Galveston Weekend - 2016 - Day 1

At some point in my life I looked around and thought about the fact that I have never visited New Orleans LA or Galveston TX, or any other places that are near my home. I’ve been to Costa Rica, several parts of Mexico, Los Angeles, Chicago and NYC. But, things that are three hours from my home my entire adult life have escaped me. So, a couple of years ago I decided to right this wrong. There was a trip to NOLA two years ago, and now I am on a weekend trip to Galveston. This trip, though, is not without digressions. There was an International Gem & Jewelry show in Houston that was the catalyst for the whole thing.

But first, one of my cats, Raku, developed shpilkes in her genecktekazoiks. So, she got to come along with us so that we can giver her the antibiotics and pain medication. Her operation is scheduled for this Wednesday. She’s a beautiful creature, and like most extraordinarily beautiful creatures she is high maintenance. She has already cost me more than my other two cats combined and one of them has 10 years on her.

We dropped Raku off at a friend’s house in Houston and proceeded to the International Gem & Jewelry show. There were a lot of vendors of gems and beads, but we only saw one person who was selling cabochons. Many quality artisans seem to have abandoned this once-incredible event leaving perfume vendors and other questionably related types, and there were a lot of empty spaces. It’s unfortunate, but that is the way things go. An event will build up and reach its apex, and then slowly deteriorate until it is reborn somewhere else. So, was it worth it to pay to park and then walk through blazing heat to get into the convention center? I suppose it depends on your perspective. Nameless wasn’t terribly inspired by much of what he saw, but he did get some very nice things. A wonderful man named Wu was selling pearls and Nameless bought some - Tahitian South Sea pearls, not freshwater pearls. Wu was probably the most pleasant person we saw. We don’t generally encounter a lot of terribly friendly people, but as long as they know their gems and display a certain amount of passion about it, I’m happy. There were two or three people who felt passion about what they were selling, about gems and the lapidary art of cutting and presenting them.

What does a gem and stone show look like?

Some of what Nameless came home with. He had a couple of smaller turquoise and Australian boulder opals that would have been difficult to photograph on the fly.

Tahitian South Sea Pearls with Jasper in the background and Labradorite beads

Labradorite, and two Jaspers

We left the show with our purchases and went to Genesis Art Glass Studio where we had left Raku in the care of Nameless' friend. He has a cat named Richella, who was named after a dear friend of ours who passed away quite a few years ago now. Raku is also named after her, but I chose the name of Richella's art, rather than using her given name. Richella was with us when I first visited this Gem & Jewelry show here in Houston. I wonder if she was with us this time. I didn't see any dragon flies. Maybe she sat this one out. Maybe she's waiting for us to find where the real stone dealers are playing these days. I think about that as we get on the road to Galveston. That sounds like a good quest - to find the stone dealers. She certainly had a passion for gems and stones. She reminds me of Barbra Streisand in What's Up, Doc?

Howard: What? Oh no, no you see I'm a musicologist. I was just testing this specimen for inherent tonal qualities. I have this theory about early man's musical relationship to igneous rock formations. But I guess you're not really interested in igneous rock formations.
Judy: Not as much as I am in the sedimentary or metamorphic rock categories. I mean, I can take your igneous rocks or leave 'em. I relate primarily to micas, quartz, feldspar. You can keep your Pyroxenes, magnetites and coarse grained plutonics as far as I'm concerned.
Howard: I forgot why I came in here.
Judy: Headache.

Onward we drove at speeds varying from 5 MPH to 70 MPH, depending on the highway at any given moment. Quite a few people heading to Galveston this weekend in mid-June. We got to the house/bungalow, turned the AC on and promptly left for the grocery store to pick up some provisions while the place cooled down. A friend owns a house here that she lets to her friends for a small fee and it works out wonderfully from what I can tell. We got Raku situated and decided that we were starving out of our minds.

Seawall Drive is rather a bright, shiny place. Lot’s of lights, restaurants and that sort of thing. There’s even a boardwalk of sorts that’s just ablaze with lights, and what looks like a Ferris wheel, but doesn’t seem to actually turn. I think we’ll explore that this evening. We’ll also go back to Gaido’s, because I wasn’t in the mood to enjoy an expensive meal. I was tired. We ended up at a Mexican restaurant and I had a fruity alcoholic drink and grilled fish tacos that were divine. We may have had Baskin Robbins for dessert.

That more or less ended day one. We were tired. Very tired. We put sheets on the beds; Nameless was watching a show on television, wishing he could change the station. I’m no help in that arena, but I do believe that the batteries were dead on the remote control. I have no intention of regressing to my childhood and being the television station changer, and I wouldn’t know how on today’s TV’s anyway. So, I read for a bit and tried to sleep. Sleep is not always easy when I’m not in my own bed and when I don’t have cats around me. Raku was in her crate, having decided that her litter box is, indeed, a box and therefore a place to sleep. Whatever, it’s vacation.