Saturday, July 9, 2016

Dan's Birthday

Dan's birthday was Friday. I didn't want to let it go by without any fanfare, since it was the last-of-a-decade for him. (I'll let you guess which decade.)

I decided to whisk him away to Huntsville, TX, where our dear friend, Wynn, now lives. We haven't gone to visit her since she and Al left Temple. Al passed away suddenly soon after that move. I tried to make our destination a surprise, but reserving the hotel room turned into a bit of a mess. Our on-line profile had to be updated with new credit card information, and I didn't know the password. Before it was all accomplished, Dan ended up seeing where we were going. Oh well . . .

We drove over on Thursday and spent the evening with Wynn. She lives on the 18th hole in a beautiful community that actually has three golf courses, two swimming pools, tennis courts, walking paths, and more. Drivers have to go slowly because there are so many deer. I lost count of how many we saw coming and going from her house.

When we arrived we were greeted outside by Wynn, and inside by the wonderful aroma of a pork roast. She had prepared a special birthday dinner and birthday cake for Dan. And he REALLY appreciated it!


We stayed at Wynn's and visited until fairly late, and then went to our nearby hotel to get a good night's sleep. 

Huntsville is the home of Huntsville State Prison, and one of their tourist sites is the Texas Prison Museum. On Friday morning the three of us went there. Dan and I had been there once before, back when Chris and Kelsey lived in Huntsville, but it had been a long time, so we enjoyed it once again.

Some handcrafts made by the inmates. The sailing vessel was beautiful, and the jewelry box was made from match sticks!

"We're sorry. Please let us go free!"

We ate both lunch and dinner in downtown Huntsville restaurants, and then went back to Wynn's house, where Dan spent some time trying to help her resolve some computer problems she's been having. We had more birthday cake, talked non-stop until 11 p.m., then said our goodbyes. Dan and I stayed another night in the hotel, then got up this morning (Saturday) and decided to drive over to the Sam Houston monument, that stands alongside of I-45. We've seen it many times , driving past, but had never pulled into the nearby parking area and gone to see him up-close. It's hard to show, in a photo, how tall he really is. But trust me, he's known, locally, as "Big Sam" for a good reason!

Actually, he's 67 feet tall, and stands on a 10 foot high pedestal putting the top of his head 77 feet in the air. He's visible from 6.5 miles away, from the south. Sam Houston (1793-1863) was, indeed, a BIG man in Texas history, winning the battle of San Jacinto, against Santa Anna, and going on to become President of the Republic of Texas, Governor of the State of Texas, and a U.S. Senator.

From the back

Dan's birthday is past now, and I'm happy to report that he says it was one of his best birthdays. 

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