Monday, 31 August 2015

On Granny's Orders

Like most teenagers, The Nephew is reluctant 
to appear in family photos.
I nag.
I cajole.
I tell him that Granny wants photos of him.
Of him with his cousin.
Of him with his mum.
And that usually works.

I have to try a different tactic with his dad ...
BiL's not scared of Granny!

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Warrior Wedding | Part Two

I knew that a cousin or two would have snapped
some photos of me, The Brainy One and The Boy Child
when we attended the Warrior Wedding.
I just had to be patient.

They were worth the wait.

Friday, 28 August 2015

The Alamo

We Brits have heard of the Alamo and of Davy Crockett.
But that's about the limit of our knowledge. 
 The Alamo is held in the highest regard by all Texans
 (and, I'm assuming, most Americans).
 I may have sneaked a photo (on museum setting) ...
 Here's a potted history: the Alamo played a
critical role in the Texas Revolution in 1836.
The Mexican army had the Alamo under siege for 13 days
and their final assault ended with the massacre of almost 200 defenders, 
including James Bowie (of the knife fame), Davy Crockett (he of the furry hat)
and William Travis (the Garrison commander and only 26 years old).    
The Alamo is remembered as an heroic struggle against overwhelming odds
- a place where men made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.
For this reason, the Alamo remains hallowed ground
and the Shrine of Texas Liberty.  
So there you have it.
The Boy Child may have been persuaded 
to channel his inner Davy Crockett.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Road Trip

San Antonio, I love you!
We drove West for three hours,
along a road that reminded of the A96
in North East Scotland.
 We found a small city, a friendly city,
an oh-my-goodness-it's-hot city. 
 With plenty of beautiful architecture.
 And history.
 All easily accessible on foot.
And did I mention postcards?

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Veterans' Museum

I'm like a moth to a flame.
Having taken The Brainy One and The Boy Child
to the CAF, I followed it up
with a visit to the local
Veterans' Museum.
 All wars in which America has fought are covered in the Museum.
The majority of the exhibits cover WWII, Vietnam,
 Iraq and Afghanistan. 
 The Museum is run by volunteers and all have served
in a war zone overseas.
 We like to indulge in a spot of gentle teasing.
You know, things like, "Um, actually, WWII began in September 1939,
not on 7 December 1941."
Our guide was a Vietnam USAAF veteran called Jim,
and he was keen to press home that freedom isn't free.
There's always a price to be paid. 
Museums like these are absolute gems. 
I'd recommend a visit if you come across one
in any travels in America.
And for my American friends, see if your town
has such a Museum, and then stop by.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Katy Old Town

Old in America is probably not that old
 to the British and Europeans. 
The Americans beg to differ.
Around five miles away from Sib's house
is the Katy Heritage Museum.
 A collection of original houses and stores
 have been gathered together in one place.
 We chose the wrong weekend to visit.
They're open to the public every first weekend.
 The railway used to be big in Katy. 
 The track is still there, but there are no longer
any passenger trains.
 It's easy to see how Katy got its name.
 Old Katy feels more like how many of us 
would imagine America to be.
I could see myself living there.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Drivers' Ed.

Our nephew, The Teenager, has been attending
Drivers' Ed. during our stay.
 He passed his theory test with almost full marks.
 He applied for his Learner's Permit.
 And started lessons with his Dad.
Wasn't he just a baby?

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Commemorative Air Force

An interest in military aviation runs deep in my family's DNA.
I married a man with a similar interest.
The Boy Child doesn't stand a chance. 
The CAF is one of the world's largest private air forces with more than
 160 airplanes in 80+ units across America that still fly today.
Rather than being tucked away in some museum or stripped down for scrap metal, 
 the CAF's Ghost Squadron fleet is a flying museum, 
 bringing history to life for Americans of all ages through nationwide tours,
  exhilarating airshows, veteran honor flights, special events, and much more. 
 The CAF in Houston is open to the public every first and third 
 Saturday of the month.  Entrance is free.
We got chatting to some of the volunteers ...
"How y'all like this Texas heat?" ...
and when I mentioned that I'd served in the RAF,
 a young lad of about 16 years old shook my hand
 and thanked me for my service.
I was terribly British about it and said something like,
"oh, it's alright", but secretly I was as pleased as punch
because that would never happen in the UK.  

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Johnson Space Centre | Revisited

We visited NASA at Johnson Space Centre 
twice during our last stay in Texas.
This week, the whole family went.
 We took the tram tour to Mission Control.
 With its sense of history  
and triumph over adversity
 We admired the awesome rocket.
And took advantage of another photographer in the family.
 I've no desire to go into space myself,
 but I have unlimited admiration
for those who possess the necessary courage
and aptitude to achieve their dream of going
 beyond our planet. 

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