H-Town Hold it Down
As the days before my big move to Europe became fewer and fewer, I started to get nostalgic about Houston. The city I had spent so many years hating, was actually a pretty great place. Every time I drove into downtown Houston, I appreciated the grandeur and skyline. I loved running at Memorial Park and the Rice University trail. Working out with C.J. at Allen Parkway was the best. I liked how I could always count on Agora for endless amounts of coffee, Pho Saigon for the best pho tai, and Cafe Brasil for some yummy fig and prosciutto pizza. And when I was in the mood for sushi? Basically in any part of town, I could find my favorite – ika, amaebi, and sake. I liked shopping at my local HEB on Dunlavy because it made me feel like a hip yuppie (sorry if that’s lame… but it’s true). And it was nice to be within a thirty minute drive from my parents, siblings, and the [coolest] aunt and uncle in the world.
So I decided I needed to make a list of things to do before I left. One, because I am a chronic list-maker, and two, because if I don’t write it on a to-do list, I probably won’t do it. I’m just that kind of person. Springtime in Texas is the best: it’s not too hot yet, and there are a lot of festivities going on so there is never a shortage of events. Here’s my list:
See The Bluebonnets
My original plan was to drive out to Chappell Hill, about an hour outside of Houston, but as I was limited on time, I settled for an afternoon walk with my sister through Terry Hershey Park.
Houston Livestock Show And Rodeo
Every March, the NRG stadium hosts the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. A friend I had been meaning to catch up with invited me to see the Chainsmokers, and we had a blast! Not to mention, we were like TWELVE rows from the very front!!!
If I could have done one thing differently about my first grown-up job, it would have been to make friends with coworkers sooner! And to spend time with them outside of work – because my coworkers were some of the best and friendliest. (Note: I may be a little biased). We went to the Rockets vs. Lakers game and had a great time. (Obviously, the Rockets won!).
Be More Active
This January, I committed to being more active, and I didn’t realize how fun it could be! Whether it was working out at Sabine Park on weekday mornings with THRIVE ON founder, C.J., trying out Pure Barre classes with my friend Kennia, or tagging along with my aunt to her pilates class, I truly enjoyed trying new things and being active. For the past few years, my workouts have been super mundane, so it was fun to mix it up. Who knew I would EVER look forward to a workout?! I can’t wait for all the hiking and mountain biking in Germany!
Spend Time with Family & Friends
The last few weeks, I moved back home with my parents, and it was SO nice to spend time with them, my sisters, and my cat, Mieka. I also made time to hang out with my aunt and grandpa. Sara and I had an awesome sushi night (which included a hunt for seaweed in an American grocery store). Loida invited Kennia and I over for an AMAZING traditional Filipino breakfast, and Anu and I goofed around Montrose and took silly pictures with some random street art. Sometimes I had to remind myself that I won’t be gone forever, and that Germany is only a short 10-hour flight away. But it was so nice to spend time with the people I care about most.
I didn’t finish my list, which also included a day trip to Galveston, and attending a crawfish boil. But the truth of the matter is that Houston isn’t going anywhere, and you can bet that I’ll be back to try all the restaurants, coffee shops, and workout classes that I never went to.
Until then –
Hold it down, H-Town!