Sunday, 25 May 2014

Holiday Part 2 - Texas

After a week in Mexico, we headed back to Houston to spend some time with our friends. They have 3 children, the eldest of which is Mr W's godson. The middle one was best friends with our eldest when they were at pre-school, and although they haven't seen each for a year (they were over visiting last summer), it was amazing to see them slip back into their old relationship so quickly!

While in Houston we did lots of hanging out by their pool, eating, drinking, laughing, playing, oh and a little sight-seeing too!

First up, we went to a baseball game. On previous visits to the US, we have never managed to coincide with baseball season, so Mr W was keen to catch a game. 

Baseball - The Houston Astros at the Minute Maid Stadium

We did a trip to George Ranch, which is a historic cattle ranch passed down through generations of the same family. It is now a museum tracking the progress of cattle-ranching families from the first settlers through to more modern times. There were replicas of the houses that each generation of ranch-owner would have lived in, with actors in costume at each one. There was also a cowboy demonstration 

Log cabin - one of the early ranch houses
One of the later ranch houses
Uncle Bob - one of the characters at George Ranch who helped bring the history to life
Warning signs at the George Ranch
Gator! Those signs weren't kidding!
Cowboy demo - now that's what I call a moustache!
W having a go at lasso'ing

We also did the obligatory trip to NASA. You really can't go to Houston without visiting NASA now can you?

Saturn 5 - it was ENORMOUS!!

When we got to the Saturn 5 rocket, we were lucky enough to pick up a tour with a former NASA employee. He had worked at Mission Control from the 1960s up until a couple of years ago, and now volunteered his time one day a week giving tours. He was there when all the space launches and moon landings took place, and had loads of anecdotes about Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin (I nearly typed Buzz Lightyear then!), Apollo 13 etc. A hugely enjoyable tour, but the kids got a little bored. Luckily for Mr W and me, our friends took them back to the main building for lunch, so that we could enjoy the rest of the tour (although Mr W did still have to carry a sleeping W the whole way!)

We managed to squeeze in an adult-only night out with our friends too while we were there (got a baby-sitter for the 5 kids!) which was fab. We went out for steak which was amazing (the Texans sure do know how to rear cattle and cook steak!), followed by a bit of two-stepping at the Wild West nightspot.

It was amazing to see everyone in their cowboy boots and stetsons, of all ages. Proper old-fashioned dancing with a bit of line-dancing too. I participated in the line-dancing, but it was way too fast for me (especially in my enlarged state!), and even managed a bit of two-stepping with Mr W, although my enormous belly did get in the way somewhat!

Before we left Houston, we took a trip to the supermarket to stock up on all the American food and snacks that we love. It was Easter, so the stores were all full of Easter stuff. Bizarrely, you cannot get proper Easter eggs - you know, the hollow ones that come with a bar of chocolate or bag of sweets. They only do small ones like Cadbury Creme Eggs, mini cholocate eggs or bunnies. They're missing a trick there!

Easter Bouquests - US style!

My favourite American snack, which I very rarely find in the UK, so I stocked up!
Our two are obsessed with Oreos, and were thrilled to find some different flavours in huge packets. They have managed to eat their way through this lot rather quickly!

Such a fun holiday - sun, delicious food, sight-seeing, catching up and laughing with old friends. Our friends really did look after us, especially me in my current condition. They were so pleased that we had made the effort to visit, as they have only had family to visit since they have been away. We were so pleased that we made the effort too, as it was an all round great holiday - one that we will not be able to do for quite a while once baby arrives!


  1. What a great trip - and how lovely to be able to stay with your friends
    Caz xx

    1. Before they left the UK, they lived around the corner from us. We are godparents to their children and they are godparents to ours. So they are very good friends. It was so lovely to properly catch up with them, laugh about old times, take the mickey out of each other etc - all the stuff you can only do with old friends. And the children all had a wail of a time too!

  2. It's a fantastic holiday and you're lucky to have managed it before your due date. My best friend lives in California and hopefully one day we can take the girls to the US to visit her and her family. The last time we saw them was four years ago when they came over for our wedding..I used to like Reese's peanut butter cups and stocked up on these whenever I was there. And yes, they're missing a trick with the chocolate Easter eggs. I sent a couple to my friends' kids last year and they were so amazed when they got them...Have a lovely week!