Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Galveston, Part II - The Sandpiper. Half Empty or Half Full?

We loved Galveston so much on our first visit, we decided to sneak down there one more time before summer was over.  Our favorite spot, Dellanera Resort, was fully booked, so we decided to try The Sandpiper RV Resort.  We knew it was also on the beach side of the road, so we crossed our fingers and booked it.  Guess what?  Dellanera is still our favorite!

Before I get to the campground, let me give you a tip on a free place to stay on the way to Galveston.  The rest area off I-35 at Huntsville, Texas - formally known as Walker County South Bound Safety Rest Area.  Sure, I've seen rest areas with playgrounds, but a walking trail? Curbside parking for RVs?  Plenty of pet walking areas?  Pefect.  We could even put our slides out!  The only thing that was missing was power.  Have I mentioned the solar panel on top of our camper?  Yes, we were just fine.  This rest area is only about two hours north of Galveston, though, so it was quite a haul to get there.  Still, I'd take a guess that most rest areas in Texas will be a fine place for a quick, free sleep.  (Note to self:  there's another rest area about 95 miles north.)

Now, on to the campground.  The Sandpiper has an infinity pool situated so that the pool fades off into a view of the ocean.  It also has a big kitchen/social room that campers can use for gatherings.  The resort has several hotel rooms, which would be very convenient for friends/family without a camper.  It's a small, clean, quiet resort.

Do you hear the but?  The resort is gated, but kids aren't allowed to ride around inside the gates.  It's on the same side of the road as the ocean, but the ocean is 100 yards away.  Since it's right next to the streeth, traffic noise on Seawall Boulevard drowns out the sound of the gulls and the waves.  Maybe it's quieter at night, but I couldn't sit outside to listen because of the horrible mosquitoes.  When I booked, I'd been told a range of spots we might be in.  When I arrived, we were assigned a spot that wasn't even close.  I was not happy.

Again, but.  Who could be mad or unhappy when they are camping on the beach?  Not us.  We had fun swimming in the ocean and swimming in the pool.  We rested.  We walked on the beach.  We took our bikes out of the resort and rode on the roads surrounding the beach.  We played at a nearby park and discovered a crab!  We ate at our favorite restaurant.  Best of all, we spent lots of time with good friends.

I'll leave you with a photo taken just adjacent to Stewart Beach at sunrise.  I managed to capture the beauty of the ocean, even though at that early time, the beach behind me was full of litter.  Turns out, that was the point of the whole trip - finding the good amid the bad.  We did!