January 21, 1917

On Thursday of last week, the hubs and I flew to Houston.

Layover.  I've never seen a Blue Moon can.

After landing, we took a cab ride to an off-site car rental place (cheaper) and picked up our little weird-smelling rental.  I asked the attendant if he could recommend a Mexican restaurant and off we went to gorge on our favorite food.

I had to get a new enchilada, because they used beef in the red sauce.  :(
We AirBNB'd a place to stay in downtown Houston, which felt like it was meant to be when I saw the decor.

This horsie.
After resting for a little bit, we headed to Karbach Brewery to take a tour.  We like beer.  But I gotta admit, maybe it's the Georgian in me, but I feel like Terrapin does a better job with less.

Food trucks and enthusiasm.

Baby beers are growing here.
Cask beers - use the cask twice, return to sender, it gets "flashed" (burned) and gets new liquor.  These are more in demand than the supply can meet.

My shirt has a unicorn and says "trample the patriarchy".
I don't recommend cold potatoes in your salad.
Breakfast the next morning was cereal before we headed out to the Houston Aquarium.  I am an aquarium fiend.  The Houston Aquarium was neat because it was a weird conglomerate of tiny amusement park (like three rides) and fishies.  Basically, if it had beer and ponies, I could have moved in.

If you know me in real life, you know that I have a pathological fear of gators.  Baby gators were in this tank.

A video posted by bekaburke (@bekaburke) on

I just picture this guy talking with a lisp.
Baby upside down jellyfish.
D loves the kitties.  This aquarium had four.  ....?
On top of the ferris wheel.  I also rode that drop tower, twice, like a big girl.  
But we left the aquarium to find beer at the Flying Saucer.  This was about a mile walk downtown, part of which took us by a Trump protest.  I was wearing my Hillary shirt and I felt like I had met my people.

I'm big on local stuff, so I had a Texas sampler and D had one of his favorites.  Then we headed to the original Ninfa's for lunch before heading to my grandma's house to visit with relatives.

There was something about the heat at my grandma's, all the alcohol and walking downtown, and lack of water that started to make me feel like shit.  We stayed at grandma's for a couple hours then headed over to the rec center to help set up for the party - Granma actually had a diagram for where she wanted all the tables and her entrance throne.  I come by this shit naturally.

Granma had an entrance throne and a talking throne.
The plan after family time was to head to the Sam Houston Race Park.  But as an ominous thunderstorm rolled in, so did a migraine.  Between the pressure change, the dehydration and the godawful smell in the car (which only I could smell), I was in pain and nauseated.  We went back to the AirBNB and I slept for three hours.

The next morning, we had breakfast at the Corner Bakery and went across the street so D could touch some guitars.  Dude plays really, really well.

Granma's birthday party started at noon and at 11:45, we were some of the first ones there.  I haven't seen much of my Texas family since my grandfather's funeral in 2001.  These people are adults now and have reproduced, so there was like a whole new group of people to meet.  Awkward.

That's my infamous brother.  He's a whole new person.

Granma, Granpa, Uncle and Dad (baby).

Granma is a fucking badass and told stories from her life, like the time she worked at a soda pop fountain for a week and quit after her first $20 paycheck, because that could sustain her for months.  Or the first guy she was engaged to.  Or how she was the only one of her siblings to be born in a hospital.  She went to business school.  My granpa courting her.  She had icecream at her wedding instead of cake.  She had seven kids. It was just awesome to learn so much about her.

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  1. Your grandma sounds AMAZING and I feel like going to aquariums with you is really, really fun. What a great trip!

  2. The entrance throne and talking throne are amazing! I want to be that awesome when I turn 90.

  3. 1. I want Mexican food now. 2. I want beer now. (Why can't I have these things at work?) 3. I want to play with a seahorse. 4. YAY FOR YOUR BROTHER. 5. Your g'ma is a badass.

  4. You really favor your granma in that b&w pic:) Its nice that you still have her at 90. And pretty sure Im stopping by the store for some terrapins on the way home this afternoon hehe.

  5. Happy bday to your Granma! She sounds like a cool lady.

  6. Wow you were not exaggerating about the throne!

  7. What a big, important birthday! I'm sure she was so happy you flew out.