Tag Archives: brazoria national wildlife refuge

Day 113 – Goodbye Texas

27 Apr

It’s our last day in Texas.  No, it’s our last few hours left in Texas.  Being the list maker that I am, before we moved to Texas I made a list of everything that interested me, or things I wanted to do that I didn’t have time for back in Atlanta.  Warning, this list is long.

  • Take the time to cook and bake new dishes
Completed.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

  • Read at least 5 books
Completed:

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves

The Aviary by Kathleen O’Dell

Birthmarked by Caragh M. O’Brien (Book one of three)

Prized by Caragh M. O’Brien (Book two of three)

Love Struck by Melissa Marr

London Falling by Emma Carr

  • Paint
I bought all the supplies to complete this item on my list, but I never got the urge.  We came close to having a Wine & Painting Party, but I never got the urge to put the party together either.  Very sad.
  • Sew two dresses
I only sewed one dress.  You can read about my attempts at sewing here and here.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

  • Work out and loose at least 20 pounds
I haven’t lost as much as I have wanted but, I will be continuing to work on my weight loss goals.
  • Learn to curl my hair properly
Completed.
  • Take as many bubble baths as possible
Completed.
Oh, how I will miss our garden tub.   I must have taken at least 50 bubble baths while here.
  • 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.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

  • Houston Zoo
Completed.
You can read about of visit to the zoo here.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

  • Houston Aquarium
  • Jade Buddha Temple
  • Sam Houston Boat Tour
  • Space Center Houston
  • Attend a roller derby
  • Haak Vineyards & Winery in Santa Fe, Texas
  • Visit Galveston – See Moody Gardens, Stewart beach, Kahala Beach, Pirate’s Beach, Dolphin Tours, Yacht Cruise, take ferry to Bolivar Peninsular to Crystal Beach
Kinda completed.
We went to Galveston, but didn’t see much.  You can read about our brunch in Galveston here.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

  • Saint Arnold Brewery Tour
  • Atkinson Island Wildlife Park
  • Armand Bayou Nature Center
Completed.
You could read about our visit to Armand Bayou Nature Center here.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

  • Attend an Owl Prowl during a full moon
  • Water Gardens of Southwest Texas in Beaumont, Texas
  • Big Thicket National Preserve
  • Road trip to New Orleans – French Quarter, Garden District, Cajun Encounters, Jackson Square, live jazz, Cafe du Monde, order a Pimm’s Cup, eat at Cochon
Completed.
We were actually able to complete everything I had on my list.  You can read more about our trip to New Orleans here, here, and here.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
DSC_0266

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

  • Avery Island in LaFayette, Louisiana
  • Road trip to Austin, Texas – Congress Ave nightly flight of bats, 6th street, Zilker Park, food trucks, food trucks, food trucks
Completed, and you could read about it here.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

  • Road trip to Dallas, Texas – Nasher Sculpture Garden, Cedar Ridge Preserve, World Aquarium, Dallas Zoo, Arboretum Botanical Gardens, Fountains Place
  • Kemah Boardwalk – Joe’s Crab Shack, Aquarium restaurant, attend Polynesian Weekend, attend Crawfish Festival, attend Yacht Gras Weekend, NASA’s Johnson Space Center
Kinda completed.
We have been to Joe’s Crab Shack a few times, and we were able to attend the Crawfish Festival.  I didn’t take any pictures while at the Crawfish Festival though because, well.. it was kind of lame.  It wasn’t what I thought it would be and the crawfish was over priced.  We can usually by a pound for $3.99, but at the festival a pound and a half was $10.99.  You can read about our first time hanging out at the Kemah Boardwalk here.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

  • Road trip to San Antonio, Texas – River Walk riverboat cruise, Alamo, Natural Bridge Caverns, Cascade Caverns, Japanese Tea Garden, San Antonio Zoo, do not fall in the river
Completed.
You can read about our experience in San Antonio here and here.

  • Road trip to New Braunfels, Texas – Dry Comal Creek Winery, go tubing/float on Comel River or Guadalupe River
  • Blue Bell Creameries in Brenham, Texas
.

Here are some extra things we enjoyed that were not on my list of things to see and do.

  • Exploring Rice Village

This area had so many neat little shops and an interesting mix of restaurants.  We really enjoyed Rice Village and wished we spent more time there.  You can read more about our trip to Rice Village here.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

  • Austin Nature and Science Center

DSC_0131
DSC_0163

  • Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge

You can read about our trip to the refuge where thousands of mosquitos attacked us here.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Overall, we didn’t explore as much as we hoped.  To be honest we weren’t very thrilled with Texas.  Most places we wanted to visit were far away, and we didn’t always want to drive hours and hours.  I guess you could say half way through our stay we ran out of gas.   Even the food wasn’t very good here.  We listened to everyone’s recommendations, but most places weren’t as good as people lead on.  We even went to places that were advertised to be the best in Kemah, and we found that those places were only good enough for a one time visit.  We did find one really great place in Kemah, a greek restaurant called, Bakkhus Taverna.

Right outside of Kemah we found a few more places that we ate at more than once.  It made me realize how awesome Atlanta’s food scene is.  NASA Parkway has a bunch of really interesting little places to eat.  Some of our favorite places to eat; an indian restaurant called Cuisine India, a sushi place on Fairmont called Little Tokyo, and Genghis Grill on Bay Area Blvd., and a BBQ place called Red River BBQ Company.

I am going to miss my time off, but I am ready to get back to a “normal” life.  I really liked the company Luis worked for as well, and it makes me excited for his next co-op term.  We have made some great friendships here, and hope to see them again.. somewhere, anywhere.

I have a feeling that we will be back to Texas before I know it, so I don’t feel too bad about not completing as much as I wanted.

I am not giving up on you yet Texas!  See you sometime soon.

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.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

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.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

The photo above was taken by Luis.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

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.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

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?

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

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

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

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

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

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

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

We ended our meal with chocolate chip cheesecake.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

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.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

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.