Our trip to Galveston this past weekend was our first since the hurricane. While there were obvious signs of hurricane Ike - a few boats still sitting in the middle of a field just off the Interstate, the concrete skeleton of the fishing pier, some blue tarped roofs, plywood clad windows, and stores not yet reopened - Galveston was a busy place. Visitors lined the beaches for as far as the eye could see in both directions. Parking spaces were few and far between forcing people to actually parallel park instead of just pulling in. New, white, sandy beaches clear of trash and debris with easy access to the seawall beckoned. In fact the beaches were far nicer than the last time we were there for a friends wedding while I was pregnant with the boys. Hotels were open and most looked no worse for the wear.
Further from the seawall, the signs of the storm and the rebuilding were a bit more obvious. Through the residential neighborhoods there were houses that looked brand new - with sparking fresh coats of paint. Piles of debris here and there a sign of the remodeling happening inside. Other houses looked battered. With piece of trim missing or askew. Their paint in obvious need of a fresh coat once the damage has been repaired.
The main drive showed signs of the aftermath as well. Palm trees still standing but battered. Mishapen and brown.
All in all it looks like Galveston is slowly but surely coming back to life, and perhaps when all is said and done even a little better than before.