"Not all those who wander are lost" J.R.R. Tolkien

Friday, January 28, 2011

East Bound

Today was a big day.  Our mail finally caught up with us and we were able to leave San Antonio this morning early enough to watch the sun rise.  Our first goal was 3 and 1/2 hours to Houston.  Our first mission was second breakfast at Ikea and the second mission was NASA.

Breakfast was great but NASA is SO COOL!!!  We were able to walk through an actual Skylab and the boys flew their own mission as pilot and gunner in a simulator.  We sat through several different presentations and learned more about space in three hours than we ever knew.  It was really special to be there today, of all days, because today marks the anniversary of the Challenger explosion.  Every day at NASA there is a moment of remembering the astronauts lost in that tragedy as well as the Apollo and the Discovery.  I really thought this would put off my ever so cautious oldest child but when we left he said to me, "I want to be an astronaut and scientist more than ever!"  Perhaps today's outing fueled a dream that will one day be realized.

We could have spent the entire day at NASA and still would not have seen everything.  Sadly we had to press on because our self imposed schedule wanted us out of Texas and into Louisiana, a place I have wanted to see for years.  Due to traffic and a fatal car crash we were stuck at the border for what seemed like a year but in actuality was about an hour and a 1/2.  We pulled into the Jean Lafitte campground east of Lake Charles around seven tonight.  Our first experience was having the pickup who had been following us closely pull right up to our window to let us know that our spare tire on the RV was really wobbling.  We thanked them and they drove away.  They followed us just to help us out!  The people aren't the only thing friendly in Louisiana.  While Donald was making reservations we watched two raccoons, bold as brass, toddling through the parking lot, under cars that were filling with gas and climbing into trash cans for a bit of supper.  Street lights as bright as day and these raccoons were terribly unconcerned with humanity.  Shakespeare, on the other hand, was terribly concerned that these bold creatures needed to be taught a lesson and he was going crazy because we wouldn't let him out to give chase.

Jean Lafitte campground is, quite possibly, the most depressing campground I have ever seen.  It is literally in the parking lot of a gas station.  The sites look like something from a drive in movie except with concrete pads.  There are no trees and no other foliage.  There is, however, a bar across the street that is currently pumping out some serious music.  And there are pigs.  Yes, pigs.  I can hear them oinking and shuffling somewhere in the far recesses of the campground, which is not that large.  Interesting.

There are no military campgrounds or KOA's until further into the state and we knew it would be a sort of crapshoot on what sort of campground we would get.  So far, so good on the crap part!  I don't expect to shoot anything, though.  Not unless the pigs get loose or the raccoons try to break in.  At this point I think anything could happen!

Onward to the Big Easy for a few days tomorrow!

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