Last Days of Summer on Galveston Island

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Maybe it was the winding down of summer or the sporadic rain and wind that hit the island all day, but Galveston Island wasn't too crowded anywhere we went Saturday. The Pleasure Pier was in full operation, its rides stopped only when lightning got too near and Moody Garden's redesigned Rainforest -- yes, monkeys are on the loose there! — had its share of visitors. Biggest surprise: we were on the Strand when Galveston royalty in the form of millionaire and philanthropist George Mitchell came tooling down the sidewalk in a motorized vehicle. And it was cool and relaxed in the elegant Galvez Hotel, whose lobby could still be the scene for a turn of the 20th Century movie, no matter how modern its outside pool is. Everything looked ready for a great last fling of summer on the upcoming Labor Day Weekend. PHOTOS BY ABBY DOWNING-BEAVER AND MARGARET DOWNING