In 2022, I have chosen the word explore to be my theme for the year. Beyond exploring all the places that the world has to offer, I want to explore all of the possibilities available to me, as well as explore my boundaries.
That being said, I have just returned from a trip where I got to explore Houston without my family, and I can’t wait to tell you about my favorite highlights.
Blooming in the City
As I drove into the city from the airport, I couldn’t help but think about how dreary it was. For the record, everyday that I was in Houston was super cloudy and eventually got cold. But that first day, I couldn’t help but think that Houston truly embodied a concrete jungle. It made me want to stay in my hotel room.
But I couldn’t stay in my room forever, especially since I started to get hungry. And sure, I could’ve ordered take out or room service, but I was in the city to explore the city. So I went out…
And I was almost immediately rewarded. When I stepped out and took a few steps, I came across a few stretches of freshly planted tulips that seemed to be blooming along the tracks of the metro. One of my favorite flowers, it made me smile and realize that even in a concrete jungle, there was still jungle somewhere.
To Fluttering Butterflies
When I was about 2 or 3, I remember going to a meadow in with family to celebrate the new year. As some kids and I wandered the meadow, a butterfly came towards me. It freaked me out, and I tried to run away but my shaking knees caused me to fall, which then caused me to start crying. Like think of how Spongebob and Patrick freaked out when they saw a butterfly, I was that kind of stressed crying.
So I thought I would never actively seek out a chance to be around butterflies, but the butterfly exhibit at the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences came highly recommended. I can see why, now that I went.
While I had to walk through an insect exhibit before I actually got to the butterfly sanctuary, almost jumping out of my skin at the sight of a spider might have been worth it. The particular area where the butterflies live in the museum is like a capsule of a rain forest in the middle of Houston. There is even a waterfall in the center of all of the greenery while all these different butterflies lived their lives.
My boyfriend has always loved red pandas, long being Pixar decided to release Turning Red. So when I told him that there were red pandas at the zoo, he said I had to get him a picture, since he was in Houston for work and had no time to go himself. So, with a phone at seven percent, I entered the zoo and tried to find the red pandas before my phone died. Can you guess where they were?
If you guessed the bug house, you were right. It took me 20 minutes of speed walking and a conversation with a zoo worker to figure that out. Insects seem to be the running theme for my Houston trip. It’s okay, because then I fell in love with red pandas and didn’t want to leave even after my phone died.
Posting The Post Views
So something that surprised me when I showed up in Houston was that there were food halls. I thought that food halls only existed in New York City, but maybe it’s just something for the big cities? I can’t remember if I’ve seen any in Orlando. But for those of you who don’t know, a food hall is kind of similar to a food court, except it’s in a space just for a bunch of different food vendors and can be found outside of a mall.
While I visited several food halls, my favorite was probably The Post. I don’t say that just because it was a place where I got ice cream. The architecture and layout inside is really cool, and it seems like they are continuing to develop the space and modernize it more. There are some really cool staircases that lead up to the rooftop, where there is a variety of plants and trees. On a clear day, it might be a cool place to bring your food and enjoy the views of the skyline. Alas, while I was there, it was cloudy, cold, and windy, so these were my views. But I would come back here if I was in town.
I stumbled upon the rodeo on accident. My boyfriend and I went out to a bar and said, “I want a cowboy hat while we’re here.” And the bartender told him that there would be some vendors over at NRG Stadium.
So before I showed up at the zoo, I hopped on the metro to go to NRG stadium. Yes there were hat vendors around, but here’s the caveat: they were all inside the rodeo event, and you needed to get a ticket to get in.
Yes, you could buy a ticket at the gate. But I already had a time I had to be at the zoo because I pre-ordered my ticket, and this was only supposed to be a quick errand. If I was getting a ticket, I was definitely going to enjoy the event, something I didn’t have time for initially.
Luckily, my friend Lily had suggested the rodeo as something we could do together, which also gave me a chance to research a bit and find out that there were music performances.
While she’s not a fan of country music, she sat through and endured a Luke Bryan concert for me, and it got cold too. Something she got from the night was that she decided to buy a hat after seeing how good she looked in the one I got my boyfriend.
How are your new years resolutions coming along? Do you have any places that have surprised you when it comes to travelling? Did I miss any highlights in Houston? Tell me in the comments below, I would love to hear them all.
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