Two Weekends in Houston

"Houston" and "hot" go together like peanut butter and jelly.  Of course, this is Texas we're talking about here, so why any of you would be surprised, I don't know.

I have been to Houston twice now.  Both times I enjoyed spectacular weather and amazing sights.  However, being a Michigander, it doesn't take too much to impress me weather-wise - anything above 60 degrees works for me!

Weekend #1: October, 2011
The first time I visited was in October of 2011.  Coming from 40 degrees to 80+ degrees was a most welcome change.  The hotel we stayed in, The Houstonian, was also where my cousins' wedding reception was held.   Complete with restaurants, an award-winning spa, beautiful grounds, pools, extensive gyms and luxurious rooms, this was easily the most fantastic place I have ever stayed in my life.  Being surrounded by gorgeous woods made it feel as though you were miles away from the city, not right in the heart of it.

Houstonian Lobby

This trip, although very brief, allowed me to experience some good ol' Texas BBQ.  Goode Company BBQ on Katy Freeway was definitely Texan BBQ.  Unfortunately for me, I'm not quite a fan, but ask my family and they'll tell you it was good!  My family also took a trip to Cavender's Boot City in Houston.  If you are looking for any type of western wear at all, this is your place.  The huge store captivated us for two hours and we ended up walking out with new cowboy boots.  You know your boots are the real deal when they come from Cavender's!

A final notable place to stop at in Houston is actually inside of the Houston Hobby Airport! Walking to our terminal, we noticed a sign outside of the Pappa's Burger storefront boasting that they had the best shakes in town.  Being the sweet lover that I am, I knew that I couldn't let that go unchallenged.  After ordering a chocolate shake, I decided that they knew what they were talking about!  The shake was either the very best one I have had in my life, or I was just exceptionally hungry.  Who knows?  Either way, it's definitely worth a try!
Pappa's Burger storefront.  
Weekend #2: March, 2013
My second trip to Houston took place in March of 2013.  A weekend trip down to visit family left me not wanting to leave. Spending a few days at RodeoHouston definitely gave me an insight into how completely different Texas was from Michigan. (Texan drawls and Southern manners, just to point out the major signs that we weren't "in Kansas anymore")   The Rodeo took place in and on the grounds of the Houston Texan's Reliant Stadium.  A fair, rodeo and big name concerts every night was a recipe for a massive crowd. People were absolutely everywhere!

Houston Rodeo inside of Reliant Stadium. 
A view of the Rodeo fair from the top of the Ferris Wheel! 
On the first day, my sister and I went with my cousins to the Rodeo.   I had a fantastic time with my cousins - riding carnival rides, eating Texas fair food and soaking in the sunshine.  I had my first bite of funnel cake, and I must say that I think I am addicted.  Everywhere you looked, you could see all different types of fried food.  Oreos, Snickers, and cheesecake are all examples of some fried delicacies that I was too scared to try.  We ended that night by watching the semi-finals of the Rodeo and a Blake Shelton concert.  Never having seen a Rodeo, I was at first upset at the treatment of the poor, little calves, but then I learned that all the roping, dragging down and tying up doesn't actually hurt them.  The next day we came back for the Rodeo finals and an electric Luke Bryan concert.  Overall, seeing the Rodeo was a completely new experience for me and definitely a memorable one.

Nearly front row! 
One place that I would most definitely recommend going for some good eats is El Tiempo Cantina in Houston.  I had the very best chicken fajitas that I have ever had in my life.  Everything was so fresh and delicious - nobody had a bad meal.  Seriously, don't go to Houston and not try it! Another must try place, especially if you are a northerner like myself, is Chick-fil-A.  Since they don't come as far north as I live, I had never tried it before.  It was not just another fast food place, it was good!

Although I have only spent two short weekends in Houston, I know that there is much more beyond what I have explored.  Being the largest city in Texas, I could probably spend a few weeks there and not get far below the surface.  I love Houston and can't wait to go back again!


  1. OH yes...so much more. Goode Company isn't even the best bbq and you haven't experienced heat in summer. My Michigander friend came down in late Summer and I thought she would since she complains about 80 being too hot. October and February are not hot. But right now, it is decent since we have storms alot more than usual. It's a weird season.

    And yes, they don't mistreat the calves. El Tiempo is good, but there are better. See...you need to come down and I will take you around. I've gotten good at it since my boyfriend is from England. When he comes to town, I'm always showing him Houston. I'm glad you liked the rodeo though.

    1. Thanks for the comment and the compliment! Yes, I have been told by my cousins that it was "cold" when we came down, so I'm sure when I visit San Antonio in July, I'm in for a shock! When I do take another visit, what places would you recommend?

    2. In San Antonio? Well, there was a really cool bar we went to on the Riverwalk that had a dia de los muertos theme to it. They had good deviled eggs. Alamo beer is really good. But other than that, I will have to ask my SA friends for recommendations.

      For Houston...I found Gatlin BBQ in the heights. It's a small little house and always packed. Delicious. I love Lupes Tortillas on Shepherd. There is Real Mex, which is supposed to be good; however, I haven't gone yet. I plan to try it soon.

    3. Awesome, thanks for the suggestions! I'll be staying right on the Riverwalk (okay, not right on - extremely close!), so I'll be sure to see if I can head on over for the deviled eggs! I love those things . . . Be sure to check back around the second week of July for my SA experiences!

  2. Ok, I so didn't mean to sound critical. I loved your review. It was great to read.