Rocket. Massive!

Enjoyed a virtual reality space ride. We usually don’t pay for this type of gimmicky thing – but the kids loved it! Following this ride we simply let the kids explore the center and the exhibits. Viewed one of the Apollo space capsules on display. I think this was up there on my top five things we experienced, along with the Saturn V Rocket and a replica Space Shuttle.

We watched an IMAX movie and also went to Independence Hall which holds the replica space shuttle and an authentic 747 that transported the shuttle across the country piggy back style. Pretty awesome.

The space shuttle was big, but what was amazing to me was how small the living quarters were. Overall very cool day, we enjoyed it very much and stayed until we shut the space center down!

February 26, 2017

The RV park where we are staying has a mini golf course, huge highlight for the kids, and one of the benefits of being at a privately owned park. We spent the morning playing miniature golf with the kids, they love mini golf we have discovered (it became a regular endeavor on our trip!)

We had heard and seen around town that Made Gras was happening this weekend. Never having lived in or visited The South, we had no idea what to expect. So in the spirit of Adventure we found a family friendly Mardi Gras Pet Parade that afternoon in downtown Galveston. Yes the Hepburn Clan did Mardi Gras; pet edition.

The streets were filled with dogs, cats, pot belly pigs, ferrets, parrots, a tortoise and even a snake, taking their owners for a walk down the street while the silly owners threw beads to all of us who had lined the streets.

It was so much fun, an experience unlike any other we had ever experienced. Didn’t know until today that Mardi Gras existed outside of New Orleans – but it does!

After the parade we drove back to the small coffee shop Cortney & the kids had found for school earlier in the week, Sugar Bean Coffee, it is in a newer part of town and a really neat little spot. We enjoyed an early evening coffee with the family while the kids scootered and biked along the canals, spotting as many turtles as they could!

We came back to our spot and met some neighbors who had gotten locked out of their RV, they were in search of someone small who could be lifted into a small window to help get them back in. Adventure Man Nolan to the rescue! Mr. Wayne was the name of the man he had helped, a short while after he came by our site again, this time on his Trike Motorcycle asking if he could take Nolan on a short (slow 5MPH)  ride to the camp store to buy him an ice cream as payment. Normally, the rational, risk-adverse parent in me would say “No!”: a stranger we just met + a motorcycle + ice cream from said stranger, would all be red flags. For some reason we said yes, and to this day it is still one of Nolan’s favorite memories of the trip! Hadley even got in on the fun, because as any good grandpa knows you have to spoil them evenly!

February 27 to March 2, 2017

I made my first planned trip back to Denver for just a few days to check in on the office and do some work there in Denver. (Had to remind the team I was still around).

Before I left, I set the cable up in our RV (one of the benefits of staying in an RV park). I think Cortney was grateful to have it as a help and distraction while I am away.

While I was in Denver I enjoyed catching up with friends, getting caught up on distraction-free work and attended a Night of Worship Ash Wednesday service at church. It was good to be home.

While I was in Denver, Cortney awoke one morning to a wet spot in our bedroom celling that was starting to discolor (the white carpeted celling – don’t ask, white carpet?!) She climbed up on the roof to inspect and found a small amount of water pooling around the roof mounted air conditioner. Not good. Cortney spent the afternoon with kids in tow scouring the RV Park for someone with more RV experience and possibly tools that could help her. Her first search turned up nothing, so she and the kids took a break and headed over for a game of mini golf. There she saw a group of retired men finishing up their mini golf tournament (yep! a benefit of retirement). One of the men had a t-shirt on that said, “He Who Dies With the Most Tools Wins!” She knew she had her man! With the help of a new found friend named Dave, they worked together and partially solved the issue until we could do some more extensive work down the road.

We are thinking when are in South Carolina for an extended period we will make those repairs. Cortney is very resourceful and not afraid to ask anyone for help I have learned over the near 11 years we have been together.

March 3, 2017

After being picked up the night before at the airport by Cortney and the kids, we were tired when we woke. But a long day was ahead of us and we could not think of our tiredness. We had to wake early to title the RV in Texas, a long story for another time, but the short of it was Colorado required we physically bring back the RV to title it there. Texas – you got our money because you were far easier to work with!

After title was in hand we headed back to the RV park to finish packing and get on out of there and finally after what has seemed like forever, out of Texas! – it is a big state y’all. Made some notes in journal then headed out on the road!

We drove northeast with Louisiana in mind. We took the same ferry we had rode earlier in the week but this time with the RV, her maiden ferry voyage!

Our final destitnation for the day is a TA Travel Center in Slidell, Louisiana. I know it doesn’t sound too exciting but we really just need a spot to sleep once we stop driving tonight.

We arrived late and near immediately went to bed. Our first and hopefully our last truck stop on this adventure. We shall see.

This post is part of our Live Like No One Else series, a retelling, through journal entries kept along the way, of all the sights and memories we made during our 2017 #getlivingadventure. We were so busy living the adventure we missed sharing many of the experiences with you. Just happy to have you along as we relive many of the great memories that we hope one day our kids will have to read and remember!


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