We recuperated from our week in Mexico by spending the weekend with friends Kelly and Phil that live in Houston, Texas. Based on our internet research the Houston area has a plethora of things for families to do, both indoors and out. I’ll declare up front that we did almost none of them! After spending a week on the road, and most specifically the last 24 hours in motion, we were pooped!
After much discussion, and the turning down of an invitation to check out a tall ship in Galveston, we opted for a do nothing day on our first day. Somehow this lead to Hunter and Phil bonding over all things remote controlled… Hunter became the new owner of a drone and much time was spent pulling it out of trees while perfecting the flying of it. A pellet shooting tank ended up also sneaking into our duffle bag but we drew the line at the creepy crawly robot!
We finally mustered enough energy by the afternoon to head out on a neighbourhood bike ride. They live in a funky neighbourhood that is just outside the downtown loop and has a broad mix of residents, including their own flock of peacocks that roam aimlessly! Hunter was beyond thrilled to get to ride Phil’s electric bike – even though he could barely reach the pedals or stop safely.
Sunday Phil took us out to the Texas Renaissance Festival, which was quite a cultural experience! It was people watching at it’s best, with many different interpretations of the Renaissance time period. It’s neat to see people so passionate about something that they travel the country as part of these various festivals.
We enjoyed the jousting however found it frustrating that the matches were only 20 minutes long and that the competition was spread through out the day, with the intention of keeping you there longer and getting you to keep coming back to the stadium. Our favourite “show” was Oskar’s Sword Instruction – the audience selects 2 different weapons (out of about 10 that he has) and then Oskar demonstrates how to use them in battle. It was quite instructional as well as humorous. Every strategy ends with his “grab them by the crotch and throw them out the window” tactic, which Hunter found hilarious.
The Renaissance Festival runs for 8 weekends through October and November. We were all quite impressed with the permanent facilities and structure that they have in place and the sheer volume of people that they run through over the 8 weeks. We were there on the very last day and it was still jam packed!
We awoke Monday and it was pouring rain, with a forecast to continue with that theme all day. After a flurry of internet research, we all opted to spend a lazy day around the house and then head out to the Main Event for Monday Night Madness – all in pricing for laser tag, bowling, mini golf and billiards… What more could you want in a day! It’s not a surprise that this decision was driven by the 11 year old vote but we all ended up having an evening full of giggles and fun.
We look forward to venturing back to the Houston area another time to check out the Houston Children’s Museum, Houston Museum of Natural Science, NASA, and the Gulf Coast. A big thanks to Kelly and Phil for the wonderful hospitality (even allowing the short term corruption of chips, pop AND hotdogs in the house) and we are certainly looking forward to playing again soon!