Baby Gator went to watch on the displays what he will look like in a few years...
Houston 6 - 13/3/2012
6/3/2012: Flight Faro FAO - Houston IAH Bush International
We got up at 3:30 am (!) to catch the first flight from Faro to Lisbon at 6:05 am. At 10:15 am we took off from Lisbon to Newark. Newark is 5 hours behind Portugal, arrival at 1:30 pm after 7,5 hours' flight. 1,5 hours later we flew from Newark to Houston where we arrived at 6:10 pm (now we are 6 hours behind Lisbon). This is to say that for us it is midnight now! We are staying at the Holiday Inn Express at Katy Fwy and we have a huge suite!

7/3/2012: Houston - Brazos Bend State Park
Even after a good night's sleep, we got up pretty early. Julia went for a swim at the hotel pool (it is so hot!). After breakfast in our hotel which -by the way- is excellent, we drove to the shopping center The Galleria where Julia was booked for a one hour IPhoto Training. We were there already at 8:30 and all shops were still closed. They only open at 10 am! After the training we speent some time watching this incredible shop with around 30 sales people. Then we decided to drive to Brazos Bend State Park but before we wanted to stop at the outdoor gear store REI, the book store Barnes and Nobles etc. But our first stop was Sketchers Outlet where Volker bought two pairs of walking shoes (the second pair was half price :)) Eventually we made it to B&Nobles to buy a map. Drive to The Brazos Bend via Needville where we first thought the Park would be close to, but it wasn'nt. Entrance fee to the State Park: 7$ per person -which were really worthwhile. First we went to the small visitors center and we were shown and could even hold a 6 months old tiny (20 cm long) American Alligator which will eventually become 2,30 m long! Also a baby snake (not poisonous). On recommendation of the volunteer we went for a walk around Elms Lake. We were blessed with sights of a great variety of wildlife: apart from really big alligators, many birds like white ibis, black ibis, cardinal, red headed woodpecker, great blue heron, # heron, and also white tale deers, and squirrels. On our second walk along the Four Acre Lake we saw a few little alligators and some big ones sitting on the shore right on our path! On our drive home we stopped again at the Sketchers shoe shop and we bought another 2 pairs of shoes -this has to be in order to get the diiscount... Although we were starving, we still went to REI Outdoor Equipment and bought 3 pairs of light outdoor trousers. Just across these stores we stopped at the Doneraki Mexican Restaurant, and we had an excellent dinner and delicious huge Margueritas. What a full and great day we had today!

8/3/2012: Houston - Galveston
Got up early today again, a short swim in the hotel pool helped us wake up for real. After breakfast we drove to one of the Cavender's Boot Store on the way to Galveston and bought some "Western outfit" for both of us. After 1,5 hours of shopping we finally continued to Galveston where the weather was sunny. We had a stop at Denny's and Julia was able to finally order a 55+ meal. We drove all along the beach front and saw many pelicans! We also drove to the San Luis Resort which had been recommended by Lawrence from the Houston Rotary Club. Unfortunately we didn't meet Philette so we headed further South to the State Park. The entrance fee was 6 $ per person so it was not worthwhile for us to get it. We drove back and were caught in big traffic jams 30 miles before our destination. This car density is unusual for us and it is hard for us to get used to it. After a short break at our hotel we drove to The Galleria Shopping and went to the Apple Store. It was cramped again, like yesterday! Dinner at the Forest Cafe (very good burgers, 35 $) which is decorated like if you were in the jungle with many animals moving and screaming, with some storms, lightnings etc.
New York as seen from our plane
The volunteer from the Visitor's Center is holding a 6 months old American Alligator.
White tail deer
A store specialized in Western clothing where we got the basics for the Rodeo Show outfit.
Galveston Historical District and "The Strand"
Galveston beach front with the houses on pilars
A turtle with two small alligators
Black ibis
White ibis
A big American Alligator
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