Thursday, July 3, 2014

Exploring and Volunteering

During our time back in Houston we have gotten the opportunity to explore and do some other volunteering.  Living this life we have come upon opportunities that we never knew about and have gotten the chance to do things that we would not have done otherwise. 

A friend’s daughter is volunteering at NOAA in Galveston as she works on her graduate work.  She needed help in completing the paper she was writing in taking a survey, so we volunteered.  NOAA was holding their Ocean Discovery Days where they open their location to the public and provide all types of activities to families and for kids to learn about their work.  We took a survey of people attending the event for her so she could comply the results for her paper.  The event was so much fun for us, even though we were working.  We got the opportunity to go see all the sea turtles, learn about the Flower Banks off the coast of Galveston and just learn what NOAA was about in Galveston.  Here are some pictures we took while there and then a link to 2015 event.  If you are in the Galveston area, it is a must attend event. 

http://flowergarden.noaa.gov/newsevents/oddarticle.html

Another adventure we took was to go to the Pasadena Strawberry Festival.  Even though Fred grew up in Houston and I had been living here for over 30 years neither one of us had ever attended.  It was an neat experience.  Nice small town festival with plenty of vendors and shows.  The big thing was the strawberry shortcake – it set a new Gunnies world record for the largest shortcake in the world.  They were selling it by the slice, half sheet and full sheet.  The prices were very reasonable and the cake was very good.  Kroger Supermarket was the major sponsor as you can tell by the cake.  Fun day.

Few days before we left San Jacinto one of the park police officers at the park invited us out to his house for a BBQ.  He not only works at San Jacinto Battleground but he is also the park police for Shelton Lake State Park.  Shelton Lake is near Liberty, Texas and one of those parks that you never really hear much about.  We headed out to the park and was very pleasantly surprise – what a neat state park.  The grounds are very well taken care of and they are even expanding them.  The lake is large and even flows into area swamp land.  Wildlife was everywhere from birds, to small mammals to alligators.  One of the neatest features was they have a three story tower there that you can climb and/or take the elevator up to look over the landscape.  On a clear day you can see the ship channel to downtown Houston to airport.  We were there at sunset and it was simply amazing.  This is one of those state parks you never hear about or think about going to, but if you get the chance go – it is just a day use park, but really neat.