"To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted." -- Bill Bryson

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Young & Stupid? Yes. Have Fun. Pt. 8: Philly

We escape Delaware unscathed and without being thrown in jail. We arrive in Philly around midnight which gives us plenty of time to meet up with my friend from Austin, Terrence, and have him show us a bit of the Philly nightlife. All we have to do is find the bar that he's at...which proves to be much more difficult than we ever imagined. For literally an hour we circle some neighborhood of Philly (it seems very nice) looking for this bar and periodically pulling over and checking on a map. By the time we realize we're on the wrong side of the highway, it's already about 1am. Finally we find the bar! Of course, we spent the entire day in the hottest city on our trip and then spent another 3 hours in the car so none of us are looking our best. We desperately tried to find a gas station to change in while circling the city and found nothing so our only option is to change in the street...which is exactly what we do. We unload our bags from the trunk, throw our stuff all over the side walk and change as best we can in a dark Philadelphia street. Magically we end up looking not half bad and we make our way to the bar.

It turns out to be a pretty cool little place called Silk City. There's a big room with music and a dance floor and then a tiny diner in an old rail car. We don't stay long though, since it's almost closing time. We head on to the house of Terrence's friends. It is an adorable 3-story house which a great patio out back where we sit and drink beer until way too early in the morning. As we head home we have a brief puking session by our Sam into our faithful cooler...too much beer and too much heat and not enough sleep got to him, I think. Sadly, we're forced to retire our cooler into Terrence's parents' garbage can as soon as we pull up to the house.

The house is beautiful:

And although it's very close, it's technically not in Philly. Technically it's not in Pennsylvania either! It's actually in New Jersey. Sort of cool that everything is just so close up there. Anyways, we head off to slumberland (Sarah and I get the use of the guestroom and enjoy not sharing a bed for once).

The next morning we wake up and are greeted by Terrence's amazing mother who provides us with bagels and coffee (delicious New Jersey bagels, by the way). Terrence actually had to fly back to Austin that morning so it's just his mom and us. She is an amazing lady who has traveled a ton so we swap travel stories. She also gets us directions to the Liberty Bell. We part ways and head towards the liberty bell (we also get a tad lost and end up in Camden, which apparently is one of the most dangerous areas of the US. Very exciting). As it turns out, we were driving past it probably more than once when we were lost the night before. We park and head towards the little museum that surrounds the bell. As we walk happily along, I spot a couple having their photo taken. As we get closer I realize that I know the man! He happens to be one of my dad's best friends from middle school who oddly enough lives in California. I shout over to him and we do some catching up. Turns out that he and his girlfriend are on their way back to his (and my dad's) hometown for his father's 80th birthday but they thought they'd take a quick 3-day trip to Philly since they had never been before.

We took pictures as proof:

Strange coincidence indeed. We leave him for the Liberty Bell. A brief wait in a tiny line and we are in to the museum! Sadly, another national monument that is not nearly as exciting as anticipated. First off, we all thought that the Liberty Bell has some amazing story about the bell breaking upon the very first ringing. Turns out it broke more than once and just got repaired. It was also incredibly crowded and made picture taking really difficult. As we leave we agree to go with our original story about the bell breaking in some epic way. Before heading for the Rocky Balboa steps, we stop for Philly Cheesesteaks in a nearby park.

The perfect weather and the beautiful park made for a nice break from the heat. Sadly, upon returning to my car I discover a parking ticket...our meter had been up for literally 2 minutes. TWO MINUTES. This is when I decided that I hated Pennsylvania.

We head towards the Philadelphia Museum of Art to the "Rocky steps." Remember the Rocky steps?

It turns out to be a beautiful museum in itself. Plus there is a really neat statue in front of the museum where a hilarious gay couple is trying to take this photo:

It wasn't raining.

So we do the Rocky run up the stairs (the boys actually film themselves running up them) and realize that we've done our time in Philly. We pack ourselves back into the car and begin our journey to New Jersey. Of course, as it happens in Pennsylvania, we get lost for literally another hour in some back roads of PA but eventually we make it to the New Jersey Turnpike and get the hell out of there.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Trip Planner?

My good friend, Andy, is a graduate student at UT studying music theory (or something). But yesterday we were out buying a wireless router and he said "do you like to write?" Which obviously is yes...but it turns out that he needs someone to write grant proposals so he can have money to do things like travel to conferences and the like. Of course I said yes because I need money and I like to write AND half of my job involves planning these trips and creating a budget for them. Of course, not all grants involve him traveling BUT the first one does! So I am in the process of researching and planning a weekend getaway to Indianapolis, Indiana**. I actually have no urge to ever go there, but it's fun pretending I'm going on another trip anyways. Here's some interesting stuff that I've found so far:

1. Indianapolis doesn't have Supershuttle, which is a huge let down. BUT they do have an airport express bus (IndyGo) that is only $7 a trip, making it a lot cheaper than a Supershuttle and conveniently, it will drop Andy off at his hotel's doorstep.
2. Indianapolis is in the top 20 biggest cities in the nation (apparently it's also the 2nd biggest state capitol after Phoenix)
3. It's most exciting annual event: the Indy 500.
4. Larry Bird is from Indianapolis. I guess that could be cool...although he played for Boston.
5. The coolest bit is that Andy will be staying at one of the 7 hotels that connect via skyway to the huge convention center in town. The Westin, Hyatt, Marriott, Conrad Hilton, Omni, Embassy Suites and Canterbury Hotel all connect to the Indiana Convention Center. And apparently this building happens to also be Lucas Oil Stadium the home of the Indianapolis Colts.

Anyways, perhaps I'm destined to plan trips for people? Who knows. I'm off to do more research!

**This link is to one of my favorite websites of all time. It's city-data.com and it is spectacular. Literally any fact you could ever want to know about any US city can be found on that city's page. Check it out (there's a link at the bottom of the page)

Young & Stupid? Yes. Have Fun. Pt. 7: Delawhere?

Our original plan was to get into Philly with enough time to get to the Phillies game that was going on that night. Of course, we end up leaving DC around the time the game is starting. Since Philly is about 3 hours away from DC, this makes our plans fly out of the window (much to the sadness of the boys who had been looking forward to seeing a baseball game). Regardless, we merrily begin our journey towards Philadelphia. My handy co-pilot, Sarah, navigates us up I-95 towards Pennsylvania which makes a brief entrance and exit into Delaware. None of us really had any feeling towards Delaware; it was only going to be a quick blip on our trip. It turns out that Delaware is much more exciting than we ever could have imagined.

We pull up to the toll booth at the Delaware border and I hang my arm out the window to hand the lovely toll-lady my money. As I do so, she begins shouting "you can't do that! That is illegal!" That's not something one usually hears at a toll booth when handing the toll-person money, but it turns out she's shouting at Francesco in the back seat. Naturally I assume he is doing something obviously illegal and stupid like opening a beer. Wrong. She continues ranting about how it's illegal to take photos of people in Delaware and she could have him thrown in jail for doing so (that's when we realize that Franco's horribly illegal act was taking a photo of the hideous Delaware woman). He apologies and pulls the "but I'm from England and didn't know" card. Her response is to simply shout "they are taking a photo of your license right now. If my photo ends up on the internet they can throw you all in jail!"

You should all know that at this point my arm is still hanging out the window in hopes that she'll take the money and let us leave.

Francesco apologies...again. She finally stops shouting, makes one more comment about how illegal it is to take photographs of people in Delaware and snatches my money out of my hand. I'm not sure why it's illegal to take photos of people in Delaware but we all decided it was because everyone is probably as ugly as she was (the best part is that she is quite an unattractive woman) and no one in Delaware wants the rest of the world to know how ugly their population is.

As we drive away Francesco shows us the photo he managed to capture of the woman. Sadly, I don't have a copy (YET!) but it is her in mid-shout with one angry pointer finger in the air as she berates us for the unspeakable act of taking her photo.

We hate Delaware.

Oddly, the woman closely resembled this:

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Young & Stupid? Yes. Have Fun. Pt. 6: Washington DC

Oh Washington DC...what else can I say besides this: hottest place we went to. Hands down. Humid, hot, no shade. Ok, that's a lie. I can think of a lot more to say.

The drive into DC was perfect. We take I-66 east which literally runs into the middle of Washington DC, becomes Highway 50 and then Constitution Ave which literally runs right past the Washington Monument and everything else you could possibly need to see in DC. We circle around and find a parking spot on some street called Freedom St or Independence Blvd or something along those lines and head out in the direction of the Washington Monument.

We take tons of photos of the monument...none of which I'll share with you because honestly, it is just a giant obelisk. We stop at the WWII Memorial before hitting the Reflecting Pool. I am most excited to find the Lincoln Memorial for a very special reason. As you recall, I dropped a book about Abe Lincoln on my foot when preparing for the trip. I thought it only fair that I give Lincoln a good, swift kick to his foot as soon as I get to the memorial. Of course, the statue of Lincoln is about 20 feet in the air and there are velvet ropes stopping people like me from kicking him in the foot. Instead, Sarah gets this photo:

That'll have to do.

Around that time we get a call from another camp friend of Sarah and the Foreign Boys. We head back towards the Washington Monument...but not before Sarah has a chance to slip and fall down the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial. It makes it a little extra special and a little extra funny because it was those particular steps. It's funny enough to have someone slip down normal steps, but these were the steps of the Lincoln Memorial! Needless to say, we pause for a few minutes while Francesco and I laugh hysterically. On the way to meet up with Angie, we stop and get patriotic rocket pops (a necessary item to beat the heat).

Back in the car...
Parking in DC is not easy. Apparently the city is never empty of people, regardless of time of year or time of day or whatever. We have a brief battle with some random man over a parking space (apparently he thought it was not acceptable for Sarah and the Foreign Boys to save a spot for us. His claim was that the spot wasn't a "people parking" spot). Eventually we find a garage under some commerce building. Because the building is a government building, we get to have our trunk searched, Angie and I have to show ID and best of all, the security guards take my fingerprints off the steering wheel! I'm not sure why this is an exciting moment in my life, but it is.

After a quick and surprisingly delicious gyro lunch in the cafeteria of this commerce building, we begin our hike to find the White House. We do find it. Take photos. Walk around to other side. Take more photos. Walk away. This seems to be the theme of Washington DC. There is a lot of looking at things and taking photos.

The Smithsonian is our next destination as we hope to find the Hope Diamond. Now, all of us were expecting the Hope Diamond to be huge. I thought that is why it was famous. Apparently, this is not the case. In fact, I still do not know why the Hope Diamond is famous. I manage to take one mildly crappy photo of the gem before wandering off to look at some much cooler stuff, like this:

The Smithsonian is pretty cool, but also so huge that we really only hit the Hope Diamond museum and The National Museum of American History (the gift shop is the coolest part of this museum). It looks as though a normal human could spend about a week in and around all the Smithsonian museums. Since we only have a few hours, we head out to find food in China Town. It's news to me that Washington DC has a China Town...we soon figure out why.

My reaction to China Town:

We find a restaurant that seems cheap enough for our budget and head on in. The fact that the place smells distinctly like poop doesn't sway us from sitting and eating there. I'm not sure why but I think it can be attributed to the fact that we want to get out of China Town as quickly as possible. We sit and eat our average Chinese food and play with the lazy susan in the middle of the table. I might even venture to say that the lazy susan in the middle of the table is the best part about China Town. It makes stealing (mediocre) food from each other very easy. As we leave the restaurant we discover that the poop smell gets stronger closer to the front door and we celebrate the knowledge that the kitchen isn't what smells like poop. We part ways with Angie, find our car, and get on the road to Philly.

Upon finishing this post it has occurred to me that I didn't like Washington DC. I think it's more of a required place for all Americans to visit as opposed to a cool vacation destination. Don't get me wrong, the monuments were all really moving and I am proud to see them, I just can't say "yeah we had a rip-roaring good time in DC!" Sorry, America

Friday, August 20, 2010

Young & Stupid? Yes. Have Fun. Pt. 5: Somewhere Between Nashville & DC

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This is only how far we make it after leaving Nashville that day. The drive is just so long and the road is so dark and through the mountains that it is actually frightening. Sometime after midnight I decide that I have to stop. Sadly, we're on one of those stretches of road where the exits are few and far between and even then they don't guarantee a hotel. We come upon Lexington, Virginia and expect that finding a hotel there will be pretty easy. Lies! We take some exit that boasts an Econo Lodge and a Comfort Inn; these sound cheap enough. Unfortunately, they are not sitting close to the interstate, easily accessible to weary travelers. The exit takes us on some other windy road to nothing. I really start to lose it when a deer walks across the road in front of us. Keyword here is WALK. This jerk of a deer just saunters slowly across the street as if it doesn't notice or care that I'm trying to drive. Plus, Sarah reminds me that we're in the heart of civil war land and therefore there are probably hundreds of civil war ghosts waiting to pop out and scare me.

We come across the Comfort Inn only to find that rooms are about $130 a night. Luckily the woman at the desk (sort of) directs Sarah towards more civilization. After finding out that the Howard Johnson and the Holiday Inn are equally as expensive, we find the Economy Inn! For a mere $59 for the night, we book a room and crash for about 5 hours.

The next morning has since been named "The Mad Morning." I won't go into detail, but it involves a lot of tired people who refuse to wake up and the loss of Sarah's favorite pillow. The last 3 hours to DC is a rough one for the group, needless to say.

Young & Stupid? Yes. Have Fun. Pt. 4: Nashville

We arrive in Nashville late and head straight to a hotel. We find the Scottish Inns & Suites (much to my sadness the room wasn't covered in Tartan and thistles). Of course, when traveling on a budget with a total of 4 people, it can save a bit of money to tell the hotel that there are only 2 of you. Sarah and Francesco go into the booking office pretending to be a couple which sadly results in us getting a room with a king size bed. Just one king size bed...

Somehow we survive the evening without killing each other and wake up early for some Nashville adventures. We head to the main drag of Nashville, Broadway.

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This is where Boot Country lives. Boot Country is a magical land filled with cowboy boots of all shapes, colors and sizes that happen to be 'buy 1 pair get 2 free.' TWO free! They'll also hook you up with a deal if you buy 4 pairs of boots (which is exactly what we did). We each shell out $65 for some sweet boots and Sam also invests in a cowboy hat (which he wore everyday from then on, without fail).

Franco wears it here:

We also stop by the Hatch Show Print place a few doors down from Boot Country. My lovely sister, Anna, showed me this place when we were in Nashville for her bachelorette party a few months ago. Apparently this place has been creating posters the same way for over 100 years. They were also the cats in charge of creating this famous poster:

Look familiar?
It was a successful trip. Sarah loves the place and buys a t-shirt and a key chain for me (to replace the broken Bevo key chain that is somewhere on the floor of a crappy gas station bathroom in Houston) and we move on to lunch! Another 2 doors down is Diana's Sweet Shoppe. We take a break from the blistering heat of Nashville and relax in the old-school wooden booths behind the candy store. It was a delightful and perfect sort of lunch. It was nice to have a good sandwich instead of fast food. It also gave us a chance to take a million photos of each other wearing Sam's cowboy hat.

Our next stop is the Country Music Hall of Fame. Sam grew up listening to American country music so he told us it was required that we go. I can't say I'm a big country music fan (ok...that's a lie. I can often be heard saying "I like everything BUT country music") BUT I was excited to see it anyways. It turns out to be really cool despite my negative view of country. There are a lot of artists that I do like that are members of the hall of fame (ie Elvis, Patsy Cline). The memorabilia they have is also amazing.

Elvis' gold piano:

Also, did you know that Elvis' Blue Suede Shoes was actually a cover? Carl Perkins wrote the song first.

After a few hours in the hall of fame, we begin our 10 hour drive to Washington DC. It's our longest stretch of road before Sarah and I began our drive back to Texas and no one is looking forward to it. The fact that we don't get out of Nashville till about 3pm doesn't help matters much either. We sprint back to the car (the heavens had broken open and it was pouring) and we begin our long journey.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Young & Stupid? Yes. Have Fun. Pt. 3: Memphis

We arrive in Memphis, Tennessee almost unscathed (see post about cop in Mississippi). We spend a brief couple of minutes exploring the Tennessee welcome center where we find all sorts of coupons for cheap hotels, which turns out to be quite helpful. The center also gives us a ton of info on Graceland, which is our obvious next stop. Turns out Graceland is incredibly easy to get to. Just a few miles north of the welcome center is the exit for Elvis Presley Boulevard which spits you right into the heart of Elvis land. We parked next to the Heartbreak Hotel and wandered past the Lisa Marie plane into the gift shop. As I sit and scribble on some postcards, the others check out prices for tours of Graceland...everyone seemed surprised at the $30 price tag for a tour. It seemed like a normal tourist price for something like that, but no one would have it. We did take photos in front of the gate, but it just wasn't the same. The fact that it was Elvis' 75th birthday this year didn't even help to pick up our spirits. We wandered aimlessly around the Heartbreak Hotel and various giftshops taking photos with Elvis posters in hopes that everyone who looked at our photos would think we actually did something exciting in Memphis. Passed the heart-shaped pool we stumbled into yet another tiny giftshop in search of postage stamps for my postcards. It was a stroke of luck. Sarah and I chatted with the woman behind the desk and she pulled out an amazing map and all sorts of tips on where we should go in Memphis. She recommended Beale Street and that we pick up some good ol' Tennessee BBQ. Now, keep in mind that all of us had a general sense of disappointment in the city of Memphis. Even as we drove towards Beale street on the highway, it was just dirty and gross and everything was under construction. So, we finally find the exit for the area of town we're headed and we come over a ridge and there, laying out before us, is a beautiful river, with an equally beautiful park and a fabulously cool bridge spanning this all. At that EXACT moment, I change the radio station and this song comes on:

It was all timed so perfectly...it was unreal. Of course, this changed our entire idea of Memphis. We found parking and hopped onto one of the trolleys through the main area around Beale street just to see the area. We took the trolley down Main St and up past the river. It is actually a beautiful city, after all. The river area really helped Memphis regain itself.

We hopped back off the trolley and headed to Beale St. Turns out that it's similar to Bourbon or 6th St in Austin. We wandered up a down a bit before picking a random BBQ place to eat. Little did we know...the place ended up having the worst service of all time. We were there for about 2 hours in total when it could have been a 45 minute stay. I had to get up and find silverware. Sarah had to get up and find our credit cards after we gave them to our awful server. He ended up giving her only 1 and we had to get up again to get the other 2. It was so bad that we told people who were standing in line to be sat that they should leave(yes there was a line...because no one was seating anyone). It appeared that only 3 people worked at this place at all. The sad thing was that the food was very good. What a waste.

We escaped from Beale Street in search of Sun Studio. This was Sam's special request. As a musician he worships all the guys who came out of Sun Studio, so he had to get out and kiss the street outside the studio. He finally lived his dream and we moved on to bigger and better places...like Nashville.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Young & Stupid? Yes. Have Fun. Pt. 2: New Orleans

We finally got on the road to New Orleans with little issues. We did stop at the Louisiana welcome center for a quick photo session with the Louisiana welcome sign and a random leather-clad biker (apparently New Zealand and England don't have bikers like ours).

When we arrive at the hotel that we had picked before we left I felt a bit...uneasy about it. I had been warned that it may be in a sketchy neighborhood...So I drove down to the French Quarter to see if we could find something better. Instead, we got mildly stuck crossing Bourbon street and found a lot of 'no vacancy' hotels. Back we went to the Midtown Regency Hotel to check in. It actually turned out to be delightful in that broken-elevator-wonky-lamp kinda way. There was also the one bed that we immediately deemed the 'Retarded Bed' due to the fact that one leg was broken and therefore tilted dangerously to one corner. The hotel had incredibly friendly and helpful staff though and only cost $44 a night; PLUS the air conditioning was in superb condition. We threw our stuff down, attempted to mask the smell of traveling and grabbed a cab to Bourbon St.

We begin at the beginning of Bourbon St and wander, stopping for jello shots, a daquiri for me and some delightfully cheap beer for the boys. Wandering the streets with an alcoholic beverage is a new experience for me, coming from Texas where liquor laws are strict and meant to stop most fun. There was a lovely moment where we stopped to lean on a police fence and people watch. We saw more than one high-heeled woman fall in the street. Due to drunkeness or the crappy broken asphalt, I can't say, but it was amusing all the same. We stopped in for a couple songs by a zydeco band at a place called Tropical Isle and sipped some 'grenades.' Apparently these are the strongest drinks on Bourbon. The band finished their set and we were ushered back out into the staggering heat and humidty that NOLA has to offer. We came upon another bar with live music and popped in for a few songs. By a few songs, I mean at 3:15am I checked my phone and wondered how on Earth it had gotten to be 3:15am. By 4am we were back at the hotel full of the worst cardboard-tasting pizza of all time. A small battle occurred over the Retarded Bed, which I thankfully won and we slept...till 11am.

So another important fact about our room that I forgot to mention: there were no windows. Our sorry asses finally got out of bed around 11am and met up with my old friends Amanda and Laura at a place called The Green Goddess in The French Quarter. It was down a charming French-looking alley and turned out to be absolutely beyond compare. Sam said it was the best food he'd eaten in America (he and Francesco split shrimp & grits). I even got some good photos of Sam licking the plate (those will come later). I had French Toast stuffed with fig compote and honey goat cheese and I cleaned my plate. After lunch we popped into an old bookstore down the street where I got some amazing old New Orleans postcards for my collection. Both were written on and sent in 1948. Amanda and Laura left us and we began our slow crawl through the city. We saw some colorful jazz art in Jackson Square, took photos of the river and stopped for necessary water and beignets at Cafe Du Monde, New Orleans' famous beignet location. Once we finished Jackson Square we aimed ourselves towards a French Market that we could see on our map. As we approached this market we realized it was merely a collection of shops. Something did catch our eye though: a Jazz Heritage Museum. We popped in and found a concert going on! A group of brass instrument students and their teacher played an amazing jazz set including 'When You're Smiling." Turns out it was a celebration of Satchmo (aka Louis Armstrong). It was really cool to see a bit of New Orleans in real life.

We continued on our wandering and stumbled upon The Gazebo. Of course it was hot outside and their advertisements for Sweet Tea Vodka and lemonade were irresistible to me. We rested our feet and listened to a live jazz band in the shade. I believe that's when we agree we all officially fell in love with New Orleans. It was just so nice in the shade with our cold drinks and the amazing band, nothing could have been better. Our love affair with the city continued as we wandered the farmer's market, eating alligator sausage and looking at all the knick-knacks. By the end of the market the heat had gotten to us all though, so we headed back to the hotel room to crash until dinner.

Dinner in New Orleans was another amazing moment in the culinary aspect of our trip. Our search for traditional New Orleans food led us to Gumbo Shop (thanks to Amanda). The boys had no idea what to get so I ordered for everyone. We all shared gumbo, jambalaya, cajun pasta and red beans & rice. I don't think there was a morsel left on any of our plates. As we wandered full & happy back to the car we voted New Orleans as best food of the trip...that title still belongs to NOLA.

So we met up with Amanda and Laura again and went out to another part of the city. Apparently more locals hang out at Frenchmen Street than on Bourbon so we headed that way. It was a good night overall. We had a couple drinks at one bar that used to be dubbed "Reggae Bar" (I have no idea what it actually is called) while we listened to some more live music, but we had an early morning the next day, so we headed back to the hotel for sleep.

laissez bon temps rouler!

Monday, August 9, 2010


I'm skipping over New Orleans for a second for this quick update: we totally got pulled over in Jackson, Mississippi because Franco 'didn't signal' when changing lanes. The thick-accented cop looked at mine and Franco's IDs for a really long time, asked us all sorts of random stupid questions and then let us go. I hate Mississippi.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Young & Stupid? Yes. Have Fun. Pt 1. Houston

It has begun! Actually, it began 2 days ago but we've been go-go-going that I haven't had time or energy to stop and write. I suppose the best place is always the beginning...

So we left Austin about 2 hours later than I thought we were. I packed up my small bag, cleaned out my trunk (at which point I dropped a very large book about Abe Lincoln on my foot. Huge bruise), and organized myself for the trip all by 6:30pm. Originally I was told Sarah and the Foreign Boys would arrive in Austin by 7pm. They didn't arrive till about 9pm though. Eventually we got on the road to Houston. I took Highway 71 to I-10 so we would be taken by downtown Houston so the boys could see the skyline at night. Both were really excited to see it when we drove by. Neither of them had seen anything like it. I told them they'd pee their pants when they saw New York City.

So we arrived in Kingwood around 1:45am, ate some snacks left out my mi madre and crashed. In the morning we were greeted by mi padre who cooked us up some breakfast tacos. After finally gathering ourselves we got on our way...or so I thought. To make a long and rather tedious story short, 4 hours later we're in Hermann Park in downtown Houston.

Starving and getting grouchy (mainly talking about myself here) we head to Little Bigs next to the Houston Zoo. Little Bigs is a slider place owned by the man who owns Reef, a supposedly delicious seafood place. The sliders were quite good and perfect for a pre-drive treat.

To further delay our trip we met up some friends of Sarah and The Foreign Boys. Luckily, this friend lives in an amazing bachelor-pad house in the Heights (a hip part of Houston). Eventually we convinced The Foreign Boys that New Orleans was waiting and we headed out around 6pm. Now on to the Big Easy...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Is It Friday Yet?

Only a few more days until the trip begins. I cannot wait and these last few days of work have been DRAGGING. On the plus side, Sarah created a specific itinerary on Yahoo.** We'll see if we can stick to the itinerary. Not sure it one day in NYC will be enough for me, but I will be most excited to see the rest of the country. Apparently Graceland is on our 'must-see' list. As I have a great love for Elvis, this is very exciting. Philly should also be an adventure. It's the only place on our trip that I have never been too PLUS a friend of mine from Austin is from there and conveniently will be visiting so we will have a built-in tour guide.

**Side note: Stemming from a conversation with her father, Sarah decided to call our trip the "Young & Stupid? Yes. Have Fun Trip." We shall refer to it as such from here on out

In completely unrelated news:
I took a mini road trip to Houston last week to see Manchester United play the MLS All-Stars. I never remember to count Houston as a trip since I'm from there, but I suppose technically it is a different city. I had a fabulous time at Reliant Stadium (home of the Houston Texans). While the game was a complete shut out and the All-Stars were on the verge of being totally embarrassed, it was really cool being surrounded by soccer fans. The longest running wave I've ever seen occurred during the game AND I ate some truly delicious stadium nachos.

I'll keep you posted on my trip....surely I'll have some good stories to share! Happy travels.