Sunday, May 17, 2009

Galveston: May 11

Events of Monday, May 11, 2009

Location: Galveston

Sleep does not come well Sunday night - we are sleeping in bunk beds, and I can't shake the vertigo. Not to mention - my bunk bed creaks and groans every time I shift the slightest bit in bed. Not only does this keep me awake - I can't help but think I'm keeping everyone else awake in the room. And - we had cranked the A/C Sunday night to cool down the building, and forgot to turn it back up - hence, we wake up, shivering in our beds because it is 59 degrees in the room. Really.

We thaw and crawl out of bed - hit the showers - and make some sandwiches for lunch. Our intention is to take our lunch to the beach each day for a picnic.

At 8:00 am, we meet Alan Miller, our construction supervisor for the week. He gives us all a brief orientation of the storm, and the situation in Galveston, and we are then sent to our project. We are working in a little house at the corner of Victory and 49th Street - a Mr. Castro's house.

Our first assignment today is to paint all trim, baseboards, and door frames in the house.

We then break for lunch and head up to Seawall, where we find a great spot to set up our picnic. We throw some blankets down, but Don wants to sit in a chair. This is really looking now like we are part of "Don's Harem" - I think he really gets a kick out of this.

After lunch - back to work. This will be the routine pretty much all week. After working (and sweating - it's HOT!) until 4:30, we head back to the blessed A/C of our rooms and take a shower. Dinner is at The Spot, an excellent little bar & grill along Seawall.

The Spot is one of the more popular places to eat in Galveston - with a unique history all its own:

In 1998 here lay a vacant lot and there lay three vacant houses and herein lay a great idea. The land was prime yet undeveloped and the houses were set to be demolished so the local community college could expand their parking lot. Our founders set out to save these houses by picking them up, bringing them here, and building a restaurant incorporating them. After many months of hard work their dreams became reality and The Spot was born May 1998. It was originally named The Village at Mile Zero hence the name written on the curb as you enter the parking lot through our main entrance and the tile design set in the concrete as you walk in the doors by the handicap ramp. The story is that if you are to measure from the tile design to the first mile marker on Interstate 45, this is exactly one mile. Therefore, we are mile zero. Many say this is the end, however we like to think of it as the beginning. We changed our name to The Spot prior to opening yet after the work on the curbs and tile had been completed. In May 2002, The Spot was purchased by local resident and B.O.I. (Born on Island) Dennis Byrd. This was his first and only job in the restaurant business and he began here when we originally opened. He worked his way up from cashier to cook, dishwasher to delivery boy, learned the ropes of the restaurant business and accomplished his dream of opening his own restaurant by purchasing the only restaurant he ever worked in. You’ll still see him here today taking your order, cooking your food, or giving stuffed animals to crying babies. Please relax, enjoy the wonderful view, excellent food and allow us to impress you.

We bless our food, and a guy sitting a table over shouts out, "Are you all Christians??!!! That's AWESOME!" He then asks where we're from. We say, "Kansas City." He shouts, "That's AWESOME!" He then tells us (and everyone else within hearing distance) that we are from the "Bible Belt" and hence we have more Christians than anywhere else in the country. He then tells that the least amount of Christians are in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston. Hmmm...who knew? He was definitely a character. After telling us once again that we are "AWESOME!", he leaves and we can begin to eat. Our food is very good - especially the coconut shrimp. Yum.

After we all sample what everyone else is eating, we are sufficiently stuffed. And tired. So - back to Crockett, where we hang out for a while, talking, and then it is time to turn in.

Reflections: A good, hard day of work - and good company. The team has definitely come together and bonded. All is well.


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