We picked a good day to travel on Friday, December 17. No wind!! We arrived in the afternoon at Advanced RV Park. Before we even got set up, three people had stopped by to chat. One man had a son living in Campbell River. Another was from Ontario. Saturday was pretty calm too. It started out cloudy but ended up sunny, about 55 degrees Fahrenheit. We drove across the city to check out the Tiffin Allegro Bus 43' RV which we have since ordered and also checked out another RV Park. That park was more expensive and not as nice. Sunday we went to H-E-B for groceries. These stores are amazing - especially the Plus! stores. There were food samples all over and selection that was great. We had a great dinner of steak, scallops and some of our fresh Gulf Shrimp (delicious). After that there was carol singing in the clubhouse. They had brought in a pianist and a sax player. Then there were cookies/cake and coffee/tea/punch. Every morning there is a coffee and chat (and cookies and cake) from 8:30 to 9:30. There's a really nice group of people that go there. Monday after Chat we made a picnic lunch and headed to the Houston Museum of Natural Science to see the Pirates exhibition. This was an exhibition put on by National Geographic and detailed the discovery of a pirate ship in the Caribbean, the Whydah and Captain Sam Bellamy. He was a very successful pirate but had a short life span. Then we headed to the Houston Space Centre. That was very interesting. We took a 90 minute tram tour around the grounds seeing the real Mission Control Centre. No photos were allowed in there so that's why there are none. Currently there are no manned space missions in progress so the only staff there were monitoring the International Space Station (ISS). They are monitored 24/7/365. Then we visited the many exhibits at the site. We saw how life in space is with a life-sized model of sleeping, eating, showering quarters. No-rinse shampoo is used and a large towelette rather than water. Any waste water is treated and re-used as drinking water as it is so precious. We saw a life-sized model of the space shuttle cockpit. Also a video on the history of the space program. We were there for several hours. We stopped at a restaurant called Healthy Chinese Buffet on the way home. The food was actually quite good and a good variety including a lot of seafood (crab legs, prawns, craw-fish) and only $9.49. Apparently a lot of the fried dishes are cooked in olive oil and a lighter soy sauce is used. Larry was disappointed as there was no Beer sold here after a long day. Tuesday afternoon we went to the Houston Zoo. As Zoos go, this is a good one. There are lots of endangered species here and they all seem to be very healthy. It was a nice day and Larry was able to rent a scooter so we could see everything. Wednesday we went shopping to find Costco. Thursday we drove down to Galveston. There are a lot of historic mansions there which are very beautiful. A lot of restoration has happened and is still happening. We stopped at the Ocean Star Oil Rig and Museum. We learned everything there was to know about offshore platform drilling. Then we generally drove the beach, stopping for lunch at Fish Tales for seafood. We can't get enough of it! It really rained Friday night along with thunder and lightening and the usual wind. This was the first rain we'd had since we left home. Then it got cold. Christmas Day was quiet. We talked to the boys via Skype around lunch time then we were there "live" for their eating of the crab and shrimp cocktail. The boys were at Maureen's sister Pat's for over Christmas. They put one of the boys' laptops at the end of the table. A great system! Boxing Day (which is a total mystery down here) was sunny and a bit cool. Much better than the clouds. It should be mentioned here how interesting the highway system is in Texas. If you look at a map of the state showing highways, you will see around most larger cities that there are various rings of highways around them. This enables you to go around the city instead of always going right through it. The freeway system is quite amazing - at least two lanes each way but sometimes six or eight lanes. In Houston we discovered toll highways. But they can be avoided. There was a road right beside the Sam Houston Tollway called Beltway 8 that even though it had traffic lights on it, mostly ran quite smoothly. We found it very easy to get around. Of course the GPS helps a lot. On the 27th we headed for New Orleans - mmm, gumbo, jambalaya, etouffee here we come. More gulf shrimp!
We wish everyone a very Happy New Year!