Houston trip a success

Vacations with my husband are wonderful. Things just work, even when we're tired or get lost or don't know exactly what we're doing, because we enjoy being around each other so much.

We got to Houston late Thursday night, and basically all that we did was to check into our hotel and fall into bed. On Friday morning, we decided to go to IKEA for breakfast and ended up completing our shopping in only about 3 hours. IKEA is a big place with much fun stuff to look at, and we weren't even looking at everything, though their kid section is SO cool that I'd love to go back for other stuff as Kent gets older. Their wooden toys and kid bed linens are so nifty (Jack fell in love with a striped elephant pillow), but those things are still a few years away.

We got a cool storage unit (pictured here) with interchangeable bins of different sizes and colors, and this is the arrangement we opted for. I'm thinking of spatter painting it with different blues and greens to make it more fun-looking, but we'll see how ambitious I get. We racked up on a bunch of other things as well (with links included, where applicable): several packs of kid hangers, a great laundry drying rack that has already been used for the inaugural washing/drying of Kent's clothes, an adorable stuffed elephant toy, a hand towel holder and matching toilet paper holder, a few kid-sized stainless steel bowls that we're planning to try out and possibly get more of if they work for feeding (since I'd like to avoid plastic as much as possible), some oversized rubber ice cube trays for freezing batches of homemade baby food, a freezer mold for popsicles (so I can make juice pops!), some cute blue picture frames, a suction-cup shower caddy suitable for baby shampoo and such, a red hanging closet organizer, some Black Currant sparkling juice stuff (they were out of the yummy Lingonberry flavor), and some cookies for Jennifer for watching the cats. We typically exchange desserts for pet-sitting services, and it seems to work quite well. =)

For lunch, we found The Pepper Tree, the vegetarian Asian restaurant I had talked about visiting, and it was great! Chinese food normally makes me feel bloated and the "bad" kind of full, but we ate really well at this place, even though they did have several different veggies and things that were dipped in panko bread crumbs and then fried. Fried things don't always have to taste heavy, and these didn't. They also had a bunch of tofu dishes (curry, spicy Thai, some with steamed veggies, etc.), salads, spring rolls, noodle dishes, string beans, and several desserts. I loved the fact that Jack got to eat anything he wanted instead of having me try stuff out for him and then picking around the buffet. Yum.

After shopping and lunch, we were wiped out and had happy, full bellies, so we drove back to the hotel (and got a little lost on the way) for a nap. We napped for about an hour and then got ready for the Astros game, since we wanted to get there early and scope out parking and food options. The Astros lost, so the people around us were sad (except for the few boisterous Cardinals fans in their jerseys), but a few of Jack's fantasy baseball players had good nights, so he was excited to see them in action. Plus, baseball games are really fun in general. It was pretty late by the time we got out of there, but it was fine. Fun times.

On Saturday, we awoke to 40-degree temperatures and a nasty, grey sky that was threatening rain. Yuckola. We hadn't brought anything long-sleeved with us at all, so our fluid plans for "walking around downtown Houston" suddenly seemed really dumb. When we were lost on the way back from lunch on Friday, I had seen what looked like a cool coffee shop, so we found our way back to it in hopes that they'd have something yummy for breakfast, or at least some good coffee. It turned out to be this really delicious indie restaurant (called The Dry Creek Cafe) with lots of vegetarian and other eclectic food options, good coffee, and a witty, outgoing waitress, so we had a fabulous breakfast experience despite the weather.

We went back to the hotel to check out, and by that point we had pretty much decided that leaving town earlier than we had planned was fine with both of us; it was raining by this point, and we didn't have any concrete plans, anyway. We swung by the HRC to feed my pin addiction (and paid 50 cents for 6 FREAKING MINUTES' worth of parking on the street), and then we decided it was time to head home. The weather was pretty yucky the whole way back, but I had a little nap for part of the time, we stopped at a random Mexican restaurant for lunch that turned out to be quite yummy and fresh, and we listened to a baseball game on Jack's new XM radio that his parents got him for his birthday. We had just activated the radio on Thursday, so this trip was spent getting to know XM and finding several cool stations, such as 102, "Sur la Route," the French pop music station, which is so fun! XM never seemed like a necessity to me, but because of their baseball offerings, it was a great present for Jack, and it's neat to explore all of the options that aren't available on the airwaves in a city like Baton Rouge.

This was our last non-baby vacation, and it was nice. Vacations with kid(s) will be nice, but in a different way, so I'm glad we had this one to share.

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Sounds like a great trip! I love all the loot, especially the organizer. And the little elephant toy is so cute and looks very cuddly. :-) That trip put a dent into the 17-point plan, right?
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