*Or, as us non-Beyonce mortals call it, Houston.
As you guys all know, I am not an avid football fan. I mean, I definitely do enjoy watching football from time to time; however, my enjoyment stems more from everything ancillary to football than from the actual sport. Every year, I spend one or two Saturdays in the fall tailgating or going to a game, but I am not one of those people who wants to devote every fall weekend to sports. And though I do enjoy tailgating and going to the odd game, I almost always leave the game not knowing who won or really even who the relevant players on either team are. Again, I’m really in it so I have an excuse to eat chips dipped in various forms of cheese, drink during the day (which minimizes hangovers!) and wear t-shirts in public without judgment. By the way, this attitude of general apathy toward football basically makes me a pariah in Columbus.
[Pro tip: game days in Columbus are literally the best time to do anything that would otherwise involve crowds or waiting: shopping, brunch, hair appointments, etc. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish when everyone else is watching Ohio State.]
You will find it surprising to learn, then, that my trip to Houston was actually motivated by and planned around a football game! Yes that is right – my alma mater, Vanderbilt University, was scheduled to play in Houston over Halloween weekend this year. I obviously did not independently discover this fact, but I was really pleasantly surprised when a friend of mine from college, Josh, texted a few people to invite us to come down for the game.
(These photos were taken a few years ago at a different game)
My friends from college are scattered all across the country, but quite a few actually ended up living in Houston. By the time each of them texted four or five of their closest friends, we had assembled a pretty awesome group who planned to travel to Houston for the game. And by “for the game,” I mean, “to use the football game as a pretext to relive college in a different city” and, now that I’m reading this post back, “to eat and drink our way through every single restaurant and bar in Houston.”
It worked out so that four of us arrived at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport right around noon on Friday, October 30. Josh picked us up and took us immediately to lunch at Down House. It was pretty warm out so even though it was a little overcast, we were able to sit outside. The food was good and it was fun to catch up with everyone!
Of all the restaurants we went to in Houston, which, looking back, was kind of a lot considering how short the trip was, this was the most upscale of them. (That’s not saying a lot, by the way…) The atmosphere at Down House was a bit quieter and more subdued than some of the places we went. Two of my friends, Amy and Carly, ordered a champagne and lavender cocktail that was a beautiful light purple color (…aka lavender…) that was served with a fresh flower. I can tell you that lavender champagne cocktails were not on the menu at any of the other places we went. I feel like maybe the best way to describe this place is that it would be a nice place to stop for lunch and a cocktail during a girls’ shopping trip.
After Down House, we stopped at a bar called Onion Creek for a drink. I knew right away that Onion Creek wasn’t quite as nice as Down House when I stopped in the bathroom and saw this hilarious and accurate exchange on the wall.
After Onion Creek, my friend Emily and I parted ways with our lunch crew and went to Josh’s house to take showers before meeting up with the rest of our friends for happy hour and dinner. In typical Emily and Laura fashion, we managed to get locked out of the gate in front of Josh’s house and had to climb over it. Luckily the neighbors didn’t seem to notice us breaking into their little community, otherwise, I assume we would have been arrested pretty promptly. I decided to take pictures in case the police needed help proving their case against us at some point.
(sorry for weird photo…my phone was on the panoramic setting for some reason but I like this picture too much not to post it)
We had plans to go out for dinner that night with the big group of around 20 people who had gathered in Houston “for the Vandy game,” but before meeting up with everyone, Josh took us to a really cool cocktail bar called Anvil Bar & Refuge. Josh told us that Anvil is a really “hipster” place, which kind of made me chuckle. It did not seem hipster at alllll to me, but something tells me “hipster” means something different in Houston than it does in Columbus.
We just stayed at Anvil for one drink, but I definitely would have liked to try a few different cocktails there – they all looked really good!
Finally, we made our way to a delicious (and huge) Tex Mex restaurant called El Tiempo Cantina to meet up with our big group.
Of course you know the Tex Mex in Houston is going to be amazing, and we were not disappointed with El Tiempo Cantina! Between the delicious queso con carne and the truly spectacular chicken fajitas, it was an excellent meal.
To be honest, after writing all of this down, I’m somewhat appalled at how much we ate and drank in this one afternoon in Houston. At the time, it didn’t really seem that egregious. I mean, sure, I definitely was uncomfortably full by the time we left dinner but sadly, that is not all that unusual for me…
Also, I’m purposefully trying to wrap this up because it pains me to admit that we actually didn’t go home right after dinner. Nope.
We somehow managed to overcome the gluttony of the afternoon and evening and make it to this crazy dance club called Barbarella’s. I’m not going to link to it because I’m pretty sure I’d be borderline disgusted to see what it looks like in the light of day, but we had a great time just goofing around with everyone and burning off a tiny fraction of the calories that we consumed that afternoon.
All in all, a truly wonderful day in Houston with some of my favorite people in the world!
I will be back with Day 2 of the Houston adventure (and Halloween costume reveal) soon so don’t change that dial. Wait…wrong medium.
Anywho, just check back.
PS – I’m seriously thinking that it might be beneficial for my health to do a recap like this of every day of my life because apparently I eat and drink far more than I feel like I do. Yep, that sure would make for some fascinating reading…