Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A weekend locally

...aka a very shoddy, rambling recap. Indulge me?
best snoballs this side of the Sabine...a maraschino cherry and passionfruit experiment for me;
cake batter with cream for him

Last weekend (or the weekend before that, depending how you phrase it...oh gosh) my favorite guy came into town for a visit. Even though we're pretty good about keeping our turns making the trips fairly even (we've officially hit a year of long distance...whoo?), this was only the second time he'd been to Houston for a visit. So we still had a lot of places to explore and adventuring to do together. Naturally, a large amount of desserts were involved.
The trip started with me getting sick, in true form. You know that whole coming to terms with my health thing I'm working on? Yea, it's partially things like this. Somehow, we've never had a visit without me getting sick in some capacity? How fun. But, once recovered, we more-officially kicked off the weekend with a trip to the delicious snoball stand nearby (and a flatbread experiment); both to satisfy cravings and because it was ridiculously hot. Like, consistently 100+ degrees (that's around 38 for those of you in Celsius). And because, really, when isn't a snoball good?

note: wine neither provided nor consumed by us
Needless to say, we searched out a lot of indoor activities. The zoo and city's gardens were out, and we hit up the museums last time he was in (when it was too cold to be outside), which meant that Monsters University, Oz: The Great and Powerful, and Hercules were all watched in the luxury of air conditioning instead...along with a couple of hours of American Ninja Warrior and some Parks and Rec. [Sidenote: okay, we love Ninja Warrior. I don't know what it is but we somehow got hooked on it last summer. It's like a playground competition gone way, way rogue, and it's awesomely entertaining. Also, thoroughly enjoyed all the movies...I'm a big Wizard of Oz book + movie fan and loved all the little nods to the book throughout! Okay, moving on!] Aaaaand naturally and necessarily this all was accompanied by making another batch of cookies. No regrets here. I think the second batch in a week is just automatically better. Probably what helped me start feeling less sick, too. ;)

By Saturday, we just kind of had the itch to get out, heat be [reasonably] damned. We ventured over to the River Oaks area of town and sought refuge in a local independent bookstore that turned out to be one of the better places we've ever been (if I may take it upon myself to claim that opinion). It was a small space filled to the brim with new bestsellers, a children's nook, friendly staff, and shelves of old books that just made me want to stay for hours. Seeing old, loved copies of books always reminds me of the tons filed into shelves at grandparent's homes. Plus, there were so many familiar-yet-forgotten titles around (as well as some slightly ridiculous ones). I have my own copy of Little House in the Big Woods that's been worn to shreds from so many rereads in my childhood, and old copies of the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. I even picked up the exact same version of Mother Goose nursery rhymes for my forthcoming niece or nephew, which made me excited. I'm pretty sure I taught myself how to read on that book! (and yes, I can still find my favorite rhyme in it.)

The bookstore was very important for another reason, too: we happened to stumble in in the midst of a princess party. I'm talking a pink and purple themed book reading with character cutouts, tutu crafting, tiaras for wearing, coloring, pink lemonade, and leotards galore. It was all obviously very serious business, and a lot of fun for the girls involved. (They smartly provided wine for the parents of the littles.)

Our little bookstore also just happened to be less than 5 minutes away from a large chocolate shop...which, in our search for air-conditioned glory seemed too good to pass up (right?). Is there anything better than a chocolate shop? There was a crazy amount of things they had made chocolate in the shape of: greeting cards, dentists kits (including a full set of teeth!), "human bones," even dog-friendly carob bones! We ended up leaving with a peanut butter cup (for him), the biggest dark chocolate turtle I have ever seen, two chocolate covered strawberries, and a treat for the pup, because how could we not?

Down the street, we wandered around the city's Trader Joe's, inspecting their vast and famous offerings. I have to admit, this was at least the third Trader Joe's I've been to, and the first one that didn't drive me mad. There was actually space to move! It wasn't crammed to the rim with people! I could see the produce!! Overall, I'm still pretty content with my other grocery stores, but their store design and packaging was quite entertaining to see.

and the goodbye.
I love our little weekends like this. Simple and too far between, but still nourishing and kind to us and an adventure. Always an adventure.

Houston, thanks for being good to us. Hellish heat not withstanding.


  1. ok! we are so into American Ninja Warriors!! it came on at the gym the other night and we were like, "whaaaat is this?!" those people are awesome.

    p.s. those cookies look really awesome.

    1. It's so insane!! But I'm so glad there's someone else out there enjoying it. Crazy, but amazing.
      And, you should totally make those cookies sometime you're craving chocolate ;) They're kiiiind of delicious, I have to say.