Yagi-san – Day 22 – Thursday

I took Thursday morning off of work to take Yagi-san to the airport.  A friend of mine is a member of the Continental President’s club so we actually could go past security with him and hang out there.

We played Shogi while we waited:


Then it was time to catch the flight:


Here is the plane that he boarded:


Already we are missing him…  But we look forward to visiting Japan again, maybe having Yagi-san visit us in India or America.  And keeping in touch via email, phone, and regular mail.  I am planning to make it so we can play Shogi via email on www.IPlayShogi.com

Yagi-san – Day 21 – Wednesday


I had to work this day also.  So, Yagi-san stayed at home, packed, went shopping at Walmart with my in-laws.

That night he took my family out to Dhakshin, an Indian restaurant.


He had a dosa

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My mom said good bye


Sonia gave him an album of his trip:


We had some friends over to visit.


Play Shogi, of course.


yagi-san – Day 20 – Tuesday


I had to go to work on Tuesday.  So, Yagi-san stayed at home and packed.  However, I did have one of neighbors, Angelo, come over for a few hours to chat.


That night, my mom go the kids a dog:



That night we went to Pappasitos with some friends to give Yagi-san a taste of margaritas and fajitas


And of course, we came home and played some Shogi… (I am already missing our Shogi games…)


Yagi-san – Day 19 – Monday

We went with some friends to Galveston

First we went to the Ocean Star offshore drilling platform museum.


It was a little cold, so Stephen wore my jacket…


Then we visited the Hotel Galvez, which I thought was built before the flood.  But actually it was built several years afterwards:


then we went to the Titantic exhibit at Moody gardens.  They give everyone a different "boarding pass" with information about a passenger.  You do not find out until the end if they died or not.


My guy died…

Then we went to the beach and Yagi-san touched the Gulf of Mexico


Next we rode across on the ferry:


Then we went back home, and played some more Shogi


Yagi-san – Day 18 – Sunday

Headed back to Houston.  Ate breakfast at McDonalds on the way:


We went back to my house and rested for a while.  Then we went to the Woodlands for Easter dinner with my dad and Carole.  Stephen and Amma played Shogi while we waited for a seat at the Cheese Cake Factory:


Afterwards, we went home and worked on our garden:


We had dinner at our house that night:


And I play Yagi-san some more Shogi…Here are some shots of the ending


Yagi-san – Day 17 – Saturday

Breakfast at the Hilton… worked on teaching Christopher Shogi while we were waiting… (Do you know Shogi?  you should.. check out www.IPlayShogi.com)



Then we went Canoeing on Village Creek (feeds into the Neches near the Big Thicket national preserve)

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Then we ate Dinner at Fuddruckers.  And played Shogi (seeing a trend?)


Then we went to Spindletop



Then we dropped Sonia, Stephen, and Christopher at the hotel.. then Yagi-san and I went to Orange.

We went to the Stark Art Museum


We missed the last tour of the Stark house by 15 minutes…  At the Stark house they have a Neopolean death mask…I remember seeing it when I went on a tour in high school…  There are only three in the world… one in Paris, on in Washington DC and one in Orange Texas

We got some pictures of the outside thought


Then we went to Shangra La, but did not see much there:


Then we drove over to Louisiana.  The visitor center was closed, but they left some maps and handouts on the front step.


We went back to the Texas center and they were closed too.   But they didn’t leave handouts.


Then we headed back to the hotel..

Yagi-san – day 16 – Friday


On the way to Beaumont, we stopped at subway


And then we stopped at the Ben J. Rogers Regional Visitors center where we found the most wonderful people to help us.  If you are traveling towards Beaumont on I-10 from Houston, then you should definitely stop by and visit.


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Next we visited Gator Country.  It was actually before the Visitor Center in geography, but we didn’t know about it.  So after getting the information from the visitor center, we turned around and drove the 8 miles are so to see it.



They had lots of alligators and crocodiles.

Also, they had a snake that I got to hold.


stephen got to hold a baby alligator

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This is there motto at Gator Country: "Quick Hands or NO hands"


Even Yagi-san held an alligator

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Then we went to the Hilton in Beaumont and then ate at Johnny Carino’s Country Italian restaurant next door.

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Stephen and Yagi-san played Shogi while we waited for our food…. (This is a good time to mention that we are building a site to teach people to play Shogi and to help them learn about the game.  Check out www.IPlayShogi.com when you get a chance.. Not much there but a few pointers to other sites… but you might want to at least book mark it.


After eating, we went bowling.

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Then we called it a day and went to bed… very busy day the next day.

Yagi-san (day 15-Thursday)

Thursday, we spent in Houston.  We went to Minute Maid park for a tour.



See!  yagi-san really likes baseball.  We were trying to convince him to stay another week or so to see the opening game.


We also went to the downtown aquarium.

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And then headed off to the Gallaria. We were thinking about going ice skating, but there was only 15 minutes left to the public session.  So we sat and had an ice cream instead.


Yagi-san (day 14 – Wednesday)


We left the La Quinta (which is a lot nicer than the Rodeway Inn).  One note about La Quinta next to the capitol… you can’t really see it in the picture below, but there is a stop sign with a note that "All parking spots are Valet Parking"… When they say, "All", they don’t mean just this level, but every level in the parking… So that means adding $12/day to your stay.



First stop, Capitol building… (one note about grammar that my son has set me straight on..  Capitol with the "-ol" is the name of the building and capital with the -al is everything else, e.g. name of the city, big letters, etc.


saw the dome…


Senate chambers (picture below) and the representative chambers


Next stop was the "Story of Texas" Texas history museum..  Unfortunately they did not allow pictures in the exhibit hall.  So despite spending most of the day there, I really don’t have many good pictures… other than Yagi-san in front of the big star…


We caught the ‘Dillo.  It is a free bus service around the downtown Austin area.  We took it to the LBJ library.


This is the main room in the LBJ library.  All those red boxes contain all the documents of the LBJ presidency.


we were lucky today… There was an actor pretending to be Senator Johnson.  He answered any questions we had and gave a speech.  It was pretty cool.

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Then we caught the ‘Dillo back to our hotel.  The wait was a little long.. so we rested while we waited…


Then we went to Bastrop to wait for my mom.  Our original plan was to spend the night at my Aunt’s ranch… however, she was not feeling well, so we went back to Houston.  While we waited for my mom, we ate at a mexican food place in Bastrop.  There were performers at Mexican food place.


My mom was a little delayed from her trip from Mexico.  So we needed to kill some time.  So I got a car washed.  This is the picture before the wash.  It is so dirty because on the way from Natural Bridge Caverns, it started raining MUD… Can you believe?  MUD?  Each drop of water had dirt in it. 


My mom and uncle showed up.  And then I got my mom and we headed back to Houston


Yagi-san (day 13 – Tuesday)

Breakfast at IHOP.  Stephen and Yagi-san play the "dot" game.


Went to Natural Bridge Caverns



I was really happy that I bought the tickets online.  I didn’t have to wait in this line!  I just went to the front.  (Can you see the door from here?  Yep, it is that long.)


While we waited for our tour, the kids got to pan for different gems.  You buy a bag of dirt and sift through it looking for the rocks and gems.



Here are the gems we were looking for.


Here is Stephen and Yagi-san in the cavern:


They are very big about not touching.  I am glad to report that the children were able to respect this rule. 


Then we went to the widelife ranch next door.  We saw many exciting things there (pictures are not in order…)

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Then we headed off to Austin.  On the way we stop at Macaroni Grill.