The weekend in Houston

So we had the weekend off from our NASA work in Houston.  On Saturday, Catalina, Alejandro, Leonardo and I drive down to Galveston Island.  We spent most of the day at Moody Gardens, which is the equivalent of the Houston Science Museum.  We started out by watching a 3D IMAX movie where we saw the movie Dinosaurs Alive.  Leonardo was scared, and Alejandro has decided his second career (after an astronaut) is to be a paleontologist.  After that we toured the Rain forest Pyramid. We saw a rich variety of animals and fauna.  I liked the spider monkeys and macaws.

After a quick lunch we spent the early afternoon at the Moody Garden water park.  I enjoyed watching the boys splash in the wave pool.  This reminded me of my earlier blog posting where I mentioned that water wave speed depends on the depth of the water, and this is an excellent example of this phenomena.

After leaving Moody Gardens, we drove down to the old city of Galveston and toured the Galveston Railroad Museum.   They had two nice Steamers and several coaches and freight cars in various stages on reconstruction as Hurricane Ike hit them square on.  What I found most interesting was a traction engine which they had, and I have never seen one in such nice condition.  For those of you unfamiliar, a traction engine is steam powered and predated the farm tractor.  According to Alejandro a traction engine can not only plow the fields, but you thresh the corn and saw logs too.  At least this is what Trever does in the Railway Series.

On Sunday we went to the Kemah boardwalk.  We started out with a ride on the Boardwalk Beats, which is a large high speed boat.  We got very wet.  I was very impressed with the large size of the bow wave which trailed behind the boat.   Remember, a significant bow wave is produced by large fast objects!   After lunch, the boys played in the splashpad before settling in at Stingray Reef which is a mini-aquarium and a ‘Shark and Stingray petting zoo.’  We fed the rays shrimp and played with them.