It was hard to leave after Galveston visits, so family made island their permanent home
The Baze family took a leap of faith when they moved to their weekend home in Beachside Village and made Galveston Island their permanent address.
Their only regret is that they didn’t do it sooner.
“We are beach people,” said Holli Baze, a litigation attorney who commutes to Houston on weekdays. “Now, when I fall asleep at night, I can hear the ocean waves and smell the salt and the sea.”
Holli and her husband, David, bought their beach house near 9 Mile Road in 2013 so their active family could de-stress on the weekends. Gradually, they found it harder and harder to leave, and finally, a year after the purchase, they decided to embrace full-time island life.
The Gulf of Mexico has always been a draw for the couple, both in their 40s, and it’s the same for their three children ages 22, 16 and 14.
“Even our dogs prefer Galveston,” David said. “When we lived in Katy, all three of them would sit by the door on Friday afternoons and wait for us to pack the car.”
Beachgoers since childhood, the couple knew their family would enjoy living by the water, but they didn’t expect that the change of pace could make such a difference for their high-achieving children.
Everyone is more relaxed, they said.
“It’s a different lifestyle in Katy, where the children are more tightly scheduled,” Holli said. “We joke now that our former home was in a maximum-security subdivision. At the beach, our kids have more freedom and more time to be a kid. It’s a change in perspective that has been good for all of us.”
Proximity to the water promotes another major difference: Everyone spends more time outside and in the water. The family is outfitted with surfboards and paddleboards, although the parents agree that their son and daughters are much more proficient at these water sports than they are.
“I’m getting better,” David said.
He enjoys running on the beach; Holli swims in the Gulf. They all like to sit by the water.
“The beauty of living on the beach is that everyone is here to have a good time,” David said. “The people who live here are glad to be here and the visitors are on vacation, so they’re happy, too.”
Beachside Village is the right fit for the family, and they credit the developers and homeowners association for keeping the neighborhood secure and the beach tidy and well-groomed.
“I can’t tell you how different it is,” Holli said. “Our kids spend time without cellphones, walking the dogs on the beach or sitting on the deck talking. It’s a part of growing up here that we’ve come to appreciate.”
On some Sunday mornings, they walk to Jimmy’s on the Pier, 9001 Seawall Blvd., for a casual breakfast and to get some exercise.
“We took a chance moving here,” David said. “It’s exciting to do something different, something out of your wheelhouse, but there were some uncertainties.”
Living here part time put those uncertainties to rest. They fell in love with the town and found it brimming with kindred spirits, they said.
Last year, the couple opened a new business, The Wine Next Door, 418 21st St., in the island’s downtown. The wine bar has gotten rave reviews, and David and Holli say they are pleased by the strong local support.
Their lives are busy — the girls are in challenging biomedical science programs at Ball High School; the new business takes time and energy; and for Holli, the Houston commute is rigorous. Still, even the drive has its perks.
“I can feel myself relaxing when I cross the causeway going south and I know I’m almost home,” she said.