Houston Area
February 2006

It was an area we have never toured and I had a show. Perfect formula for a quick trip. Some very cool features in this area. Galveston is very cool, too. One new feature of this trip is the addition of video clips to the site. There are little Quick Time movies buried in this page. Find them. They are cool!

Day 1 Introduction

Day 2 Introduction

Day 3 Introduction

(As usual, click on the little picture to see the big picture.)

Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge
(Click here for their official website)

We had this place almost entirely to ourselves. Oh, yeah, there were a few hundred thousand birds but no people we could see. It is probably really cool later in the year when the birds come back.

Just your standard, everyday, Texas BFT.
NOAA/NMFS Sea Turtle Facility - Galveston, TX
(Click here for their official website)

While the turtles were cool, meeting Heather was better. She is the young lady in the photos who gave the tour of the facility that raises sea turtles for reintroduction into the wild. She also lets turtles pee and poop in her hand. That doesn't make her a weird person, it just means that when you give a woman a pair of rubber gloves, you never know what she is capable of.

Heather and the family from Boston.
(He knew that the turtle has a brain the size of a pea but muscles in its head the size of my thigh.)

Heather's talk and see the turtles in action.
Moody Gardens - Galveston, TX
(Click here for their official website)

Between Sponge Bob and the Dinosaur's, parrots, fish and jungle plants, this place is a cornucopia of things to watch, see and do. It costs a bunch but it is a visually and informationaly rich experience that you should do if you are in town. You can get the details from our photos or from their website on this amazing place.

See the Seals movie

Galveston Harbor from the Moody Garden.
Gaidos Seaside Inn Restaurant - Galveston, TX
(Click here for their official website)

There is a rich history to this place. It has been around for almost 100 years. The food was quite good and the service was excellent. Ask for David. He is a good waiter. Check out their website for details.

David, our waiter.
The Blue Bell Creamery
(Click here for their official website)

All the do is all they do. And all they do is ice cream. And they do it well. You have to take my word for it because they don't allow cameras on the tour (and the woman who gave us ours was very nice and I didn't want to screw up her day by sneaking photos of the place) so you don't get to see anything. Drive up to Brenham and take the tour. Check their website for details. It is really, really good ice cream.

The only photo of the creamery.

I took this to show Alex that they have small yard switchers in truck yards, too.

The Antique Rose Emporium
(Click here for their official website)

Into each BNEA a little weirdness must fall. This was the day and this was the spot for just such an occurrence. Thanks to a Master Gardner lady from Nebraska, we wound up eating a kohlrabi, which is a cross between broccoli, jicama, radish, apple, giant bug attracting plant and purple people feeder. Oh, they sell antique roses, too. Check out their website  for details.

The kale that started the entire experience.

Decorative cabbage.

The woman who started it all and her patient husband.
The (mov)ie

Click on the link to see this video on the experience. It takes a while to download but it may be worth it.

"What is this product?"
Houston Arboretum & Nature Center - Houston, TX
(Click here for their official website)

This place was very green. There are nice nature walks and they are located in the heart of Houston. Check out their website for details and to get directions.

We get directions to Gallery Furniture.
The Bigass Texas Urban Horse Ride - Houston, TX

I don't think that is the proper name for this event but that's what everybody who was stuck in traffic was calling it. It was some kind of horse parade to the center of town. Everybody is here for the Houston Rodeo and Horse Show.

Goode Texas Bar-B-Que- Houston, TX
Click here for their official website)

Bruce has figured out that our problem with Texas Bar-B-Que is that we order the wrong thing. We always get ribs and in Texas, they do dry ribs and we like wet ribs. The brisket was very good, as was the duck. (The ribs were OK, too, but only for me.) I liked the food and the people were very nice. And, we got stuck in traffic and found the Rockin' Robin Guitar Store and Surf Shop thanks to that. Even BBQ's have websites .

My food.

Don't be deceived. Bruce is not anxious to dig in, even though it looks that way.

From the outside.
Rockin' Robin Guitar and Surf Shop
(Click here for their website)

Bruce read about this store in the AA magazine and we just happened to be driving down the street it was on while we were trying to escape the horses. It turned out to be a very cool place. They have a website plus they have Jimmy Raycraft, a fellow who knows more about guitars than even Bruce does. Stop buy (sic) when you are in town.

NASA Johnson Space Flight Center - Houston, TX
(Click here for the Official Website)

Except for the rocket, this is where NASA does space. All the Cape does is kick the pig into orbit, or wherever it is going. The guys with their finger on the button live in the control room at Houston. They have a really nice activity center, too.

Niki, our guide. She wants to become a journalist in Japan.

The old mission control room. Where everything prior to 1995 happened.

The International Space Station control room.

The new Mission Control.

The little flags indicate the nationality of the operator at the control.

No more buttons. Now you control a spacecraft with a mouse.

Out the window of the space shuttle.

Just flip a few switches and you can do anything with the shuttle.
Armand Bayou Nature Center - Houston, TX
(Click here for their official website)

We got there in the rain but it wasn't so bad. It is a very interesting place. We watched Tom make a fireplace poker in the blacksmith shop. We saw a few other things but not so's you notice. Visit when the weather is better.

This is what Bruce looks like in the rain. I'm stayin' dry.

This little fellow is waiting for you to put your fingers in his tank.

The check-in office.

Bees wax stops the rust from forming.

You can't let the fire get too big. If you spill a little water on the coal, it focuses the heat on the bottom, where the steel is.

Tom cools it off in the bucket. It takes a long time to cool to the touch.

The fire is generated from coal. It has an air jet underneath to give it a really hot flame.

Tom twists the poker to give it a scroll on the shaft.
Kemah Boardwalk - Houston, TX
(Don't know if they have a website. Don't wanna help them.)

Owned by Landry Restaurants. We had dinner at the Crab House restaurant. (I promised never to eat in a Landry Restaurant after the debacle we endured at Joe's Crab Shack in San Diego, but Bruce picked the place so we ate there.)

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