August 10, 2011

Galveston, oh Galveston, I still hear your sea winds blowing....

I met Jeff in Houston last weekend, and we stayed a night at Grace Manor, in Galveston. It is a bed & breakfast home, built in 1905. I didn't know anything about Galveston, other than the song that Glen Campbell sang back in the late 60's. Little did I know that Galveston is an Island on the Gulf of Mexico for goodness sake, that it was basically destroyed by a hurricane in 1900. At least 6000 people died, but that number changes depending on who is telling their story. It was the worst natural disaster by a hurricane in US history. I was so intrigued by this that I bought a book about the day of the storm, and finished it on the plane ride home. This post is about the B&B and it is long, so I plan to do another post of the things we did and saw while we were there.

 Grace Manor is a stately place. Barb, the current owner of the home said the basement alone is 2700 square feet, and was the living quarters for the servants of the original home owners. A lot of different people have owned the home, and it was obvious that much has been done to keep the home restored to its original beauty.

The bay window on the left, on the 2nd floor or the 3rd if you count the basement was our room

Jeff is doing his best W at the gate. I guess he was feeling very Texan or Presidential at that moment.

Barb, the owner stays up top, or as she called it, in The Penthouse. She said that she can watch cruise ships coming in the bay. One arrived the day we were leaving.

We knew we would be safe from any evil spirits in this house, because the porch ceiling was painted a pretty shade of haint blue. And you thought I was only concerned with that DandyShandy and how I could get it off of Barb for $20.00 .... I must confess, it crossed my mind. I can't help it. The front door and her plants made it feel very coastal. We sat on the porch and talked to both of our kids on the phone, while the hot breeze blew around the porch. Don't forget to notice the transom window above the door. Those were throughout the house, and even above the bedroom doors.

around the side of the house or the breezeway

This is the front door. The beveled stained glass work is of an Oleander flower. That is the city's flower, and we noticed it growing everywhere. Imagine the transom opened and a breeze moving through the foyer

This is the foyer. Mahogany doors, woodwork, and pretty hardwood floors
Everything is dark and heavy

On either side of the foyer are parlors. The men would go to the room on the left after dinner and smoke cigars and talk about the stock market, and the women would rest in the parlor on the right, and probably talk about their men and children.

The cherub ceiling mural is original, as is the chandelier. The house has a lot of Craftsman style features

the ladies parlor

every room had a fireplace

I think this chair would be a great photo prop for a picture of a child

This is the ceiling in the dining room. It is the orginal tile and chandelier

This sconce was in the dining room and there were 3 in our bedroom.
I am sure they were everywhere.

The original stained glass door and transom in the dining room, leading to the side porch

The table was set when we got there for breakfast the next morning

The hardwood floor with the oak and mahogany geometric pattern

This is Gracie .... not sure if the place is named after her? But, she was the best behaved dog I've ever been around - hands down! She posed for this picture ...

This was one of the three sidebars in the dining room. I didn't take a lot of pictures of the breakfast, because we were there with three other couples, and I am sure they thought I was weird with the camera. We enjoyed staying there, the other guest were very nice; however, it would have been a lot more fun if we had been there with family, or three other couples that we knew. Jeff knew I would love staying in a house like this .... and made all the arrangements ... but, I am sure that now that we have done it, I probably need to mark staying at B&B off my to-do list.  check check

Up the stairs to the bedrooms is this original Tiffany double hung stained glass window. This is not a good picture of the window. It was stunning. Just imagine how heavy it must be? On the other side of the window was a hall way to another bedroom and bath, so you could see the window from either side.

We stayed in the Bird of Paradise room .... fireplace, king size bed, fluffly white robes, frenchy furniture, claw foot bathtub, scones, cable TV ... check check

These are the front stairs looking down into the foyer

these are the original window shutters to the house . . . behind the shutters is the screen first, then the glass window, then the outside storm shutters

Jeff enjoying the a/c and the homemade cookies that awaited us in the upstairs hallway. I didn't know that the best way to get near his heart would be to buy him an Iphone. Notice the phone..... there he is waiting on someone to send him a message or a photo or to kick it old-school and call his new number

this was the upstairs landing looking from our bedroom door, with the Tiffany window again.
Behind the opened door on the left is a hallway and beverage center

the place has a elevator on the back steps which were roped off. I don't know if it still works, and encouraged Jeff to leave well enough alone. I saw some of the butler's pantry off of the dining room, and a tiney bit of the kitchen, but didn't get an invite up to the Penthouse.

We are standing at the entrance to the men's parlor ... it had great big beautiful pocket doors

We are about to check out and explore the Island and endure a heat index of 112 degrees.... that is the best my hair looked all day .... maybe all weekend!  Thanks to the hot humidity.

 the photo of this little chair might be my favorite...maybe it is the rich wood and deep woodwork behind it. this was my view looking from where I was sitting at the breakfast table... chairs look like ladies to me.... this one looks like a little girl .... it could be a "time-out" chair 

Here's ole Glen himself singing that beautiful love song, Galveston. Jimmy Webb wrote the song about a soldier in the Spanish-American war and the girl he left behind.... apparently on the Gulf of Mexico in Galveston, Texas, all of which has new meaning to me now.


  1. Look at you adding videos to your blog! I feel like a proud parent watching you grow :) SO many things that I loved about this post. First of all "kick it old school and call his new number..." that little one liner had me laughing like a fool! You are entertaining to read. I am truly impressed at how much attention you pay to detail. I would have loved staying in a place like that but YOU appreciated every detail about that house. It was fun to see it in pictures.... i could have been right there with you! Great blogging! I am so impressed that the Mr. made such great arrangements for you two.... that man knows what his lady likes!

  2. I love that B&B. I've often daydreamed about running a B&B of my own one day. I just love them. After seeing this though I'm a little intimidated by how beautiful that one was.

  3. Beautiful! Thanks for the tour!

  4. The "W" reference was hilarious to me... I need to share it with the OLWB. lol

    Good pictures!

  5. Love love love the pictures! What a pretty home. I can envision how life was back then. Jeff did good!!!! Can't wait to see and hear about the rest of your trip.

  6. It occurred to me that you need a "share" button so people can easily share your page on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, etc. And a FB Like button so we can get FB updates when you post. ;)

  7. Thanks girls for all your comments. They mean a lot to me.

    Shauna, I think you should run a B&B over there in Oregon. Your girls could take care of all the housekeeping, while you cook southern breakfast casserole dishes!

    Kris, I agree and have been looking into all that this week. Does this mean I would have to get back on FB?


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