After spending nearly two hours at the Apple Store we headed to La Porte, south east of Houston to the Fraternity Order of Eagles lodge.. We had stayed at an Eagles Lodge in San Antonio, but this Aries was much quieter and central to the Space Center and Galveston. The members of the Aries greeted like long lost friends. They were so friendly and very helpful. If you are an Eagle and are in the area be sure and stop in and say hello. You won't be sorry.
Thursday morning we woke up to a real treat...blue skies! Usually the mornings have been overcast with high humidity with the sun coming out midday and then warming up to even warmer temperatures with even higher humidity. Thursday morning provided cool temps, blue skies, and low humidity. We headed over to the Houston Space Center which is in partnership with the NASA Johnson Space Center. The Space Center provides a tram tour of the NASA grounds. You can't drive on to the NASA area but have to be part of the Tram tour provided by the Space Center. The Space Center is a non profit education center run independently from NASA and really isn't part of the Johnson Space Center other than they have permission to run the trams.
When we arrived the docent suggested we get on the tram first thing because 97 school children were expected to be touring NASA. Yikes!!
These engines are huge.
The Space Center is a great place for families and there were lots of school kids (I might add, very well behaved children) on Thursday. I can't imagine going there on a weekend. It would be complete mayhem. I had received a tip that tickets could be ordered on line for 1/2 price, which was a good thing because I don't think I would have spent $22.00 for this Disneyland like attraction. Like I said: a great place for kids but I'm not into rides and theme parks.
After the tram tour of NASA we viewed the "Blast Off" exhibit in the Space Center (one of the more educational and productive exhibits). The first part was a short video with sound effects and clouds duplicating what a blast off might feel like (pretty cheesy but the kids seem to like it) followed by a short lecture about the space program and the upcoming launch. After the lecture, we went into the Starship Gallery which gave a chronological accounting of all of the missions and some very realistic exhibits:
Life like astronaut floating through the air.
We drove down to Galveston to see the beaches and stick our feet in the water. I was amazed at the amount of oil storage tanks and refineries. We had dinner at one of the local tourist traps and took the advice of our waiter and had shrimp..the the worst I've ever had, but "my bad" for not checking the reviews. The views were good and the drive back to La Porte traffic free and easy.