Arrival in Houston – Friday Night April 13th
The flight from L.A. to Houston was uneventful. No turbulence. No annoying cabin mates. It was all fairly smooth. The only notable thing is that I could not sleep at all. This is a HUGE thing for me. Typically, I am asleep before the plane takes off. If it’s a moving vehicle and I’m not operating it, I am asleep. I guess I was really excited to see Cicely and get out of town for a bit.
When my flight arrived in Houston, Cicely & Gary picked me up from the airport and we immediately searched for something to eat. The airline had served a salad & a sandwich (translation: lettuce with ranch dressing & rubbery microwaved chicken sandwich). I was so famished that I had doubts that I would make it to the car. Cicely suggested 59 Diner. 59 Diner is a 50s style diner complete with vinyl booths, thick milkshakes, burgers & everything else of that ilk. Being something of a Hamburger Connoisseur. I decided to try their burgers. They were phenomenal. I don’t know what it is, but burgers in Texas are amazing. I don’t know why they are so good, but I highly recommend them.
The most notable thing about our dining experience was not the food. The food was great. However, we will never be able to stop talking about our server, Russel. He was bar none the MOST ENTERTAINING WAITER any of us had ever met. We surmised that dear, dramatic Russel either is a drag queen on the side or aspires to be one. I’ve never seen a straight white guy gyrate and move like that. He danced like Beyonce AND Shakira?! (How is that possible?). He did so many impersonations and dance moves. It was unbelievable. He put seasoned Vegas performers to shame. His range and repetoire was unparalleled. I could barely breathe by the time he was done. And the only reason he stopped was that he needed to get ready to finish his shift. In the end, I think we tipped him more than what we actually spent on food. It was a great way to start my visit. To Russel, thanks for the warm welcome into Houston…
Day 1 – Saturday April 14th
Shop, shop, Shop til you drop. That was the mantra of the day. That was the plan and we faithfully stuck to it. We drove 4 hours from Houston simply to test our resolve. The outlets in San Marcos, Texas put us to the test. Only in Texas will you find two mega outlet conglomerates across the street from one another. I still have difficulty wrapping my brain around how it’s profitable to have two Calvin Klein stores across the street from one another? Are there really that many deals and discounts to go around? Or two Banana Republic stores? Alas, that is not for me to answer. I was there to frolic in the shopping goodness. We started at 1pm and closed the place down. 8 hours of nonstop shopping. I tried on shoes, dresses, tops, bottoms, formal wear, sneakers, purses, etc. If it could be tried on, I took it for a trial run. Store after store we charged on. What were we looking for? Nothing in particular. Although, I believe Cicely was trying to find items for her new apartment. As far as we were concerned, we were on a mission.
Halfway through our excursion, Cicely & I determined that the outlets “wanted to keep they stuff” (said with a backwoods southern accent). In other words, the prices were still FAR too high for outlet stores. The positive side is that it allowed me to successfully leave after only having spent $78. I bought a pair of shoes, a leather purse, and two cookbooks for Rob (I couldn’t go home emptyhanded.) Cicely bought two t-shirts at Banana Republic. Gary made out like a bandit. He finished the day with an refreshed spring/summer wardrobe, George Foreman outdoor grill, cookbooks and God only knows what else. The man really got into the spirit of things and put us both to shame. Who knew a man could shop like that?!
We grabbed some Whattaburgers before we went home. (Meat: it’s a reccurring Texas menu). Cicely drove the gruelling 4 hours back to Houston. Gary slept. I snuggled up in the backseat to Cicely and Gary’s newly purcahsed Pottery Barn Wicker floor lamp. Cicely and I cackled and gossiped all the way home. I loved it. It was a good day.