I just realized I took virtually no pictures on our trip to Houston. Alas. I'll share the highlights, since I know all two of you have been on the edge of your seats since my post last night (and one of you was my sister).
The first night, we went to dinner at the Aquarium. The food really was good and the whole place was filled with huge fish tanks full of sharks, eels, stingrays and just plain old fish (okay, maybe they weren't old). We got a list of nearby restaurants from the hotel and this one looked interesting - it turned out to be a great choice.
Here's Crawford, holding my cousin's baby (do you think he wants to be an uncle or what?? )
After dinner, we wandered around outside the aquarium. There was a big set of in-ground fountains with lights and my dad, Crawford, and Bart played a little game where they tried to walk across without getting wet (this was fairly difficult as the water spurts up to different heights at any given moment).
It was absolutely gorgeous out there, the weather was perfect, and the skyscrapers stretched up all around us. It was a moment where life just felt perfect.
The next day we spent about seven hours at NASA. I was really excited about this because I've been a huge fan of the space program (especially the 1960-70 programs) ever since my dad got me hooked on Tom Hanks' "From the Earth to the Moon" series. If you haven't seen it, you should run out right now and get it. I checked it out from my library tonight so I can watch it again. I watched the whole series about five times in high school when I'd come home late at night from work and eat dinner in front of the TV.
We got to see the Mission Control Command room, the life-size mock-ups of the International Space Station, some real Gemini and Mercury space capsules (John Glenn wasn't kidding when he said "you don't so much get in a Mercury space capsule as put it on."). My nerdiness is totally showing, isn't it?
This is a Saturn V rocket (used on the Apollo launches). The thing is huge. The picture is horrible. What a shock.
This was my third trip to Houston, but we've never gone downtown before and I was amazed by how lovely the city is. It was very clean with beautiful buildings and interesting art work. We walked to dinner one night and it was as pleasant as you could hope.
On Saturday night, we went to dinner at a steakhouse on Main Street, which had delightful food, live music, and some unbelievably obnoxious old drunk UCLA fans. Ah well, life cannot be perfect. Also, the manger/owner/man-in-a-suit-walking-around-asking-how-everything-was looked tons like Mitt Romney. I mentioned it to my dad and he said he'd just been thinking the same thing. My mom chimed in to say she has noticed it too. It's good to be among people who are so clearly related to you.
Have you seen those new mini-desserts that lots of restaurants are doing now? We went to P.F. Changs a few weeks ago and they have about 8 choices, each for $2. The steakhouse had the same thing and I got a tiny little creme brulee with chocolate and raspberry swirls through it. It was the perfect size. I think it's pretty brilliant because I can manage the thought of a tiny dessert and an extra $2, whereas I'm much less likely to spring for a $7 or $8 dessert that I probably will only enjoy half of.
Anyway, it was just a perfect weekend (except far too short, of course, and I lost my voice almost entirely). My parents should come out every weekend. And they should always bring Crawford.