January 9-12, 2014
Joe and I pulled into Lakeview around lunchtime Thursday morning. Its a short drive (only 72 miles) from Anahuac to Houston. No, it was not the Grackles we were here to visit. But rather, friends Judy and Gary who we met last year in Moab.
We quickly set up our home and walked the Tan Clan. Then Judy mentioned Five Guys...oh how we love Five Guys...I couldn't get in their Jeep quick enough!
After yummy hamburgers all the way with fries and ice tea, lots of catching up, a stop at the grocery store, and plans made for Friday, we were all off to take naps.
Salad was served with a basket of warm cinnamon rolls. "Fun facts" about the restaurant say they make over 1000 cinnamon rolls on a busy Saturday. I know why! Then, we were served platters pilled high with fresh gulf seafood...oysters, shrimp, scallops, and stuffed crab. We all ate way too much. Five stars on food, five stars on service!
After lunch, a walk was in order. We stopped to see the San Jacinto Monument. The 567 foot column, actually taller than the Washington Monument (555 feet), is topped with a 220 ton, 34 foot "Lone Star" that commemorates the site of the Battle of San Jacinto, a decisive battle of the Texas Revolution. The base of the monument contains a 15,625 sq. foot museum. The outside of the base is decorated with eight engraved panels depicting the history of Texas.
Along with the monument, the 1200 acre San Juan Battleground Historic Site also provides a home for the Battleship Texas. It became the first battleship memorial in 1948.
|Joe, Gary and Judy...|
|Judy found a 4 leaf clover...|
Judy had graciously made reservations for us to take a tour of the Port of Houston aboard the M/V Sam Houston at 2:30. Parking is free at the Sam Houston Pavilion. A "work in progress"...this beautiful mosaic wall depicts how the port has played an important role in the history of Houston.
The port is a 25 mile long complex of public and private facilities. Its the first port to be built with federal and local matching funds. It officially opened on November 14, 1914...almost 100 years ago!
Three Ready Reserve Force cargo/container ships are on stand-by to move army vehicles and tanks from Fort Hood to troubled spots when needed.
There was a young man standing close to us on the deck with his wife and young children. He works at the port. His children were excited to be there and we learned so much from him!
Its an inland port...thus partially protected from major storms that threaten the Gulf.
The 90 minute tour is the only means by which the public can view port operations. It is a great way to spend the afternoon if you are in the area!
We arrived at the center just in time to catch the first blue tram ride...headed to the Mission Control Center.
...and the developing new Orion capsule.
We were saturated with information after our stops.
The tram ride includes a stop at the Astronaut Memorial Grove. An oak tree is planted in honor of every astronaut who has passed away.
There are many other attractions at the Space Center...time and energy being a factor for us, we chose two others. We got a glimpse of what its like living in space at an interactive presentation by an astronaut...
...and enjoyed a look at some amazing artifacts in manned space flight history at the Starship Gallery.
Our time with Judy and Gary flew by! Thank you for your warm hospitality. We enjoyed our visit and cant wait for our next one!
We are slowly making our way west on I-10. We arrive in Tucson on Wednesday. We are really looking forward to a high of 74*, no rain, and no humidity!
Take care and until next time...
enjoy your view!