TRAVEL THERE – EARNING OUR STAY
Dark Thirty and Fog
Welcome back to the second part of The Weekend Report for the First Weekend in December. Let me remind you, we left Dallas behind schedule and made our way to Galveston to shoot a rental property for a good friend. We’d hoped to arrive in time to get some shots done that evening, but even if we’d left on time, the weather was not our friend. Galveston had been cloudy and foggy all day.
With nothing to shoot, we stopped at the grocery store to pick up some wine. No need to waste the evening, right? At the Sea Wall, the GPS told us we still had some driving to do. Our adventures on the island had all been on the East End, where the hotels and cruise terminal dominate. Stephanie’s house, Footprints in the Sand Galveston, was at the West End, so off we drove with the city lights behind us.
The West End is a very different experience than the hustle and bustle of the island’s city. It was pitch black out there, with a few brightly lit exceptions, and it was quiet, very quiet. When we arrived, the rental company, Ryerson Vacation Rentals, had turned on the lights and unlocked the door for us, so our first peek at the house was merry and bright.
If you know Galveston, then you are familiar with its popular architectural style. Almost all the beach houses are on stilts, perhaps a garage downstairs, but never much else, because when a hurricane or tropical storm blows in you want your house to be there when it is done. So we parked under the house and made our way up the stairs.
Knock Us Over With a Feather
Now, we know, anything Stephanie gets involved with is going to be top notch and she has immaculate taste, but we were still blown away when we walked into the house. We looked at one another in glee at the prospect at staying at this beautiful place for a couple of days.
The first thing we did, even before bringing in our luggage, was explore every corner of the house to figure out which was the master bedroom. Each room was better than the next, but we hadn’t seen what we thought was the primary suite. We went back to the gorgeous living room and there was a spiral staircase leading to another floor. We climbed up there and it was like discovering heaven. A huge bedroom with its own private balcony and a spa-style bathroom. WOW.
We hustled back down the stairs and brought up our luggage. We wanted to start having fun as soon as we possible could. After stowing away our stuff, we poured ourselves some wine and hit the huge wraparound porch. It was too dark to see the beach, but we could hear it loud and clear – and we could smell the delightful scent of the sea.
Now, we were a bit of a surprise to the rental company. They’d just taken the property over from another company and had overseen some renovation. We were the first guests for them and they hadn’t even known we were coming until that morning, which was a Sunday, so the fact the house was ready at all was a miracle. However, they hadn’t had the chance to inspect everything before we arrived. We became the inspectors and discovered two things right off – there was no propane for the firepit and something was wrong with the hot tub. We called the next morning and had workmen there in minutes. Personally, I was impressed.
A Day of Shooting
So, it really doesn’t matter when I go to bed, I’m going to wake up between 5 and 6, even at the beach. So, very early I crept down the spiral staircase and fired up my computer. When Bill joined me, we didn’t have much time for enjoying where we were. It was time to go to work. I staged the areas we’d been in, while Bill started shooting.
First up, he took the standard interior and exterior shots for a short term rental – which is a lot more than it would be for a sale property. Renters are looking for different things than buyers. Once those shots were finished, it was time for the video. We took a lunch break with my cousin, who lives in the area. When we came back, Bill did the drone work.
Then Bill was exhausted. That’s a lot of shooting and he needed to take the twilight shots at sunset. With about an hour to kill, he needed a nap. I’m not good at napping. If I lay down, I’m going to sleep for eight hours or wish I would have. So, I went for a stroll on the beach.
At five, very good friends of ours, who make Galveston their home, arrived. Bill showed them around the house and served up some wine. Then he went outside to take twilight shots, while I caught our friends up on what we’d been up to.
We were almost through. The property management company was bringing by a few decorative items the next morning and we were going to reshoot the fireplace, but otherwise, we were able to take off our work hats and start enjoying the property. Whew!!
So, I’ll tell you more about the fun stuff tomorrow. This is a very long Weekend Report, but it wasn’t our usual weekend!