April 27, 2013

The Stars at Night...

After New Orleans we finally made it to Texas!  First stop was Houston; the city with the most intricate, confusing, unnecessarily high highway system I have ever seen.

Our first encounter with Houston.
Catching up with an old roommate and her wonderful family.
We stayed only briefly in Houston before heading to San Antonio to see the Alamo.  My younger brother, Sean, and his family live in College Station (about 3 hours from San Antonio), so they came to meet us so we could all play together.  AND my mom, from California  was visiting my brother in College Station at the time, so we got to see her too.  It was a wonderful treat!  Grandma and cousins!

After two days in San Antonio we all went to visit a family friend who lives in Comfort, TX, about an hour outside San Antonio.  There we got to hang out with my family some more, do an Easter egg hunt, catch up with a childhood friend (unexpectedly), and fire some real guns for the first time in my life.  (Real as in: not a squirt or nerf gun.)

Fiona was my neighbor when we were kids (5-12 years old).  When I posted a photo of myself shooting a gun, in "Comfort, TX" onto facebook she wrote and said she lived in a neighboring town.  She drove 20 minutes Easter morning to see me.  It was so much fun to catch up.
Here's an unedited (meaning: a tad too long) video of me firing a shotgun for the first time (and my reaction).

More Texas to come...

Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky

We only made it into Kentucky for 2 days; just to visit Mammoth Cave National Park.  (It happened to be National Park Week, so our tour was free!**  Yeehaw!)

 It was my first visit into a cave and it was far more fascinating than I anticipated.  Our guide was excellent, which probably helped, and I loved the stories he told.  I didn't realize it would be so cold...not so fun for the kids.  But I really loved learning about the various people who had explored the cave thousands of years ago.  And how items people brought into the cave were preserved for that long: the minerals, air, temperature, etc. created a perfect environment so things didn't decay.

 And we had to have breakfast at the Waffle House at least once...a Southern icon.  And, yes, Simon did eat the butter...

**It should be noted that we never paid to get into a National Park our entire trip.  We didn't plan it this way and kept thinking we should just buy the $80 pass that gets you into all the National Parks.  But we just got fortunate that the ones we decided to go to didn't charge.  Did you know that 268 of the 401 National Parks (historical sites, parkways, etc.) are always free?  Pretty cool!
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