Crazy place

Trip Start Sep 07, 2007
Trip End Jan 12, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Saturday, December 8, 2007

So Houston is definitely NOT our new favorite place. Texas in general is not our new favorite place. This place makes LA look  like a small town in the countryside. It is SOOOO busy. The freeway system looks like a bowlful of spaghetti, with overpass stacked upon overpass, flowing this way and that in a way that seems to make no sense at all. The freeway entrances and exits are a nightmare. There's hardly any room available to get on or off, and there's always traffic. There's construction going on everywhere, because there apparently isn't enough craziness here yet. We tried to get to Costco, just a few miles away, and it took over an hour. Another day we were on one freeway, saw a fast-food place along the side, and decided to go get lunch. We take the exit, and are shuttled onto a different freeway. We drove around for about 15 minutes, never did find the Wendy's again, and ended up in some completely different part of town, in the opposite direction!! It was terrible!
On the bright side, the Kingdom Hall is only about 5 minutes away and requires no freeway use at all. After the flight nightmare of Friday night/Saturday morning, it was nice to be among the peace and friendliness of the brothers and sisters on Sunday afternoon. They were having a visiting speaker, who was apparently a beloved brother who used to be in this congregation years ago, so we could feel everyone's excitement at his presence. We could tell it was special, almost like a C.O. visit or something. Consequently, not many greeted us after the meeting, because they were all gathered around the brother and his wife. That was okay, though, because we had a terrible amount of chores and errands to run, so we snuck out and took care of business. On Wednesday, though, after the School and Service meeting, we were discovered. What a neat group of people. As always, the friends are so loving and made us feel so welcome. One young sister (17 years old) had just returned from the Dominican Republic where she spent one month helping a congregation there. She shared some of her experiences with us, and said that she already has plans to go back again in February, this time for 2 months. We were so encouraged to see this young one spending her time and energy pursuing Kingdom interests, and not being distracted by the ugliness that this world has to offer. We look forward to meeting her again in the future and hearing about her further experiences.
Tonight we decided to check out a little area nearby our campground called Rice Village, or, simply, The Village. It's a section of town that has a bunch of shops and restaurants from yesteryear. I had seen a program about it on the local Houston channel and was curious, especially about the 5 and dime store that has been there for something like 80 years. Unfortunately, by the time we were able to get down there, most of the stores were closed. It was still cute, though, to even see the store fronts and layout of the streets. There was definitely an old-style feeling about the place. Maybe we'll get to explore it better on a future visit.
While it was too late to do any shopping in the Village, we did find a place to have dinner. It's called Benjy's and is a very modern, Asian fusion kind of place. I had something called surf and turf, which was sliced beef fillet and plump tiger shrimp served over asian noodles. It was excellent. The sauce on it is hard to describe, but was a combination of flavors I've never had before. Sooo good. I forget what Albert had, but it was excellent too. For desert we had an out-of-this-world pumpkin cheesecake with caramel sauce. So light and fluffy-wonderful.
So now I have to go get things put away and get ready to head out of town tomorrow. Houston may not have been our favorite place, but it did have some high points. Good food, good friends, and even the campground was really nice, despite being in a questionable neighborhood. Tomorrow we have to cover a lot of ground, so good night!
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