14 June 2009

I'll show you mine if you show me yours

The system upgrade I've been griping about has been pushed back 5 weeks to give us more time to work off some of the programming problems. A few weeks back, I brokered a deal to take off a few days to go out to Seattle to visit with our son. Given the tight schedule, it was a gamble to be able to squeeze in a road trip (was going to have to work some weekends and late nights to keep up) but, the new schedule gives us time to relax and enjoy the trip. We had a very short (1 say) stay in Seattle last year when we went to visit with family out on the coast and did not have time to see much of the area. A brief visit to Pike's Market, some general sightseeing, but not much else. This year, I would like to see some more of the area/sights that make Seattle "unique". The Space Needle, Pike's Market, the Original Starbucks, the Boeing factory tour, a couple of winery tours, a brewery tour, Seattle Underground, Vashon Island, Mount Rainier, Mount St Helens, the Freemont Troll. All are on on my "tentative" agenda. I have challenged my son to find us some unique and interesting sites/activities to do while we are in town. With his new job, we are not trying to badger him, but we would like to see him for a brief time while he is out on the west coast and figured 3-4 days would be just enough to not get too annoying.

Whenever I travel to a place or city I have not been to, I always try to find interesting things to see/do. Never know when we will be back this way again, so we try to see things that we would not normally see in south Texas (like mountains). I find it interesting to challenge people to tell me things about the place they live in. What is unique/interesting? Got any "must-sees"? You know, when the relatives from the sticks are in town for 3 days and they want to see the sights? EVerybody should be proud of where they live and have some interest in the local attractions. Can you list the top 5 things I must see if I was visiting your neck of the woods?

Being a native of south Texas, I can list many things about the area/state that I would recommend to anyone who has the time. Of course, with the high heat & humidity during the summer, weather can be a factor down here, so I would not necessarily recommend a lot of outdoor venues for some of my northern friends during July (kinda like I'd stay away from Minnesota during January). Since we are a big state, I will not limit myself to just the Houston region, but something within a day's drive.

Some of my picks:
  1. Johnson Space Center (Space, The Final Frontier) - while not as exciting as Cape Canaveral in Florida, the space center down here is the headquarters where they run all manned space flights. There is a pretty kick-a%% visitor center and you get to tour the rocket park and mission control (limited when there is a bird in orbit).

  2. Minute Maid Park (Play Ball!) - really nice baseball park with retractable roof. Good to see especially on a cool night and they open the roof up.

  3. Cyntia Mitchell Woodlands Pavillion (Music)- open air concert venue. Excellent for groups/singers (like Joan Jett)

  4. The Galleria (Shoptastic)- mega shopping mall with lots of high end stores/shops. I remember it from back in the '70s as one of the few places in south Texas with an indoor Ice Skating rink.

  5. The Beer Can House or the Orange Show (Art?) - some of our more eclectic sights. Ever been to a house that was cover entirely in aluminum beer cans? If your timing is right, you can even see an Art Car Parade. Lots of interesting cars/artforms (most are driveable).

  6. Hermann Park (Free) - the Houston Zoo, the train, the Butterfly Museum. Lots of free/cheap things to do.

  7. Big heads (more art) - Ever wanted to see a 70 foot tall statue of Sam Houston or Stephen F Austin? Or 35 foot tall statues of the Beatles? Or how about a picture standing next to a 23 foot tall bust of a President of your choice? There is a new Presidental Park being set up south of downtown that will feature the busts of all of the presidents.

  8. Galveston (the Island) - the Seawall, the Strand, Moody Gardens, the Elissa, the 1903 Hurricane Museum, Seawolf Park. Not as pristine as the Florida beaches, but we have sand & surf about an hour south of here. Galveston has some great history and cool places to see/go to. Hurricane Ike did them no favors last fall, but they are resilient and they are rebuilding a lot of the places.

  9. New Braunfels (the Hill Country) - tube on the Guadalupe River, the Schlitterbahn - whenever the temps start to climb, I always thing of the river in New Braunfels. Great German beer, cold waters, lots of trees/hills. Nice hill country town (ain't little anymore) with a German flair and lots of water to float/swim in. The Schillerbahn is, hands down, the world's best water park, bar none (and that ain't just me talking).

  10. San Antonio (tourist town) - the River Walk, the Alamo, Fiesta Texas, Seaworld. Lots of things to see/do in SA for the family.

  11. Austin (Offical Motto: Keep Austin Weird)- the Capitol, the LBJ Museum, the nightly flight of Mexican Freetail bats under the Congress Avenue Bridge. Very interesting and dynamic community. If you could ever picture a Texas liberal, more than likely they'd be found in Austin.

I figure you should really know something about where you live and work to make life interesting. So what's unique in your neck of the woods?


Chief Rock Chef said...

I guess there is quite a lot in my neck of the woods - depending on how loosely you define it!

Canterbury Cathedral.
The White Cliffs of Dover.
London is close by (about 60 miles), with all that has to offer.
A range of castles, from Roman through Medieval to Tudor.
The wonderful countryside that is "The Garden of England".

meleah rebeccah said...

Wow a 35 foot tall statues of the Beatles? I would LOVE to see that!

Abby said...

I've been to Del Rio, TX - about my only Texan holiday. the dairy queen was "interesting". And it was fun doing the Mexican border town thing on a few occassions.

As far as my own neck of the woods:
Garden of the Gods
Pikes Peak (climb it! Get altitude sickness!)
Manitou Springs
Air Force Academy
Cheyenn Mtn. Zoo
Mining Museum (for true geeks)

agg79 said...


I so want to make the trip to England. Lived in Germany for 4.5 years. Toured France, Austria, Sweden, Belgium but never made it across the Channel. I love the castles & architecture & history. Even stayed a couple of nights in two castles in Germany.


Will send pictures. The same sculptor did the statues of Sam Houston and the presidents and the Beatles. Of course, there is some debate over which poses he used.


I've spent a week or two outside of Del Rio in a camp. Not much out in west Texas but a whole lot of nothing. I love Colorado and Pikes Peak. My troop just left last Saturday for camp just east of Colorado Springs. Love the weather/terrain (of course, I just go nuts for anything with mountains).

terri said...

We have the Mall of America... and...and... I'm sure a host of other attractions. I'm just too tired to think of them right now.

agg79 said...


We did make a brief stop at MoA on our way out of town last fall. Nice mall. Lots of shops and food places along with the theme park.

No mention of the Spam Museum?