Today I want to talk about the importance of getting away, coupled with a recap of our last day in Houston. I have barely worried about one thing since we have been here in Texas on vacation. I think it is absolutely necessary for everybody to get away from their daily life every once in a while and take a few days to just check out, unwind, and let go of responsibilities. A vacation also makes you appreciate what you have back at home. As much as I have loved being here, it will be nice to get home tonight, unpack, grocery shop, and do all the laundry. But let’s back up to yesterday….
Monday started out with another good workout. I feel way less guilty about eating and drinking all day on vacation if I start the day out with some movement. After our workout, we made the half-hour drive to downtown Houston. My grandma let us take her jeep, and it was so nice to drive with all the windows and doors off. As you can see from the below photo, we are very hip and trendy tourists, walking around the city with our backpacks (;
Our tour of the city started out with a stop at Flying Saucer for a couple of beers and some buffalo wings (our favorite). Chris had been to a different location in Ft. Worth before and liked it so much that he wanted to go back. We asked our bartender what he likes and he gave us a couple of awesome IPA’s. We also asked him for a couple of cool places nearby that we could walk to, and he probably had enough suggestions to keep us busy for three full days. That’s our favorite thing to do while traveling – ask the locals where they like to go. It’s nice to go into the day with no plans and to just take recommendations along the way.
After that we wandered around for a while and ended up at The District for our real lunch. What really drew us in here was their patio – it was absolutely enormous with a ton of couches, tables, and drapes hanging around the edges to make it semi-private. I was super content keeping things simple with a grapefruit cocktail and a chicken salad, but Chris had to go and take me up on my prior request to try oysters….. For the record, I did NOT like them at all. We did get “oyster shots,” which was essentially a shot glass with a raw oyster inside covered in vodka, spicy bloody mary mix, and with a salted rim and a lime on the side. Oh boy. I will not be doing that again anytime soon. Chris took a pretty great video of the whole ordeal, and if I can figure out how to get it off his phone on good quality and onto here, I’ll be sure to share it. For now I’ll stick to a pretty picture of my salad that had mixed greens, goat cheese, almonds, roasted chickpeas, tomatoes, and a panko-crusted chicken breast. It was delicious and exactly what I needed.
After we ate, we took a long walk over to Discovery Green – a park that our bartender told us we should check out. It was super nice, with tons of outdoor activities to do, lots of spots to sit and people watch in the shade, and a bunch of cute restaurants and cafes. We wandered around for a while and worked off some of our food and then sat down on a bench to relax and talk for a while. When we got tired of that, we walked back to the car to make the short drive over to Backstreet Cafe – an amazing recommendation from Christina! Thank you!
We got there right in time for happy hour and had a really hard time making a decision on what we wanted to start out with. We eventually both decided to get the signature sangria which was delicious – red wine, brandy, and a ton of fruit. Not sweet at all; just the way we like it! We also decided to start out with a chili-roasted avocado, stuffed with crawfish, peppers, corn, and a bunch of delicious spices. It was like nothing I have ever had before, and I loved every bite of it!
After that we enjoyed a few more cocktails and some “garden nachos” which were all as great as our first choices. This was such a cute restaurant (in an old house!) and had some of the best happy hour selections that I’ve ever come across – so thankful for the recommendation, because it is something we never would have stumbled upon on our own! Once we leisurely finished up, we drove back home to hang out for the night and go to bed pretty early.
Now back to my original tangent – vacations. Going home today, I feel so relaxed and ready to take on my real life. Sometimes in order to see how good we have it, we have to step outside of our normal circumstances, remove ourselves from the attachments for a little bit, and go back to it with a fresh, open mind. Now that I’ve been away from home for a few days, I am ready to see my cats, put all my stuff away, and get back to my routine – except maybe for work…. (;
This little getaway to Texas was so nice, and it really made me appreciate my wonderful boyfriend who is a great traveler, insanely patient with me, and makes me smile every day, my sweet family for allowing us to stay with them and who took great care of us and who we had so much fun with, and the fact that I have the means and flexibility in my life to take trips like this. In my opinion, mental health is just as important as physical health, and vacations are one of the many ways that we can work on strengthening our mental health so we are more equipped to go through the motions of our “real lives.”
Do you like more relaxing vacations or ones filled with tons of activities? Do you like to go into a trip with a strict plan or go with the flow and just figure it out?