Howdy from Houston, Texas!
Today begins a work Convention here in Houston, but the last few days have been a blur of friends, food and a lot of driving! Thank goodness my rental car has unlimited miles and the navigator on my phone has gotten me safely to every destination. I’ve named my navigator David. David and I are friends.
Friday I flew to Houston amid a rain storm. Have y’all (See, I’m getting the Texas twang down!) ever driven in a strange city, in a strange car, when there are sheets of water falling from the sky? Well, that was my introduction to the Houston freeway system. My first destination: a little town just outside of San Antonio. I managed to make it part of the way from Houston to San Antonio the first night, even with the flashing freeway signs that said “If there is water on the ground, turn around so you don’t drown.” Reassuring, right?
I woke up Saturday to more rain. Then, more rain. Then, guess what? Yep! More rain! That was ok though, the sun broke through the clouds when I arrived at the home of my wonderful friend Michelle. Michelle was the Maid of Honor in our wedding. We haven’t seen each other in over 20 years! I feel so blessed to see her after all this time! We caught up on family and our lives. She is the kind of person you can talk to without any hesitation. I love that about her! Plus, I finally got to meet everyone I’ve only heard about through letters, Facebook etc. Her husband and her girls are so delightful. Her Church family was warm and welcoming. We had a great time!
Some random thoughts on the differences between home and Texas: The sky is HUGE compared to home. At home, we are in the middle of a basin with mountains all around us. Here, there are no mountains, just SKY. You can see forever driving through the little towns. Of course, I didn’t know this until Sunday because of the rain, but I digress… BIG SKY plus lots of puffy clouds equals a very happy Sara!
The freeways have signs painted on the ground. If a freeway merges with another, the names and directions of the freeway are painted on the specific lanes to show you where you are. They also have them above the freeway in the regular places, but seeing them on the ground was different!
I was told by several people I had to go to Buc-ee’s. “The Disneyland of Truck Stops” is how it was described to me. Texans are very proud of Buc-ee’s, so of course I had to stop in for Beaver Nuggets and a little window-shopping…
Texan’s obviously have a great sense of humor about Buc-ee’s!
Moving on… :-)
Can you believe I’ve been here five days and haven’t had a single bite of Texas BBQ? It’s true! I have had some fabulous meals however! Tex-Mex, Homemade Italian, Seafood straight from the Gulf and Cajun food. Every bite so delicious! I am LOVING all the Tastes of Texas I’ve been enjoying! I don’t have pictures of everything (scandalous for a food blogger, I know!) but here is a small sample of what I’ve eaten here so far:
Michelle made a fabulous Italian dinner on Sunday night! Pasta, Spinach, Toasted bread with Bruschetta and this fabulous Caprese Salad!
At Fisherman’s Warf near The Strand in Galveston on Monday night, I had fried catfish and fried oysters (Oysters are one of my FAVORITE things!) and finished with this homemade bread pudding. It was so huge, I had no chance of finishing even half of it, but it was delicious!
Tuesday brought me back to Houston and dinner at Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen!
Rum Berry Lemonade
Jumbo Shrimp wrapped in bacon and stuffed with pepper jack cheese on a bed of dirty rice. This is going on the list of “Must learn to make at home!”
Dessert was a stunning presentation of Key Lime Pie…
The food and the people have been wonderful while I’ve been here. I do have to tell you though, I went into a grocery store yesterday (My first visit to an H.E.B.) and almost cried. All those fresh ingredients and me without a kitchen to make anything. I miss my kitchen! I miss cooking. The time spent with old friends is precious, but nothing compares to being at home.
So, now I am off to return my rental car and catch a bus back to the Convention Center to start my work week. I’m sure I’ll be posting more as the week goes on!
Have a delightful and delicious rest of your week everyone! Thanks for reading! XOXOX