Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Texas Holiday '11

This Christmas I made a trip to visit relatives in Houston, Texas.  It's been a very long time since I been to the lone star state.  I have passed by here a few times, but never stopped to see how much has changed.  Growing up in  a military family, we moved around the country numerous times.  One of our stops was Corpus Christi, Texas in the early 80's.  Reagan was elected president and it was all about Cowboys football.

The family took a red eye flight (1am), which was delayed for 2 hours.  Sucked I really hated waiting for the plane, but I was already tired so didn't care much.  Houston would be there, even if we arrived late.  They even had the welcome sign already out.

Before going to granny's place, stopped to have breakfast at this place. The long flight made me quite famished.  Expecting more of a Denny's type of food establishment.  It was definitely much better than expected.  Their pancakes are the best.  Usually I'm a waffles kind of person, but I'll make an exception, definitely recommend this place.  Seeing all the sheriff and public works vehicles in the parking lot must be a sign it's very popular eatery.

One thing I notice is all the street lights hang side ways.  Why is that?

For the next few days I spent my time exploring different parts of Texas with the rental car Nissan Versa.

Morning in downtown Houston.  It's very empty and the clouds were hanging very low.

I wanted to visit a cemetary out of curiosity.  Looking at many tombsstones, I was amazed how long these families been here.  There were tombstones dating back to the early 1800's.  Did my best ghost hunters impression and asked for a sign, but nothing happened.  Just like in the show.

This is Minute Maid Park.  If you know baseball, then you know the Houston Astros play here.

Toyota center the home of the Houston Rockets.

Also took a 3 hour trip to Corpus Christi.  The last time I was here was in the early 80's.  I can't remember much about the childhood in Texas.

Here's is a picture of the old house I lived in 30 years ago.  My family bought this brand new after moving out of the military housing community.  

Here's how it looks now.  The color is slightly different and a bit worn down.  But at least it's still standing.  The neighborhood has definitely grown larger.

My old school which is down the street from the house.  Unfortunately, it was closed for holiday.  Really  wanted to check out the old class room, even though I don't remember much.  Don't even remember who my teacher was here, but they're probably either retired or dead by now.

Headed to downtown Corpus
Didn't know they parked the USS Lexington here.  I would have loved to have taken a tour, but it was already way past noon and exploring an aircraft carrier requires the whole day.  At least it does for me.

 The Gulf of Mexico, I remember doing a lot of fishing and crabbing along these waters.  But not today it was damn cold and the waters were choppy. 

Also visited a place called Kemah

Nothing going on here that day.  Since it was cold, overcast and a holiday week.  But my cousins tell me that this place is usually crowded with tourists and locals.

What's trip to Houston, without a visit to the Johnson Space Center.
Houston, I have arrived
The engines of a Saturn V rocket.  The same engines that sent the Apollo astronauts up towards the moon.

I enjoyed my stay in Houston, and my visit to Corpus Christi, which brought up a couple of good memories.  My only regret was not eating at a Texas BBQ joint.  Yeah I know we have them in California, but it's kinda like getting your salsa from New York city.  Gotta go to the place that knows BBQ.  But I know granny will always have a couch for me to sleep on whenever I visit again.
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