Weekend Trip to Houston and OOTD
Happy Almost-Friday, everybody!
You may have noticed that this is a bit earlier than I usually post. That's because I've decided to change up my schedule a bit! Since I'm only doing two posts a week now, I figured Tuesdays and Thursdays would fit into my schedule a little better. I'll still be sending the e-mail newsletter on Fridays though, so you can expect that to stay the same.
On an unrelated note, the kids started school today, and I'm feeling pretty bittersweet about it. My middle, Abby, is starting Pre-K, so it's her very first time in school ever. I'm pretty sad to be losing my little buddy, but also really happy that the lunch lady gets to deal with her ravenous appetite now. Sucks for you, lunch lady!
Now let's talk about Houston!
Weekend before last, we took a little impromptu trip to Houston to visit our very good friends (and neighbors) from when we lived in Japan. Nate just finished his term as a Drill Instructor, so when they said they'd be stopping in Houston on the way to their next duty station, and asked if we wanted to get together for dinner, we said helllll yes!
We decided to make a 2-day trip out of it, even though Houston's only a three-hour drive and we totally could've done a day trip. But we said, eff it, we need to relax a bit! So I used my Expedia rewards to grab a discount on the already reasonably priced Courtyard by Marriott by the Galleria.
Since we have five people in our family, our only option was a one-bedroom suite. Guys, I am so glad I booked this hotel! Our suite was huge, considering it just being a three-star hotel, and the amount of people we had. And there were no surprise crazy security deposits (they just put a $20 hold on your card) unlike the last time with Hilton.
Unfortunately we didn't try anything from their on-site bistro, but they did have a kale and egg breakfast bowl that looked amazing. Their location was directly across the street from the west end of The Galleria, so you really can't beat that for the price.
My only real complaint about this hotel was that it didn't have an outdoor pool. They did have a nice indoor one, but I just can't do the chlorine-and-feet smell that comes along with literally any indoor pool. Just thinking about it makes me shudder. BUT, we were only in town for a day and didn't plan on swimming, so it didn't really matter anyway. If we had stayed longer, this miiiight have been a deal-breaker. But the rest of the hotel was fantastic!
Check out the photos below!
Once we got settled into our awesome hotel, we were ready to head out for dinner. We decided to grab some yakiniku at Gyu-Kaku. If you haven't heard of it, yakiniku is a type of Japanese barbecue where there is a gas grill set into the table, and you order thinly sliced meat and veggies that you grill yourself. They have a ton of other options for food, but that's the main premise. I haven't had Korean BBQ, but I've heard it's a similar style.
We hadn't had yakiniku since we came back from Japan, and we hadn't seen our friends in the same amount of time, so this was a pretty awesome nostalgia trip for us. We even got our own little private room since there were so many of us, so it was nice and cozy, and we didn't have to worry about all the kids driving the other diners nuts, haha.
We ordered the Meat Lover's set for all of the adults, and this was a TON of food. I'm not gonna lie, I laughed when the waiter said that the set for four adults would feed all five of us adults. We had two Marines with us and y'all, they can put food away like nobody's business. So normally when waiters say there's more than enough food in a serving, I don't believe them. But this shit was no joke! If we had ordered this set for two instead of four, we probably could've fed the whole family with it. SO good!
After dealing with a little bit of a debacle with a towing truck (be careful where you park in Houston!) we all went back to the hotel and Eddie and I slept in the glorious king-size bed while the girls camped out on the pull-out sofa in the living room.
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The next morning, we went to check out Eddie's uncle's old house, which he spent quite a lot of time visiting as a kid. It was in this great little neighborhood full of all kinds of different architecture, so we had a blast driving around and taking everything in.
The neighborhood was right behind this kind of art deco-style shopping center, which turned out to be freaking perfect for our photo shoot. There was hardly anyone there, and they had this cool little atrium area that had great indirect lighting. One of my favorite shoots so far!
Side Note: I had just put toner in my hair the night before, and accidentally left it in too long, so my hair is basically purple here. Eye roll. I actually kind of like it, though!
Since it has been stupid hot in Texas, everyone has their air conditioning cranked down to like sixty-five degrees to compensate. Which means I have to bring some sort of covering for my arms so I don't freeze to death when I go inside. Ironic, no?
I made this kimono cardigan last year, and the abstract floral print and lightweight fabric make it the most perfect thing I've ever owned (besides my Burberry trench). I'll link to a few similar styles below!
I've talked about my go-to swing dress in previous posts, so it's kind of a no-brainer that it would be a perfect pick for a casual Sunday in the car and in the heat. It's so forgiving for any body type, and the jersey is so soft and cool that you can wear it an. y. where.
I paired it with my favorite comfy pair of Vans slip-ons just in case we were going to be doing a ton of walking. But I also love my Old Navy slide sandals with it.
Last but not least, I couldn't wait to try out this backpack that I nabbed from Target, and it turned out to be the best thing ever! It's perfect if you need to bring some stuff for baby but don't need a full-on diaper bag. I was able to fit my card case, keys, and cosmetics pouch, as well as a couple of diapers and a pack of wipes, snacks, and Elliot's sippy cup. It has interior pockets that are just the right size for keeping all of your stuff separated from baby's, too. ANDDDD it comes in gray. Love!
Here's an artsy-fartsy stairwell pic just because I like it.
That's about it for our Houston trip! Since it was so last-minute, we didn't really have any major activites planned, unfortunately. I loved it so much though, so we'll definitely be coming back to explore the city more. I'll do a full post with family activities once we get that done.
Hit me up with your suggestions on where to go next time we visit! And scroll on down for my outfit details. Have a great weekend!