If you follow me on Instagram or know me personally, you’re probably aware of my life and will to survive has been falling apart over the last few months. Has it been self imposed? Maybe, but at least half of the events, I couldn’t have formulated on my own. The other half would have been more manageable I’m sure if I had a better financial situation to handle the issues. As things got worse, my ability to try again faded more and more. I won’t go into the details at this time but I thought I should address the lack of posting over the winter.
Yet it was a cold and dreary Friday, when against all odds, my tax refund went into my checking account. It’s crazy what a sense of security having money can bring to a persons psyche. Suddenly everything will be okay. The day before I was counting change for gas and now... I am in a different mental space altogether. You see, I didn’t think I’d get my tax refund for two more months due to putting it into the wrong account. I went to the bank that Thursday to see if they could flag it and reroute it to my personal account. The banker said there’s a small chance but not to get my hopes up. I mentally accepted that I wouldn’t get the money.
I know everyone’s personal struggles with poverty differ. It’s hard to compare really but let’s just say I lost my housing, lost 80% of my income and 90% of my will to survive at this point. When they say money doesn’t buy happiness ... I think they’re looking at upper middle class to upper class, because when I saw that money in my account I was elated.
Samson had woke up in a fever so we weren’t leaving the house for the day anyways. So I started pouring through my promotional mail section of my emails. Checking the weather. Just seeing what the best options were. My mind stuck with Houston as having the cheapest hotels and warmest driest weather within five hours of Dallas. Easy sell. As most of you know, most Dallasites hate Houston. Mostly referring to it as trash. So as a trash person myself, I knew I had to check it out.
I booked us an extended stay hotel with a king size bed and told Dustin I was packing his bag. Luckily he went along with it and arrived home from work around 2pm that afternoon. I was so peacefully happy to have some control over my life for the first time in months. Even just a weekend trip with no real plans in mind felt like freedom. I put together some planned outfits for all of us and we hit the road.
Google maps sent us on a detour down 34 to all these backroads making the trip much longer but once we hit 45 we were making decent time. Listening to “Last Podcast On The Left” tell us about skinwalker ranch and Dustin’s preferred rock music. When Dustin needed to pee we made a stop at a random highway gas station where I found this super white trash energy drink supporting gun rights for 99 cents. It was the perfect drink aesthetic for our trip. But once we got closer to Houston I begged Dustin to play Lana where I theatrically danced in the car to. The energy drink had me crashing hard when we arrived at the hotel. Samson was feeling the effects too and we decided to make an early go of it the next day. I had sent Dustin to pick up some to go food from BB Tex Orleans fusion cafe. We both went for a roast beef sub claiming to have po boy roots. As well as French fries with quest beef and brown gravy. Then off to bed we all went.
The following morning, I woke up at 5am with the excitement of a seven year old on Christmas morning, ready to explore the city. With much resistance I woke up the others and we went to Buffalo Bayou Park to hit the running trail. Unbeknownst to me there was also a skate park for Dustin. Win, win, right? Well the skatepark was closed because it was hella early. I got in my light jog with a great view of downtown hiding in the clouds.
From there we got our fill of much needed caffeine at Blacksmith in the Montrose neighborhood. It’s a small but modern clean looking cafe which states to only utilize chairs out of necessity because of crowding. Across the parking lot was a cool mural with a bear. While we were sitting outside looking at the mural and making jokes, Dustin said, “ I know I’m just your backup boyfriend.” I don’t exactly remember what I said to get that response and the lack of funniness in which he said it made me sad. We’ve been so on and off, but honest and straightforward in everything we’ve both done in the last year... but him saying that so factually made me feel sad for him. He deserves better than that. I don’t want to lose him either. I tremendously love and hate him at times. He’s the only non family member that I trust and maybe not completely but he’s not malicious like every other man I have recently been in contact with. From there we drove around Montrose and Rivers Oak kind of striking out on museums that were closed or not allowing small children, so I got kind of bummed for my poor planning. In my travel how tos: Always check for hours and rules of places before you go! Wasted time is wasted potential fun.
So we went to Retropolis down near Yale st., and the actual street it was on was popping with a crawfish festival which personally I had zero interest in BUT it was people and energy so that was cool. I like to see how the locals look and act and interact. As if I’m in a foreign country and not just a couple hundred miles south. Inside the store was ... at first I thought super basic blah retroesque clothes. But not authentic what I look for vintage. But then I went upstairs where the real paradise was. They had sections by decade and style and I felt incredibly happy. When I thrift, it’s finding a needle in a haystack almost so imagine finding a bucket of needles... well... you know what I mean.
Samson wasn’t the happiest leaving the store so we dipped into a place called Sweet Bribery. It was a cute and well designed little corner ice cream shoppe. Yet Samson wasn’t having any of it. So I had to eat his food and mine... and he knows I’m on a diet so it was kind of rude of him. We got to the car then headed to get him pizza and he fell asleep. So I had seen a mural on the way out so we stopped by and shot some portraits of Dustin and I. From there we just drove through McDonalds for Samson and went back to nap at the hotel.
Upon arriving though Samson awoke and I just laid on the bed editing pictures but felt like I was wasting time. So I changed clothes and redid my makeup, and headed to the downtown Main Street Square to check out some public art. Downtown seemed about as dead as downtown Dallas on a weekend some 10 years ago, but bigger. Dustin and I argued over the size and height of the two downtowns in comparison. Turns out, like always, I was right Houston is bigger. What’s also bigger is the homeless and displaced people of Houston staying downtown. Which I understand... the weather is better for outdoor living in the winter.
After walking around we saw this restaurant with adorable font pressed on the windows and decided to walk in. We grabbed a coffee for me and Dustin got a beer and we talked about the interior design and lighting in the building. It was very Art Deco and I liked it very much. At this point I had had too much cofffe and we walked back to our car and headed to Goode Co. Seafood. Which is seemingly a lot like pappas co. In that they have several restaurants with all different themes in close proximity to each other. I am not a huge seafood person but when in Rome. As I looked over the menu, I was scared to spend so much on something I might not like. I ordered the mesquite grilled chicken and twice baked potato. I’m no food reviewer but the food exceeded any and all expections I had that night. I wondered why I bothered eating bad food my whole life when something so amazing existed out there. Then I remembered that I’m actually poor and that was why.
Another night early to bed but this time I convinced myself to sleep in until 8am. We packed up and left the hotel by 9 and went on over to Agora, which was a picturesque Greek cafe with trees covered with vines in the front. It was perfectly adorable. Inside was a thoughtful cluttering of pop culture icons of the past and Greek faces and art hanging from the walls. Above the main dining area was a loft with more seating. We ordered this huge croissant for Samson and lattes for us taking in the eclectic cafe. Have you been to spider house cafe in Austin in the mid 2000s? Like that but smaller and Greek.
Then we headed across the street somewhat to a vintage store Dustin saw earlier in the weekend while picking up the po boys. This store was friendly and helpful. Littered with overstock from places like Urban Outfitters as well as vintage. I found some cute dresses and we went out for lunch at the Hobbit Cafe deep in Middle Earth. It wasn’t too hard to find though. Right near River Oaks actually. Who knew?
I ordered chips and salsa which was definitely Picante sauce which apparently is huge with hobbits. What else is huge with hobbits? Their portion sizes. I got the biggest sandwich even a human of my size couldn’t finish. The place seemed like a cool college hangout to play Dungeons and Dragons and nerd out.
The last stop on our trip was a little further west to a Hindu temple. It was on a list of beautiful places in Houston and it did not disappoint. The temple had so much detail in the marble, Samson had fun telling me the names