Sunday, December 16, 2007

Vacation pt. 4: Houston etc.

To finally finish off the story of our travels on our summer vacation; as stated before, we did get a meal at Taquerias Arandas but saw no goats there. Food was alright, however.

During our drive from Austin to Louisiana and then back from Louisiana to Houston, I was amazed at the rock radio we heard in Texas. The playlist was stuff I was familiar with but I hadn't heard in a while: lots of Zeppelin, Hendrix, and the Black Crowes' first album. After a few hundred miles it finally came to me: this sounded just like LA rock radio back when I was in high school.

We took some time to see Houston and I really enjoyed Space Center Houston, if only to see all the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo capsules up close as well as the Saturn V rocket. I also learned a lot about SkyLab, the biggest gap in my knowledge of the American space program.

The next day we visited the very cool Art Car Museum which had some great dioramas on the Abu Ghraib scandal as part of the more conventional collection. We followed this with a visit to the Houston Museum of Natural Science which was decent and very much what we expected, although lots of oil money obviously went into the huge exhibit on oil extraction. We followed these experiences with a trip to the local Chinatown where we were quite pleased to find a fully vegetarian place that did a lunch buffet, Pine Forest Garden. Usually even the vegetarian Indian places don't do a lunch buffet so this was pretty exciting.

We spent our last couple of days at the Westin Oaks Houston, which is connected to the Houston Galleria, a huge and very beautiful mall near the city center. Lots of nice enclosed spaces to walk around in and finally, after visiting 4 different hotels during our trip, we get one whose room didn't seem to me a smidge too small for the furniture. For the most part, I still like the way the Starwood group does their hotels; Babygoat had no major complaints, either.

We finished off our summer trip with a visit to the the Spoetzl Brewery, the place where they make Shiner Bock. The tour wasn't terribly exciting but the samples of their beers were quite worth the while. Taste the bock!

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