Travel in Texas during Covid-19: Galveston, Texas

Galveston, TX by Mandy Seymour, Best Rated Reviews

Can you travel in Texas during Covid 19? We keep getting this question regularly, so we are engaging in firsthand exploration of travel during Covid 19. Here’s the answer: It depends on who you ask and where you go. Although travel has been limited and many travel plans have been curtailed across the nation and the world, it is possible to still find opportunities to travel – even if it’s somewhat of a Staycation compared to the farther away trip you may have been planning to take before Covid 19.

The last week of May 2020, we visited Galveston, TX for a weekend getaway. It provided a much-needed respite from the new norm of daily life under Corona. People have been visiting Galveston Island for years to enjoy the beach and local activities as well as to improve their overall health and well-being. Sunshine and serenity of the ocean can do anyone good!

Galveston, TX by Mandy Seymour, Best Rated Reviews

We stayed at Hotel Galvez in an oceanfront room. We enjoyed the classic ambiance, first-rate service, and beautifully landscaped pool. The hotel maintained Covid-cleanliness protocols and social distancing. But those necessities did not stifle the trip in any way. We were so thankful to be there, to get to enjoy our Galveston getaway.

We enjoyed swimming, sunbathing and strolling along the beach. We went shopping at a fantastic sundress and swimwear shop. Located 1 block away from Hotel Galvez, we think it’s the best apparel shop in Galveston – and we’ve been to all of them. We enjoyed a scrumptious, fresh-from-the-oven pizza from Marios on the Seawall. And we savored delicious ice cream and sweets at La King’s confectionary on The Strand.

We arrived on a Friday and left on a Saturday. Friday, the Island was fairly quiet day and night. Saturday, about mid-afternoon, it was bustling. Festive beachgoers packed the beaches. By the time it was overcrowded (which doesn’t take long during these Corona times), we left.

Our best advice? Plan to go to Galveston, TX when everyone else won’t be there if possible. Weekdays will be less crowded than weekends during the Summer. Regulations are in place to keep Covid risk to a minimum as much as possible in Galveston. Be smart. Be wise. And enjoy the Texas sunshine!

Rating: 5 stars! Best of the Best!

Galveston’s Website: Galveston.com

Photos from our visit to Galveston, TX during Summer 2020:

Houston Zoo

The Houston Zoo is educational fun for all ages. Animal exhibits abound featuring interesting animals from around the world. In recent years, the zoo has expanded its exhibits to include additional animals from Texas and Africa. The Houston Zoo is hosted on beautifully landscaped grounds with some of Houston’s most beautiful oak trees.

Find out more at HoustonZoo.org

Rating: 5 Stars! Best of the best!

TGR Exotics Wildlife Zoo

If you are looking to experience a Safari in your own backyard and you live in Houston, Texas or surrounding vicinities, we have a recommendation for you.  TGR Exotics Wildlife Zoo is a family-owned and operated collection of some of the friendliest exotic animals around.  The zoo houses over 100 types of animals. 

On the day we went, there were 3 tours taking place. The up-close and personal interaction with the animals made for an unforgettable experience.  We met Chaco the Camel, Buffy the Water Buffalo, an ant eater, fast-moving sloths, and an ancient armadillo as well as a bearcat.  

The animals have special scratching posts that look like they tumbled out of the Wild West.  We were surprised to learn that these “scratching posts” were actually recycled Christmas trees.  Each year, people donate their Christmas trees to the zoo.  Chaco the Camel sat on his, using it as a cushion.  The goats ate the greenery and then used theirs as back scratchers.  And most amusingly, Walter the Warthog jubilantly tossed his Christmas tree 9 feet up in the air and played with it for many days before making it into a personalized scratching post as well.  

To our surprise and delight, large pigs came charging toward us – and once we started petting them, they fell over on the ground and went straight to sleep, laying there for several minutes.  And when we went to see the sloths, one of them was crawling around his cage the speed of a relaxed monkey.  We have never seen such a happy or fast sloth.  

They really take care of their animals and care about them. It is very apparent the animals are well-loved.  They have very amazing creatures who are very responsive to humans.  Everything is clean and well-maintained.  

The zoo is spacious and each tour is highly personalized. While the animals are well-loved and cared for.  Yet they are not pets.  Rather, they are sold to zoos across the country.  Tours last 1 1/2-2 hours. Strollers are welcome. You must wear closed – toed shoes.

During summer and during the year, the camp has the zoo has a camps, programs for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, and all kinds of other activities. However, you must register in advance because this is a privately and facility.  6:30 PM is the best tour time for summers.

We highly recommend TGR Exotics Wildlife Zoo as a “best of the best” family outing for summer and year-round fun.  It is an animal adventure you don’t want to miss.

Website: TGRExotics.com

The wildlife park is located 10 miles east of Tomball, TX in Spring, TX.

Hi-Tec Hiking Boots

Hi-tec hiking boots are made with a one-of-a-kind amazing material that is waterproof but breathable.  Houston’s local rep, Bob Oliver, actually told us about a time during a demonstration of the boots’ ability to stay clean no matter what happens to them, whether a walk through sludge or a coffee or wine spill or anything else.  A woman who was watching the demonstration of how remarkably clean the boots stayed suddenly ran out of the room with a shriek.  They couldn’t imagine what had happened.  When she came back in, she explained that her husband had been wearing this brand of boots to work for a few years now, and she had come to think he wasn’t really going to work but must be having an affair because the boots were never dirty!  So once she realized the boots were truly water and dirt-proof, and that he really was going to work and not to an affair, it restored their marriage! 

The Hi-tec hiking boots are made with “Ion Mask” technology developed by the British government.  You can read more about this amazing material at <a href=”http://www.wetisdry.com”>www.wetisdry.com</a> and find out how you can get a pair of these amazing boots at <a href=”http://www.hi-tec.com”>www.hi-tec.com</a> Also, check out <a href=”http://www.magnumboots.com”>www.magnumboots.com</a> to see what the police are wearing these days and you can, too!  We especially enjoyed talking to Bob Oliver, who has a real passion for his products!We sampled the Altitude Ultra.  They work great!

Pendleton Clothing: 100+ Years of Heritage in The Making

Long-standing quality and British style give this company a reputable position among wool clothing manufacturers today.  When you put on a piece of Pendleton wool clothing, you feel both warm and prestigiously-dressed at the same time.  That is always a great feeling to have!  Our Pendleton favorites for women’s wool apparel for the season include the Double Face Collar Persimmon Jacket and the mock neck turtlenecks.  The turtlenecks are some of the best available today.  They are soft and not as constricting as most turtlenecks.  Pendleton also makes reversible clothing.  We think the reversible plaid Jacket is snappy.  Pendleton clothing’s best attribute is that it is very warm, but lightweight, stylish, and not bulky.  To buy Pendleton is to invest in quality that will last you a lifetime.

Pendleton is celebrating 100 years.  They have posted an inspirational and interesting history of the wool trade on their site at the link “Pendleton Heritage”.  You can read all about it at http://www.pendleton-usa.com for the company’s main site and catalog of wonderful products.

Circle E Candles

Spice Up Your Autumn with our favorite candles!  Circle E Candles are some of the best candles out there.  Fall is a cozy, mesmerizing time of year with the color-change of trees and the arrival of gentle autumn breezes. Nothing compliments autumn more than a warm, spice aroma wafting through the air. We are in search for the perfect Fall candle. We recognize Circle E Candles as among “the best of the best candles”. When you light Circle E Candles, they make a house a home. They are high-quality, long-lasting, and wonderfully aromatic. Our current favorite for the kitchen is Apple Strudel. You can visit Circle E Candles at www.CircleECandles.com

Pairing Knife by Kuhn Rikon

We recently discovered a paring knife that never needs sharpening. We found it at www.kuhnrikon.com, a great company from Switzerland. It’s called the “Non-Stick Colori Paring Knife”. They have several colors to choose from. What makes this knife special is that it has a carbon steel blade that stays sharp. We also like that it has a sheath which keeps it sharp and covered. Here’s a direct link, although you can also find the knives for sale at local gourmet specialty shops. http://www.kuhnrikon.com/products/tools/tools.php3?id=250

The Nap Collection

Are you ready to take the best nap you’ll ever have? You can with The Nap Collection by Brookstone. (www.Brookstone.com)  The Nap Collection is bliss in a box! The Nap Collection includes a cuddly blanket, cuddly matching booties, and a comfortable matching pillow.

It comes with the Brookstone “nap blanket” that by itself is a great luxury. The nap blanket is plush and snuggly. It weighs a not-too-lightweight, not-too-heavy weight. If Goldilocks had found The Nap Collection at the three bears’ house, she would not have cared that the bed was too big or small. When you surround yourself in the cuddly bliss, you can nap anywhere. We think this would make a great Christmas gift or anytime gift for you or anyone who is special to you. We also think this is a great set to take with you traveling to use during long layovers.

Cagle State Park

Cagle State Park is one of Texas’ prettiest parks. Nestled on the tranquil waters of Lake Conroe, surrounded by the Sam Houston National Forest, Cagle State Park has enjoyable walking trails as well as lakeside picnic and camping sites. We enjoyed an afternoon of hiking and picnicking by the water. The park also has a boat launch. As we were hiking, we saw lots of birds, including a bald eagle! The forest was filled with butterflies. Our youngest reviewer called it “the magical butterfly forest”.


In our opinion, it is one of Houston and surrounding areas’ “best kept secret” parks. Here are some pictures. It makes a great day trip getaway from Houston. To get there from Houston, take I-45 North past Conroe to exit 102. Go West for 8 miles on hwy 1375. The park will be on your left.

Best Hair Towel

:)

I have long hair, and a few years ago, I found some wonderful “hair towels” by Lucy Locks that became one of my most favorite beauty items.  For any woman who has just stepped out of the shower, they are great.  They have a button on one end and a loop on the other, so you twist your hair in the towel and button it up.  Well, I can only find Lucy Locks on Amazon now.  So I have been looking for a replacement.  The Sephora hair towel works great.  It’s more spacious than most hair towels and yet fits snugly on your head.  These towels are my hair’s best friend.    You can find them at www.sephora.com.