Before the girls friends got here from WV, I made plans to visit the NASA Space Center in Houston. We have wanted to do that since we first moved here. It was a very fun day. We packed a lunch and headed out. For me the traffic wasn't so fun. I am not a city driver, and as we got nearer to Houston, we started having two lanes with no shoulders surrounded by cement barriers on either side. We took a tram tour of Johnson Space Center and saw a mock-up Mission Control room that was used for the Apollo era rockets. There were exhibits of all kinds. The kids had a few hands-0n opportunities such as operating a MMU - which is basically like operating a jet pack that moves you around outside of the spacecraft in a weightless environment, and practice at landing a space shuttle. (BTW - I was the worst at this!) We watched a lot of shows about different aspects of being an astronaut, what life is like in space, and learned about all the technology we've gained by missions to space - such as cell phones.
We met a real life hero - a man who served in and was awarded a Purple Heart for being shot down in WWII. His name was Frank. He also served in Korea and Vietnam. The kids stood and talked to him for a long time as he was sitting inside a mock-up of the space shuttle. He was very friendly - he liked the kids a lot. He kept calling the girls "beautiful". I asked him if we could take a picture of everybody with him, and he was happy to comply. He had more decorations on his hat than I think I've ever seen.
After visiting NASA and learning more about space than you could ever want to know - we ate Chinese and I got to have my fill of sushi! (yum yum) I had promised Jessie a trip to Sonic which I will make good later this week! She was gracious and allowed me to take a rain check!
I had decided the day before to take the kids to Galveston Island - which is only 30 minutes south of where we were in Houston - and make the NASA trip and the beach all in one day. The only trouble is that it was a very overcast, extremely windy day. That did not stop the six of them from jumping right into the ocean. I sat to watch them on the sand, and was freezing! (I was also covered with a fine grit of sand and salt!) The ocean was beautiful though - the powerful wind and waves causing me to worship the Creator.
There was so much salt and moisture in the air that few of my pictures out there appear to be very focused. I took them with the panoramic format in order to get the ocean splashing up on the rocks behind them.
Another fun thing that happened was in part due to my navigation of our route home. We left the beach around 8 pm - and found that you can take a ferry across so that you can make just a short 2 hour trip to our house. I knew that we didn't live far from the coast - but I didn't realize it was just that short of a trip. I was also surprised to find that the ferry is free - provided by the TX highway department. The kids were thrilled to get to ride the ferry. Jessie had never been on one before.
It was a very long day. We packed so much into that 24 hour period. We didn't get home until around 11:30 - held up half an hour by the near-miss accident. But it was a super day none of us will ever forget.
BTW - Kullen was there - and wondered why I never took any pictures of him - I explained that it was like trying to hit a moving target. Here is one of him in the ocean. Trying to get him to be still is like trying to nail jell-o to a tree!