Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Houston Table of Contents

Today is Wednesday, the 18th of January, and our vacation is officially over.  Frownie face.  In an effort to solidify last week's events into a lasting impressions memory bank, I shall recount each and every last detail.

Not today though.  Today, I build the Table of Contents, which is totally backwards, but oh well.  And it won't be a true table, in that it will be in paragraph form instead of a list, but oh well again.  I need to take inventory of what happened real quick-like so that the memory bank has each and every last one of those lasting impressions.

On Thursday, January 12...
... at approximately 9:00am, we loaded ourselves onto an airplane.  I read some of Great Expectations, and the Top 100 Guitar-Gurus-Like-Evah issue of Rolling Stone.  I handed another issue of Rolling Stone to Yahoo #2.  (I received a subscription for Christmas and they sent me three at once to catch up or something.) Yahoo #2 subsequently opened the mag to a page housing a class-act photo of Courtney Love flashing her tatas.  That would be super-cynical-great-parenting-moment number one million.  The photo was blurred, but it did show skin.  And it did show Courtney Love.  And it did present some horror to the poor boy.  Which makes me super sad that his first non-related exposure to tatas were Courtney Love's.

Spouse read a four-hundred-eighty-seven-charactered Robert Jordan* book.  I think.  Yahoo #1 is into the Animorphs series lately.  He finishes one about every other day.

*I've since learned that it's a George R.R. Martin book, not Robert Jordan, but being incorrect about his book selection is part of history now and I must leave it as is.

The plane-ride was without incident, and the capturing of luggage, rental car, and directions went equally without incident.  We checked into a hotel downtown – The Hyatt on Louisiana between Polk and Clay, if you must know – and began the mad scramble for food.  Everyone had become hangry.  We had a chicken 'n basil 'n tomato 'n garlic 'n olive oil pizza – which Yahoo #2 hated and cried because of our blatant injustice (directly to him), then we fought a un-Texan-like head-wind on our way to the Houston Aquarium.  It was cold!  Later, we learned that the Aquarium had great food.  You could go around to the many tanks, pick your fish, and they'd stick it 'n fry it before your eyes.  Just kidding.  They don't do that, but we heard the food is great.

We walked back to the hotel through the theatre district and crashed while watching TV.

On Friday, January 13...
... Spouse and I refinanced the house in the lobby of the Hotel.  Weird.  It was truly paranormal.  Spouse had started the house-refi-ball rolling a while back ('cause like we wanted to cash in on the low-interest rate thing that's sweeping the nation.)  Due to that term "lock in," we had to sign the paperwork and whatnot before the end of the week.  They sent a Houston notary to watch us sign.  Still weird.

After the signing, we explored the Houston Tunnels without getting lost.  Kind of.  We definitely did some back-tracking.  Not all was lost over this back-tracking, however, because Yahoo #2 mastered escalator entry and exit (a true feat... Remember when the escalator was as scary as the high dive?)



We arrived at the convention center, coincidentally the start and finish of the Olympic Trials and Houston Marathon, picked up my bib – labeled "Rabidrunner," which I didn't remember signing up for – wandered the expo and took the tunnels back to our hotel.

We spent the afternoon with Spouse's brother and kids in a community called The Woodlands. We played a rousingly frustrating game of frisbee golf, then I ran six miles while Spouse's brother made us dinner.  The miles were heavenly and sea-level, and the food was spectacular.  Turns out that Spouse's brother loves to cook.  He also loves the Food Network.  So much did he love this Food Network, that his former TV had the Food Network logo burned into the bottom right.

On Saturday, January 14...
... I woke up early.  Really early.  I wanted to make sure we had a spot front and very center, so as to spectate and photograph the Olympic Trial marathon rightly.  I mean, that Olympic Trial marathon was 60% of the reason for scheduling this trip.  That 60% figure is exact, by the way.  Turns out, I didn't need to get up early, because on a course of roughly 8-10 miles (they did one two mile loop, then three 8ish mile loops,) there's plenty of spectator room.  This part of the trip will get two of its very own posts soon.  One for the women's race, another for the men.  Stayed tuned.

After the race, we went back to our room.  The course ran right past alternate sides of our hotel, so we didn't have far to go.  I napped for about an hour, 'cause, like, I had to run the next day.  Then we watched the Olympic Trial rebroadcast on the tube.  We are weird like that.  I'd watch it again if I had access.  There are definite differences between tube-watching a marathon, and actually seeing the competition unfold.  More to come on that.

That evening, we decided to drive by the LDS temple in Spring and have dinner there.  Because of construction, we were stuck in traffic for hours, arrived late, and, once again, were very hangry.  To avoid a possible "lack of food situation" for young children, and pre-marathoners, we just grabbed some Chinese.  It was spicy Chinese and prolly not a great choice.  But they had brown rice.  My body does well on brown rice.

On Sunday, January 15...
... I ran the Houston marathon in 3:17:09.  A serious accomplishment for the circumstances, AND, I had the time of my life.   The end left me extremely pleased and very sick to my stomach.  After pickles and juice – the recovery food of gut-sick-champions – we went to the Children's Museum of Houston.  We played there for about four hours, had some Tex-Mex, left my purse in the restaurant (duh!) went back for it in a panic, and it was still there.  Praise Karma.

We (really, I) have become hooked on Sprinkles cupcakes.  This is all thanks to Jessica, who brought us some from LA the last time she was in town. There is a Sprinkles in the greater Houston metropolis, and we spent an hour finding it.  Was it worth it?  Not sure, 'cause the Yahoos ate half of both my peanut butter cupcakes.  Of all the nerve.   I just ran 26.2 miles (26.5 according to my watch) I can have TWO cupcakes, all to myself.  Right?  Please show some support for me right now on this delicate issue.

On Monday, January 16...
... we visited the San Jacinto battleground – which was instrumental in liberating Texas from the tyranny of General Santa Anna of Mexico – and we played battleship for a couple hours on the U.S.S. Texas.  After we could no longer take the oil-fish smell on that boat, we asked the Yahoos, "Would you rather go to the Space Station or play with the cousins?"  They picked "Cousins."  Of course.  Cousins rule.  So we went back to The Woodlands to play in the park and chat and eat Pho and Sushi.  Spouse's brother and family were terrific hosts.

On Tuesday, January 17...
... it was our last day.  I wanted to photograph a fountain and take Spouse to this ritzy area of town that the marathon went through.  This area is called the Galleria, where the high-end housing and shopping resides.  We partook in a Kolache brunch, wandered through Neiman Marcus and others 'til we couldn't stand it any longer (seriously... who pays $500 for a dang blouse?  Who?  Think of the down coat you can buy for 500 bones.  Or skis?  Or bike parts?  Or... ?)  This mall-jaunt led us to believe that Houston is bringing in GOBS of cash.  Gobs.

After leaving the mall, Spouse drove by the Lululemon joint, we went in, and I bought nothing.  What the...? Am I okay?  I'm okay.  I'm more than okay.  I just had five blissful days of play with my family.  Nothing can top that.  Not even Lululemon.


Tia said...

You KNOW I come to your defense with the cupcake issue, Rabid. You EARNED those mini cakes! And at $1.50 a pop, you likely had spent your budget for post-marathon treats.

I am going to sit at my computer, barely breathing (not quite to the holding my breath stage, in other words) until I get the lowdown on the Trials. I would also like a blow-by-blow account of your marathon experience. Hello? 3:17? How do you knock out a time like THAT when it's the dead of winter and training surely has taken a hit? Maybe less is more. I'd like to think so.

While in Phoenix, I mapped out the nearest Lululemon store and it was a mere 6 miles away. Since I was on foot at that time, I opted out. Rather, I took the alternative choice and walked 3 miles to an amazing mall in Scottsdale where the first store I chanced upon was called "Lucy" with an orange logo. I quite liked the place, and quickly dumped $300 there on SALES items -- too many to carry the 3 miles back to the motel. The sweet saleslady, Fran, offered to hold my purchase until later when I could get a ride for pickup. Sweet.

Anyhoo.... Lucy got my vote (and my money).

So. Hurry and post said chapters before the ice melts in my glass.

radracer said...

Bike PARTS? For $500 you can buy the whole damn bike if you're not too picky.

Unfortunately, I am too picky, and routinely (well, yearly) drop more than $200 in parts and service prior to some annual event.

Sounds like all y'all had a great time. Looking forward to hearing the rest of the story.

Jessica said...

You, of course, deserve as many cupcakes as you can get. 'Specially Sprinkles. they're extra special.

I love the table of contents and look forward to the expanded posts.