Sunday, January 27, 2008

On The Road Again, In Livingston,TX

We are back on the road (domestic this year), and have been somewhat delinquent in keeping our family and friends up to date. We apologize.

Our travel plans for 2008, in general outline, are winter in the Southwest, spring on the west coast and northwest, summer in Alaska (again!) and fall back to the southwest, arriving in Texas in time for Octoberfest at Rainbows End. We then will leave the Coach in storage at Livingston while we travel to the Northeast for the holidays. We will spend the 2008 holidays deciding what warm place to go for winter 2009.

Back to the present –

After returning from China mid-December, we spent the Christmas holidays in Massachusetts and Maryland, with family.

After Christmas, Kathy flew back to Massachusetts for a couple of weeks, to attend family business, while Keith drove the Coach from Maryland to Livingston, TX, with a short stop in Foley, MS for some thrown rolls at Lamberts Café. Excellent food, in addition to a pleasant down-home atmosphere. Four Cows.

On arriving in Livingston, Keith got involved in a volunteer project to build shutters for the opening separating the kitchen from the meeting room in the Escapees Activity Center at Rainbows End. This gave Keith something to do which he enjoys, and kept him out of trouble until Kathy flew to Houston to join him in late January.

We hung around Livingston through the end of the month, while Keith waited for all 2007 IRS related mail to arrive at his mail forwarding service. During this period we ate several good meals, and visited the Johnson Space Center and Museum in Houston.

For a small town (pop 5000), Livingston has several surprisingly good restaurants, including the Courthouse Café (3 Cows), a roadside BBQ stand (3-1/2 Cows), a Cajun restaurant(3 Cows), three really good Tex-Mex restaurants (all about 3-1/2 Cows), a new trendy roadhouse café style restaurant named Buster McNutty’s (3-1/2 Cows), and a tacky looking, out of the way, ramshackle place named Florida’s that serves 4 Cow ribs and chicken fried steak.The Johnson Space Center is an extremely interesting place to visit, with a good museum and a well done tour of selected facilities. We visited the viewing gallery of the Shuttle Mission Control Center (can be visited only when no shuttle missions are up), and the astronaut training facility, which features full size mockups of the shuttle and several space station modules. Our tour concluded with a visit to a full size engineering prototype of the Apollo rocket, which carried men to the moon. The sheer size of this behemoth is breathtaking. The museum housed many artifacts from the past half century of space exploration, including a touchable moon rock, a number of kid-friendly interactive exhibits, and some good movies. We viewed an interesting large-screen film about the space station. There also is a less than memorable cafeteria (1-1/2 Cows).

On 2 February we raised anchor and headed west from Livingston. More to follow on these travels.


Apollo Rocket

Space Station Training Facility

Space Shuttle Mission Control

Space Tourists