Friday, March 28, 2014

everything's bigger in houston

Last week, less than 24 hours after the final for the class I had been co-instructing and after a mostly-sleepless night to try to finish grading said final, Gabe and I boarded a plane to Texas for SPRING BREAK WOO! We first went to visit my sister in Houston and then headed to Austin to spend time with his family. I had been to Austin before but nothing prepared me for the monstrosity that is Houston. 

We went to the Houston Rodeo and the stadium was bigger than any venue I'd ever seen. 

And of course no attraction in Houston is just that; after the rodeo was a Blake Shelton concert (I knew exactly one song) and the rodeo has an entire carnival outside of it, complete with tons of nauseating carnival rides (another sign of getting older: not having the stomach to withstand the Gravitron) and all sorts of deep-fried foods (DEEP FRIED PECAN PIE) and bacon cotton candy. 

We also bought a Citypass and with that, we went to the NASA Space Center, Aquarium and Houston Zoo. I mean, I guess it's fair that the Space Center is also in this "bigger" category, given the fact that rockets are enormous.

But even the zoo and aquarium were surprising; the aquarium didn't just have random sea life, they also had white tigers (?!), a train ride that went through a tunnel in a shark tank, and a ferris wheel.

The zoo was home to my favorite animal I've ever seen EVER, a clouded leopard. They can probably be domesticated, right?

We also saw this random collection of Beatles statues and presidential head statues. 

And of course, the food. Everything we ate was so amazing and... such giant portions: the aforementioned deep-fried everything on-a-stick at the rodeo, brisket tacos at Beavers and enchiladas at Ninfas. And OF COURSE, the HUMIDITY. We attempted our 10-mile long run on the treadmill in my sister's apartment building one morning and capped at at 3 miles due to humidity. Yes, we were inside. And it was still unbearable. 

Despite that humidity and the extremely high number of bootcut jeans with flap back pockets I spotted (flashback to high school), I was surprised how much I liked Houston. It was so nice for the sun to actually be out most of the time (as opposed to the grey death of Oregon) and I love big cities for the reason that there's never a shortage of anything to do or cool places to eat. 

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