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1 - 15 December 2011 15 - 31 Decmeber 2011

Thursday December 1, 2011

Texas, here we come!

In Louisiana the French culture still endure today with many names still in French, unlike some places in Canada.

As we passed by Bâton Rouge and Lafayette, you can see the Acadian roots are still strong.

It always surprises me to see what travels on the roads, like this chopper!

Welcome to Texas, the Lone Star State.

Since the discovery of oil in the area in 1901,  Texas is an "oil patch" country just like Alberta.  Texas refines a quarter of all the oil used in the United States.  As you can see, many industries related to oil.

With a little more than 500km behind us today, here we are at our home on the east side of Houston.

We will be here for a week.  Time to slow down a bit, after all the visiting we have done in the past month.

Friday December 2, 2011

Guess what, we are on our way to a free cruise in the Houston Port.

But Homeland Security decided we could not take photos because of the possible terrorist threats.  Only this one to get to the boat.

Like I mentioned, it is free and you get to see an industrial side of the port of Houston and how big the petroleum industry is.

Saturday December 3, 2011

We have not slowed down our visiting so far!

A cold front should be here soon, so we use our time before that front to do some visiting.  It is now + 16 C or + 60 F for our American friends.

We are visiting the Battleship Texas today.  First we have to take this small ferry, a total of 12 cars can get on it.  The cruise lasted only 5 minutes.


The Houston Shipping canal is a very busy place as you can see.

Ah ! The good life...

Here is the 
Battleship Texas.  It is now a floating museum.

Us from the Air Force to the Navy?
The hat does not look good on us.

In the engine room.

One of the many passageway in the lower decks.  You can see one of the seaman's locker.

One of the many sleeping quarters.

Some had no choice, but to sleep where they worked.

One of the washrooms.  Nice seats.  One was painted in red to accommodate the seaman with a sexually transmittable diseases.

All things being equal, here is the officer quarters.

The visit of the lower decks was pretty interesting.
We continue with the upper decks.

Two of the 5 inches, 51 caliber cannons.  You can see the projectiles in the center of the photo.

Opposite view of the forward deck.  The cannons you see here are caliber 45 with projectile of 14 inches.  Very big bullets.

We will be going half way up the superstructure.

Anti-aircraft guns.

This is where the captain "drove" the ship.

Michèle and Denis in a "attack" mode.

Next was the monument of the San Jancinto battle.

For us Canadians this does not mean a lot, but for the Americans, this is where Texas fought and won their independence from Mexico.  Later on, they joined the Unites States.

We wanted to visit the site, but after 3 steps and 5 or 6 mosquitoes sucking blood from my legs, we went back in the car and went back home.

We really liked the Battleship Texas.  Some hints, wear very good walking shoes and bring a small flashlight with you for the visit as there is lots of dark corners to look into in the lower decks.

Sunday and Monday December 4 and 5, 2011

A very relaxing Sunday started with a nice brunch.

And Monday, a look at one of the small shopping center.

Tuesday December 6, 2011

Here is our site at Houston Leisure RV Resort.  Fairly decent sites with concrete pad.

A gentleman offered to wash and wax the motorhome for $160.00 cash.  In Florida it costs $800.00.
I said OK.  Now notice the security level of this guy.  Ladder on the pick nick table, pick nick table not level, but I have to say he did put some screws in the table to keep the ladder from slipping.  Today he washes and tomorrow he waxes.  A will let you know the results.

I almost forgot, today is a special day!

It is Michèle's birthday!

A very nice meal at the Golden Corral.

And of course, what has become somewhat of a tradition between Michèle and our youngest son Benoit, a Tequila shooter for her birthday.  Of course I have to do it with her.
Salt, Tequila and lemon.

A little craziness does not hurt anybody!

Happy birthday Michèle.  XOXOXO

Wednesday December 7, 2011

Last day in Houston, so we are visiting a few more sites.  First the tunnels of Houston then the "Falls" and we finish with the Saint Arnold brewery.

One of many interchange in the city.

The tunnels are not a shopping center, but really a way of going from one office tower to the other.  Everything is super clean, even the city center is clean.

One of the reasons we wanted to come to the tunnel, was to get to one of the office tower and go to the top and see the city from above.  For security reasons only one tower allowed this and we could only get to the 60th floor, but it was still a very nice view of the west side of Houston.

Next stop are the "Falls" of Houston.

I will let you read the plaque, it says it all.

As weird as it sounds, it is very nice and when you are close and listen to the water falling over the concrete is really does sound like a fall.  Very soothing.

Our next visit give gave us some troubles.  The Saint Arnold brewery. The direction we got were from a "review" web site and not from the official brewery web site were wrong.  We ended up at the first address with 15 minutes to spare only to find out the brewery had moved.  The business owner gave us the new address and we made it to the brewery with 0 minutes to spare.  We did not miss the guided tour.

So who was Saint Arnold?  He was a bishop back in the 600.  We are told he is the Saint Patron of brewers.

The fonder of the brewery, Brock Wagner, was giving the tour!

A very nice tour and for only $7 you get the tour, a glass and 4 beer of your choice.

We really enjoyed our day.

I almost forgot, the wax job.  Well he did a good job for $160.00.  It is a good starting point for me to continue waxing it often.

The weather is suppose to get warmer in the next few days.

Tomorrow, Magnolia Beach.

Thursday December 8, 2011

Migouel and Diane told us about a place south of Houston called Magnolia Beach where you can camp right on the beach for free.
So we decided to stop there for 4 days before Corpus Christi.

On our way to Magnolia Beach!

Lots of time the highway have the number painted on the lanes you need to take at big interchanges, really helpful.

Usually crossing a city like Houston is pretty boring, but sometimes you get a few surprises...

As we got close to Magnolia Beach we chose to let the motorhome at the Walmart and go by car to check out the beach before we drive on it.

The closer we get to the beach area, the higher the houses are from the ground.

What a surprise to see this horse right by the road.  He is tied to the telephone pole by a rope and he cannot make it to the road.

After we have checked the beach, we decide to go at the beach for the next 4 nights.

Only a few campers on the beach.  Nice and quiet watching the ships go by.

Very nice place for camping on the beach.

Later on in the afternoon a 5th wheel came and parked close to us.
Once set up, they start this huge screaming generator and they let it run all night!!!

Friday December 9, 2011

A little noisy last night but...
A nice +18C and ship that goes by, wow!

The beach is not only sand, but with lots of shells.  It is still a nice place.

+15C today.  Brrrr!

Our neighbour.

I took a short bike ride this morning and took some photos of the motorhome and the area.
The trailer on the left also has a big generator going 24/7, but he is far away from us so it is not too bad.  Our neighborg generators cover the other one.

In early afternoon, me and Michèle took a bike ride towards Indianola.

Now I have seen houses with grass and trees in the rain gutters, but never a cactus.  I have to make sure it is sharp, and it is!

The beaches are not in the Gulf of Mexico, but a bay by the gulf.
A few places along the way you have those shelters with a table under it.

A nice little bike ride of 15 km, both, Magnolia Beach and Indianola Beach are summers cottages villages.  Pretty empty at this time of year.

Many cottages are painted bright colors like these two.

Back at the motorhome, the generator is not running, wow!

Relaxing and watching the ships go by, reading a good book and a glass of wine.  As you can see, this is not shorts and t-shirt weather yet.

Our neighbour changed the way he parked his 5tn wheel, make senses.  He starts to install spotlights, all 7 of them!
I wonder over and have a conversation with the man.  I asked him if the lights are for fishing at night?  He says no!  I just like to light up the place on top of that they are inside watching TV and only come out a few times to check their lines.  Unbelievable.

Lucky for us, the wind is blowing away some of the noise away from us.

Saturday December 10, 2011

Our bike ride takes us to the small village of Magnolia Beach.  Pretty deserted this time a year.
I really like this cross...

Once back we notice the generators are still going strong on top of that, the parents just arrived and they also have on big generator going. S&%#! That's enough, we are moving!

But before the move I have to have another look a one of the ships going by.
Notice my hat and gloves?  It is cold for Texas at +13C.  Specially when some friends are telling us it is +30 around Tampa!

We are not moving very far, only a few hundred meters.  You can see the other motorhome with the generator in front of us.

Our new real estate, but what is this noise?
The sound of waves breaking on the beach!

So much quieter here and only 300 meters away from our first place.

OK!  It was not as bad as I wrote it, but still, very annoying.  After two days it gets on your nerves.  Then, you notice 6, 5 gallons containers waiting to get in the generator you say to yourself, they will be here for a while!  The move only took us 10 to 15 minutes.  Rain came in the afternoon and did not stop all night long.

Sunday December 11, 2011

Last day at Magnolia Beach.  Look like rain again and only +11C
Why not a car ride to Port O'Connor to have a look/see.
We are only 2 meters above the water of the Gulf of Mexico.  Very flat land here.

A turkey vulture or buzzard.  They are big and ugly!

Port O'Conner is on the same bay as Magnolia Beach, but closer to the Gulf

Another summer village, very few people in town right now.  Lots of houses have "widow's walk" on the top of the house.  This goes back to when waves would go up on the widow's walk to see if her husband was coming back from the sea.  Even motel are built on pillars.

One of the upscale area, cars on one side of the house and boats on the other...  Across the street, just an ordinary house!

A barge carrying gravel!

We were lucky to see this deer, he is not very big.

Back at the motorhome, we take it easy when our friends we meet in New Orleans came by.  What a surprise to see Migouel, Diane, Serge and Nicole.  Migouel and Diane are the one who told us about this place.

Tomorrow we are leaving for Corpus Christi, actually close to Corpus Christi, on Mustang island.  We have reservation a Pioneer Beach Resort for a month.

Monday December 12, 2011

Under a steel gray sky, we leave the beach for Corpus Christi.

WOW!  We can close to those birds.

Pretty flat land around here,  we hit some rain for almost an hour.

We could have taken the ferry to get to Mustang Island, but we read somewhere that the water was low and motorhomes were having a hard time getting on and off the ferry.  We detoured by Corpus Christi, an extra 45 minutes drive.  We even got to see the USS Lexington aircraft carrier.  It is a museum now and we will come back for a visit.

We will be on the Gulf of Mexico.

Pretty nasty looking clouds.

Finally at our new home for a month.

After pulling the car behind the motorhome, it is usually dirty, but with the rain, it is very dirty.

After the car wash, we had to check out the beach.  A cute brown pelican.

An aircraft with its nose in the sand as advertisement for a restaurant?

Very nice roads and hardly any traffic.  Happy to be here for a month.

Wednesday December 13, 2011

The weather is finally warm enough so we can clean our window tracks.  With all the moisture we had because of the cold weather in Canada and here, mildew was starting to grow, not very pretty and not good for breathing.  The mildew did not come from a leak, but just from the cold weather, showers and cooking inside the motorhome.  We have to do this about once a year.

That evening they had a country western band at the club house and we went to check it out. Pretty good!

Thursday December 14, 2011

Surprise surprise, our friends from North Carolinas are here a lot earlier the expected, like 8 am.

While they set up, Michèle went for a bike ride on the beach.  The beach is about 2 minutes away with the bike.

There was quite  few blue jellyfish on the beach.  We were told it was from the red tide that took place a few weeks before.

Here I am dry washing the motorhome.  I will explain how I do this in a few days.

Our friends Pete and June are all set up and we just chatted up a storm.  We still found time for a bike ride to the beach with June.

A really nice sandy beach.  Even better you can bike on the beach, even drive your car on the beach.
The water is on the cold side.

The weather is warming up, but a cold front is coming our way and the temperature will drop again.  Forecast, rain and cool.

Thursday December 15, 2011

When you travel and you talk to friend, maps come out and roads a shown.

Pete decided to make a big fish fry for dinner.  So off we go, myself, Michèle and June, to get some fish to fry.
The only place we can get fish here in Port Aransas is very expensive.  So we take the ferry and got to Aransas Pass the get fish.
I still cannot believe how fast the ferry works here.  A total of 7 ferries can be used at the same time.  You never have to wait more the 5 minutes.

A brown pelican.

In Aransas Pass we stopped at this small fish market.  Lots of fish and half the price.  We bought a flounder, it is some kind of flat fish, and another that I do not remember the name with some shrimps.

On our way back, we HAD to stop and take this photo of the shark.  Almost every souvenir stores have some kind of water theme as the front door.

Chef Pete at work.

Good food, good beverages and we forgot to take a photo.
Thanks for the great food!

Until next time.

Life is good...