The Aluminum Asylum

The Aluminum Asylum
Our home on wheels

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Friday, December 15, 2006

Off to Houston….We were up and around by 7 am. We completed all of our breaking camp tasks and packed up the stuff we would need on the cruise. Paul drove the rig to the storage area, with me and grandpa following up with the toad. We were out of the park around 9 am. We stopped at Randies Donuts for coffee and something to hold off the hunger pains. Next stop was the vet to drop off the fur kids. We were on Hwy 59 headed to Houston by 9:30. We rolled into town about 11 but it took forever to find the hotel in Baytown.

I gotta tell ‘ya, to me Houston is kinda dreary looking. Especially so when the sun is missing. Oil storage containers as far as the eye can see…refineries and chemical plants everywhere and the sky is totally filled with electrical towers and thousands of miles of electric lines. Pretty fugly if you ask me. Along the highway, the typical big box stores and restaurants as far as one can see. All the same everywhere you go…the same franchise places that have overtaken the country. We finally got to Baytown and promptly got lost again. A GPS in definitely in our immediate future. After finally finding the damm place, we got a room (it was too early for check in time after all…) we dumped some of our gear to make room in the car for Zack and his stuff. We got back in the car, pulled out the mapquest directions for Hobby airport and took off to pick up Zack. About ten minutes later, Zack is on the phone, his plane has landed on time and he is on his way to the baggage pickup. I instruct him to get his stuff and just step outside the lower level at arrivals and we would just pick him up there. We find him right away, and we get him and his stuff loaded. After a bit of discussion, we decide that we have a free afternoon so we decide to go to Galveston and have lunch on the waterfront. We find Hwy 45 and off we go the island. Just as we hit Galveston, the fog has rolled in again. We do find the beachfront, but all that is visible is a few whitecaps coming in. By this time we are all starving and start to look for a place to eat. We find a gourmet burger place right on the waterfront that looks like it is a kewl place and tromped on in. Paul and I split a burger, grandpa had sausage and shrimp gumbo and Zack had a huge cheeseburger. The hand made onion rings are superb, but even ½ of the hamburger is way too much for me. I sure hope this lasts on the ship…I hope I don’t eat too much.

After we had eaten and sat around and kinda rested, we drove along the waterfront hoping the fog would lift a bit. Unfortunately, it just got worse so we decided to head back to the mainland and the hotel. Like any tourist area there are a lot of places for rent. Too bad we couldn’t see the water and the beautiful resorts that are here…it looks like a great place to vacation. We needed to get some last minute stuff from WalMart so we stopped at the one right on the island. While Zack and I waited in the car, we witnessed the police bust two apparent shoplifters in the parking lot. I see white guys running past the car with GUNS…oh sh*t! They may have also been doing drugs because they started tearing into the couple’s van. Such excitement! We took route 146 back traveling along the gulf coast which was a lot better than the highway back towards Houston. Traffic heading out of town was horrible, but we had no real problems getting back to the hotel. Back at the hotel, we got the other room and settled in. Zack immediately feel asleep…he had been up since 5 getting to St. Louis for his flight. I read the paper, Paulie did a dry run to the cruise dock and did some pre-trip stuff with the car and the suitcases. It is amazing what we have to get into this little car…my scooter, all of our suitcases and carry on stuff plus the camera and video stuff. Hmmm…hope it all fits! Paul came back bearing pizza and beer so we had some and then we all decided to get to bed. We don’t have to board the ship until 1 so we have the whole morning to kill. I think the guys will go have breakfast here at the hotel as it is FREE but I don’t need to eat all that junk stuff. I will sleep in I hope.


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