"The stars at night..."
Above: That’s me, sporting my ten-gallon hat, of course!
"Are big and bright, (clap, clap, clap), Deep in the heart of Texas!" I remember hearing this song for the first time while watching Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. I always wanted to sing it, preferably with a bunch of Texans. My dream came true last weekend at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
Jason and I just returned from a long weekend trip to Houston. I have to be honest, I was not super thrilled to return to the city where I had my wisdom teeth taken out, but I was excited to meet his family members from his dad’s side. Having lived a big chunk of my life in the south, I was looking forward to sweet tea, southern food, and friendly people. I was not disappointed.
After getting settled in the first of two hotel rooms (the first one’s A/C wasn’t working, so we relocated after our first night), we decided to check out the local Waffle House. I don’t believe there are any Waffle Houses north of the Mason-Dixon Line, so Jason and I believed we were in for a treat.. Or at least, I did, and Jason gave me the benefit of the doubt. We walked in at 11:30 PM and saw only one clean table. The remaining tables were covered in dirty dishes left by previous patrons. We were so focused on our hunger that we ignored the mess as best as we could, especially since I reassured Jason that it’d be okay. The other Waffle Houses I had frequented were clean and had friendly people and decent food. I knew we were in trouble when we had to clear ants off of the table. The sad thing is that we stayed to eat! Jason’s brother-in-law, Paul, claims that it was worth it for the funny story this experience provides. I am still debating this theory.
Above: With Jason’s family, wearing 3D glasses at the IMAX.
I met Jason’s family, including his grandpa (who reminded me a lot of my 81-year-old grandpa from Tennessee who still works full time!), his aunts and uncles, and a few cousins. We had a great time! You can definitely say we ate wonderful food, and we managed to go to an Astros game (thank you, Carlos and Vicky!), and even broke them out of an 11-game losing streak. (The Red Sox lost that night, but you can’t win ‘em all!)
The best part for me was feeling welcomed into Jason’s family by people who had met me for the first time that weekend. Hugs were plentiful and I felt the southern hospitality throughout my visit, a feeling that I sometimes miss in Boston. Of course, since his dad grew up in Houston, I am marrying a half-southern gentleman, but I digress.
One of my favorite moments was at the end of the trip. Jason and I, along with his sister and Paul, were following his mom and dad back to the hotel. Stopped at a red light, Jason decided to honk the horn as soon as the light changed. Laughter shook the Trail Blazer as his dad flipped us off.
For me, Jason helped me wipe away the bad memories from my summer in Houston during college. They have been replaced with Carlos’ stories, Jason’s grandpa’s laugh, and all of the smiles shared during our visit.