Friday, 9 November 2012

Houston. No, Not Whitney.

This week has been manic, and I think I've almost ticked everything off on my 'to-do-in-Houston' list which I compiled last night. Last weekend, with the weather being as pristine as always, I was able to go swimming in the local open-air, non-heated pool, and I couldn't believe it! Sitting on a sun lounger, at 5pm, in 28 degree heat, seemed all too good to be true and whilst I was hearing about the truly Winter weather back at home, it was a true wish-you-were-here moment.

Happy November.
Monday saw me heading to the Mall to survey the now-up Christmas decorations and head to the Three Brother's bakery where I treated myself to some pre-election baking. On both Tuesday and Friday I went into the city for a day to myself, rattling around on the MetroRail (an overground, cheap, and 10000x smaller version of the London Underground that goes back and forth on one straight line through Downtown/Midtown) and seeing all the sights I could cram in. On Tuesday I finally went up to the Sky Lobby (the 60th floor of the J P Morgan building in the midst of the Houston skyline) and sat on the floor looking at the city for an hour, becoming maybe just a little too existential but such is my style.

J P Morgan building

On a clear day, like it was, it's said that you can see 20 miles and I could see so far, both around and down. It was beautiful to watch the people and cars moving around in the blocks and avenues and it was perfect. I found Discovery Green and sat reading in the afternoon sunshine before heading back to the Museum District and Rice Village, and visiting the Holocaust museum which was sombering but a must-see in its own way. I also walked with a Doctor who gave me directions as I apparently just look lost when I walk around with my nose buried in my Texas: A Lonely Planet Guide.

I've encountered the nicest people since being here, with people who have said I look nice or help me when I am too shy to ask, Baristas who talk to me for half an hour about England, people who let me share their table at Starbucks then continue to chat to me for an entire hour, Baristas who give me sellotape to fix my poor 50c 'Farewell to Arms' copy with a broken cover - it all adds to the southern welcome.

Sky line!

Top tourist photo taken by other tourists.
Discovering Discovery Green.

The Holocaust Memorial which is well worth a visit.

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