The Ultimate Road Trip travel blog

Welcome to Houston

Rice Apartments (formerly Hotel)

Old Main Street

Tranquility Park

Former Enron Headquarters

Home of the Astros

Houston Ship Canal


When I had checked the weather forecast last night it indicate a 70% chance of rain all day today. So when I got up around 7:30 and it was pouring I wasn’t surprised. Went down to breakfast, then came back up and was reading my book figuring I wasn’t going to be doing anything today, especially not taking a bus tour and spending time walking around downtown as originally planned. Got up and look out the window around 8:45 and the rain had all but stopped. Checked the forecast again and now it said afternoon was going to be partly sunny. Decided to reevaluate and head downtown to try to catch the 10 o’clock sightseeing tour as planned. Was able to make it in time since traffic was light and I was able to park on the street (free Sundays) nearby. However, as a concession to the rain, the tour was in a minibus rather than an open top double decker. Tour was okay. Only about an hour and the guide was a bit drier than most. But like I’ve said before you always pick up pieces of info you wouldn’t otherwise learn. For example, we went past the Rice Apartments (formerly a hotel) which is where John F. Kennedy stayed the night of November 21, 1963 before heading to Dallas the next fateful day.

As the tour was finishing up, the rain had stopped, and the sun was breaking through. When I surveyed the sky, it appeared as if it was going to clear up completely, so I decided to use my bike to go back to some of the places we had been to on the tour. Stopped for lunch at Pappas Barbeque which the guide had recommended. Was pretty good. Nothing fancy, cafeteria style, my kind of place. Rode around for about 3 hours and hit a number of places we had seen on the tour including Toyota Center, Main Street, Theater District, Tranquility Park, former Enron HQ, Discovery Green, and Minute Maid Park. Tranquility Park is named after the Sea of Tranquility where Apollo 11 landed on the moon’s surface in 1969. There are concrete towers meant to replicate rockets, and pools, mounds, and indentations intended to evoke images of the moon’s surface.

Was going to call it a day around 3 but it turned into a beautiful afternoon, and since the weather for the rest of my time here is iffy, thought I’d go out to San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site which I planned on doing another day. There is a 450-foot tall obelisk w/ an observation level, a theater, and some historical displays. It is located out in the middle of the industrial section of oil and gas production facilities along the Houston Ship Canal. There was also a trail through the marsh on a boardwalk but it was overgrown and the boardwalk was rotting and falling apart so I turned back after a hundred yards or so. Took the elevator to the observation floor. The oil and gas facilities go on for miles. It is interesting to actually see what you hear and read about regarding the vastness of Houston’s energy landscape. Spent a short while looking at some of the historical displays on the first level of the monument before heading home around 5:30.

I was thrown off this morning on the way downtown. My car clock said 10:30 but my FitBit read 9:30. At the visitor’s center the clerk mentioned last night was the end of daylight savings time. I was thinking it was next week, the second week in November but then remembered in the spring, it is the second week of March. Never had the issue before because I used to always read the paper and would see it there.

Steps 9329/933800 Bike 4.8/135.5

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