Houston to San Antonio - Real Cowboy Country

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Tuesday, February 28, 2012

8th to 16th Feb (Slowly catching up)

 We made our way towards Houston.   We needed fuel, took a wrong turn and ended going about 20 miles out of our way, but finally found petrol station.  Good trip overall, then found a Walmart to park in overnight. Later when we looked out there were 5 trucks and another RV
also parked there.  All walmarts are opened 24hrs, with round the clock security, so it went through my mind that if I woke at 3am, as I usually do, I could always go into the shops.  Staying here probably ends up to be the most expensive RV park, as we did some food
shopping & I walked out of Walmart $124 poorer, but nice to have cupboards & fridge full.

Next day we drove into Houston, and wow, the roads here are unreal.  They have roads on top of
freeways on top of more freeways.  We had to go through a toll  booth, and they have not been made for RV's.  I kid you not, I think we had about 1 inch either side to spare!  One of the freeways we went on  had 7 lanes each direction, amazing. The whole road system thing again looked like a bowl of spaghetti turned upside down and all intermingled ... and we felt like a big blob of slow moving Ketchup (yep we have been Americanized) trying to slither our way through this maze of roads towing a car ... Wow .. what fun! Although Mike goes a little quiet when he sees this type of navigational chaos approaching, I think secretly he relishes the challenge. I think he asked the toll booth man collecting the money, was this booth built for slimline anorexic cowboys on horses!!! ... The little Mexican smiled and had no idea what he said! .. happens a lot.

 We went out to a fantastic restaurant called "Taste of Texas" with Tony Sgarbi and Sophia his neice, they are Enrico's uncle and sister.  Had a wonderful evening, Tony was a laugh a minute, and Sophia was so nice. We went out to the back to pick out the steak we wanted.  Our expectations of a "Texas Steak" was very high, and we were not disappointed. We now know where Enrico learnt his craft of cooking an amazing steak .. (For those who do not know Enrico, he is the man behind EnviroTemp in Australia)  Anyway, I could only eat half of mine so took the
rest home.  The waiter came up and tied a red bandanna round our neck,  to make these Aussie visitors into Texas 'red necks'.  No-one else had them on!! We felt very special but think we were being set up by Tony! ... Mike had to do a live cross with a radio station in Brisbane while here and so went outside to do it and left his red scarf on ... the amount of looks he got were priceless!

The next day we went out to a BBQ steak house with them for lunch, and enjoyed another fantastic meal.  Hmmmm diet not looking too good this week!

 On Sunday we went the Houston West Meeting,  Mike spoke, and we really enjoyed the
friendliness of  everyone there.  We were invited back to Margaret Shaw's place for lunch and spent a lovely afternoon with her (Ian, her husband was away for work) and Deborah &
Mark.  Ian & Margaret are from Australia, and have been living in Houston for 9 years, as Ian has his work there.

 On Monday we packed up early, navigated our way out of Houston without too much hassle, and made our way to San Antonio with our trusty GPS giving directions.  She went very well, until she said "you have arrived at your destination" as we came to a busy intersection.  And of
course we turned the wrong way,  and then had to find a way to do a Uturn before we got onto another freeway back to Houston!!  Legend has it that some RV'ers are still trapped on dreaded freeways and just can't get off ... some started their trip in 1969! Anyway we finally found the RV park.

 We went on an all day tour of San Antonio, including a river cruise through the city, and the Japanese sunken gardens.  We also went to the Buckhorn Museum which is built round an old Saloon.  It features over 520 species of wildlife from all over the world; including fish, birds,
and animals.   There is also a collection of 32,000 rattlers off rattle snakes that have been made into art pictures.

In the Texas Ranger Museum is ‘Ranger Town’,  a recreation of San Antonio at the turn of
the century.   This western town has a saloon, jail, blacksmith shop and telegraph office. The Bonnie and Clyde exhibit  has a ‘34 Ford V8 Deluxe.  You may see B & D in many of these
pictures.

We then went to the Alamo, where the Battle of the Alamo (February 23 – March 6, 1836) took place.  It was a pivotal event in the Texas Revolution. Following a 13-day siege, Mexican troops under President General Antonio López de Santa Anna launched an assault on the Alamo Mission near San Antonio de Béxar (modern-day San Antonio, Texas)  All but two of the
Texan defenders were killed. Santa Anna's perceived cruelty during the battle inspired many Texians—both Texas settlers and adventurers from the United States—to join the Texian Army. Buoyed by a desire for revenge, the Texians defeated the Mexican Army at the Battle of San Jacinto, on April 21, 1836, ending the revolution.  (Just a little history lesson for you all)  One of the men in this battle was Davey Crockett.  I can remember singing a song when I was very young 'Davy, Davy Crockett, king of the wild 'front ear'! (frontier)   I always thought  he must have had an ear on his forehead!  Duh!

For valentines day, Michael decided he wanted to cook a meal.   He chose Alaskan King crab legs and lobster (much cheaper than home!!). He baked them in the weber Q, basting the lobster with  melted butter.  Move over master chef!!  With a candle on the table, we enjoyed our
seafood meal & salad.  It tasted awesome, but it was a lot of cracking shells and legs (not mine!) to get a little bit of meat.  But I didn't have to cook, so that part was good.  Maybe it
will be steak tomorrow night!!

The next day we went to a stock show and rodeo. The Texan ranch men were strutting round in there huge texan hats & boots!!  There were pavilions with cows, sheep, horses, etc, all being judged.  We watched the sheep, as they were led into the arena by young people, who
struggled to hold the sheep a certain way to be judged.  One by one they were singled out, till there was a winner.  Very interesting, but we had no idea what they were doing or looking for.

We walked round the other pavilions, then went to the  international room for overseas visitors, and were welcomed like long lost friends.  We were the only "Down Under" visitors they had had, for the show so far. We put our pin on the map, one little lonely pin on Australia.  We were given some drinks and sat in there and relaxed, and chatted to some of the volunteers. 

At night we went to the rodeo which was fantastic.  The MC commenced by saying to everyone, approx 10,000 people, how nice it is to have the freedom to say a prayer to our Father in Heaven, and asked everyone to stand, and he proceeded to pray, while everyone bowed their head.   Quite amazing, we wondered if any event like that in Australia  would ever start with
prayer. (maybe the one that you went to in Darwin, Shane & Kat!!)  I think not!! Then they had the national anthem, and then it started.  Horse rodeo, bull riding,  calf catching, calf lassoing &  little kids between the ages of 4-6 holding tight to the back of a sheep for as long as they could, while it came running out into the arena.  It was a very entertaining evening.

Anyway thats all for now, Bye for now, thanks for reading the blog, and for your comments,   keep safe and well,  God bless....Miss you all. 

 Next blog- Abilene Texas......stay tuned!!
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