Don't mess with Texas



OK, I'll admit it. Arriving in Texas, I expected to see a lot of people walking around in cowboy boots, tippin' on their hats saying "Howdy".

And it didn't happen until we got to Fort Worth.

But let's start at the beginning.


We arrived on Monday night in Houston, tired from hours and hours of flying in economy class, as the nice business class incentive from my time as a Swiss International Air Line employee is long gone. When we finally arrived at the hotel close to George Bush Intercontinental Airport it was around 5am Central European Time. And yes, we were wide awake and very hungry only a couple of hours later. Seize the day then!

When in Houston, go to Space Center! Let's just say it is nothing compared to Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, but it was nice and spacey enough for our little guy. He liked the angry birds space place (playground) and the mission logos best.


So much in fact that he wanted to be photographed with all of them. Especially with the eagle landing guys and the folks who said "Houston, we have a problem".


We learned that the NASA astronauts are busy preparing for their Mars landing. And a day or two later, my Facebook Buddy Richard posted the following pictures, taken on Devons Island in Nunavut, Northern Canada:



 
I think this whole NASA stuff is kind of surreal, yet very fascinating.

Back to Earth we had a nice dinner at Hard Rock Cafe and were surprised about the eco friendliness we encountered in Houston downtown:






Day 2 was "Mommy's Factory Outlet Shopping Day" in San Marcos. Those who enjoyed reading "If the shoe fits" know that I have been eyeing the Dooney and Bourke cupcake bag, and this is where I was headed first. Unfortunately I was told that this was too new an item to be carried here. Instead I decided that I liked the letter bag just as well:


The guys had left me at Premium Outlets and went to Best Buy in the meantime where they purchased a new navigation system for the car. When we met after two hours we had lunch and wanted to shop for some dressy shirts for hubby - but when we stepped out of the food court we were surprised by a thunderstorm and the heaviest rain you can imagine. The one that would get you soaking wet in a matter of seconds. So we waited and watched the brave flip flop wearing people and the organized umbrella owning people making their way to the parking lot. And about 30 minutes later we resumed our Father's Day saving shopping until I noticed a change in the wet spot on Colin's jeans. I was repeatedly asking him if he needed to go to the bathroom. Noooo! Why are you wet then? From the rain! Maybe at first ;-) By the time we made it to the bathroom I made him choose to put back on the wet clothes or run to the car in his T-Shirt and shoes only. Maybe it wasn't the American thing to do, but should I have left him in the bathroom alone while I went to grab some spare clothes? The people who saw him running like the wind were smiling - and probably thinking back to times in their own past...


Next up was Austin where my guys played soccer in Zilker Park while I tested the new GPS on a quest for a bathroom. I've got to mention that it was one of the hottest and most humid days of the season and we were drinking lots and lots of Coke. And you know what happens if you miss that one left turn and drive a mile or two to start all over again? Only to end up at a place where maybe 10 years ago there was that drugstore which coordinates you had entered? You really need to pee now. My bathroom break took over half an hour. As soon as I pulled in, Colin took my hand and said he needed to show me something. It was on of those porta-potties you can find in parks, on playgrounds and the like. Yeah, well. I bought more Coke and some chips at the drugstore!


Downtown we took  pictures of the Frost Bank Tower aka the Owl Building, the Austin Capitol and the Bat Bar, this weekend's Biker Ralley HQ.




In Waco we got to know the Texas Roadhouse where every half hour the waitresses perform some line dancing in the aisle of the steakhouse.

The next day we made it to Forth Worth.

located within the Grapevine Mills Mall was on our list of things to do. And had we not been on vacation, we would not have come here on a Saturday afternoon. But here we were, waiting in line to purchase our tickets.
Colin liked the forest ranger pursuit and the 4D movie best.


This was the night I got to the brink of my sanity, by the way. After spending 4 hours at the mall / Legoland, full of screaming kids, we were finally getting into the car - Colin wanted to go back in and have dinner at Rainforest cafe.

It was also the night of the second Stanley Cup finals, and we wanted to be back at the hotel in time.
Chicago Blackhawks vs Boston Bruins

             

So we settled on a quick trip to the closest Pizza Hut - which turned out to be a takeout only, and we were a good 20 minutes away from the hotel. Did I mention it was Saturday night, a day of the week you usually get a buzzer and an ETA of at least half an hour for your table? 
We were lucky to get the last available table at Olive Garden next to our hotel, and hubby suggested urged me to order a glass of wine. Oohps!
Back at the hotel I accidentally slammed the door into Colin's head and - after running around on every floor for a vending machine that accepted either credit cards or dollar bills for my early morning Coke - found out that our room did not have a fridge! I know it sounds a lot like a first world problem - and it is. Still, my head was pounding, my feet were killing me, and all I wanted to do was going to sleep which I did. The Bruins won, in case you are interested.

So on Father's Day it was time for some cowboy cultural experience which we found at Fort Worth Stock Yards. Cobble stones, boots, country music, longhorns and all ;-) We loved it!


It was a gorgeous, yet hot (98F) and humid day at big D:


Of course we made it to the Corner of Houston and Elm to have a look at the 6th floor window of the former Texas School Book Depository. We met a guy who said he worked for the museum that is located in that building these days. He claimed to be off the clock and talked us into purchasing a magazine talking about cover up, conspiracy theory and stuff while pointing out that if he even used one of those words he would get fired right away.


Everybody who has watched the JFK movie is convinced that what has been fed to the public was not the whole truth anyway.
Colin was very concerned about that fact that anybody would want to kill this nice president and asked all kinds of questions. If Mr Kennedy was from Massachusetts, was he a Bruins fan? Is the wife still alive, is the bad guy still alive, how could the bad guy have been shot - wasn't he in jail,..?


 We celebrated Father's Day and last night in Texas at our favorite Restaurant.


Stay tuned - next up is Arkansas!