Saturday, February 21, 2009

Axel Grinds and Kickflips After a Little More Practice

Our three boys love playing the Tony Hawk Pro Skater game on their PlayStation and riding their skateboards. I read about the recently finished 2.7 million dollar Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark that opened near downtown Houston so we decided to bring our boys there to watch other skaters and possible let them ride their skateboards if they felt like it. After watching the other skaters for a few minutes they wanted to try it so we suited them up and turned them loose. Since they've only had their skateboards for a few months they weren't ready for the deep end of the pool so we started them out in the shallows. After a few tumbles they decided sitting on the boards and gliding down the slopes was the way to go.

Austin and Cameron drag race down a small hill.

Zachary didn't have such a good start. the first hill he tried to walk down he fell on his butt and started crying. After a little consoling and encouragement he gave it another go.

A great view of Houston's skyline from the skatepark.

There were about 100 kids and young adults skating in the park and there were some that had quite a bit of talent and didn't mind showing their stuff for the spectators and a few photographers.

This guy was good

Surfing the concrete wave.


Climbing the wall

Sunday, February 15, 2009


We had planned to take a day trip down to Galveston, TX this weekend to attend the Mardi Gras festivities and infuse some cash into this wonderful island town that is still trying to recover from the devistating impact of hurricane Ike. Things didn't work out as we expected, our youngest son has a cold an is not feeling well and the weather has been cold and rainy so we decided not to make the trip. So instead of catching Mardi Gras beads tossed from passing parade floats I went back and looked through my photographs of past trips to Galveston and decided to post a few pre hurricane Ike photos that I feel capture the character of this community.

The 1900 Storm Commemorative SculptureDedicated on September 9, 2000 represents the suffering of those who perished and the tenacity of those who survived this nation's deadliest natural disaster. On September 8, 1900 a powerful hurricane struck Galveston Island, killing more than 6,000 people and leaving the island in ruins. The next day the survivors began the cleanup, and the city began making plans to rebuild the island with a seawall to protect it against future storms. Over the next decade, the wall was completed and the land behind it raised. These measures served Galveston well. In 1915, when another intense hurricane struck the island, less than a dozen people living behind the seawall lost their lives.

Galveston Island State ParkGalveston Island is believed to be approximately 5000 years old and has had an interesting history during the past 500 years. It is generally believed Cabeza de Vaca and his crew were shipwrecked here in 1520 and eventually made their way from the island to colonies in Mexico. The LaFitte brothers, fleeing the prosecution of pirates in the United States, established a government here in 1817, with visions of creating a "Manhattan on the Gulf." Commerce did thrive here, but major storms in 1867, 1871, 1875, and 1886 greatly slowed progress. The great storm of 1900 devastated the island, killing 5000 to 10,000 people, and prompted the construction of the seawall which protects the northern half of the island.

Bishop's Palace
Galveston’s grandest and best-known building, the Bishop’s Palace is an ornate delight of colored stone, intricately carved ornaments, rare woods, stained-glass windows, bronze dragons and other sculptures, luxury materials and furnishings, and impressive fireplaces from around the world (including one lined with pure silver!). Built by lawyer Colonel Walter Gresham and designed by Nicholas Clayton, Galveston’s premier architect, this Victorian castle was cited by the American Institute of Architects as one of the 100 most important buildings in America. The home was built from 1886 to1892.

Beach Chair and Umbrella Rental
There were not many customers on this cool, foggy early spring day to rent their beach chairs and umbrellas.

Wild Flowers Growing Along the Seawall
Vivid wild flowers growing at the bottom of the seawall on the sand dunes with the painted seawall in the background. I found this composition interesting becuase it looked like the shrimp boat was cutting through a sea of flowers.

Two Couples Strolling on the Beach
These four looked somewhat out of place walking along the beach. I though they possibly bad a very late night out on the town and found themselves waking up on the beach the next morning. Brings back memories of a spring break trip I took to Florida in the mid 1980's.