Heading South

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.


  1. Glad your Houston trip had nice weather!

    I'm often a fan of AirbnB, provided I ignore the extra amount of upfront "check-in" coordination required. But it's also necessary to be somewhat aware of the possibility that AirBnB may be driving up the rent prices in many cities, leading to pushing out actual residents. I haven't found a super good article on this issue, but here's a start: http://grist.org/cities/whys-the-rent-so-damn-high-it-could-be-airbnb/

  2. Sounded like you had an awesome getaway, Rooth:) And yay for a good AirBnB experience.
    PS Ehrmahgerd! Totally would've freaked out over the alligators!

  3. Ooh, alligators! When I was driving through Georgia with my sister I kept yelling at her to stop the car because I was sure I saw some but she wouldn't, she thought I was lying.

    Your trip and the food sounds amazing, I put together my Ottawa trip around the restaurants I found in the city...mmaybe it was wrong but it's exciting to have interesting foods to look forward to.

    I think you should have a little studio on the horse farm you're going to buy someday. You can have a big house and a mini one. :)

  4. Alligators!! I'd freak out and run for miles :))

    Your trip sounds lovely. I like to stay in beautiful homes to make my trips more worthwhile - when I visited a small village to do some walks last weekend -I booked an adorable cottage and it was a great space to chill.

  5. Sounds like a lovely time. I always appreciate good weather, although I feel like every time we go away it decides to rain. And so good that you got to eat lots of things. When we were in Korea that was one of the biggest things we worried about (actually it's something we worry about any time we go away). We eat like birds and there is always something we want to eat but can't because we're so full. It happened a few times in Korea which bummed us out - we need to figure out a way to expand our stomachs when traveling. :)

  6. Sounds like such a great getaway! I've never used AirBnb but it's great to hear about such a positive experience! And the food sounds delicious!

  7. "One of the telltale markers of our adventures is eating and drinking way too much." bahahaha!

    Well, you must be doing something right!

  8. Ooh, I do love a good adventure! The best way to spend a weekend, really . . .

  9. An 8-foot monster? I would've beep my pants.

  10. I love, love a road trip, whether planned or unplanned. I've never tried Air BNB but have always wanted to.

  11. This trip sounds nice too, except the part about a 4 mile stroll around things that could eat you. I'm a sissy. I want to be sure I'm never in a position to be challenged for the spot atop the food chain.

    If you two bought a garage apartment, you would have all of that storage space on the first floor.


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