Somewhere along the way the sky opened up and rain drops the size of hailstones pummeled the car and the roads. Had to slow way down for about 15 minutes.
I installed Waze, which had much easier to understand turn by turn directions, but I still got messed up. Like Google Maps, it would not speak to me, I had to keep pulling off the road, finding a gas station to park and look at the map again.
And then a miracle happened. I turned the car off and Waze started talking. By accident I discovered that it was trying to talk over bluetooth to the car's console, but the car's console wasn't compatible, Turning off bluetooth gave me a functioning talking Waze. That got me from the town of Alvin out to NASA Parkway and the science center. More on that later.**
Breakfast was pretty good, apparently free, at the hotel. A couple of kids cut in front of me at the waffle machine, and broke it. :-(
But the sausages were great, not the mealy mushy kind you usually get. Scrambled eggs were good, bacon was a mess and way too salty. I think it was left over from a previous
Next thing was a stop at HEB, which is a supermarket super store. Windshield washer fluid, reading glasses to replaces the scratched up pair I brought with me, polarized sunglasses. Filled the washer reservoir before I left.
**Later. The Space Center is a Smithsonian level museum, as far as content goes. It suck lemons as far as display lighting goes. I needed to use a flash for almost every shot indoors. It is dark in there. Even the human stage presentations were in the dark. They actually had stage lights, but they were aimed at the floor.
I missed the main theater presentation, they only played it at noon and 4, with kiddie shows several times in between.
The main attraction is the 747 with the shuttle Independence sitting on top. They have the display divided into 4 floors, all accessible by stairs or elevator. Bottom floor is a view from the ground, 2nd floor is inside the 747 with way too much information on how it was converted into a shuttle carrier. 3rd floor is the lower level of the shuttle, and the 4th floor is the top of the shuttle. There's a satellite inside, packaged in gold foil ready for launch.
Playing in the small theater every 15 minutes is an excellent montage of events from the entire history of NASA. In the front of the room is the actual podium from which JFK announced we were going to the moon and back. There is a life size JFK cardboard statue standing behind the podium which kind of creeped me out.
Tons of stuff. Moon rocks, lunar lander, remote controlled mars rover. Lots of space suits. Hanging from the ceiling a Mercury capsule with a suited up astronaut on a tether floating outside. Special area for the kids.
I wanted to take the tram tour, but it was a 1-hour wait. So I didn't see the rocket park until I was driving away, and it was not accessible from the parking lot.
Lunch was a truly lame burger and cole slaw with too much vinegar in it. And whose idea was dipping dots ice cream?
Many beautiful woman from all over the world. And way too many babies and toddlers.
David called when I was having lunch, it was already too late for me to be able to make it to dinner at his place. Waze got me back to the hotel at about 6, but it was a long drive - 2 hours - and i was beat.
Dinner was at Red Lobster. 30 minute wait they said, and handed me a buzzer. I sat outside because the inside seats were full. Came in after half an hour, and saw a couple of people ask the desk how much longer, only to be told they had been called but the buzzer had not gone off. Turns out mine was beeped after 15 minutes but it didn't buzz. Lady at the desk said she called my name, but that didn't do any good because i was outside and they were not piping her announcements out.
My server showed up eventually, I ordered clam chowder and the lobster bake. Mixed seafood on linguine with white wine sauce. It was more like olive oil. Linguine was slightly underdone. Lots of seafood - tiny scallops, shrimp, mussels, tiny lobster tails split in half. Server checked on me a couple of times early, but disappeared when I needed a drink refill, and when I wanted to order dessert, and when he brought the check, and when he collected it. He lobbied me hard to vote for him in the survey online.
Not happening, John.
And here I am back at the hotel. I finally figured out the best route here. It involves taking Hwy 6 north, making a U turn at University, taking an unmarked right turn which leads through a parking lot for some restaurants, then across a street into the hotel lot.
Plans for tomorrow:
Breakfast at the hotel
Check out by noon
Long drive to the airport because the strip joints probably won't be open yet.
Hang out at the airport
Fly back to SJC