Sunday, March 25, 2012

Kemah Boardwalk, San Jacinto, & More

First, I might mention I still haven’t heard from the publisher about my book, Hidden Heritage. No news is good news. The longer they have it, the more seriously they are looking at it to publish. One thing about this trip is that I don’t have much time to fret over it.

Fun and games this week; well all but the rain that kept us inside Tuesday. We went to the Houston temple that day instead of Friday like we planned. I’ll backpedal to Monday in the next paragraph.

The week before we left on this road trip, a friend of mine from the temple and her husband also started a trek of a different sort. Theirs is shorter, but much more adventuresome. They are going from sea to shining sea on a tandem bike (bicycle built for 2). The week before they left we joked about meeting up somewhere along the road. We did! They were in San Antonio at the same time we were. Here is a picture of us having breakfast at iHop. Their trek is half over, and we’re only about 1/9 of the way through.

After breakfast we dropped them off at the Alamo, and headed for Houston where we have been all week. For the same price of staying the planned 5 days, we were able to rent a space in the RV park for a week, so we won’t be leaving until next Tuesday. Thankfully we made it safely to Houston before the storm started (we spent Monday night at Wal-Mart in a major rain storm: thunder, lightening, slightly rocking RV and all). Below are some pictures around our campground.

Wednesday was a fun and relaxing day. In downtown Houston they have 7 miles of air conditioned underground tunnels. In a lot of places along the tunnels there are shops, restaurants, and even a post office. We walked and walked and walked. There is also an observation tower in the Chase-Morgan building. After that we took a nap at the campground.
Thursday we visited the Kemah boardwalk. It’s a fun place, but I recommend you go in the summer time, on Friday, or on a weekend. Nothing opened until 11:00, and half of the rides wouldn’t run at all. It was still fun to see.

Friday we went to the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site. I learned a lot about the history of Texas. The site is where they won the battle with Santa Anna, the president of Mexico. Although there were more skirmishes, even after Texas became a state, it was the turning point that eventually lead to the annexation of not only the Texas area, but land to the Pacific including California where I live.

Saturday we visited Galveston Island. A fascinating place with unique architecture and a free ferry ride. We were walking down the road, and noticed a few cars with their hoods and trunks open, so we figured it might be some locals showing off their cars. As we walked between the rows of cars, and rounded a corner it was much larger than at first glance. It was an official car show.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

More Texas

On Monday the 12th, we took a long walk along the banks of Lewisville Lake Park. (See last week’s post.)

Tuesday, we left the Dallas area and headed for Austin, TX, another relaxing setting along the banks of a river in the Emma Long Metropolitan Park. The first few weeks were hectic and cold and windy, so it’s nice to have some down time and warm weather.

While in Austin, we toured the state capitol building.

Now we’re in San Antonio, TX. One place we bypassed on our visit downtown was the Texas Ranger museum. At $18 each it was too expensive for a museum. We took a boat ride around the River Walk, then sauntered around and had lunch at a Mexican restaurant which had excellent food—perhaps our last good Mexican food until we return to Southern California. After this we head for the south, then east coast. There will be delectable delicacies to try in those areas that we don’t have in California, so I shouldn’t complain.

We also enjoyed one of those delightful surprises that come when you don’t try to over plan. We had a few hours after we left the camp ground before the temple would open, so Dan found a McAllister park. We had no idea what type of park it was, but we decided we could at least eat lunch. It ended up being an 860 acre park with all sorts of hiking trails amongst the trees.

Saturday we visited the Witte Museum. Well worth the reasonable price of $7. It’s adjacent the Brackenridge Park, a tree-studded park with a 3 ½ mile train ride. The train didn’t stop at the museum because it’s spring break here. I can’t figure out what that has to do with anything, but they can make their own rules.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

On to the Adventure

We made an overnight stop in Wichita Falls Texas. We never did find the falls which have been re-built, but we did see the river and lake. 

We didn’t stay in Oklahoma City very long, but loved the countryside. It was much different than the same old boring drive to Utah. Too bad it was in the dry season, I’m sure it’s even more delightful in spring and summer.

We are now in Dallas. We’re staying in a lovely lakeside campground just north of Dallas. We had planned on going sight-seeing Saturday, but when we came out of the 6th Floor Museum, it was pouring rain. So much for that idea, and poor Dan had to hook up the camper in the rain. We did get to see a little of the lake today because the rain finally stopped. I haven't uploaded those pictures because this was supposed to have been posted last Sunday. Here are some pictures of Dallas, though.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Oklahoma City and Kennedy

I’m doing 2 blog entries today. This first one has a more serious tone. In Oklahoma, we visited the Oklahoma City National Monument and Museum. The second is the 6th floor Museum in Dallas, TX. We weren’t allowed to take pictures in the Dallas museum, but were able to do so in the Oklahoma City monument and museum.

On November 22, 1963 a few minutes after 1:00 pm, I walked back to San Bernardino Valley College from a walking geology field trip studying the local mountains and earthquake faults, when students kept coming up to me saying, “Did you hear?” This museum brought back memories of that day, the day Kennedy was shot. The only pictures I have are 2 from the outside of the 6th Floor Museum where Oswald was hiding.

There was an overpowering feeling of sadness and dismay when starting the walk though the Oklahoma City National Monument and Museum. Seeing so many pictures and hearing the sounds, was depressing, such a horrific event, yet I left with the feeling of hope. Life goes on, we can’t allow such things to keep us down.
Our trolley driver told us to visit the museum first, then the monument. If you ever go there, do it that way and you will understand the memorial better. (I must pull out the book about my relatively new camera and figure out how to suppress the flash. Sorry.) I won’t say much about the pictures, they speak for themselves.

Even the most serious event needs moments of levity to get through.