25 September 2008
After meeting Kyle and a couple of his co-workers for lunch at Mi Tierra Latin Fusion Restaurant in downtown Arlington, TX (perfectly yummy, as always!) Kyle and I went together to his afternoon eye appointment. I took this alien-looking photo of his left eye, while we were waiting for the doctor.
Not a great photo, I know—I was rushed, and for some reason I couldn’t hold still enough to get a good image. And, of course, with his pupils dilated so drastically, Kyle was also having trouble not blinking for me. But, the end result of the whole process, is that Kyle came through all the screening and testing with flying colours. He is scheduled for LASIK surgery tomorrow!!! He is so excited he can hardly stand it! Saturday morning, he will wake up and be able to see the alarm clock! The glasses we just bought him in June will become little more than a paperweight! I just asked him if he’s nervous and he said ‘no.’
That makes one of us! I’ll feel better when it’s all over.
We knew, of course, when Hurricane Ike first turned in toward the Gulf of Mexico, that our December plans could be impacted. We watched with interest, then concern, and finally with fear, as the storm worsened and the projected storm path became clearly focused on Galveston. We checked on our friends, offered beds and anxiously watched news reports as the storm surge hit, and then as the wind and rain battered the coast. And then, as the storm passed over Texas and headed northeast, we searched for news of damage. Every day, even nearly two weeks later, we google words—Ike, hurricane, Galveston, historic, Strand, Tremont, damage, recovery, etc.—in various combinations, hoping for a news article, a photo, a blog entry, an interview—something—containing “new” news about our beloved Galveston and the recovery efforts going on there.
Here, on The Daily KRuMB, we’ve tried to keep our own readership up to date on our findings, by copying text, including links, and sharing tidbits of news we’ve uncovered. Just recently, I personally reported two important bits of information that many of our friends were specifically anxious to know. 1. That I’d been given the official word that the Dickens on the Strand Festival was indeed going to happen this year, and 2. That the Mitchell properties, including the Tremont House Hotel, were planning to reopen on the 15th of October.
Unfortunately, as some of you now know, the second of those reports has now been proven false. From what I understand, Ginger received word from the catering department, that the hotel would remain closed until after the new year begins. Since this information differed from what I’d reported, she sent a query directly to her best contact within the Tremont Hotel management. This is the response she got:
Hi Ginger, I hope all is well! It is true the Tremont is closed as the hotel sat under water for days. We have started demo to the ballroom and the hotel will follow in the morning. We lost almost everything on the first floor from the front of the house to the back of the house. We do plan on reopening by the first weekend of Mardi Gras. I can look at changing your sleeping rooms to the hotel Galvez when I return to work on Friday. This is a disappointment to all of us; as the Tremont is rich in the history of Galveston. I will contact you soon with our progress.
Guest services Manager
The Tremont & Harbor House Hotel Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile
After further investigation, I found this, from from BOI Galvestonian Christine Hopkins’ blog:
This has been a very emotional time for those of us who love Galveston. While the media tends to focus on the devastation – there is also much progress being made daily.
I have this update to share… Apparently, our Oct. 15 reopening date for our hotels was too optimistic. Currently, the Hotel Galvez has electricity, water and elevator service and a full restoration is underway. The hotel plans to welcome guests in early November. The Tremont House sustained relatively minor damage from Hurricane Ike but the restoration process is expected to continue until early 2009. Lastly, Harbor House also sustained relatively minor damage but the hotel will not be available to the public until early 2009. The hotel is currently housing those assisting in the island’s restoration efforts.
Since, Christine works for the Mitchell Historic Properties folks, and was my original source of the information about the October 15th date, I was glad to see her updated report. Glad, and of course, very, very sad.
Much discussion will now need to take place among the group of us who have made Galveston Island our Victorian home away from home the first weekend in December for so many years. I am currently trying to verify that the Dickens on the Strand event will indeed be happening, as I previously reported. It does not require much imagination to think that if the Mitchell properties folks underestimated their recovery time, others, including the Historical Foundation itself, may have done the same.
One, poignant article, describes the personal, heart-wrenching devastation that many returned “home” to find:
On a positive note, it seems that some Galveston public schools will be re-opening on the 6th of October. Life, for some, at least, will begin to return to something resembling normal.
Tags: Arlington, Daily, damage, dilated, eye, flooding, galveston, historic district, hurricane, Ike, LATIN FUSION, MI TIERRA, news, Photoblog, recovery, Restaurant, restoration, Texas, Tremont, Tremont House Hotel, TX, water damage