We've been doing a lot of home improving lately so on Friday we took a break. We hopped in Casey's truck...
and went on a road trip to:
Houston is a few hours South East of us. We thought it would be 2 hour drive but the highway stops in every small town (with stoplights), so the drive was more like 3 hours. At one point we finally saw a mileage sign for Houston and we were both certain it was going to say "Houston: 10 miles". Instead it said "68!" WHAT? Thankfully the kids were good sports in the car. Owen slept for an hour of the drive and then hung out while Lucy watched Mary Poppins.

Casey was a fabulous navigator. He had looked up all sorts of free and interesting things to do in Houston. And with his GPS, we found our way around fairly easily.
Our first stop?
Um....the Beer house. Isn't that everyone's first stop? This house was in a normal neighborhood but covered in beer cans.
Pretty impressive and actually kinda beautiful (especially this part):
that took someone a lot of time (and a lot drinking).
Next up, into the downtown and to the Art Park. It started at the skatepark (where our kids seemed kind of in the way):
dude, awesome wipeout:
How many parks do you know of with this kind of view? Stunning skyline. And yes, in case you were wondering....Lucy danced her way through Houston.
And then the park curved down a hill with a hiking/biking trail that runs along the river, known as the Buffalo Bayou. How cool is that name?
Houston definitely felt more like "the south" to me. Much more humid, more green, and slightly different vegetation than Austin. As we walked along the Bayou, it felt like a freeze-frame from the the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. It was just the same buzzing, swampy environment you'd expect.
This place is called The Art Park because there are art pieces along the way.

"3 people in a house"
Unfortunately we realized that most of the art was on the other side of the river. So we kept walking, looking for a way to cross over. But after a mile (with a non-cooperative Owen) we decided to turn around and head back.
It was a warm hike but still fun. And it only made us more excited to get back in the truck and blast the A/C.
After the hike, we drove around Houston and stumbled on some gorgeous neighborhoods. I mean, GORGEOUS. I'll take this please:
or maybe this. Wow, if I could have my dream house, it would be this and in a neighborhood just as charming (too bad we looked on Zillow and these go for $millions!):
Next on the agenda: food. Casey found a fabulous local spot for us called Goode Company BBQ:
it had a similar vibe as Rudy's.
but Casey couldn't get over their "Austin Baked Beans". He's already hoping there's one of these back home:
Owen and Lucy ate bread:
and Owen stayed entertained with Salt and Pepper shakers.
Though it was getting dark, we couldn't leave without seeing the famous WaterWall. In a swanky shopping part of town....
...we found this completely impressive wall of water. These pictures do little justice and are blurry since it was getting dark. But it was absolutely gorgeous. Walking through this arch, you find yourself inside a semi-circle wall with gallons and gallons of water streaming down. It does strange things to your eyes and almost feels like the world is moving around you.
from the outside:
Beautiful, absolutely beautiful.
and lastly, we made a quick stop at IKEA because our IKEA was out of the desk we needed. Owen and I hung out in the truck while Lucy slept and Casey ran inside.
Then back in the car for a few hours and we were home by midnight. A quick 12-hour adventure!


sachia said...

There you are!!! I have been hoping ofr an update. It really looks cozy and homey. Your family looks happy and you look really good.

dietcokegrrl said...

What a fun little day getaway--and great job with the event planning Casey!

That beer house is too funny and those skyline pics are amazing.

Glad you are getting out and exploring and got a much needed break from the home stuff.

Jean said...

What a great day-trip!! That waterwall is beautiful. And so are those baked beans. And that beer house... especially the beer house. And everything, really. Good job capturing it! We miss you guys!!! (Stop having fun. If you keep having fun, then you're never going to move back to CA like I'm hoping.) :-)

megan said...

glad to hear/see that the transition is going so smoothly!
gorgeous pics!
gorgeous kids!
looks like a beautiful part of the country!

La La Land said...

Oh, I LOVE Houston! I think I told you, but my sister lives there. I've been to most of the places you visited! I should give you her info because she knows EVERYTHING about that city. How fun! (She just did a post about the beer house on her blog).

lyndsey said...

HA! sweet wipeout. i love that you caught it at just the right moment. and cute mom+kids pics :) look at you, leaving the hair down all the time! must not be getting hot again...?

love that you could go out and explore. that beer house is awesome!

the bates motel said...

sounds like a fun adventure! cool pics too. glad you guys are getting out from all your projects at home! i'm sure it was nice to get away for a bit.

gunnfam said...

Such an adventure. Sounds like you are having fun, and the kids look entertained. Always a plus!

Sara said...

what a fun day! That beer house is crazy! Glad you guys are venturing out and getting to know Texas! Mark and I were talking a few days ago and realized that half the Sumans have now lived in Texas, and all of you have been there... except Mark. Time to plan a trip to see you guys?!

Sara said...

oh forgot to mention, you have great taste in homes- I love them!

Camille said...

So that's what Houston looks like. That park was cool how it overlooked down town. btw, love Lucy's binoculars. she must do that a lot. : ) That water fountain looks absolutely amazing. How cool that someone created that. Glad you guys had a fun adventure!

B Brown said...

Sounds like you guys are settling in great. I've actually seen that beer house on some HGTV show before. I have some friends who could easily do a diet coke can house (you know who you are and I know you read Dana's blog!)

Saunja said...

I never made it down to Houston, sadly. Looks like you had a fun day-trip. That beer can house is incredible! And the wall of water looks absolutely gorgeous.

Kate said...

way cool, i think it is so neat how you always are a tourist in your own town. i mean, i know the place is new for you but you did that here too.

Nicole said...

Looks like an AWESOME road trip! Love the pictures at the park too, beautiful sunset!