Thursday November 19, 2009
Packing for two days in a hotel was a priority for the morning and we were on our way by 8:45. Ben told his client he would be there between 10 and 10:30 and we had no idea how long the travel time would be to north Houston. When it comes to city driving GPS Lady pays for herself many times over! We took a short detour through Texas City so Jane could see all the oil and chemical plants. Ben had been here years ago and he was right to drive this way – it is Kingsport's Eastman Chemical 100 times over. Jane took some photos but they will only be a few representative photos.
We then headed north right through the center of Houston – past the Minute Maid Stadium and on until we came to the location we searched for near George Bush International Airport.
Jane programmed our hotel,the San Jacinto Battlefield and the USS Texas into the GPS while Ben visited his client. We then headed south to the San Jacinto Battlefield. We drove through another maze of chemical and oil production facilities again as we drove along the Houston harbor. It really is mind boggling to see this much industry in one area.
The San Jacinto Monument and Battlefield is right in the middle of this maze. We had a picnic lunch and then went inside the monument. It is taller than Washington Monument and has a reflecting pool. Inside is a very nice museum documenting the battle between the Texicans and the Mexican Troops under General Santa Anna. This battle was decisive in the freedom of Texas from Mexico.
After touring the monument and museum we drove across the park to the site where the USS Texas – Battleship in both WWI and WWII. She saw service in both wars in WWI as part of the Atlantic Fleet; and then in WW11, serving in the invasions of North Africa, Normandy, Southern France, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and relaying POW's from the Philippines to Pearl. During all this service she only had battle casualties in one battle off the coast of Southern France. When she was built in 1914, she was the most powerful weapon in the world. She is the only surviving US Naval ship that has served in both WWI and WWII. She is moored along the main shipping channel into Houston; and when the large tankers pass her by – she looks very small. We had a fascinating time climbing around the various levels of the ship. Ben climbed up to the Bridge while Jane was satisfied with two levels up and one down. The living quarters, galley, bakery, communication rooms, and medical offices were all fascinating. The guns were pretty impressive too; and the steel turrets were huge.
I 1948 she was scheduled to become a bombing target but the people of Texas had a statewide fund campaign to save her. In 1948 she was transferred to the State of Texas and towed to Texas to become the first permanent memorial battleship.
After completion of our tour on the USS Texas we again put ourselves in the hands of GPS Lady and headed to our hotel in South Houston where Ben will visit two more clients tomorrow. We rested and found a barbeque restaurant fairly close to our hotel for dinner. It was good – ribs and brisket were best – we had a sampler that also included ham and sausage. In addition Jane gave the slaw a thumbs up and Ben the same for the pecan pie.
Now we have to study and decide what to do tomorrow!!! Maybe China Town? We are expecting severe weather tonight – let it rain now and clear off for tomorrow. The weather report says maybe flooding...Jane remembers how bad the flooding here can be as she once worked a disaster assignment here for a flood.What a mess that was!