Fat Tuesday

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Reluctantly we left the tranquillity of the State Park and moved a little further south to New Caney - chosen simply because it's close to the airport in northern Houston where we will pick up Anita & Malcolm. Can you believe this; the airport actually has a 'waiting' car park where you can park for free to await the arrival of a flight, it's about 1 min from the terminals and when you get a call from your friends you can cruise through and pick them up at the curb side! Designed to cut down the number of vehicles circling the arrival terminal and therefore help the environment! D'you think it would work at Heathrow??? Parking is only a $1 an hour anyway!
We took a little detour and went to Cut and Shoot - yes it's a real place, though not as exciting in the flesh so to speak. Then travelling down the 59 we passed Huntsville where we saw the "World's tallest statue of an American hero" 60,000 pounds of concrete and steel making the 67' high spectacle. We were heading for Kemah, which lies about halfway between Houston and Galveston, the route took us slap bang through the centre of Houston, which is the 4th largest city in the USA I'm told. A couple of days before Ross had sent us a link to the World's Ten largest...and guess what there was one of the interchanges in Houston - joy! Well here's what it looks like from Microsoft Live maps. Very useful when route planning!
There even seems to be a 'fan web site' for this sort of thing! So should you feel the need to know more about this configuration ie the 'stacking' of the roads then click on this link... http://www.texasfreeway.com/houston/photos/bw8/bw8.shtml
Anyway all this makes my piccies - taken to try and distract my mind from where we actually were - rather tame.
Well, we negotiated it safely and are now camped beside a bayou in Kemah. Being 'Fat Tuesday' we were just in time to catch the last parade of Mardi Gras in Galveston. We went over to the island in the afternoon to give us a chance to look around before the parade in the evening. We found Galveston very reminiscent of New Orleans, lovely old buildings - statues of the past, balconies overlooking the streets and the quaint shops that lined them.

In the harbour and indeed on the drive down, evidence everywhere of the petrochemical industries all along this coast.

We wandered past the floats as the 'Krews' made their final touches before setting off.

As the crowds gathered and streets were closed the atmosphere began to build, we chose our spot and waited. We were not disappointed, the floats were spectacular, the crowd good natured. We stretched our hands skywards like everyone else in the hope of catching some of the beads that are traditionally thrown from each passing float. Well, when in Rome...We didn't have to try very hard as the multitude of strings rained down upon us!
We drove home heads bowed under the weight of our finery, two satisfied tourists

Have a look at the album for some interesting shots...
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