Yagi-san (day 12 – Monday)

Breakfast at Denny’s


Mexican Market



San Antonio is one of my dad’s favorite places to visit.  We used to come here all the time.  And we were here in 1992 when the Governor from Arkansas, Bill Clinton, cam to San Antonio to campaign.  We were staying in my dad’s favorite hotel, the Menger.  And Bill Clinton was staying there too (I think..)  I remember there being a big crowd of people outside of the hotel, and barely seeing Bill Clinton. 

Well, Bill Clinton likes to jog.  And there is a painting of him at La Terra with him jogging.  It is one of those things that you remember, that you have to find.  Anyway, find it I did:


Apparently Mr. Clinton was here a few weeks ago for the Texas Primaries.  And he signed the picture:


Apparently John McCain had come at the same time and it was kind of crazy there…

We also got to listen to live music:


We also saw a high school cheerleading squad


La Villita  (Lunch here)


There was this very cute chess set.  The Spanish Conquistadors against the native americans.  I would have gotten it if it wasn’t $50… Maybe next time…


Spanish Governor’s Palace



The children got to play with replicas of toys that were common back when the Spanish Governor’s palace was in use.


Two missions on the mission trail

San Juan mission:

HPIM8577 HPIM8605

Mission Espada



Dinner at Luby’s

Yagi-san (day 11 – Sunday)

Take the bus around




We had a really cool bus driver that let the children take a picture driving the bus..

HPIM8282 HPIM8284

McDonalds for breakfast




Boat tour on the river walk



Museum of American cultures





I was particularly interested in the Japanese influence in Texas.



The kids found this weaving activity.  They want to create a frame like this at home and start working on making cloth…



St. Patrick Parade…. (maybe not…)


Chili’s for lunch


walking around the river walk.


Jim Cullum’s Landing – Jazz cafe




Tower of the Americas

Yagi-san (day 10 – Saturday)

This day had a lot of driving.  First we went to my Aunt’s house in Bastrop.  the 9e-ranch (www.9e-ranch.com).


However, I had not checked with my Aunt about what time I would be arriving and she was away.  Also, we had not eaten yet.  So, we met her and my uncle at a nearby hamburger place.  We dropped my mom off for a mission trip.  Then we continued on to San Antonio where we met up with my dad and Carole.

There was an art event going on.  It had a parade:



We saw a glass blower:


We met up with my dad and Carole at the Menger hotel:


Teddy Roosevelt had recruited some of his roughriders here.  So, there are some documents, pictures, and other things from that era.




Then we went to the Alamo next door:


Then we went to the riverwalk and ate at Rita’s

Then we went back to Alamo plaza and went through the 4D scary ride, and the haunted maze.  Then we went home to get ready for the next day.

Yagi-san (day 9 – Friday)

Yagi-san went to the YMCA with my in-laws.

Then in the afternoon he went to Stephen’s school with Sonia.  Stephen and Yagi-san talked about Japan.  Yagi-san answered some questions.  One of the surprising things was that a girl in Stephen’s class knew about Shinjuku station.  This is a train/subway station in Tokyo that has over a million people go through it a day.  It is a very busy station.

That night, we went to the 1960 chess club and watch Stephen play chess.  Also we looked around wal-mart…



Yagi-san (day 8 – Thursday)

Went to NASA for the level 9 tour:

Started out in the gift show to get some sweaters.


Had lunch in the employee cafeteria.    Funny thing is that before Space Center houston, this is where all the visitors used to eat (early 90s late 80s)

Saw the neutral buoyancy tank

HPIM7886 HPIM7899

Saw mission control.  They were in the middle of a mission, and we were in the background on NASA TV for a few seconds:


Yagi-san would make a good mission controller.  (This is in the old mission control room)


Some day I might be a Flight Director.. Might as well start looking the part.


I was thinking of using this for my future status reports (from the Mission control consoles)


sonia makes a pretty good looking flight controller herself:


Here is a plaque from the Apollo 13 astronauts thinking the controllers for their efforts during that trying experience:


Here is Yagi-san next to a big sized picture of a Japanese astronaut:


We saw the mockups used for training:



We also saw the vacuum chamber used to test spacecraft in space like conditions:



Here are some pictures of pictures of it in use 🙂


We also looked at the restored Saturn 5 rocket:

 HPIM8015 HPIM8028

That was the end of the Level 9 tour.  Next we looked at the exhibits at Space Center Houston.

Yagi-san got to touch a rock from the moon:

HPIM8037  And look at some other exhibits:

HPIM8038 HPIM8041

Then we picked my mom up for dinner (something you can do when she lives 1.5 miles from your house instead of 40 miles)


And afterwards, we all worked on a poster about Japan for Stephen’s school for Yagi-san’s visit:


That wraps up Thursday.

I do not have any pictures for today (Friday) on the computer yet.  Tomorrow we go to Bastrop, San Antonio, and Austin.  We return on Thursday.  I am hoping to update the website as we go along, because we will be see a lot of things and taking a lot of pictures. 

Yagi-san (Day 7 – Wednesday)

Went to the YMCA in the morning:


But there was not enough time for him to go swimming because we wanted to show up to Toastmasters on time:

  HPIM7809 HPIM7811

Yagi-san had trouble understanding Toastmasters…  Anyway, the only difference between the above pictures is that Stella is in one and I am in the other one.  (Somebody had to hold the camera…)

That night we went to the rodeo… saw a lot of cool things.

Steer wresting:


Barrel racing:


Rodeo clowns


Bull riding… (sorry, don’t have a good picture..)

The 4-H bull catching thing where they get to keep the cow:




That event was the most fun to watch…

oh, well, got to move on…

Chuck wagon races


Then the concert started, but it was a little loud


And it was late

And I made the "newbie" mistake of not demanding my seats when I first sat down and then moving from seat to seat… Oh well.

Couldn’t leave without trying the massage chairs again


Yagi-san (Day 6 – Tuesday)

Tuesday was a slow day… There were no activities during the day.  But that night we went to a Ejaz’s house to hang out.


Stephen was very excited to show off his knowledge of Shogi… (Fleel like starting a Shogi Club anyone?)


Enough of that… let’s get back to regular chess for now:


Group picture:

HPIM7803 HPIM7806

Yagi-san (Day 5 – Monday)

On Monday, we took Yagi-san to work to meet some friends of friends.  Here they are:


And we introduced him to some of our co-workers.  (let me know if I can post your names 🙂 )

 HPIM7788 HPIM7789

That night we went to the Movie Tavern and watched "College Road Trip".  I covered a little about the Japanese references in this movie in a previous post.

HPIM7790 HPIM7791

I should also mentioned that I got the "Blue Thing" margarita and some egg rolls.   I don’t know what it was but the next day I my stomach was upset, I threw up, and I could not eat all day..  No more "blue things" for me.

Yagi-san (day 4 – Sunday) with pictures

Ok.. Ok.. I tell you to come look here and then I don’t get it updated… Well, Let me update Sunday through Friday…

Sunday (day 4) updated

Started out with a game of monopoly:


Sunday we went to the Houston Rodeo and Livestock show.  The rodeo/concert was sold out so we just went to the carnival and the exhibit hall.

I rode a mechanical bull:


Yagi-san got a cowboy hat:


got fresh lemonade


Christopher did "Mutton Bust’n"  That is where the child tries to hold on to a sheep while it runs across a pen, like a bull.  If they do it for 6 seconds then he gets a belt buckle.


HPIM7752All suited up, ready to hold on to the sheep.

 HPIM7754Not really a good picture.. but he is actually on the sheep.

 HPIM7755This is the picture that was taken 1/2 a second after the gate was open.  Notice the "divergence" between the location of the sheep and Christopher whose legs can be scene on the left side of the guy’s jacket.


HPIM7680This is what it should have looked like.  This is a picture of someone else that we don’t know doing it earlier in the day.

The children also rode a lot of rides.  We walked around a lot.  But the thing that everyone really liked was the little foot massagers.

HPIM7773 HPIM7774

We also went to the exhibit hall…

Yagi-san (day 5)

Today was a work day for me.  But we met at work with some people that Yagi-san knew of.  Then at night, we went to Movie Tavern to watch "College Road Trip".  The funny thing about the movie was that there were Japanese references in it.  The main character wanted to get into a program that spent a semester in Tokyo and during part of the movie the main characters are on a bus with karaoke singing Japanese people.