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a blog by ken pardue

Vacation Weekend

Melissa and I had a wonderful weekend away from home this past weekend. We went to Houston and spent the night. While there, we saw Broadway Across America’s rendition of Phantom of the Opera. Having only previously seen the movie, I loved it! The only thing I had to get past was the non-gruff, tennor-esque voice of the Phantom. What left the greatest impression on me was that, while the movie left some of the most dramatic segments of the songs feeling somehow hollow, during the musical they often took place in the midst of massive set changes. Now that was a spectacle, highly recommended!

Amongst other things, we also visited the Houston Museum of Natural Science to see the special Lord of the Rings exhibit. It was filled with original props, costumes, and miniatures from the filming of the movie, not to mention documentaries playing of the cast and crew telling their stories. They had a demo of a 3D modeller that would scan your face with a laser, create a point map, and finally texture your face with stone. I did to my face, and it’s amazing how much it looked like me.

They were also playing a Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon laser show at the planetarium, but I was disappionted to find that it wasn’t playing that day. I’m tempted to go back to Houston before it ends so I can see it.

Finally, on our way home we stopped off in Galveston to see the Battleship Texas, a New York class battleship veteran to both World Wars and the last remaining World War I-era Dreadnaught in the world. We didn’t take the tour, but we did go there and walk around the ship. I used to have a great fascination with the World War II-era Pacific navy, so it was extremely interesting.

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