Alysa and Mitch in Houston, TX
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Welcome to Houston. This is a view along one of the highways, and is typical of the area - oil refineries and so-forth are everywhere.

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Dinner on Friday night, June 25th. Looks like a fine Texas establishment.

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I haven't seen this in years - a restaurant encouraging peanut-eating and tossing shells on the floor. This is a large barrel of peanuts in the waiting area.

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Obviously not a place for those with peanut allergies! (I didn't take any photos of the food, but it was pretty good.)

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After dinner we went to see Fahrenheit 9/11. What better place to see it than in Houston, home of Halliburton? This theater is actually in Pasadena, TX, just outside Houston. The theater was nearly sold old and the film generated similar applause as elsewhere in the country. Some seeing other movies had some funny looks. One high school student I talked to (he was in line for Shrek 2) said he loved Bowling for Columbine and didn't know what all the fuss was about Fahrenheit 9/11 getting an R rating. He said within a year or two they'll be showing it in schools. Bright kid.

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A nice bridge on Route 146 heading south towards a shopping area called the Keman Boardwalk.

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At the Keman Boardwalk, similar in style to a Fanueil Hall kind of place - many restaurants and shopps, all very new. This is one of the first times we ran across these "misters" on our trip. Just a collection of mist nozzles spraying passers-by to keep everyone cool. Very handy has the heat and humidity were very high.

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A clever way to keep the kids cool - a collection of straight-up fountains that operate semi-randomly. Looks like fun.

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One store at the Boardwalk was a Tabasco store. Here's a full gallon of Tabasco sauce for $55.

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On the boardwalk was a small amusement park, including a ferris wheel. We couldn't resist. Here's Alysa, with Galveston Bay in the background.

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And here's Mitch.

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Looking down from the ferris wheel.

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A quicktime movie of our ferris wheel ride!

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And the wheel itself after our ride.

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In a local store, a frozen Dr. Pepper machine. Mmmm, good stuff.

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Sunday we drove to the northwest corner of Houston for a flea market. It was large, but not very pretty. Here's a chair in the shape of a an animal-skin woman's shoe. Why not.

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At the flea market, Alysa chats with a parrot.

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Later Monday we drove downtown to the "Aquarium restaurant." If you've ever been to a Rainforest Café, think of this as the same idea with a different gimmick. But they go all out. This is a huge fishtank, and other smaller tanks were elsewhere.

Alysa felt a bit guilty eating fish while staring at the big tank. Mitch is allergic and had steak.

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A fuzzy photo from the menu of "Aquarium Facts." Some highlights - the large tank is 125,000 gallons and 12 feet deep. More than 100 species of fish inhabit the tank.

Elsewhere in the building is a 50-foot-tall cylindrical tank, eight feet in diameter, for 25,000 gallons. Below the restaurant level is a small version of what one might find at a regular aquarium, but run by the restaurant.

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The entrance to NASA's visitor center at the Johnson Space Center. Mitch came alone to this, taking a special full-day tour. Alysa figured she'd be bored so stayed back at the trailer.

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