Houston. Texas
March 2000
Decided to head to the eastern side of Houston to the San Jacinto area, using the maps we took the obvious road to get to our destination.  The narrow two lane road along the waterways had a dropoff on either side and water on both sides of the road.  Traffic ahead of us stopped, and we had  about twelve vehicles in front of us at some barrier.  There was a lot of traffic on the waterway, and we were apparently waiting for a large ship to go through.  Well, were we ever wrong!  The back up was not for a bridge, as we had imagined, but for a ferry.  Two small ferries were zipping back and forth across a narrow passage hesitating only to let really large vessals go through.  There were absolutely no signs saying who could or could not proceed, and there was no room to turn around, so when the ferry arrived, we were directed forward to the front near the middle of the four lanes.  If our front end wasn’t hanging off the flat bed ferry, you couldn’t prove it by me.  What a kick!  It was just like driving on water.  Oh, did I mention there was no charge?

After taking Camelot for it’s first boat ride, we went to the USS Texas.  This battleship was commissioned in 1914, served in both World Wars, and was given to the state of Texas by the United States of America.  One of its 1914 guns launched a shell which was described as having the same capacity as “launching a small compact car over 12 miles.”  Quite a ship for almost a century ago.

Next stop was the San Jacinto Battleground and Monument where the destiny of Texas was said to be begun.  At this battleground Sam Houston defeated Santa Anna, and this led to the subsequent indpendence of Texas from Mexico in 1836.  It took place about six weeks after the Alamo, so the victory was an inspired one by the Texans.  Charleston Heston narrated an excellent historical slide presentation derived from paintings of the battle and its participants.  The monument itself is an obelisque topped by a “Texas star” with a reflecting pool in front of it.  If it sounds like the Washington monument, that’s what we thought, but no mention of any similarity was made anywhere.  Continued below

Uh, oh - what's
A ferry?
Yes, we're going
on a ferry
This is pretty
Quite a view
Driving is easy!
There's the ferry
coming this way
That's where we're going to dock
Lake_Houston scenes
Lake_Houston scenes
Lake_Houston scenes
Lake_Houston scenes
Lake_Houston scenes
Lake_Houston haunted house?
NASA_Control Room
Drove to the Johnson Space Center and did the NASA tour.  We visited Mission Control and saw an IMAX presentation of the space missions.  In 1973 when we visited Cape Canaveral with the kids I would have loved to have found such a hands-on presentation of the space program, but it seemed a lot like Disneyland today.  This was the last day of spring break in the Houston area, so there were plenty of kids present.

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