23 June 2012

the last time i was in houston

I am in the JW Marriott in Houston.

Across the street from my hotel is the Galleria Mall—more specifically Saks Fifth Avenue and this very popular {judging from the number of people crowding its outdoor patio} bar called Prohibition.

Prohibition's tagline is: The Craft of Cocktails, although I doubt that's what the original proponents of prohibition would like as a tagline. They probably would've suggested: It Was a Good Idea Then and Maybe We Should Bring It Back.

Probably the people opposed to prohibition wouldn't like this bar, either, seeing as it's so out in the open and so not like a speakeasy. To get in, it appears that there is no secret password—no whispering at the door so much as dancing on the patio.

A mariachi band just came down the escalator here in the hotel lobby, all in Bordeaux-colored embroidered suits. Are they made of velvet? I've always thought they were made of velvet.

I can barely get back to my original train of thought now; this is what mariachi bands do to you. All I can think of now is how they were singing "Guantanamera," which is a song we had on a tape when I was little. I couldn't understand the words {possibly because they were in Spanish}, but that didn't stop me from singing along like this: "One ton of marrow, I need a one ton of marrow."

That is a lot of marrow.

Okay, away from marrow, away from mariachi bands, away, even, from prohibition.

The last time I was in Houston was three years ago on a cross-country trip with my sister and her husband. They were moving from Melbourne, Florida, to Los Angeles, and to save you from Google Mapping it: that is, indeed, from sea to shining sea.

SUCH A HUGE COUNTRY. So many miles we got by manifesting destiny, and I have seen all of them on I-10.

{And coming up later this summer: another cross-country adventure! Los Angeles to Rochester, NY! I will see so many more miles. And then I will lodge a formal request with the Air Force that they stop moving my sister from one end of the country to the other. How about a gradual move, huh, Air Force?}

We blogged our way across the country, and just for fun {and to stop myself from talking about prohibition any more}, I thought I'd share my post from Houston on The Great Weaver Migration.


The Last Time I Was in Houston

I have to admit it: I was not excited about Houston. The rest of the stopping points on our trip evoke a little ooh or ahh, but Houston...eh. It made me so non-plussed that I actually said "eh."

So I decided a week or so ago to reframe Houston. Yes, I realized that I needed an attitude adjustment when it came to Houston, and that's when I registered for the 5 mile race.

Maybe a 5 mile race sounds like punishment -- as if I was angry at Houston and in some twist of logic decided to take it out on myself.

But for me, a 5 mile race was a chance to see a different side of Houston...and by that I mean, not the Galleria Mall and not anything directly off I-10.

This morning as I was running -- I did 5 miles in 42:30 -- I found out that Houston has some beautiful parks. Hermann Park, where the race ended, reminds me of Forest Park in St. Louis, and you know, oddly enough, downtown Houston reminds me of downtown Kansas City.

It seems my mind wants to connect Texas with Missouri.

As I was running, I said "Hi!" to pretty much every police officer I passed. And they closed off a lot of streets for this race, so there were a lot of officers on the route.

Every one of the officers responded to my very chirpy, very bright "Hi!" with a "Good mornin'." Some even added "miss."

I felt very much like I was in the South then, what with their drawl of "Good mornin'" that sounded more like "Guh mawnin'."

It also made me want to burst into "Good Morning" from Singin' in the Rain, but I refrained. Showtunes have their place -- actually in my world, they have many places -- but seeing as my life isn't actually a muscial, I should probably avoid singing showtunes at non-sequitur moments, such as while running in Houston.

Instead, I listened to This American Life.

I know Oesa already showed you pictures of me running / me looking skeptically at a beer (and that's how I always look at it, regardless of whether I've just run a race), but here's one more picture of me looking race-y (and yes, I know what I just said).

Stretching after the race, which translates to trying to look cool, hold my water bottle, and not fall over. Actually, the more I look at this picture, the more weirded out I get by my leg.

{This could be used for a "Don't Drink, Kids" ad campaign. My disdain for beer is that evident.}

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