Editor’s note: This week’s post come from Toni, a girl who goes on about as many adventures as I do(almost). It’s also NOadventure’s second female guest poster; the first being Francine of Snoball Tour of NOLA.
Adventures from Galveston…
I know that this is NO Adventure but Texas is like our annoying kid brother that sometimes does something really cool. Texas is a pain in the ass most of the time, especially when you have to drive through it to get someplace else – however, it has two exceptions and they would be Austin and Galveston and in this case I will be talking about the latter.
Me and 2 friends decided for Spring Break that we would like to go somewhere. Trying to avoid the obnoxious college scene, crowded beaches, and hip hop thong booty dancing beer bong debauchery, we picked Galveston. Before I left I did a little research; being freshly back from my trip to Hawaii and just moved home from living in Cali, I really wanted to surf. Fortunately, there is a small surf community there, which is enough for me – so we packed and headed there.
We got there in 7 hours and got a great hotel room right on the beach seawall with a balcony (that had a wonderful view of the Golden Corral buffet eatery right across the street), a kitchen, 2 full size beds and a bunk bed, awesome, I called the top, but my friends Jamie and Chris just took the other 2 beds so it really didn’t matter. The first order of business was food and drinks, we ate, we drank, I got heartburn, it went away. We visited a hotel bar called B Jiggers where we danced to a cover band called “The Line UP.” They played a special request of the Golden Girls theme for us and we acted like fools and went to bed.
The next morning we decided to go check out the town. I wanted to find a surf shop I had read about, and found it I did. Ohana surf shop, a cool little place that had a plethora of boards new and used, was where we struck gold. I found a beauty! It was a 9ft Roxy foam-top board, no wax needed. It was green and orange with flowers and 1 big black fin on the bottom, leash included. It was owned by a semi-pro female surfer and on consignment for $300! I did it, I bought the board! I named it Estelle and couldn’t wait to take it out in the water. Unfortunately, the waves were flat, boohoo. That’s ok – we still had 3 more days.
While in Ohana, Jamie came running up to me with a brochure in her hand and a huge smile on her face. I read it: “Segway tours of Galveston and wine tasting.” Good lord. Really? So we confronted our friend Chris with the proposition of such ridiculousness and he thought it was a brilliant idea, go figure. Warning: if it’s your first time on a segway, you might want to skip the wine tasting.
We met up with the Segway tour master who goes by the name Segway Daryl. He showed us the segways, how to go forward, how to go back, how to turn and the most important thing, how to stop, he says, “just lean back and kinda stick your butt out”. He gives us each a helmet and makes sure we understand everything. Me being a little cocky, I say, “Oh yea, I got this!”
Segway Daryl showed us around town and told us about Galveston’s history. We went to the warf, road down the seawall, saw the house where Alfred Hitchcock filmed “The Birds” and finally made it to the Strand, Galveston’s main street. That was when we parked the segways and partaked in the eminent wine tasting. We finished a bottle of wine and decided to strap back on our segways. While we were drinking our wine, it started to rain and the temperature dropped; I was wet and cold. Thank goodness I brought my puffy vest with me.
We were cruising along and the rain was getting harder, so I started to duck down a little bit to keep the rain out of my eyes and the segway started going faster. I started to freak out, so I thought back to what Segway Daryl told me, “to stop, just lean back and kinda stick your butt out.” I do that, but for some reason the segway just keeps getting faster. In hindsight, I wasn’t leaning back – I was just sticking my butt out, which just kept making it faster and faster. Now it was full-on raining and I’m buzzed from wine. My segway felt like it was going 50mph, so I started screaming, “Segway Daryl, Segway Daryl, I can’t stop!”
Segway Daryl said, “Hold on Toni, I’m coming.” Well, he just wasn’t fast enough, and I was getting closer and closer to an intersection on an out of control segway, so I decided to jump. I don’t often jump from moving vehicles and not being a stunt person by any means, I jumped. When I forgot to let go with my left hand, the segway crashed and dragged me about 2 feet. My friend Chris missed me by a couple of inches but poor Jamie was right behind me. She crashed into my segway and flew head-first into the ground, knocking her out cold for 30 seconds. Iwas bloody with my knees and elbows busted, but I hobbled over to her and she finally woke up laughing. I felt so bad, and I asked Segway Daryl if anyone else ever crashed before, and he said, “No just you.” Great!
I managed to ride the segway back to the start, dropped it off and I swore to never ride one again. We got back to the hotel, got high, built a fort out of all the blankets and cushions and fell asleep inside of it.
The next day we headed to Schlitterbahn, the biggest water park in Galveston. We rode the slides, tubed and chilled out in the poolside bar and drank some beers. The best thing about Schlitterbahn was its high-speed industrial dryer. You walk in, it turns bright red and the heater dries you off completely in 2 minutes – it’s crazy!
We played some mini-golf, which was fun, but it started to rain again, so we went back to the hotel and waited for it to die down a bit. We finally just said, “fuck it” and went out to Strand Street to check out the restaurants and nightlife. We went to a really amazing sushi bar called Sky Bar and had the freshest white tuna I ever had. I met a waiter there named Josh who surfed and we made a plan to go surfing the next morning. Finally, right?
Jamie, Chris, and I partied that night, dancing and bar hopping all over Galveston. It was a blast.
The next morning I woke up at 7am, threw on my bathing suit, rash guard, and my board. Jamie came along with her guitar and we jumped in the car and headed to Flagship pier – one of the decent places to surf in Galveston. It was overcast and the water was choppy with a strong current. I met up with Josh and we dove into the water. It was freezing, but I went under and pushed through. Surfing in Galveston is completely different than Hawaii or Cali; you really don’t need to paddle out cause the breaks are closer to the shore, so you just wade out and when you see a wave you wanna ride you jump on your board and push out – not much paddling needed. Be careful when you wipeout though, because its really shallow and you hit the bottom hard.
I surfed for about an hour, the waves were violent and rough – Galveston’s not messing around. The locals I talked to said if you can surf Galveston you can surf anywhere. It’s true, you really gotta work for it, which I did. Then the third time I wiped-out, my board flipped around and upside down and the fin sliced the back of my leg. Bleeding yet again, I decided I was done. The sun came out that morning and it was the first beautiful day I saw since we got there.
Jamie and I sat on the beach and played some music, enjoying the last bit of our vacation. A couple hours later, we hit the road with my new surfboard strapped to the top of the car on the first ferry back home.