The American lady sitting next to me looked a little bit alarmed when I told her I was heading for Houston.
"Don't you know that there's a hurricane out there" she asked.
"Oh I've heard that, but isn't it going to stay out in the Gulf of Mexico" I replied.
"No! It's heading for Houston," she said.
I tried to put this out of my mind as my Delta flight soared high above the clouds and I sipped at the glass of free champagne I'd been given.
Soon we were landing in Atlanta where I was to get my connecting flight to Hobby airport in Houston.
My first impression on getting off the aircraft was of heat! It was coming up from the ground and felt wonderful.
I transeferred to a smaller plane then and was seated at the front up near the cockpit.
The plane had a Texan crew and I was very taken with their lovely southern accents.
I couldn't help hearing the conversation between the poilet and one of the hostesses.
"This will be a rough flight," he told her "as we will have to fly through the hurricane."
Later he went on the intercom and told the passengers -
"Folks, this will be a very smooth flight as we will either fly above the hurricane or around it."
It started off smoothly enough but when we had been in the air about half an hour we were told to expect a "little turbilence" and to make sure we were strapped in.
It was then that we were tossed around like a paper bag, but worst of all the plane began to drop.
The two women in the seats across the isle began to scream. The man sitting beside me and I exchanged glances; words were not exchanged but we both new what the other was thinking.
My insides were cherning and I couldn't find the sick bag.
The crises eventually passed and we landed in Hobby. I was met there by my two cousins and for the next two weeks experienced the holiday of a lifetime and fell in love with Texas.
There were so many highlights that it's hard to pick just one.
I visited the Space centre in Houston, and had a wonderful day at the Kemah Boardwalk. My trip took me to Dallas where I visited the JFK Museum, beforing going to see Southfork - the famous ranch where the series Dallas was filmed.
San Antonio was wonderful, especially the River Walk. I was very much impressed by the Alimo, and we also went on a ghost tour of the city at midnight.
Forth Worth was like going back in time to an old movie set. We had dinner there and went to a Rodio afterwards, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Auston - the capital - is a beautiful city, and I loved the horses and carriages and was very impressed with Sixth street, and of course the famous bats! I have a tee shirt now which reads -
KEEP AUSTIN BATTY
We also visited the ranch country where I saw the long horned cattle grazing, and also bufflo and deer.
A speedboat trip boat around Clearwater at sunset was truly romantic, and I also got to visit the famous Galviston, which sadly was badly distroyed in hurricane Ike which struck not long after I had returned home to Ireland.
I had the trip of a lifetime and I'll certainly return. But next time not during the hurricane season!
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