Monday, November 24, 2014

DAY 78 - Nov 24

We just spent the last 9 days at the Fun and Sun RV Resort in Sarasota Florida (just bellow Tampa), a huge place where you can park your RV or rent or buy small houses... this is where old(er) people go to escape the cold winter weather! There where some families too and the girls made some friends... i mostly enjoyed the heated pools and hot tubs :-)

We saw several cool birds there, here we see some cranes, we also saw a lot of white Ibis.

A very odd plant near the crocodile lake... where we think we saw a crocodile poking it's nose out of the water... maybe... might of been a turtle...

A visit to the Tampa Electric's Manatee Viewing Center to see some, you guessed it, manatees! Also known as sea cows.

We where lucky to be there during a medieval festival, a lot of fun shows, games and people dressed up in their best costumes.

The girls got to put on their halloween costumes again. Here we see a Hungarian jouster handing out flowers to the princesses in the crowd :-)

One of many trips to the beach.

Evalie almost got crushed by a huge bellied pregnant lady!

Priceless moment :-)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

DAY 64 - Nov 10

This last weekend we stopped in Houston Texas. This is a town filled with interesting things to do, we chose three that rocked for everyone involved!

First was the Kids Museum. We spent the whole afternoon, all 5 hours of it running around trying all the activities... almost every activity... i was exhausted and had to practically drag Julie out of the place (she was even more excited than the girls!). Fortunately the place eventually closed and we had to leave!

The girls saving the life of a dummy in the ambulance, that's my girls!

Here, lab technicien Marianne shows us a cool experiment.

OK, now moving on to the really cool stuff... THE Houston Space Center!!!! We got there the next day and I almost passed out from the excitement when we got inside!! The place is packed with fun things to see and do.

Our two astronauts in training trying out their space helmets :-)

On the NASA missions wall we found a picture with Julie Payette (yes they misspelled her name on the plaque), a Montrealer that went to my Julie's school a few years before her and has been on two spaceflights!

Everyones favorite Mars rover... well mine at least.

We took a ride on the tram tour through the Johnson Space Center right next door where the astronauts and NASA workers, umm, work. We got to see the building where they keep mockups of the International Space Station for training purposes. I was amazed to actually be there!!

Here we see even SpaceX has a spot for their gear. Orbital Science also has a small area close by.

I was tempted to strap this little engine to the back of the camper for an extra boost :-)

Inside a rather long building we got to see a restored Saturn V rocket!!! One of three that survived the Apollo Space Program of long ago. I knew it was big but damn, up close it's really impressive!

Kudos to Julie for managing to pretend to be interested most of the day!

The following day we checked out the USS Texas, a battleship that served during WWI and WWII. Very impressive old boat!

The girls fine tuning their targeting skills. We managed to sink a tug boat and knock over a transmission tower... oups...

Sailors where crammed in like sardines and their beds where hung anywhere possible.

Here we see the shower/bathroom.

The view on the deck.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

DAY 66 - Nov 12

We arrived in New Orleans and visited the old french quarter. Very interesting and stylish neighbourhood. After supper in a fun dinner we had a walk on Bourbon street, a very animated street to say the least ;-)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

DAY 59 - Nov 5

Yesterday we stopped by Roswell, New Mexico. Is was very underwelming, not what i expected at all... but then again i didn't really know what to expect! At least the library was nice and had a good kid section.

This shot is form the UFO Museum.

They have a wall with newspaper cartoons of UFOs. This one i liked :-)

The next day we visited the Carlsbad Caverns (and here). My photos do not do justice to the awesomeness of the caverns!

More awesomeness.

Even more awesome.. umm.. er.

They call this cave popcorn, the cavern was covered in these bubble shaped protrusions on the stalagmites.

The girls filling in their Junior Ranger books. They were sworn in and got their badges :-)

DAY 56 - Nov 2

Today we surprised the girls with a visit to the Toy Train Depot in Alamogordo, New Mexico. A fun little train museum with lots of models and a ride on the train track outside.

The details on some of these models is very impressive. Not to mention buying them is expensive! Would be fun to set up a track back home but we don't have the space... :-(

The model railroads where excellent. A lot of time and attention went into building them, makes me wonder if i'll have the patience to build my own...

Our happy train enthusiasts enjoying the view. The train operator (guy in green) was very into trains and was having a blast working there... hey he get's to play with model trains all day!

Right next to the train museum was the Alameda Park Zoo. The girls where very happy of course, what a day for them!

A very big turtle... A lot more animals there but with the gray clouds, wind and later rain, i didn't manage many good photos... i'm really looking forward to getting my new iPhone 6 when i get back... :-)

DAY 55 - Nov 1

We started the day with a stop at the Space Murals Museum near Las Cruces. Almost missed it, there was just a little sign by the side of the road next to an exit to a NASA test site. We were about to jump onto the highway on our way to our next stop when we saw the sign and decided to take a chance and see what the place was about.

What a fun museum! Tons of nick-nacks donated by collectors and NASA people. We had an enthusiastic guide, Odette, who gave us a fact filled tour of the place.

A control panel for, umm, something at NASA.

The water tank outside has a very nice mural all around it.

Cool scale model of the space shuttle, with an authentic future astronaut right next to it!

Later we stopped by the White Sands National Monuments on Highway 70. A very disconcerting place where we felt that we had been transported back to Quebec in the middle of winter... except it was warm... and it was sand, not snow. The out houses look like ice fishing cabins :-)

Our first sand dunes and they turned out to be (almost) white! The deserts we have seen so far have been of the flat and covered in bushes, cactus and dry grass variety. The girls had a blast playing in the sand and sliding down the dunes.

Evalie pondering the mysteries of sand as it flows through time...

Was it a mirage or a vision of beauty i saw in the desert...

Saturday, November 1, 2014

DAY 54 - Oct 31

We are now back in New Mexico after passing through Arizona. I got to live an old dream of mine, visiting the far west! We stumbled upon Tombstone Arizona! Yes , THE Tombstone of the Old West!! It's touristy now, but still has many of the more or less original buildings and plenty of actors walking around in clothes from the era. The city burned to the ground a few times, so they can be excused for the less than authentic buildings, it was a wild town where the life expectancy was relatively short and the notion of fire + wood buildings = devastation was not yet assimilated into the collective consciousness!

Here we are about to embark on a bumpy narrated ride in a stage coach, complete with cowboys and all. Marianne was jumping with joy :-)

Big Nose Kates Saloon. Not because she had a big nose, but because she was always getting her nose into everyone's business.

Evalie having a swig from her canteen... it was a hot and sunny day.

Posted in the replica of an old west prison.

Another stage coach on the main street.

We passed the 9999.9 km mark!! Unfortunately the odometer flips back to 0.0 after that... oh well, we just need to mentally add 10000 to it :-) We are compiling a list of every time we fill up with gas, so far we have not had the courage to calculate the total... would be depressing i'm sure...

Halloween finally! The girls have been talking about it since before we left on our trip... is it Halloween yet? Is it Halloween yet? Arggg! It's finally over! Good news is, and i don't want to bug everyone back home, but... it was 18C and a little windy at the Halloween party that evening. Big change from our usual 2C and rainy Halloweens we usually get! ;-)

These are not the tourists you are looking for...

Parental Advisory: The following image display a graphic depiction that is not suitable for younger children.

This last photo is one i've been meaning to add for a while but kept forgetting. It was taken in Needles Arizona and it was 36C and dry as a bone outside. The photo shows a rare view of trucks procreating... we where wondering why there are so many trucks in the USA and he we found out why, they are horny as heck! ;-)