Brazos Bend State Park at night
This past weekend, B and I drove “south” to visit old friends.  Time flies, it has been a year since my last visit to Houston and almost five years since I’ve moved.  Friends have been promoted, bought houses, had babies, gotten pets, etc.  Life is what flashes by when you’re having fun (or stuck at work), and it’s been happening to everybody.  Most things / people were very much the same, although Houston, like most cities in Texas, is experiencing a rejuvenation with tear downs of the old and crusty and expansion of the fresh and new.

Last year we went to Houston during what felt like monsoon season, and the highway down there was flooded at certain points, with cars stranded on the shoulders.  This year we couldn’t have picked a better time to visit.  The weather was absolutely perfect - highs in the 80s and cool at night - and we spent the vast majority of our time outside, doused in bug spray.

We stayed in an Airbnb in the Heights area; I have nothing but good things to say about Airbnb and have happily used it more than a handful of times.  The garage apartment rental was surrounded by mature trees and felt more like a tree house.  We spent Saturday morning reading out on the second story balcony, taunting the squirrels and blue jays that peeked over to say hello.  The entire apartment was probably around 400 square feet with a separate bathroom, living room, and tiny bedroom.  B made sure to remind me multiple times that we would NOT be able to live in together in such a small space unless there was a lot more storage space.  Alas, tiny home dream squashed!

On Saturday afternoon, since the weather was so nice, we drove down to Brazos Bend State Park, where there are known to be alligators lazing about on the banks of the lakes.  We took a casual four mile stroll around the lake and ran into no less than five alligators, some which were only feet away.  B almost walked right past the last one, which was a monster and probably eight feet long.  They’re surprisingly still and silent creatures, both on land and in the water.  Instead of turning B into lunch, the gator excused himself and slowly and quietly slipped back into the water.

One of the telltale markers of our adventures is eating and drinking way too much.  I think that’s actually an American pastime.  I’m not sure how we were able to fit so much food into one weekend - wild game bratwurst at Moon Tower Inn, South African food at Peli Peli, rustic Italian fare at Coltivare - to name a few.  I also found a breakfast taco place (Uno P’nches Tacos) in the Heights, and B and I ordered every single taco they had on their breakfast menu.  I expected small, light, handheld tacos but these were fully loaded two-handers with refried beans and eggs along with the other toppings we ordered.  Unfortunately for the both of us, we had to drive back four hours to Dallas after breakfast or else we would have loved to settle in for a post-breakfast food coma.

Weekend trips always seem to fly by, and I always ask myself why I don’t head down to Houston more often.  It’s a quick four hour drive, and maybe next time, we’ll stop off at the drive-in movie theater on the way.