USA – West South Central (Texas & Oklahoma)

After our weekend getaway to Los Angeles, we were back to our camper van to continue our road trip. From New Orleans, we drove to Houston, Texas where we spent time reconnecting with old friends – Mike and Andrea from our Antarctica trip, Charlotte from 141 Signal, and Brent from West Point. Our first impression of Houston was positive as we were introduced to Texas BBQ which lives up to the hype! It is seriously tasty and we will have to watch what we eat as we are packing on the pounds with all this good food. From Houston, we made our way to San Antonio where we did a bit of sightseeing: the mission churches of San Antonio (to include the most famous one, the Alamo), and the River Walk. We were also able to link up with a SPAWAR colleague Ernesto Brux and his lovely wife Elenida before heading towards Austin. Our army buddy Todd Armstrong showed us around this vibrant city and we quickly saw the appeal. Luckily for us, there was a Pecan Festival on Sixth Street while we were there, so we got to stuff ourselves silly with food and drink during an afternoon of fun. From Austin, we drove north to Killeen where we met up with a fellow contractor from Afghanistan, Joe Ochoa. He and his wife, Rachel, treated us to a Cinco de Mayo feast of beef brisket accompanied with all the trimmings. What a gluttonous feast! From Killeen, we finally bid adieu to Texas and drove north to Oklahoma. Our friends from Germany, Steve and Barb Witt, live in Ardmore and we enjoyed an afternoon catching up with them. Next up is an adventure to Missouri before we drive to Kansas and Colorado so stay tuned.

Get in line by 10:30 am to enjoy legendary Texas BBQ at Corkscrew BBQ; Houston Enjoying our BBQ feast and Big Red soda with Andrea, Mike, Miles and Mason Happy Miles with a belly full of BBQ Joey and Quincy (English Bulldogs) stare hungrily at Robby's banana; Houston Reunion with army buddy Charlotte Rigsby Conner Insane that its been nearly 20 years since we last hung out - Becky's awesome Germany travel buddy, Brent Baumann Mission San José Arched doorway at Mission San José Cherub detail; Mission San José Intricate church door; Mission San José San José grist mill, built during the Spanish colonial period Golden tickseed wildflowers; Mission San Juan Mission Espada Archways of Mission Espada Rustic house near Mission Espada Mission Concepción San Antonio's famous river walk River walk boat tours are a popular option for those who don't want to walk Becky by the Alamo Cenotaph monument Defenders of the Alamo The Alamo - we were shocked at how compact this fortress is! Statue of Davy Crockett who fought to his death in the 1836 Battle of the Alamo Pretty garden on San Antonio's river walk River walk dining opportunities abound in San Antonio Statue outside of Briscoe Western Art Museum Cathedral of San Fernando houses the tombs of Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, and William Travis; San Antonio Bexar County courthouse; San Antonio Linking up with our dear SPAWAR friends Ernesto and Elenida Brux; San Antonio Our army buddy Todd Armstrong takes us to his neighborhood bar; Austin Bull Creek; Austin "Live a Great Story" - Lady Bird lake trail bridge; Austin Texas wildflowers seen on the Lady Bird lake hike Skyline of Austin Austin Capitol building Enjoying a beer with live music at Friends Bar on Sixth Street; Austin Pecan street festival; Sixth Street in Austin Gorging ourselves on Texas BBQ; Austin Chowing down with our friends in Austin Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que; Austin Old trucks parked behind the Little Longhorn Saloon; Austin A saloon with a steeple - the Little Longhorn Saloon Todd taking us to Austin's best kept secret for honky-tonk country music at the Little Longhorn Saloon Breakfast tacos at Tacodeli - seriously yummy! Joe Ochoa with his restored 1957 Chevy Gorgeous purple wildflowers Joe carving up beef brisket while Rachel smiles in approval Deer grazing near Joe's property; Killeen Huge smiles after a kick ass Cinco de Mayo feast with Joe and Rachel Ochoa - thanks for the hospitality guys! Robby smiles as we eat leftover Texas BBQ in our camper van Parked at Buc-ee's, a chain of massive convenience stores/gas stations with the reputation of having the cleanest toilets in Texas! Goodbye Texas, hello Oklahoma! Becky getting some doggy time Saying goodbye to Barb & Steve Witt, our friends from Germany who now live in Ardmore, Oklahoma Painted buffalo statue in front of the Davis Chamber of Commerce; Oklahoma M41 Walker Bulldog tank from the Korean War in front of J.M. Davis Arms museum; Claremore Housing more than 12,000 firearms, the J.M. Davis museum is the largest privately held firearms collection in the world A small sampling of the firearms on display at the J.M. Davis Arms museum The world's largest totem pole, built by Ed Galloway from 1937 to 1948. It stands 90 feet tall; Rogers County js photo galleryby v6.1


29 Apr: Drive to Houston
30 Apr: Houston
1 May: Houston
2 May: Houston to San Antonio
3 May: San Antonio to Austin
4 May: Austin
5 May: Austin to Killeen
6 May: Depart Texas, enter Oklahoma. Drive to Ardmore
7 May: Ardmore to Claremore

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