Day 9 in Texas – Parks, Food, and Stars

15 Jan

With barely any clouds in the sky, Luis and I set out to the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge to enjoy the day outside.  The refuge is located in Brazoria, Texas and about 45 miles from Kemah, Texas.  Luis found the park by searching the surrounding areas from where we live on Google Maps.

This is what we saw all the way to the refuge.

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Nothing but wide open spaces. Lots of farm land and sporadic industrial parks, like the one you see in the above picture to the right. Kinda looks like Emerald City from afar, minus the yellow brick road and happy sparkle.

Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge had a nice discovery center where Luis fell in love with a.. I believe it’s called a shield nose snake, or a pig nosed snake, can’t remember.  After playing with the snakes in the discovery center, we went on the auto tour trial around the refuge.  Thankfully it was trials were for your car (even though they do have about three walking trials) and not walking trials since the mosquitos were fierce, and swarmed my whole body in seconds as soon as I stepped outside.  Luis just laughed at me as I jumped around trying to get away from them.  He said all he saw were clouds of black following me.  Luckily, I managed to hop around enough to only get a few bites on my legs, nothing too bad.

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The photo above was taken by Luis.

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The refuge wasn’t as exciting as we hoped since the drought in Texas has affected the wetlands, ponds, and waterways.  Hopefully, all the rain that we have been getting lately will help.  If we ever go back, we will definitely need bug repellant!

As you can guess, there are lots of cattle in Texas, and yes I make Luis stop on the side of the road whenever I see cattle close to the road.  Why you ask?

So, I can talk to them of course!

It’s hard to tell in the picture below, but she has a calf next to her.  I wanted to get a closer picture, but those mosquitos love me so, I ran back to the car.

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After the refuge, we headed to Downtown Houston for dinner at an Italian restaurant called Birraporetti’s, a great Italian restaurant, one heck on an Irish bar.  Most of the downtown area seemed to be pretty empty, but by the time we left this place was packed with people.  Maybe because of the Performing Arts Center next door?

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To start we had the sampler; jumbo grilled shrimp, crab cakes, and calamari.

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Luis had the chicken and italian sausage with spinach fettuccine alfredo.

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I had the shrimp diablo, which had a really nice kick to it.

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We ended our meal with chocolate chip cheesecake.

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Then it was time to head the Brazos Bend State Park for a night of star gazing at the George Observatory, which is about 30 miles from downtown Houston.  The website warned us to bring flashlights since the area wasn’t lit very well and would be mostly dark.  The path to the observatory did have these dim red lights to guide us, and each one had a different fun fact of a planet.  Along the path Luis and I heard wrestling in the woods, so we used our flashlights to see if we could catch what was making the noise, and we did!  It was an armadillo, my first armadillo!  Of course, Luis tried to catch it, as he has a goal of having one as a pet.  Don’t ask me why.  Even though he didn’t catch it, we did get close to a few more, but he decided not to catch one and instead we just watched them dig around in the ground with their noses.  They are so cute, and wouldn’t mind if Luis did get one as a pet… in the future though.

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The George Observatory houses three doomed telescopes. The 36 inch Gueymard Research Telescope, the largest of the tree was broken, but it didn’t matter since many astronomy hobbyist set out their extremely expensive telescopes for people to look through.  We were able to see all four of Jupiter’s moons on the 14 inch telescope and on the 18 inch telescope we saw Orion’s Nebula.  The most interesting of the night was looking through one of the amateur’s telescope.  He had it zoomed in on M82, where stars are born.  It was pretty neat to see.  Mostly though, it was fun to talk with all the people and hear the excitement in their voices while they talked about rings, cloud belts, and galaxies.

A beautiful day outside followed by a cloudless sky at night, nothing more I could ask for today.

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One Response to “Day 9 in Texas – Parks, Food, and Stars”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Day 113 – Texas « 1,460 Days of Georgia - April 27, 2012

    […] Visit George Observatory for a night of star gazing with the hubby Completed. I think this was one of the best things we did.  You can read more about it here. […]

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