Before I forget, on our way home from our Austin workshop, my colleague and I dropped off our manager at his home in La Grange, TX. Low and behold, everywhere we stepped, we stepped on pecans! So awesome. Before I knew it, my colleague had a shopping bag in her hand (I got one too!) and we were collecting pecans that have dropped from the trees. Like Ashley pointed out, it was like an easter egg hunt. Our only distraction were the frequent clearing of the throat by my manager's horse. We cleared that up with a couple of carrots and I was back to collecting pecans.
Now that I have the pecans, I need a pecan cracker!! I need to find that this weekend....
Back when Genny was visiting, we sought out Archiver's, Houston's (apparently) only official scrapbooking store. Yes, there's multiple Joann's and Hobby Lobby, and Michaels, but a true scrapbooking store? Calgary isn't the only place where scrapbook stores struggle...anyways...
I signed up for a Christmas Cards class, and to keep a long day short, I started at 11 am and left the store at 4:30 pm. Yikes!! The cards took til at least 2:30 (which was one hour longer than anticipated), and they were doing some make and takes. And I was yapping with Jean, an young scrapbooker. We are all of like minds, us scrapbookers.
It's hard to see his hat, but this snowman is a craft to hold treats!
This past Sunday after the race in Galveston, I flew to Oklahoma City, OK to sample fluids and gases in the field. It ended up being 3 days to do the sampling, and one day in the office to wrap things up. Since I was designated documenter, I also took scenic photos in between well sites...
I was obviously mesmerized by the turbine farms. Their dirt is red, and our quiet moments in the truck were occupied with enjoying the changing of the leaves. It was my first feeling of Fall. In Houston, I feel like I am in a time warp....until now since it's chilly enough that we are now wearing pants outside.
We stayed in Elk City as that where our field office was, and we visited our field office in Canadian, TX bright and early last Wednesday morning to begin our 14 hour day of sampling.
I kept waffling as to whether I could run the race that I had signed up in Galveston. It is the second of three parts of the Bridge Series, in which the final race is a 1/2 marathon December 2nd in La Porte (didn't bother signing up for that one....lol).
I stayed overnight on Friday so I wouldn't have to get up in the middle of the night to drive to Galveson for the race. I stayed beachside, so I could have a nice and relaxing evening....
(doing some timer photos so I could at least prove I was there...)
Race day. I finish just over 1 hour 6 minutes. I just wanted to finish. That's all.
I didn't know what to put on my bib, since I didn't want my name on it...
I'll definitely make more trips back to Galveston. I got a good feeling there...
I decided that when Genny came to visit in Houston that we needed to break up the shopping with a mini getaway somewhere. My colleagues suggested San Antonio, and since I was running out of time and ideas, San Antonio it became.
We stayed at the Omni Mansion Del Rio on the Riverwalk. It used to be a college previously. They never tear down the buildings around the Riverwalk. They are just converted into something else.
This is the Alamo. I really don't know much except it's a part of the Texan history books...and Davey Crockett was involved in these skirmishes...I have a pamphlet somewhere...
There are tour boats that take you through all of the parts of the Riverwalk, and they give us tidbits of history of the buildings on the Riverwalk.
One of the many restaurants down on the Riverwalk....this one is Mexican (we ate inside though...too many birds outside for me).
The final, night we went to an Italian restaurant at the Westin. The evening is obviously a great time to walk off a giant meal...especially along the Riverwalk...
Yup, it's been a decade of Vegas fun. It's tough to change it up when we always have fun.
Anyways, besides the pool, spa, and tables, we do go out for delicious meals. Our target restaurant this time around was STEAK by Gordon Ramsay in the Paris. A fancy place for us fancy people.....
The experience was pretty cool. Once the bottle of win aerated, it was delicious. The meat tray was quite interesting (no photo), but they have a tray that has every cut of meat they serve and the server brings it to each table to give the patrons a meat lesson. Real meats.
I think the experience was overall enjoyable, but Mr. Ramsay needs to lay off the salt on the deep fried beans.
At the end of the evening, we got to meet the winner from Hell's Kitchen (Christina Wilson). Very nice person.
I decided that through my struggles to run long distances in the hot and humid weather that is gulf coast, I would register in some races as motivation. Avoiding all thought of the implications of running 10 km in hot and humid conditions, I signed up quickly for the Toughest 10K Kemah. I didn't know much about it, except I googled races of some sort. I did envision that there was incline on both sides of the bridge, but experiencing it is a totally different thing. The wafts of fish was something we had to deal with on the bridge transitions. Not pleasant.
Without going through too many details of the race, I did finish it with a time of 1:05:07.9, 50th out of 123 women in the W30 - 34 category. The incline was 5 degrees on one side and 4 degrees on the other side. My goal is to finish it without limping across the finish line. That's all I care about.
Just one side of the bridge that I ran across 4 times total!
With my registration and finishing the race, I received a t-shirt, hat, AND medal! They also had chiropractor students from the university and lots of food and foam rollers to use on site. Pretty darn cool.
I've been craving a ham for soooo looonnggg! It's ridiculous to buy a 9 lb ham for one person, but NO ONE MAKES ONE-MAN HAMS!!! I broke down and bought a spiral ham from Costco, and cooked it tonight so I would have ham all Thanksgiving weekend. I barely make a dent in it, but it was so delicious! Nicely glazed....about 3 hours to cook at 350F (including adding the glaze) for those who need to know ;)
Tomorrow I'm in search of split peas and tupperware for soup to freeze....a tonne of ham will hit the freezer too.....yikes!
There are two other people here from the Canada office in which we usually get together to go for Friday night dinners and desserts and the occasional movie (THE CAMPAIGN = FUNNY). Twice we've gone to Smith & Wollensky's for 2 for 1 appy's. Delicious scallops, flatbread pizzas, SLIDERS, fancy shrimps. Both times we head out afterwards in search of dessert....ice cream, CUPCAKES....and fancy that, we learned that we could get special online coupons to get BOGO cupcakes at Sprinkles!
WAY better than the cupcake in Napa Valley. This is the best Peanut Butter Chocolate cupcake I've ever had. The cupcake itself is peanut butter batter with chocolate chips in it. Then a chocolate ganache icing with chocolate sprinkles.
(NOTE: and this is why Texans go to the gym everyday...BECAUSE EATING IS A HOBBY!)
Life isn't all that exciting, except today was my first ever personal training session. I know what I need to strengthen, it's just that I need some direction and someone to tell me to DO IT! Being that 24H Fitness is right beside a Specs, I decided to peruse the aisles of wine and selected a nice Voignier for a later date (yay!).
Golf Galaxy...will be making a visit there eventually (yay golf!). Down the way is a T.J. Max (not yet).
Apparently there is a bigger Spec's (I've seen it), but this one is right by the gym!
After a month of ridiculousness (i.e. packing, moving, packing, moving, unpacking, settling in), it was just time to take a weekend off and relax. I did sign up at 24 Hour Fitness on Saturday and beat up the ole' body, and then ran the Memorial loop (5 km) early this morning. My down time included movies and scrapbooking!
Today is officially DAY 1 in Houston. I've done all the responsible things....like stock my kitchen, purchase cleaning products, have a late afternoon nap (plus a Harry Potter marathon of sorts)....points one and two were both executed at the 'local' Walmart Supercentre. I'm not sure how local it was, but my GPS got me there in 20 minutes maybe. And for the record, I am only able to achieve my responsible tasks with the minimum amount of frustration and time b/c I rented a Garmin GPS. You program it, and it tells you where to go while you drive. DONE DEAL!
I also purchased myself a treat!
Now, I'm just waiting out a severe thunderstorm. So far nothing different from Cowtown...(I'm referring to the spontaneous thunderstorms, not the humid 32 degrees Celsius).