We Slept Here
Don and I have spent a couple decades exploring Texas. I've always loved our oddball discoveries. In 2014 we spotted this crazy looking spaceship house, on Galveston Island. I snapped this photo and didn't wonder for a moment what it would be like to spend the night inside. But last month, we had our chance.
Locals call this iconic structure, the Kettle House. It was built in the 1960's as a steel storage tank, for an oil and gas company. It was never used, so the welder who worked on it, bought it and moved it. He had hoped to turn it into a convenience store. But, that didn't happen.
Kettle House Airbnb
In recent years, the vacant property was purchased and renovated into a rental. In February 2022, Don and I spent a couple nights in the renovated structure.
The quirky Kettle still looked out of place, sitting along San Luis Pass Road. But the bowl-shaped building had clearly been spiffed up.
We parked on the concrete slab and took a good look.
Sadly there was no balmy-beach weather to greet us when we arrived. It was a blustery-cold, afternoon. The winds whipped, as we headed upstairs to the second level. I fumbled with the door code for a while, before calling Michael.
When I looked into booking, I thought Michael was just the owner of the Airbnb property. I learned more. Michael and his wife Ashely own the Kettle House, but they do much more than rent out properties. They also have an HGTV renovation show, called Big Texas Fix.
During our stay, we made use of the flatscreen TV, mounted to the smooth cedar walls. We searched for the show and watched the episode featuring the Kettle House. It was pretty fun watching the complicated renovation, while sitting inside the finished product! I wish they'd added a handle and spout, though!
So back to arrival. After Michael gave me the correct code, Don and I were able to step inside our little oasis.
TThe open round space was divided into pie-shaped areas. In the center of the circle, was the spiral staircase that led to the lower level.
I couldn't stop grinning at the snazzy interior, filled with Mid-century Modern decor. It felt like something out of The Jetson's cartoon.
It looked like we were in a giant barrel, made of knotty cypress boards. Luckily they added more windows, so it didn't feel dark or claustrophobic.
Clean White Kitchen
Ashley and Michael decided to incorporate 1960's era decor, since that was the decade when the Kettle House came to be.
I loved all the sleek white, in the kitchen. The backsplash looked clean and happy, with those geometric flowers! The narrow fridge was just plain cute.
There was even a collection of snacks for us and whiteboard message, welcoming us.
The upper level of the Kettle was made up of 5 room slices.
We spent much of our lounging time on this mod couch. Or should I say divan or davenport?
I grew up in the 1960's, but my family home never had such cool lighting or chairs. The orange chair cushion lifted up, to reveal a storage area! Cool!
There was a TV, but we hardly turned it on.
We actually read the books on the coffee table and the magazines on the bi-level end table.
We enjoyed cocktails and played ukuleles. No worries about annoying neighbors! Cheers to that!
Time for Bed
The triangular bedroom was pretty cute. There was just enough room for a queen bed and 2 nightstands.
Instead of a headboard, there was a curious cushion, strapped to the wall. The clever little design sort of masked the curved wall issue.
The bathroom had a clean, beach-y feel, with the bleached walls and white ceiling.
The drawers beneath the sink were filled with supplies. A first aid kit and complimentary toothbrushes, razors and more. Nice!
The oddly shaped shower was humongous! There was more of that wonderful flower tile! And how about that roll of toilet paper! It took me a while to realize that was supposed to look like a button-down shirt.
Round and Round
To reach the lower half of the Kettle House, we headed for the middle of the room. The spiral staircase was partially enclosed by more cedar boards.
I've done some spiral staircases in my time, but this seemed more disorienting than I remembered. Caution, don't attempt in bare feet. Ouch!
The lower level space felt like the inside of a boat. If only we'd had a couple kids in tow. Kids would love having this fun lower level to themselves.
They would love swaying in those chair swings. They'd be so excited to climb the stairs to those bunks, nestled into the wall!
Or would they? Maybe they'd be excited about sleeping in the bottom of the big bowl, until it got dark and late and quiet. They might feel like me when I was excited about sleeping in a pup tent in the backyard as a kid. It was always fun at first...
And if the kids are old and brave enough to handle sleeping in a wooden salad bowl, they might be old enough to sneak out the exit.
I'm curious about how many people have slept down here, below deck. I thought the blackout curtains were a nice touch.
Besides the upper and lower interior areas, there was tons more space for lounging, outside.
If the skies had cleared we could have watched a sunset or sunrise from the upper deck. The view wasn't exactly ideal, looking out over the road and some houses on stilts. But we knew the beach was just beyond.
Lots of Seating
There was seating and a grill on the lower patio. But it was too chilly for that.
On the deck above, the rockers and tables were scattered about. I lined them up nicely, but looked out later and found them scattered again. Poltergeist? No. Just powerful wind!
On our first morning, I was determined to make use of those wonderful rockers. I put on my blanket-poncho and headed out with coffee and a book. I lasted about as long as it took to snap a photo. Too cold!
Food and Games
Luckily we brought games and books and lots of food for hunkering down.
Game playing in the Kettle, was extra fun with a bag of Kettle Corn! It was especially cozy because the winds were howling outside. It felt like the Kettle was a sturdy boat and we were out at sea! It also felt like we were out at sea (or drunk) because the floors were a little slanted. We tested with a water bottle and it rolled from the center of the room, to the wall!
Within Walking Distance
It never warmed up, but we made use of our location anyway. One morning I crossed the road and took a jog on the beach. No one there but me and a few seagulls!
In the early evening we walked the opposite direction towards the bay. We passed some impressive jungle trees!
And we ended up at "Waterman's" just in time for Happy Hour. It was too windy for drinks and appetizers on the deck, but we had a great view of the water from our inside table.
Evening at the Kettle
The wind blew us back to the Kettle before dark.
I couldn't help but wonder how this ole Kettle handled Hurricane Ike and other storms in recent years. Funny because the Kettle isn't on stilts like all the other houses.
Ready to Go
We had two nights at the Kettle and that was just about right. On the second morning we took our time packing up.
Before we took off, I made sure to add a comment card to the wall display. Don pulled a photo sticker from his wallet so I could personalize our fine message!
There are two ways I'll remember our stay in Galveston's iconic Kettle House.
1- I left feeling like I'd been on a trip out to sea. The wind and isolation, the surrounding deck and woozy-slanty floor and the bunkhouse, below deck! All those things helped create a fun boat adventure feel, to our stay.
2 - There was a salty-sweet feel to our stay. That's a good thing. I loved the balance between the sweet luxury, top notch renovation and the salty-wacky history of the original steel Kettle!
A perfect blend, just like Kettle Corn. What a fun stay!
My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!