Galveston, oh Galveston

Growing up my folks had a radio that sat on top of our fridge which never had its tuner knob on anything other than KSSS…”K triple S, country’s best”.  Glen Campbell had a popular song called Galveston  that would stream out that radio.  I thought I knew the song pretty well but apparently never paid attention to the lyrics because I had Galveston pictured as a dusty cow town.  But now I come to find out its an island!!  Ok, ok….I didn’t just find that out, but I was an adult before I realized it was a coastal town.  Hopefully my kids are smarter than their old man. Anyway, we moved from Goose Island to Galveston Island and it was not one of my favorite drives.

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Uss Lexington, The Beach, and The Ferry

Wow. I don’t know what I thought the Lady Lex (we still don’t know why it’s called that.) would be like, but it was really fun!  First thing we did were these “virtual battle stations” one of which was fun and the others downright hard! I could have flown the planes better if they acted more like planes. Yeah, I think I could fly a plane. Granted I would probably crash and burn, but I might be able to escape with only a few broken bones, or just parachute out in the air. Then, we watched this really cool 3D movie about going to mars and beyond. I think I want to be an astronaut someday, it would be fun to drink orange juice. Then we toured the foc’sle which means forecastle because it used to look like a castle on the front of the ship. Also, the top of the ship was cool with all of the planes and the big guns. After the USS Lexington, we went to this beach which was awesome. The waves were choppy, so it was even more fun than it could have been otherwise. Finally, we headed home. But not just on the bridge. We rode a ferry! It was really fun but it was fast.

Signing off,

Supreme Commander of Awesomeness a.k.a Caden

Blue Ghost


All Aboard!! We just boarded the USS Lexington AKA Blue Ghost. It is a model CV16 for those of you who are interested in what model it is. (By the way I am only doing my favorite parts)

First, we went to the virtual battle stations because I felt like blasting some jets down. The first battle station we went to was the Dog Fighting station which was super hard and made no sense because in real life there is a pilot, a bombardier, and a gunner. In real life I could do better than at the virtual Dog Fighting. The next battle station was the Combat station which was my favorite station. In Combat you were a 40mm gunner on the aircraft carrier and were trying to shoot the attacking jet fighters, which were bombing you with cannons and missiles. When I was waiting in line for doing Combat again, I did the last station, the Deck Landing station. The Deck Landing station Was like the Dog Fighting but it was tutoring you. I still like Combat the most.


10 minutes till our 3D movie!! We thought we could see the whole Pearl Harbor exhibit but we had to run through it. We thought we were lost part of the time.


Our movie is just starting!! The movie had nothing to do with the USS Lexington much less, boats or planes. It was about MARS One. At the beginning, there was this retired NASA astronaut who was talking about how people are the species that explore and how nothing is enough and the rocket that blasted people to space to build and live in the ISS. After all of that, It talked about the astronauts who built and lived in the ISS and the fun part of living in space. Fun Fact: the ISS took a decade to build and has more living space than a 6 roomed house! Then, this lady was showing what it was like to train for MARS One. Later it showed this guy working on an air tight inflatable mansion. It was 44 ft high, 40 ft wide, and 48 ft long. That inflatable mansion was deflated and connected to the pod called Orion. Next, this clothes designer showed the knew space suit. She also told about how people have learned a lot about the suits and what needs to be modified. Lastly, it showed the most boring part: THE CREDITS!! 


Pearl Harbor We went back to the Pearl Harbor exhibit because we had time. We watched a short video about Roosevelt signing the declaration of War and the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Then we saw different knots.

On Deck. We went on the Poop Deck (tee hee I said Poop Deck!) We saw lots of Naval planes and helicopters. Then we saw an exhibit on artilleries. We also got to play with guns! I shot at a semi truck. It was the real 80mm cannon, but it wasn’t loaded. In that exhibit we learned about what the big bar on the plane does. It stops the plane quicker when it is landing so it doesn’t fly off the ship.

Big boat, big beach and big tree

Today we planned to venture to the Corpus Christi area so we packed a lunch and Steph took the wheel of the beast so I could work in the passenger seat.  I don’t know why, but I’m still amazed that this little tiny hotspot I have gives me internet in the cool locations where we park our home…but when it gives me internet while we’re driving I feel like I’m living in the future!  Anyhow, first stop, was dropping us boys off at the USS Lexington.

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Corpus Christi & Mustang Island

Brielle and I dropped the boys off at the USS Lexington. We stopped at the visitor’s center to get information. From there we kind of kept striking out. A couple of things like the Art Museum were closed since it was Monday.

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We headed over to the Heritage Center where there were 12 historic houses. The first one we walked into told us they were now all just used as offices and not really open to the public. So we walked around outside, read some of the signs and took a few pictures. After that we found a spot on the beach, parked and did some school work while we waited.


Next we drove to Mustang Island. The kids had so much fun in the water, even though it was windy and a little chilly.  I had hoped to see some more of the wildlife that has been so touted in all the literature. But the good news was: on a windy Monday you get the beach all to yourself! (see Huck’s post for more pics)


The ferry ride from Mustang Island at Port Anansas back to the Mainland was very fun and a new experience for all of us!


On the way home we decided to drive by the Old Tree we had heard about. Amazing!!! The Goose Island Big Oak is over 1,000 years old! It is a coastal live oak measuring at 11 feet in diameter, 35 feet circumference, 44 feet high and 89 feet across the crown. It has withstood countless hurricanes and many people climbing it I’m sure. Now it is surrounded by a fence and they ask you to take photos in the other trees nearby (which of course we did!).

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Birds and Marine Animals of Texas

When people not from Texas imagine Texas, they imagine brutal, arid, desert with tumbleweeds, cacti and roadrunners. Actually, Texas is humid, filled with wonderful birds, many palm trees, but does have cacti. There are also beaches, bays, and oceans. Some water fowl in Texas are seagulls, cranes, pelicans, ducks, and geese. Some other fowl are Bronco haters, cardinals, black birds, sparrows, pigeons, falcons, and hawks.

There are lots of Bays, Gulfs, oceans, and beaches in Texas which means lots of fish and crustaceans. Here are some fish, saw fish, black moray eels, red fish, red drum, black drum, Atlantic sheep head, sheep head minnow, Atlantic spade fish, shark sucker, sea trout, clown fish, red lion fish, sand fish, blue catfish, black drift fish, gulf flounder, yellow edge, long nose killifish, and moon fish. Some crustaceans are stone crab, giant hermit crab, blue crab, Atlantic shrimp, and some snail eggs.

I hope you learned a little something in that. And don’t forget what Texas actually looks like. TTFN



Rockport/Goose Island State Park/Super Bowl 50!

Rockport/Goose Island State Park

Again, so much to see, so little time!

Sunday, Huck found a Baptist Church in Rockport. It was nice. Small to medium sized, they have/are raising money for expansion and updating. The first thing that grabs your attention in the sanctuary is the baptismal pool. So gorgeous! And that was how church was started – 2 baptisms right at the beginning! The music was a little more traditional than what we’re used to, but there were still drums and electric guitars and a lovely baby grand piano. 🙂 People of all ages and dressed from casual to dressy. The sermon was nice and the Pastor admitted the verses he was covering were kind of heavy. He tried to interject humor when he could!

IMG_20160207_104053301_TOP IMG_20160207_102312654 I was struck by how different the view on the way to church was today. Usually we enjoy and love a wonderful view of the mountains on our 15 minute drive. Today the view was gorgeous, but oh so different!

We enjoyed a picnic lunch at the Pier. Then headed over to a free aquarium. It was small, but the volunteer was so nice and full of information. He showed us a fish that loves to interact with people. If you walk back and forth, he’ll follow you! The kids each had to take a turn of course!

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Next we wandered to the beach where the kids had such a fun time playing in the water. Never mind all had ignored my suggestions to bring a 2nd pair of clothes. 🙂 Why not take a dip in the Gulf in your church clothes?

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We still had time before the game, so to the laundry mat, where Huck also changed the headlight on the truck.

The Super Bowl!!! Of course we had to find a place to watch the big game – The Broncos are in the Super Bowl!! I was worried as Dacen and I had a hard time finding a place to watch the last playoff game. We scored a table with a great view. The only downside (and it was a big downside) was we had to endure hours of smoke. Oh well, we saw the game, we saw the Broncos win and we saw Peyton play what is rumored to be his last game.

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Oh and here’s a cute photo from the day before! Brielle is playing her ukele sitting on the back of the tailgate with Papa! So sweet – I Love it!

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One more view – the tree right outside our dining room window! Yes it is VERY close. It had me quite nervous as I helped Huck back up the 5er! But we’ve enjoyed it immensely 🙂


Worship and the Superbowl

How to do church on the road?  I thought we’d be able to listen to podcasts from our church home, Grace Place, but it requires iTunes and I’m allergic to iAnything.  I should probably suck it up for God and install the app though.  Anyway, this week we were in the town of Rockport TX on Sunday and I found a church that seemed to have a good website describing their values, service times and it said “come as you are” and had a picture of a pair of shorts….so I was sold!

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Goose Island

We had made reservations at Goose Island State Park for a few days and we needed to pick up a package there.  The drive to the park was pretty straight forward but the park was surprisingly full.  They told us to drive around and figure out a spot we wanted and then come back.  We were camping in the “wooded area” which is full of really cool trees…but could I squeeze my big rolling home into some of these spots?  We chose one we thought would work and started to park.  It was a back in site so Steph spotted my blind side while I backed in.  An englishman from Canada, Tim, came over to help while our neighbor Lee watched.  One shot was all it took!

After setting up home and having some lunch Dacen and I went for a bike ride to the bay.  It was SUPER windy out at the “premium” bay side campsites….sure glad we’re in the wooded area.  Our package had arrived at the park office so we picked it up on our way home.

We hung out in the yard for awhile then the kids and I went on a walk around the park.  We found a nature trail that was real nice.  We met a dog, climbed a tree and toured a teardrop camper.

I definitely prefer the state park campgrounds to the commercial, private parks.  Sure they don’t have sewer but our tanks do the trick for several days.  They have so much more space, great views, are quiet and CHEAP!

Dacen and Papa go for a bike ride to the bay

Dacen on the bay

A sand (or shell) bar


Tailgate party

Nature hike

Great climbing trees out here

The "big tree" over 1000 years old

Seriously some of the best climbing trees I've seen