Thursday, June 17, 2010

Houston

I think it took us somewhere around 5 hours to get from New Orleans to Houston. We stopped at a rest stop on the state line to get a picture with the Texas state sign. Unfortunately, our camera was fogging up from all of the moisture of our damp camera bag after our swamp ride ended in a downpour. So it looks like it’s foggy, but it’s not!

We had a fun discovery at the rest stop though. A cute little raccoon was hanging out in the trees by the rest rooms. She was so sweet! She was clearly visible but just on the edge of the trees; checking everyone out. I think she had her day and nights mixed up! HA HA But I loved seeing her.

We arrived into Houston near the end of the dinner hour and because we all felt a little trashed from our wet swamp ride, we wanted to check into our motel first and freshen up before eating dinner. We went up to our room to unload our bags and my daughter had to go to the bathroom and immediately got stuck in the bathroom. The door was warped or something and you had to really push and pull on it to get it to open after shutting closed. We thought, “This is not going to work” so we plodded back down to the front desk to ask for a different room. They gave us one across the hall to which we found a similar problem; just a tiny bit better. So we decided to just “make do” and throughout our stay never completely closed the bathroom door, but tried to stay away and give each other some privacy. The pool also ended up being closed for renovations during our stay which was a bummer because we’d planned on having some down time at this motel and time to take it easy. So needless to say, this didn’t end up being one of our favorite motel stops.

We did freshen up and headed out to eat at Pappasitos Cantina. I’d heard it had good Mexican food and wanted to eat there. It did not disappoint. It was very crowded when we arrived. My husband and I split a chicken fajita (which was huge) and we got a huge basket of tortilla chips served with guacamole and salsa. They know how to do it right! Most Mexican restaurants I’ve been to serve you a tiny basket of chips & you have to ask for several refills. Anyways, the food was very good.

Wednesday morning we took our time getting ready for the day because we did not know quite yet what we would be doing in Houston. We looked at some brochures and some things we’d written down from looking online and decided to head the short distance to Kemah and visit the Kemah Boardwalk. It has rides, restaurants, stores, etc. When we arrived, we were surprised to find that hardly anyone was there. We weren’t planning on doing any rides since we are going to “Six Flags” in San Antonio. So we just walked around a little. We did see a whole bunch of catfish hanging out under a pier as people paid a quarter to toss some food at them (which my youngest did). We just roamed the boardwalk a little while and went in a few stores.

We then decided to head to Galveston, TX. We drove around and around trying to find somewhere to park in their Historic Downtown District because all of the signs said that it was paid parking and you had to pay at a machine mid-block. For the life of us, we couldn’t find the pay meter/machine. I think we wasted 15 minutes driving around, asking someone who was walking (who didn’t really know) and finally parking. The very first store we went into, my husband asked the salesperson. Guess what? He was told they took the meters down! But they left up the signs. Nice. That just perplexed us and I’m sure we’re not the first visitors who were confused by trying to figure out where to park and pay. Anyways, once that dilemma was solved we walked around and browsed the shops in the Historic District. The sun was beating down pretty strong at this point, but we got a little relief every time we went into an air conditioned store. I think the heat index was over 100.

We walked over to the water briefly and looked at a lot of oil rigging “stuff.” I have no idea what it was or how it all worked.

We were all wilted and ready to call it a day so we headed back to Houston to eat dinner at “Freebird’s.” Another good restaurant I’d heard about. We initially missed our turn and went to turn around and stumbled upon this place that makes big Presidential heads/molds. It was so cool. The funny thing is my husband had read about this place in Roadside America.com! He asked if it was okay to take some pictures and they were more than happy to let him – so that was cool. It was a fun place to stumble upon.

After about 20 or so minutes at the Presidential place, we found our way to Freebird’s. From outside it didn’t look like anyone was eating there and we got a little nervous but decided to go in anyways. Thank goodness, we did! The sun had hit off the windows to hide the people inside and we all loved this place. You order burritos on your choice of tortilla (wheat, regular, cayenne, or spinach) and then you can get all the fillings you want and the size of burrito you want. I got the smallest burrito on a spinach tortilla which ended up being really huge – and yes, I ate the whole thing! It was delicious. My husband got the next size up on a cayenne tortilla. The cool thing is, that they wrap your burritos in tinfoil. And everywhere they have tinfoil creations that people have made. I saw some pretty cool ones – a crab, a cross, rose, ballet dancer, etc. Kayla made a cowboy that was so cute and Eliseo made a tinfoil toilet. When we were ready too leave, a dude that worked there came up to our table and said, “That’s awesome. It’s going up on our wall.” We laughed about that. Eliseo’s tinfoil toilet was a hit. HA HA



We called it a day and went back to our motel to re-group for hitting the road again today. But just before bed, my husband Eliseo wanted some ice water. He asked our youngest to go and get him a “little bit” of ice in his cup. (The ice machine was just down the hall). He said he didn’t need a whole bucket of ice but just a little bit in his cup. She went and quickly came back with his glass and about 3 pieces of ice. We laughed really hard at her version of “a little bit.” So my oldest daughter cheerfully proclaimed that she could go and get her dad a little bit more ice. He readily agreed. The funny thing is, she came back with only about 5 pieces! He was expecting a full glass and it was just really funny how both girls barely got him any ice when he thought the whole glass would be a “little bit” compared to the bucket. We laughed pretty hard and I think it will now become an inside joke for our family.

Houston ended up being pretty fun. We made some great memories and had some fantastic food. The city has a great skyline with the tall downtown buildings but the traffic scared me to death. I’m so glad my husband has been driving! One last interesting thing was that we noticed the Houston traffic lights are sideways. We’d never run across those before – only vertical traffic lights. Who knew?


I continue to love discovering how diverse America is. We can live life so differently yet have hearts that beat exactly for the same things in life. That’s how God works in us. It’s simply amazing for me to see.

2 comments:

Lori @ Just Pure Lovely said...

We have those horizontal traffic lights here, too! It's for the hurricanes. As the older lights sway and eventually fly off in the wind, they're replaced with horizontal lights.

Houston sounds like fun! It's great to follow you around on your road trip -- you're giving me ideas to stash away for our next one out there.

Dionna said...

Hey Lori. Thanks for the education on the lights! HA HA

Do you go on road trips often?

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