I wore the pink butterfly cap I bought in Arizona. It fit in well with the flowers
Not all were shades of pink.
Sunday evening we went to dinner at the beautiful home of one of our college friends and his wife. Although we have not seen each other for 40 years, thanks to the internet and email we are still connected, and reminiscing and conversation came easily.
|Image from the Web|
The next evening we all went out together to a Brazilian steakhouse,
Chama Gaucha. It is one of the top 100 restaurants in the country as ranked by Yelp. Craig likes to use it and Trip Advisor as we travel through cities we are not familiar with. He keeps the top 100 list on the desktop.
It sure was good! If you like beef or other grilled meats, it is a joy. There is no menu. After having a small salad at the salad bar, the diners stay at their tables while waiters bring selections of perfectly grilled meat around. You tell them if you want rare or well done or something in-between, and they slice a beautifully thin slice for you. They also offer chicken, lamb, and shrimp. New items are constantly offered, and you have a little card that you have at your place to let them know when you are ready or not.
Yumm! There is also a Chama Gaucha in Chicago.
We are still very much tourists. We were discouraged from trying to go to the Houston Museum district by very heavy traffic and road construction. I think every family in Houston was trying to take their kids to the Zoo or Natural History Museum on Tuesday. It is spring break time so I guess that could be expected.
So, when we couldn't find parking, we headed across town to the NASA Space Center.
One highlight for me was seeing the 747 with the shuttle on its back. We were able to go inside both.
We also were interested to see the command center used for the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs. I remember seeing it on TV and thinking how modern it all was. What you see in the room are not computers. The actual computer was on the floor below. Although I did not take a picture of it with someone's hand holding a cell phone in it on purpose, the image brings to mind what the guide told us about the computing power used. The computer had two megabytes, which is what a few pictures on a smartphone use!
I knew the launch rockets were big, are big, but knowing and standing next to one are two different things. They have a building with a complete Saturn V rocket in it.
In our down time at the Stephen Austin State park, we were not really able to take any short hikes. We could have walked the park road, but all of the trails were closed due to flooding.
We were able to get a look at part of the river. After we saw the Brazos River at I-10, we decided that this was not the main river, just a flooded side channel.
Although the skies were overcast all week, we only had actual rain during the night. The humidity was very high, and I was amazed there were no mosquitos.
Without pesky bugs, I could spread out my books and maps to start making plans for our route up the East Coast. For me the first step is to work with the truckers' map book and my calendar to estimate the distances between places we want to see and the dates we will be in any particular place.
We prefer to either stay in the outskirts of small towns, or at state parks. Most of them take reservations. I have a feeling that I should be making reservations now, rather than waiting too long.
After I get a rough list, I check reviews and availability on the computer. If we can't get into the state parks I look into private commercial parks, starting with places that give a discount to Passport America, Escapees, and Good Sam members.
Some people say they just drive along and stop when the mood strikes them. The few times we have done that, I was uncomfortable all day.
How do you plan your trips?