IAAP Texas-Louisiana Division Meeting

The IAAP Texas-Louisiana Division Meeting and Conference was held at the Crowne Plaza Greenspoint in Houston, Texas this year.  We haven't had rain in months, but I had to drive through it the whole way to Houston.  I didn't like driving in it with lots of traffic on the road, but I didn't want to complain since we NEEDED it so badly.  Along the way, we were able to pick up a virtual cache that didn't require us to get out of the truck.

Once we got to the hotel, the computers were down and we had to check in with them taking our information and writing it on paper.  The manager had to let us in the room since they couldn't make new keys at that time.  Since it was taking a while to get us all logged in, they brought out complementary glasses of champagne.  No complaints there! :)  The room was nice and spacious.  We went down to check in for the weekend and get our goody bags and binders with schedules and conference info.

Other Aggieland Chapter members came in a little later and after everyone was settled and we were able to get room keys, we headed toward The Woodlands and went to Joe's Crab Shack for supper. We all got a Shark Bite to start the meal.  $8.99?!  Wow!  I'll check prices first next time.

Friday morning, we got up and tried to get breakfast.  The little restaurant in the hotel was so slow that we didn't have time.  We didn't even get coffee!  The line was too long at the Starbucks counter and was moving slower than molasses in winter time.  We thought there'd be coffee in the hospitality suite or the meeting room. No luck there, either.  We will plan better for tomorrow!

Seminars for Friday:

  • Why Isn't Everybody Like Me? - Pamela C. Grant, MSOE
  • Using Digital Images in MS Word and PowerPoint, Office 2007 Interface - Jewel M. London, Master Instructor
  • Networking Luncheon
  • Time/Resource Management Technology: Make it Work for You - Kim Fox-Marchettie, PHR
The luncheon was entertaining and we got the opportunity to meet members from other chapters.  I love the theme of "What's in your toolkit?".  There were soft-sided tool kits on each table with signs for decorations. The signs were changed out for each day's events.  The vendor booths and Ways and Means booths were open most of the day and we had a chance to browse, shop and buy raffle tickets.  There was a Mexican Fiesta that night, but I didn't buy the tickets for that.

Several of us went to The Cheesecake Factory for supper that night.  No Penny or Sheldon in sight.  The food was good and we were stuffed, but we just HAD to get a piece of cheesecake to split between us.  Some of the Capital Chapter (Austin) folks joined us on this trip. The restaurant next door is P.F.Chang's and they have HUGE statues of horses out front. The area down by The  Woodlands Mall was nice and it would have been cool to walk around down there or ride on the water taxi.  We hit one cache while we were down there and introduced our friend, Mindy, to geocaching. It was a nano.  I think we've hooked another one! ;)  We stopped at a convenience store on the way home to get breakfast items for the morning. You have to wonder about the area when the clerk is behind bullet-proof glass and he slides the bag to you through a little slot so you can bag your own items. We didn't stay long.



More pictures from the trip can be found on my Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1884978536421.2104664.1600123642

Weekend of April 29

The weekend started with a Fish Fry at our church, Hope Evangelical Free Church.  We had quite a few folks show up and it was a nice treat.  The kids played disc golf (we brought Colton's basket) in the yard, played basketball and played on an X-box.  The adults visited and some played 42 or Chicken Foot.  There was some cackling going on, that's for sure!  Some of the men fried the fish, french fries and hush puppies.  The ladies prepared the drinks and we had LOTS of sides and desserts.  There's no such thing as a "light" meal at our church!

Saturday morning, I got up and headed toward Birch Creek Park on Lake Somerville for the Brazos Valley Geocachers' CITO (Cache In Trash Out) at our Apopt-a-Highway spot.  Erin (flower71) was in charge of this one and she brought kolaches out.  I still had some water bottles left from our first CITO that was donated by Lampo's Water & Coffee.

We started at 9:30ish with only 5 people picking up trash. Shortly after we got started, 2 of our friends from Austin showed up.  A little later, we added a family of 4.  It took us 2 1/2 hours and we picked up 15 bags of trash.  We were pleasantly surprised there was not more.  It still amazes me that the IDIOTS who smoke still think it's okay to use the highways as their personal ashtray - especially in this extreme drought that we have been in.  One tiny spark and the roadway and nearby trees, houses, businesses and such would quickly ignite. We gathered all the bags at our start point and took a group photo.

After we were done, we headed to the Buffalo Bar & Grill for lunch.  I love it that they serve breakfast at any time of day.  The pancakes are huge, just ask Erin!  We had door prizes for everyone.  Most of them were donated by GxProxy. A couple were donated by Dale (zzypdale) and myself.  The younger cachers REALLY enjoyed the whistles.  Thanks, Frozen Buns...we think. :)

After lunch, some of us headed to Nails Creek State Park to try to find a couple of caches.  We went to the main office to check in.  I love my Parks Pass!  Then we drove down to Newman's Bottom to park and begin quite a long walk to find the first cache, Live Oak on a Sandhill.  I LOVE gnarly trees like this (and ammo cans)!  They have such character.  The jump family headed out and flower71 and I decided to press on to another one near Flag Pond.  Cell reception is HORRIBLE out here.  We tried a couple of trails to get near GZ and then...my battery died.  AARRGGHHH!  We were close, but the brush was VERY thick and we weren't exactly sure where it was, so we sat down at a picnic table for a quick break and then headed back toward the truck. We racked up a LOT of steps today. I should have brought my pedometer for the day. We were surprised to see the nice, clean outhouse on the trail, little trails that led to campsites with log benches, a picnic table out in the middle of nowhere and more.  These trails are really nice and for those of you with horses, this is a great trail system.

Sunday after church, we picked up some To-Go plates from one of the BBQ fundraisers in Snook and took it to my parents' house along with another couple of church members. The afternoon was spent pulling a few weeds in the flower beds, putting a couple more plants in the ground, watering everything and working on the church's website and  Facebook page. It was a nice day just relaxing with my boy and my dog for a while and watching the hummingbirds in the yard.

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