HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM
We spent seven hours at the Johnson Space Center. It was awesome. There were all kinds of space exhibits, both interactive and to observe. We were able to take a tram ride out to Mission Control. I loved this, but Lilly thought it was boring. I told her, "think of it this way-how many kids can say they've been to Mission Control, to the *real* deal, and see where they are building *real* rockets?" That helped her a little bit. Jackson thought it was so cool. They all wrote down facts in their journals. Here are a few of their favorites:
1) by the year 2020, NASA plans on having a permanent base on the moon, and by the year 2030, they plan on having a base on Mars.
2) Space travel flies at speeds of 17,500mph, which means, the shuttle can orbit the earth every 90 minutes and can fly five miles per second.
3) The flight Director is the top boss at Mission Control, and he/she even has more power than the president over the crew and the mission.
4) Astronauts live on the space station for months at a time. It is an international space station and has 15 countries working together on it.
5) When the space station is completed in 2010, it will have living quarters about equal to a 5-bedroom home.
The kids' favorite part was playing in this "Kids Matrix" which was a glorified ball pit. It was 4 stories high and had all kinds of space themed toys etc. I had to beg them to leave the Space Center at 6pm. It was dark and I knew we had an hour drive to our campground.
Make that two hours to our campground--traffic was like driving through LA. It was after 8pm when we arrived. I pulled in and went to the "night registration" table (for late arrivals, after the office is closed). I looked on the map and it said that there were no sights available. I had forgotten that it was a Saturday night! This was the first time we've encountered that problem. I logged onto the laptop to find another place to stay. No luck, this was the only one. It took us an hour to drive *to* the Space Center, we spent seven hours there, and then we drove two hours to the campground. I didn't much feel like driving some more. We snooped around in the dark for a bathroom, and then I continued snooping around the park. I found 3 open spots. It was a little like breaking and entering. Goldilocks and the Three Bears working together. "This spot looks just right." We snuck in, (how does an RV sneak in??) and parked. I backed us into the spot in case we had to leave in a hurry. We read by flashlight so not to draw any attention to ourselves. It was the perfect excuse to get to bed early.
At first light, I pulled us right of there and headed to Austin. The kids stayed in their beds. Once we got to Austin, I found another campsite--the first one was soooo scary, I wouldn't have park my broken down car there. Now we're doing school and then we'll head into town and see some sites. Tonight we'll have real Texas BBQ (sorry Krissy!!) and ice cream from "Amy's." (Thank you Steffi!)
SIGNS FROM HOME
Leaving Houston we knew we were getting closer to home. In the Space Center parking lot, we saw our first CA license plate since we left Wyoming. We also saw Macy's and Costco! Three weeks, and we'll be home. I can't believe it.
Thank goodness it's Sunday. Navigating through downtown Austin is sooo much easier! Hardly any traffic to speak of, so it's much less stressful.
There are a LOT of pick-up trucks in Texas!!!