Travel days, specifically the days spent getting to/from a location by means of planes, trains or automobiles- can be excruciatingly long. Add some delays and flight cancellations due to an approaching hurricane to the mix and you’ve got yourself a recipe for exhaustion and absolutely no productivity. Such was the case last Friday, after a five hour delay and then a re-routed red eye flight as Hurricane Nicole inched closer to the coast left me somewhat stranded for the majority of the day. By the time I’d finally made it home, sat down at my desk in my apartment and opened my laptop- I was entirely too tired to think straight- let alone get ‘Coffee & Chiffon’ updated.
But after a weekend of a lot of rest and relaxation- here I am! Back at work and back to writing again!
I had spent a few days in Houston, Texas last week- invited by Troy who had traveled to the area from California to teach a class at a local Medical Center and who had a couple of days off afterwards that were designated for dining and sight-seeing. He’d asked if I wanted to come down for some food and fun- and given that it was likely going to be my last way-out-of-state trip for 2022- I jumped at the chance.
I’d arrived in Houston last Tuesday afternoon, hours before Troy got into town- and spent a good portion of my day getting my bearings and walking around the area where we’d be staying for the night that was close to where Troy would be teaching (before we moved to a new location in downtown Houston the following day.) Houston is filled with absolutely stunning architecture and artwork- and SO many nice people!
When Troy had landed and we met up, we immediately headed out to nearby PAPPADEAUX for seafood and pasta since we were both pretty famished by the end of the afternoon. It’s a chain restaurants we don’t have here in New England- although I’d totally go if we did. I really liked it.
Wednesday was Troy’s lecture, and while he was being super smart and shaping the future Doctors of tomorrow- I was moving our things into the Magnolia Hotel in the Skyline District. It’s a gorgeous remodeled building that was formerly a newspaper office and then the corporate office for an oil company. While there were a lot of newer features and modern touches- a lot of the location’s original charm were evident in the rooms and hallways. I easily could have spent another week there!
After the lecture was done, Troy and I took a stroll towards the Alley Theatre to grab dinner at Birraporetti’s. There was an opera taking place that night- so we mingled with some of the attendees that were getting food before the performance. When the show started, the place had all but cleared out- which was kind of nice while we sipped cocktails and indulged in pecan praline cheesecake.
Thursday was by far the most action-packed day of our brief trip- especially given that it was our last full day in town. After grabbing breakfast at the nearby Table 7 Bistro– Troy and I headed over to Rice University so we could see James Turrell’s “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace installation on campus. Turrell is one of Troy’s favorite artists, so I knew it would be something he’d really appreciate and enjoy.
Although the installation would have been phenomenal to see at sunset when it would be lit up- we still enjoyed walking around it and snapping photos of the perfectly framed sky and clouds that were visible from within it. It also gave us the opportunity to check our Rice University’s campus- which was sprawling and beautful!
Afterwards, Troy and I caught an Uber to NASA’s Space Center– which came highly recommended by the locals we’d met along the way- and was a definite highlight of my trip. I had a blast looking at and learning about past and upcoming space exploration while walking through retired shuttles and command centers. It was SO cool. I envy the kids that get to take field trips there- since we don’t have anything like it around here!
To close out our final night in Houston, Troy and I kept it simple- with dinner at The Pearl and some time in the hot tub on the roof of our hotel before we had to pack up the last of our things and prepare for our respective flights the following morning. Or, in my case- the following night given that thunderstorms in the area were causing significant delays and cancellations.
Overall, I had such a wonderful time- even if my stay was shorter than my last trip to Texas in Summer of 2021 (and you can view that trip by clicking the ‘Texas’ tag at the top of the page!)
I’m hoping that 2023 will give me the opportunity to see more of Texas at some point. It’s a lovely state filled with lovely people and I always love spending time there!