Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Spontaneity at its Finest

Last Wednesday, the most spontaneous thing ever happened...

To give you a brief synopsis, we're in the process of weaning Jax (for real this time), so as I rubbed his back to get him to nap, I logged into Facebook and discovered that Frontier Airlines was doing a special $1 flash ticket sale to select cities. Half joking, I sent the link to Brandon (who was working), asked him if he was up for a weekend trip to Texas (he works 4 10-hour days, Sunday-Wednesday), and less than 18 hours later, we landed at Houston's George Bush International Airport!

I can't count the number of times Brandon and I looked at each other during the trip and said "This is so crazy; I can't believe we're here!" -- it was seriously the most fun and spontaneous thing we have ever done and I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to go!
Jackson made a bunch of friends on the shuttle to the airport!
Welcome to Texas!

I'd never been to Texas before and Brandon had only been to Dallas during short layovers, so we weren't sure what to do/expect, but the three of us had the best time! Before we left, Brandon booked a car and a room at the Omni Houston Hotel, but those were the only certainties of our trip... the rest we decided to play by ear. 

After checking in to the hotel, we made a quick Walgreens run (to pick up water, snacks, and meds for my sinus infection :/), picked up a Papa John's pizza, and then relaxed the rest of the night in our beautiful room. It wasn't a very eventful first evening in Houston, but we were all exhausted and wanted nothing more to sleep and relax. 
Jax pretty much adored the hotel lobby -- there were giant fish to feed, glass elevators to ride, and automatic doors to open!
We flew all the way to Texas to sit in a hotel room and eat the same exact pizza we have almost every week :D
Thank you God for this sweet and happy little boy!

Friday morning, we tried out a little breakfast restaurant called the Pecan Creek Grille and made a quick Kroger run before heading south to the Johnson Space Center -- if you are ever in the area, you HAVE to check it out!!! We all had a blast learning, exploring, and playing around the highly interactive grounds -- there is even an awesome hands-on room for kids, which was a hit with our busy toddler. After several hours at the Center, we picked up some Cane's chicken and headed back to our room for the night.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was watching Jax interact with other kids -- I lost count of the number of toddlers he ran up to and hugged and/or kissed!

After enjoying another delicious breakfast at Pecan Creek Grille on Saturday morning, we decided to take advantage of a 2 for 1 Groupon we found to the Houston Museum of Natural Science. After spending nearly two hours at the Museum, we were all exhausted and wanted nothing more than to eat lots of food, lay down, and not move for the rest of the evening -- and that's exactly what we did! By the way, Gil's Barbecue in west Houston is where it's at! 
Jax and I went and found the pool while daddy got ready Saturday morning.
Everything's bigger in Texas!
The Natural History Museum was just okay... we decided that if you've seen one, you've seen them all (it was basically the same as Denver). 
Our little Jackson was completely tuckered out by Sunday and actually napped on me at the airport and slept the entire plane ride (which means I got to take a nap too)! We all had such a good time and I feel so incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity to vacation with my two favorite guys. Keep those deals coming, Frontier -- we'll keep buying! 

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, this was both Brandon's and my (and obviously Jax's) first trip to Texas and we were both so impressed with the state and the good, salt-of-the-earth people. That being said, I wanted to share Brandon's thoughts on the state, as we share the same exact sentiment.

My short time spent in Texas really has shown me how great this state really is. Everyone always talks about how great Texas is, how everything is bigger in Texas, and that southern hospitality. Other than the last couple of days, I've never really spent much time in Texas other than just driving through or waiting for a connecting flight at DFW and have never really had that Texas experience.
While in Houston for a short trip, I was here during the ceremonies for Deputy Sheriff Darren Goforth who was killed while refueling his patrol car. I've always heard how patriotic people in Texas are, but before this trip, I really had no idea. While here I saw the entire community come together during this sad time. Neighborhoods had blue ribbons tied around trees, cars had a blue line across the back windshield, nearly every yard and business flew the American flag, citizens all throughout the area wore blue, and the news stations all took time to not only remember the fallen officer but to remind citizens to pay tribute as well.
It saddens me to say that back home I would never see something like this. Yes it would be agreed that this is a tragic and senseless loss, but the news and Facebook would be flooded with people talking about what he may have done to "deserve" this, how gun control needs to be addressed, or something about racism. Though there are issues in our nation that need to be addressed, I heard nothing of the sort while here and it's admirable to see a community put all that aside for a moment so they could take time to celebrate and remember the life of someone who's passed. As Jon Stewart said, "You can truly grieve for every officer who’s been lost in the line of duty in this country, and still be troubled by cases of police overreach. Those two ideas are not mutually exclusive. You can have great regard for law enforcement and still want them to be held to high standards.” Though there are corrupt officers out there, the actions of a few do not reflect the whole. Deputy Goforth was a man putting gas in his car when someone decided to end his life.
Though I am not a Texan, what I have seen and experienced here in Houston from its community has made me proud to be an American. It has made me feel that maybe some day I could move here and call Texas home but I'm not sure about its humidity yet. It's absolutely brutal!

We love you, Texas! Can't wait to visit again!!

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