Houston mini-vacation

Trip Start Jan 01, 2010
Trip End May 14, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Sunday, January 24, 2010

On route to Lousiana, we stopped and spent the weekend in Houston. We booked a hotel on the east side of the city because it was more along our route, but little did we know that all of the sights to see are on the west side. Oh well.

We booked a lovely Best Western, right next to a Mexican seafood restaurant. Before checking into the hotel, we stopped in for dinner. Trying to adhere to our resolution to eat more local foods, we were optimistic about this place. We just didn't realize how very Mexican it actually was. Every written sign was in Spanish. If there was English to be found, it was in small font in parenthesis underneath the Sanish. I don't know if our waitress actually spoke English, but I pointed to things on the menu, and they came out.

Kelsey ordered some fried seafood. She said it was the best fried shrimp she's ever had. I ordered tilapia verazanno. And out came a tilapia. A whole fish. Now, the key to successfully eating a whole fish is to not make direct eye contact with the fish. That is, if you have already made the mistake of ordering a dinner where that could even be an issue.

Hah, but really--it was actually the best fish I've had. So tender, and it fell right off the bone. Mmm.

But that's not the highlight of our Houston weekend.

Kelsey was getting frustrated with her home-body of a husband, so he decided to plan a little sightseeing afternoon on Saturday to show her that he really does love her and wants her to be happy. And hey, he'd have fun, too.

Three sites were on tap: 1) The Orange Show, a folk art exhibit. 2) The Health Museum, a museum. 3) The Water Wall, the most popularly photographed site in Houston.

1) The Orange Show... hah! Okay, from what I pre-researched, The Orange Show is a playground-like maze of metal and sculptures eminating from the creative exploration of a local artist who dedicated the entire 23-year project to his favorite fruit--the orange.
Well... we were driving through a rough stretch of residential... and TomTom said that the destination was just a few yards ahead. He wasn't lying. All of a sudden, right next to a normal run-down house, across the street from neighbors who were taking out the trash and smoking in their front yard, was the Orange Show. Cars lined the streets. And the twisted mass of metal was not so inviting. The whole sitaution was so sketchy, in fact, that we kept on driving. Kelsey shot a picture from the passenger seat, but we never stopped. Strike 1. Onto the Health Museum.

2) The Health Museum. We took lots of pictures that you can browse through. We had a nice time, actually. First we explored a room devoted to bugs.
Giant animatronic bugs dotted the room, making great photo opportunities. Next, in the main hallway, we challenged ourselves to a series of hands-on brain teasers. We actually spent a good chunk of time with them.

The rest of the museum explored all aspects of the human body. Many of the exhibits seemed old, over-used, and out-dated. There were a few that still offered some fun and interesting information. Such as a genetic uniqueness quiz, where your answers to fourteen genetic trait questions are compared against everyone else who has taken the quiz. Kelsey's answers matched up with 19 out of over 18,000 visitors. I was a bit less unique.
Overall, a nice little visit. The 4D movie, Plant You, was a little cheesy at times, and sometimes gross with its all-too-close look at the critters living on and under your skin. Exhibits, althought old, offered our money's worth of entertainment.

3) The Water Wall is located in the Galleria, Houston's premier shopping centre. The Galleria boasts over 32 million square feet of shops, as well as an indoor skating rink. We didn't do much shopping, but we did hang out at the Water Wall, and took several pictures. Enjoy.

Before we left, we enjoyed a dinner date at Cheesecake Factory, and took leftover cheesecake back to the hotel.

We left like we got a pretty all-around accurate portrait of Houston. It'll be our last look at Texas for a while.

* * *

We absolutely loved our church on Sunday. We visited First Baptist Church in Beaumont, TX. Too bad noone reading this is in that area, because I would definitely recommend it. The pastor, especially, was fantastic. We appreciated his dedication to referencing Scripture, and his doctoral education was evident in his handling of the topic of atonement--yet it wasn't over our heads, and still deep and meaty enough for new thoughts to chew. It was so refreshing to hear preaching straight from the Word, when we actually needed our Bibles. We appreciated the pastor so much that we met with him afterward and told him all these things in person, instead of just raving to ourselves in the car. Then I took a donut and we left.


Farewell for now, Texas. We'll see y'all in a couple weeks.


Church Sunday--First Baptist Church in Beaumont, TX
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