A guest post by Elizabeth Varughese
During the course of a given week you can find me anywhere from Sugar Land to The Heights. Houston is a happening city. I’ve lived here for 25 years, and I’m still discovering the never ending good times that Houston has to offer.
Not too long ago we were in the thick of the Rodeo. I had the opportunity to go and check it out on three separate occasions. In the past when I’ve been to the Houston Rodeo, I didn’t really take time to take advantage of everything the Rodeo has to offer. But THIS time I decided if I call myself a Houstonian, I better get to know what the Rodeo is aaaaaalll about! Growing up. I never went. My first time was two short years ago. I came just in time to see Beyonce perform in concert and left.
So I got my boots and my cowgirl hat on. I recruited two of my adventure buddies, Stan and Kristen, to come along for the event. I was stoked! It was St. Patrick’s Day so we decided to stop into the Rice Village and enjoy the sea of green people. It was a good time. After we hung there for a bit, we carpooled over to Reliant Park. Kristen was celebrating her birthday that week, so I decided to treat her to the Keith Urban tickets. Before we went in for the concert we stopped in to the Carnival for some good ol’ fashioned rodeo delicacies: roasted corn, funnel cake and nachos. We filled our bellies to our heart’s delight. After we scarfed down our food, we made our way into Reliant Stadium. We didn’t hit the door before our ears were filled with the sweet sounds of Keith Urban. The concert was fantastic. The stadium filled to the top. He sang all of his greatest hits. All in all, it was a good night. Kristen loved her birthday present, and Stan just loved that he was in the company of two pretty ladies, and maybe Keith Urban too!
Wednesday after work I met up my good friend Stephanie for an early dinner happy hour at Zake on West Alabama and Shepherd. They have great deals on sushi and drinks every day. We enjoyed fresh calamari, edamame, sushi rolls and spring rolls. All in all we made out like bandits!
After dinner I made my way over to my usual stomping grounds, Lakewood Church. Special Guest Michael W. Smith was in town for a special concert, so I decided to stop in. My good friend Stephen Jackson was apart of the live DVD/CD recording, so I was proud to see him singing his heart out. After church I stuck around to catch up with friends. It’s a great place to meet and hang out. People are always friendly and welcoming. I’ve been at Lakewood Church for almost six years now, and it feels like the smallest place in the world. Despite how big it may look, I always feel warm and at home there.
On Thursday I found myself having too many places to go! A group of my friends were going to see The Spazmatics at Sammie’s downtown. Kristen had a game night hosted in honor of her birthday in Missouri City. Lauren, a dear friend, singer/songwriter and local artist, invited me to have dinner in Pearland. I was in quite a pickle. I decided that Pearland was the place to be. It had been months since I had seen her. Lauren and soon-to-be husband Jonathan bought a house. I was excited to see it! It was a cute little house, perfect for them. After spending a few minutes in each room of the house catching up on what’s been going on in each other lives, we proceeded to BJ’s Brewhouse in Pearland Town Square. We talked about life and her wedding, which is a few short weeks away.
On Friday I was ready to get out of work at noon, but i pushed through til 5. I was excited to get over to Katy, TX where my brother resides with his beautiful family. I was looking forward to another delicious dinner prepared by my culinary confederate, along with getting lots of love from my niece and nephew. After bath time, bedtime stories and prayer with my nephew, I decided the night was still young. I got prettied up and headed back into town to meet some friends.
Montrose is one of my favorite parts of Houston. A friend of mine was moving to New York and was hosting a farewell party at his snazzy remodeled bungalow. It was a delightful and unexpected night. I ran into both new faces and old musician friends with whom I’ve had many a gig over the years. We were experiencing an amazingly cool night for March, so most of us were out on the patio. As we stood out there taking in the cool breezes and night sounds, I realized that Montrose is one of my favorite places in Houston. You never know what to expect on a given day. There seemed to be a cluster of night roller bladers out this evening, so every so often we’d see a flurry of them whiz by.
Living in various suburbs my whole life, I’ve come to long for city life. It helps to have friends in the city that can you can visit to keep the city cravings satisfied.
I’ve heard Houstonians make blanket statements like,”There’s nothing to do in Houston.”
Not true, my friend.
This city is overflowing with tons of activities surrounding art, history, activism, charity, nature and the list goes on. You can find something to fit your fancy. My usual routine is grabbing a Houston Press from any restaurant on my way out and flipping through the pages to find what’s going on for the month. If not, I just go to chron.com/entertainment and get caught up in the web of activities.
I dare you to find one week where the city doesn’t offer you something exciting to do!