Day 142-147. May 23-29, 2013-Family time

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On the train to Miami Airport

So last week we went to Houston to spend some time with my cousins.  Apparently 2 years had past since we saw them last.  Really where does the time go.  First up was playing with the dogs.  They would not want it any other way.

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Bo and Bandit

Then to William’s 8th grade graduation and Ana Maria’s birthday.  It was the plan for us to go but then we found out there was a mass and Steve and I decided not to go.  Thank God because it was 2.5 hours long.  We stayed back and enjoyed the Petite Chateau as we came to call Ana Maria’s house.  Last time we were there it was under renovation. After the graduation everyone came over for for a Thai dinner.  So good and so much fun.

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View from the table as we drank wine and ate cheese

Saturday was all about getting the work outs in.  We got up and headed to the Houstonian.  I love this place, especially since when we go we get the resident’s member day pass which gets us to the nice of everything.  After the bike and swim I hit the sauna and shower.  We were a bit hungry by this point so off to lunch we went.  Cafe Lilly’s is a Lebanese restaurant and really good.  After lunch it was time for a massage.  There is a huge asian community in Houston so went to this place that fit us all in at the same time and for an hour it only cost $30.00.  They concentrate on Reflexology which I really never knew what it was but I was amazed.  I had tears in my eyes when they hit some spots on my feet but any pain that I was experiencing in my back was gone.

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Awe after the massage

Then what do you know it was time for dinner.  John had stayed home cooking a paella.  It was simple and delicious.

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Paella in the making

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Look at that all done

Sunday we headed to Round Top to hang out with Luis and Tiffany and Ella.  They have a property with a main house and 2 cottages.  It was under construction last time we were there so it was good to see it finished.  It was beautiful.  This is the place I finally learned how to visualize a dam and how it works for my grading exam.  It was just after our visit that I finally passed that part of my Landscape Architecture test.

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One of the cottages

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View to the cottages

We stopped on the way to pick up a pie. Then off to the Mercantile for some sandwiches.  At the mercantile they have wines by the glass called Copas.  So cute and according to Luis the creators were on Shark Tank a few years ago.  So that was cool.  Of course I had to get one.

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Copa display

When we got there Tiffany had called to say she wanted to stay at Galveston and hang out with her friend who had just turned 50.  She had gone up the night before so we didn’t get to see her.  So we ate our sandwiches and hung out in the pool.  By this point guess what we were all hungry again so we headed into town.  This place is so cute.  We went to the pizza joint for nachos and pizza.  It was not the best pizza I have ever had but the ambience was fantastic.  Great place to watch people.  We had to rush back to watch Behind the Candelabra which was premiering on HBO.  It was a very interesting movie.  We then headed out to our cottages.

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Hanging with my cuz

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Nachos

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Movie on the clearest TV I have ever seen. It was freaky.

Monday we had a great breakfast and then I got to shoot a 22 millimeter.  I have never shot before and that is something I blogged about earlier this year.  So after a safety lesson Luis hooked me up.  I did good.  I hit the target 5 times.  I was shaking so imagine if I could have gotten that under control.  I am definitely gonna try that again.

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We then headed back.  We made a pit stop at this place called Buckey’s.  This place is like a truck stop but seriously nice.  On the way to Round Top Ana Maria and Carolina were telling us all about it but we missed the one that was open on the way to Round Top.  The one we stopped at was an older and smaller one but just like they said it was spotless and they had all kinds of cool snacks and souvenirs.  We picked up a couple beer coolers.

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After we got home we went on a driving tour.  I wanted to see some of the devastation at Memorial Park from the severe drought Houston has been in.  They pretty much lost about 70% of the trees.  The last couple of time we went to Houston that is where we ran since it was down the street from their old house.  It was sad to see but like I explained it is mother nature’s way of cleaning up.  This place will come back more beautiful then ever.  We also stopped at the live bridge which was really cool and a few other places before stopping for lunch (since we hadn’t eaten enough) and a trip to Trader Joe’s.  We had never been in one and we are getting one in Miami so we wanted to check it out.  Nice place.

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Live bridge

Then we went back to the Petite Chateau for a dip in the pool and pack up and hang out.  Of course we had to eat once last time.

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What I learned on this trip is that Houston is a really nice city.  It has a lot to offer and has so much diversity.  It is the most diverse city in the country.  I also learned that hanging out with cousins is very relaxing.  Need to do it more often.

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