Wednesday, 31 December 2014

So Long, 2014

We are about to leave for a New Year's Eve party and in true Expat style, we will be celebrating two midnights.
At six o'clock local, it will be midnight in UK and then six hours later, the Texan midnight.
I'm not sure if I will still be awake.
It will be The Boy Child's first NYE party.
He is very excited.  
And before 2014 disappears, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for reading, commenting and offering your support throughout this year.
You'll never know just how much it has meant to me.
Happy New Year!
See you on the other side.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Galveston

Many years ago, more than I care to remember, my mum had 7" (45 rpm) vinyl record of Galveston by Glen Campbell.  I loved it and played it on an almost continual loop (remember when you could leave the arm up on a record player and the record would play on repeat?).
I probably drove my parents mad.
  Never in my wildest imagination did I ever expect to visit Galveston, Texas.
 Galveston, oh Galveston, I still hear your sea winds blowin',
I still see her dark eyes glowin'.
She was 21 when I left Galveston.
Galveston, oh Galveston, I still hear your sea waves crashing'
While I watch the cannons flashing.
I clean my gun and dream of Galveston.
I still see her standing by the water,
Standing there lookin' out to sea.
And is she waiting there for me?
On the beach where we used to run.
Galveston, oh Galveston, I am so afraid of dying
Before I dry the tears she's crying.
Before I watch your sea birds flying in the sun
At Galveston, at Galveston.
Galveston, I'll be back in the summertime and will be bringing my bathers.

Monday, 29 December 2014

Blue Bell Ice Cream

What to do on a December day in Texas.
Visit an ice cream factory, of course.
No photography allowed in the factory.
I complied.
I was too wary of being shot!






The verdict of us all?
Delicious.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

The Same But Different

My sister and I took The Boy Child to the cinema.
A classic example of how things initially look and feel the same, but are in fact, completely different to the usual experience.
"Wow, it's like a palace!" said The Boy Child.
He wasn't wrong.
 Fancy an ice cream?
Take your pick.
I have never seen a cinema offering so much choice of food nor how much food people were buying.
The cost was extremely good value: $10 for an adult in what would be considered a VIP seat in the UK.
The only bad thing?  The Starbucks concession.
They might be selling the coffee, but the kids making it are not baristas by any stretch of the imagination.
Probably a good job that we picked up coffee on the way out and not on the way in. 

Houston Zoo | Photo Heavy

 Giraffe feeding.

 Surprise twinkle lights.






Houston Zoo is well worth a visit and very competitively priced (certainly far cheaper than London Zoo).  They have a successful breeding program and at the time of our visit, there were loads of babies on view.  My favourite?  Annabelle, the baby Mandrill who was born on 29 November.       

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Christmas Day | Photo Heavy

Stockings in bed.
 Realising they are all for him.

 Always give him a book as a gift.
 Family tradition: bacon sandwich and Champagne.
 Festive table.

 The required group shot.
 We three.  Rare.
 Sisters.
I hope your Christmas was filled with love. 

Friday, 26 December 2014

TV Star

I left them alone for about 10 minutes on Christmas Eve 
and when I got back to them, 
they were being interviewed by a local Houston TV channel.
The Brainy One was edited out,
 but you can see and hear 
The Boy Child at around the 1 minute mark:
 http://www.khou.com/story/news/local/2014/12/24/houstonians-racing-to-finish-last-minute-christmas-shopping/20883797/

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Things He Says | Christmas Edition

"I'm an elf!
 I'm an elf!
I'm so overwhelmed!" 

On realising that Santa had left him a letter asking him to be an official NORAD Santa Tracker.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Look Who Else Is Here

The Big Man certainly keeps himself busy in the run up to Christmas.
No wonder he takes eleven months of the year off.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Houston, We {Don't} Have a Problem

Think of Houston, Texas and along with steak, oil and cowboy boots, I think of NASA's Mission Control.  The Boy Child still has an interest in space and astronauts and The Brainy One is always attracted to anything remotely technical, so we knew that a visit to the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Centre was a must.
 The space shuttle and 747 are the centre's latest acquisitions
 and the first thing you see as you enter the car park.
 1,600 acres of land means making use of the free tram service.
 The original Mission Control is now a US National Monument
 and preserved exactly as it was in NASA's heyday.
 Think Apollo 13 and Gene Kranz declaring that "failure is not an option".
 Some buildings give an obvious clue as to what is inside.
 But first sight of a Saturn 5 rocket still packs the wow factor.
 The Boy Child wants to go to Mars. 
 Perhaps he could be persuaded that the moon is much nearer.
I feel a second visit may be on the cards before we leave Texas.
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