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Saturday May 9 — A Big Boat (Ship)

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The clouds looked menacing, but it was a fine day for touring the USS Lexington — though the wind was a pain on the Flight deck.

On Friday night in Corpus Christy I was hungry, so after searching through YELP, I finally found a place to go eat some food that was highly rated AND open after 9pm (best hidden food gem in Corpus Christi was one review). It was a small ‘Asian Street Food (my description)’ place called Z Counter. The reviews were great and the photos of the food made me feel optimistic. So, off we went.

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Click on the photo and you’ll be able to see the whole menu. They also had photos of all the items on a separate wall.

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They only have this one location. I wish they had one near us in Pasco! I don’t quite get the name, but I sure like the food.

I’ll just cut to the chase and say the reviews were right on the money. I had a simple pork bowl, yet they turned that into delicious contrast of fresh, sweet, hot, and smokey (from the charbroiled pork) that made it delightful. We also had some Spam Musubi, which was also surprisingly good. In fact, I only had one problem with the Z Counter: I was too full to order and try some of their other dishes. So, Ann and I agreed that on Friday we’d return for lunch.

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On Friday morning, we tackled our biggest planned event of the day, a trip to the USS Lexington (CV-16) Museum. The USS Lexington is an Aircraft Carrier ‘parked’ just off the shore in Corpus Christi. One of the things I learned is that some folks call the Carrier a ship (I’m told that is correct Navy-speak for a vessel of that size), while other folks gleefully call them boats (I’m told that was one way certain Air Force personnel would needle Navy personnel). So, call it what you want, but for me it was my first opportunity to explore an aircraft carrier.

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The carrier is nearly moored on the beach. There’s a ramp to walk up to the museum entrance or visitors can wait for the shuttle.

The best thing about the museum is that people can explore a great deal of the ship. Their are five self-guided tours that take visitors to the bridge, to the flight deck, through the hanger, and into areas below the hanger deck. The museum could easily take an entire day to see and experience everything.

Even better, the museum is very kid friendly. Kids (and adult-kids) can climb into chairs, get photos in a plane, pretend to man weapons and generally touch and feel much of the ship. It’s a really cool experience and I highly recommend it.

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A bad case of me attempting to act like the G-forces are forcing me left.

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Ann had been on an aircraft carrier while in the Air Force and apparently the Navy wasn’t overly friendly. So, she was very excite to take control of a Navy ‘boat’.

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Really, my wife is all about the bombs. I got an in-depth explanation of these.

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Since my acting career as a pilot didn’t work out, I tried my hand at captain. It wasn’t any better. The view from up there was pretty cool.

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Ann, still concerned about the bombs, attempts to direct the man under the plane. I had to let her know he wasn’t real and then restrain her from climbing over the barrier so she could fix the incorrect issue.

I did spot a Navy M-38 aboard the ship as well.

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After we left the Lexington Museum, Ann and I were hungry, so we drove to ZCounter. She had more of the Spam Musubi, while I tried the Bun Bo Hue soup, which I manage to slurp onto my white shirt. OOPs! I also had some of the Green Onion Pancake Wrapped Beef. It was excellent, too.

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Spam Musubi — was surprisingly tasty.

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By this time I already had some small dots of soup on my shirt. It was worth it!

I wanted to try out everything on the menu, but common sense and budget dictated that was a dumb idea, so we had our fill and left Corpus Christi with gusty, relentless winds pushing us northward (the winds sure made the flight deck of the Lexington an adventure).

We drove until we spotted a billboard for Prasek’s Smokehouse, claiming it was a must stop. I can’t remember exactly what it said, but we both agreed we had to see what this was about.

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The place turned out to be another inviting ‘convenience’ store with an impressive meat counter and more. We got some smoked pork and turkey. Ann also went for a marshmallow cube, of which they had an extensive selection of different varieties.

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Nice building and busy parking lot.

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Not a great shot. The meat counter is to the left, but you can’t really see it. In the middle was a place to eat. Above, many heads kept an eye on diners.

Our next stop was to see if there was a slim chance the only Confederate Museum west of the Mississippi was open (Ann says she read that tidbit somewhere). Located in a former water tower on the main square in Columbus, Texas, the water tower was closed when we arrived. Still, it was neat to photograph.

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The Confederate museum is inside the water tower, but wasn’t open. It’s not a very big museum. The courthouse to the left was beautiful. Apparently, the inside is very nice, too.

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This former bank building across the street from the water tower was also beautiful.

As we were about to leave, Ann spotted a little boutique that was still open, so we walked inside. The owner (Debbie) was there and heard we were disappointed about the museum being closed, so Debbie suggested an alternative location. She told us her father had built a large house out of petrified wood. Then she pulled out a book of rock houses in Texas and her parents house was included in the book. The house was still owned by Debbie’s family members. She told us to go walk around and if anyone asked, that she’d sent us. It looked so cool, we decided to check it out.

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While I plotted our next stops, Ann walked around and took photos. She even knocked on the door, but no one answered. It’s definitely a unique house.

We had one more stop planned and that was at Sealy. There we visited a golden chariot with horses pulling it. Apparently, its for sale for the budget busting price of $100,000. But, there’s probably a buyer looking around for that perfect piece.

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Tonight we are staying in Houston. The weekend hotel prices here are amazingly low. Perhaps we are just arriving at the perfect time? I don’t know and I’m not complaining!

 (Want to see more of the 2015 Texas Trip? View the posts from the beginning)

 

 

 

5 Comments on “Saturday May 9 — A Big Boat (Ship)

  1. Allen Forrester

    Thank you Dave and Ann. It is a delight to read your travel blog every morning. I am grateful that you would take the time and make the effort to share your experiences.

    Glad you enjoyed the tour of the Lexington. I like anything having to do with WW2 and spent an entire day (as you mentioned) touring the big “boat”. The emotional roller coaster ran from the depth of sadness and despair to the extreme high of chest-pounding patriotism.

    I get a lot of interesting conversation when I’m driving around in my 1942 GPW that I bought off of Ewillys about three years ago.

    Like you and Ann, My wife and I enjoy the food when traveling. We read the reviews and find really unique and fun eating experiences. I always come home with my belly pooching way out!

  2. mmdeilers Post author

    Thanks Allen. Yes, we are doing our best to keep the pooching to a minimum. It’s one reason we invested in a Brute cooler for this trip (report upcoming). We wanted to travel with some good quality picnic or dinner food (like the smoked meats we got on Friday). It keeps the food bill lower and improves the quality (usually).

    One Los Angeles area reader reported driving his stock MB jeep around and getting reaction from kids that surprised him. Some thought it was a custom vehicle. They didn’t know what a jeep was!

  3. Allen Forrester

    You may have already had a snoot-full of WW2 ships, but the historic battleship Texas is close to Houston and a WW2 submarine is at Galveston. Lots to do, see and eat in that Houston – Galveston area.

    As you probably already know, Tripadvisor.com is a very helpful travel tool.

  4. Ann

    For the record, without the bombs what good are the airplanes? Because without weapons it is just another airliner. And who needs that?

  5. mmdeilers Post author

    Allen: We use Tripadvisor, Roadside America, Yelp, reader advice, local advice, Priceline (our flexible itinerary saves us money and sometimes yields surprises) and dumb luck.

    We’d planned to go to Galveston, but with the winds and the approaching rainy weather, we decided to abandon that idea. We didn’t bring much in terms of rain gear and need to keep our cameras dry. Rain isn’t our friend. So, we are camped for a couple days near Houston’s airport.

    Instead, we were busy today until the rains began. We decided to take Monday off, get clothes washed, etc.

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