Thoughtful Thursday: What I Learned on the Trip to Houston

Thoughtful Thursday

So…we returned from Houston.  I did learn a few things.

  1.  Have an indoor activity and an outdoor activity planned each day.  If you will remember, Houston was threatened with thunderstorms/tornadoes/etc. for part of our trip.  If I had planned better, I would have been more prepared with spur of the moment activities.

  2.  Avoid tolls!  Sam Houston Tollway is NOT transpondered.  And some of the toll stops are $1.75 a stop.  Yah, only made that mistake ONCE!  The frontage road is your friend!  Those Frontages!  They make good roads!  (Family joke.)

  3.  Bring at least one (if not several) rolls of quarters.  If you don’t pack copious amounts of clothes or your son is prone to peeing on his special blue blanket at night, you WILL be doing laundry at the hotel.  Also, you will find yourself needing quarters for other things.

  4.  And, while we are on the subject, bring a few of those travel detergent packs (or a few uses of homemade, if you are cool like that…one day I hope to be that cool) and a few fabric softener sheets.  And make sure to stay at a hotel that has self-laundry facilities.  (And make sure that when you dry the clothes that you–in an effort not to have to pay another $2 to dry another load–don’t dry the blue blanket on delicate because you have a dress in the load that has to be dried on delicate.  NOTHING gets dry that way.)

  5.  On a similar note, the hotel room’s bathroom’s hair dryer does a sorta passable job drying clothes, but it takes a while and your arms will get tired.

  6.  Rooms with a microwave and a mini-fridge are a major plus!  This allows you to have lunch in the room (reheated leftovers, microwavable meals, etc.  Pack plastic cutlery, napkins, paper plates, and paper bowls for that eventuality.

  7.  Try to stay at a hotel with a free breakfast.

  8.  Research the hotel and the area thoroughly.  Trip Advisor and Yelp are your friends and are rarely wrong.

  9.  Travel with some form of GPS, preferably with voice.  Getting lost in Houston is NOT fun!

  10.  Jimmy Changas is a great Mexican restaurant and is also the only Mexican restaurant that I know that has a play area.  And Josh said (and I totally agree) that they have the best queso ever!

Josh’s dish from Jimmy Changas. I had to snap a shot; I couldn’t resist!

  1.  King’s Biergarten is fabulous, as well!  They have live music on Friday and Saturday nights.  Great sausages!

  1.  The Houston Galleria series of parking garages are impossible!  It is perfectly acceptable for you to admit that they defeated you and tuck your tail between your legs and head to your hotel.

  2.  Galveston Island is the place to be on a hot, sunny Memorial Day!  (Park at Walmart and do some shopping there afterward because it’s Walmart…on an island…within sight of the surf!)

  3.  Johnson Space Center is out of this world!  (Sorry.  I couldn’t resist!)

  1.  Kemah Boardwalk is worth the splurge.  Arrive EARLY and ride your heart out!  (And the observation tower “ride” is air conditioned!)  Make sure you bring a cooler full of icy drinks and snacks and skip the paid parking.  The wrist bands are good for all day, so you can leave to your car and return to ride some more.

  1.  Muffins and other five year olds probably need breaks from tourist activities every three hours or so.  So go back to the hotel room and rest.

  2.  Conversely, try to leave the hotel for a few hours each day during housekeeping time.

This is a great roundup of things I learned.  I learned bunches more, but that’s for another post!

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