Welcome to the State of the Lone Star State: Part 2! If you haven't already, check out Part 1 of this series and you'll get caught up with our time in Texas. When I left off, we had been in Waco. After visiting Waco, we moved to Houston.
Houston was the first big city we'd been in since Denver, and there was quite a bit to do there. The highlight of our stay was definitely the Space Center. It was super interactive, and the whole family enjoyed it. We took a tour of the grounds, and got to see one of only three Saturn rockets that were not launched due to lack of government funding. The rocket was stored in a warehouse, and filled the entire thing! We also got to ride through NASA's office buildings where the driver pointed out where certain aspects of a rocket were developed, and tour an area where they train astronauts!
Following Houston, we met up with my mom's (Beth's) parents in San Antonio. They stayed in a hotel about 10 minutes down the road from where we were staying. With them, we visited the Alamo, which was smack down in the middle of the city! When folks think about the Alamo, they think about it being on a hill overlooking plains. I was disappointed to see that San Antonio grew around the Alamo. It was neat, however, to see the history in front of us. While staying in San Antonio, Nate and I each separately spent the night in the hotel room with our grandparents. I think that the room itself was bigger than the RV! :) My mom's (Beth's) dad is a handyman/jack of all trades, and he helped fix some broken parts in the RV. It was really nice to help him out like I used to back home. We really enjoyed San Antonio's campground, where both Nate and I met some friends.
After our stay in San Antonio, we moved to Fredricksburg, a small town founded by the Germans. It was very similar to Helen, GA, for those of you who know what I'm talking about. On their very large Main Street, quaint shops showed off candles, clothes and cutlery, along with many other items. Fredricksburg was our stop during the holidays, and we enjoyed a quiet Christmas in the RV, and ate an amazing ham from Opa's Smoked Meats. We also liked being in an RV park that was right next to a small airport, and we could see the planes from our windows taking off and landing. About 25-30 minutes drive away from our RV park was the 2nd largest exposed granite rock in the world: Enchanted Rock. We have now visited the two largest exposed granite rocks, seeing as Stone Mountain in Georgia is the largest. We did a moderately difficult hike around some of the base of the rock, and caught some terrific views. And no, we didn't see any cities on the horizon like you can with Stone Mountain.
Fredricksburg was one of our favorite stops, and we were a little sad to leave to go to Dallas. Our campground was right in the middle of Dallas suburbs, nestled between a small collection of stores and an empty lot. Ahh, the peace and quiet. One of our main reasons for stopping in Dallas was so that my dad could volunteer as a door holder for the Passion Conference, a Christian event for 18-25 year olds that our church back home hosts annually. This year it took place simultaneously in 3 cities: Dallas, Atlanta and Washington D.C. The conference draws around 40,000 young men and women yearly, and my dad was excited to volunteer. Also, while in Dallas, we met up with some old neighbors of ours, the Rappon family, who now live in Dallas. They graciously welcomed us in their home to eat and hang out, and we very much enjoyed our time there.
Our final stop in Texas was Abilene. Abilene is a fairly small town on the west part of Texas, and it was there that Nate had his birthday. He chose to spend his special day at Prime Time, a laser tag/arcade/bumper cars place, and he thoroughly enjoyed his time there.
We checked out the town of Abilene itself, and found a "Wild West" museum that taught us what it was like to live in the West during the pioneer days. Also in Abilene, Nate and I both made friends, and we were sad to leave.
When all is said and done, Texas was (so far) one of our favorite states to visit. Following our time in Texas, we headed to New Mexico and are currently in Arizona. But that's a story for another time!