Friday, March 26, 2010

Catch-Up PART 1: So, a week AFTER I promised you I would blog.....

Friends and Family,

Wow! I am SOOOOO sorry that it has been...... 20 days since my last real post. Oh my goodness, have I really been that much of a slacker???!! Well, I have had a few distractions, to say the LEAST that have kept me away but I am SO happy to be back with you today!! To make this 20 day catch-up post more bearable, I am going to break it up into 2 parts. Welcome to PART 1.

Let me first tell you what has been keeping me away. This will be the shortest update:


They have been trying to wear us down to a thread this month! My gracious. You would think they thought we had nothing better to do with our time but assignments and tests! But! I am glad to report that starting on April 1st, we have a whole week of nothing to turn in! Praise the Good Lord!

Okay. Now to the good stuff :-)


Oh, dear season, how I have MISSED you so! Winters in Houston are so.... well, quite frankly they are depressing. The sky is constantly covered by a mass of gray clouds, with the ground covered in the sky's tears. We had a very wet, cold, drabby winter here in the South of Texas. We had one day of snow, which admittedly was quite fun :-D

I have been wanting to blog about Spring for the past 2 1/2 weeks, but then I would remember that I had a test to study for. What a downer, right?! But God has graced us with his beauty 100 fold here in Houston! The weather has been sunny with a high of 75 for the past 2 weeks and myself along with our garden have been just bathing in it! The plants from our garden have grown about 4 inches (well, all except for the jalapeno plants, which the apartment cats decided to eat for a snack!!) and my spirits have been lifted to sky and beyond!

Praise God for seasons, amen? Amen.

So, what have Scott and Hannah been up to the past 20 days.... Let me pull up my photos so that I can actually remember, too!

Friday, March 12th, Scott and I went over to our friends, Bekah and Brandon's house, for dinner and man, they spoiled us! They made a delicious mango chicken salad with a spicy Asian dressing, asparagus with goat cheese and pine nuts, and an appetizer of baked brie with cranberry compote and sliced French bread!

Wow! We were so impressed! We stayed for a while after to play Settlers of Catan and talk. We had so much fun and hope to have them over for dinner soon. We have quite the menu to live up to!

Saturday, the 13th, I just had an intense CRAVING to go outside and walk for hours and take pictures along the way. Scott, bless him, said, "Yeah babe! Let's go!" So we put on our Chacos, packed up a picnic lunch and some magazines, and the camera, of course! And off we went!

My goodness, it was a BEAUTIFUL day!! We thought that this "Photo Walk" would be the perfect opportunity to share our neighborhood with you.

"Montrose" is not only the name of our neighborhood, but also the name of the main street that runs through this part of Houston. We live 2 blocks West of Montrose.

There is a series of row houses across the street that I am in love with!

I want to live in one so bad, but the price is pretty high..... $1200-1500 a month to rent... yikes. Oh well, at least I can stare at them and take pictures :-)

Caddy-corner to our apartment is a Greek Orthodox Church that hosts the annual "Greek Fest".

There is a large Greek population here, which has blessed us with SEVERAL Greek restaurants around our apartment that Scott and I frequent often, one of which is Niko Niko's that has been featured on Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives with Guy Fierri! It is quite tasty! Scott and I ALWAYS get the Gyro Sandwich (mom, you would love it!) and Feta Fries. If you live in Montrose and have not tried this place (don't know how you wouldn't have!), you must go.

Not too far from our place are what Scott and I call "The Painted Ladies of Montrose". It is, as you might have guessed, a row of pastel painted row houses that look like they should house life-size replicas of my Barbies. They are beautiful and I also swoon over these every time we walk to church.

Can't really see them b/c of trees.... oh well, you get the idea!

This is Scott and I's favorite house in the neighborhood. We call it "Our House".

Speaking of walking to church,

This is the path that we take when we walk to church

Montrose is NOT known for its pedestrian/biker-friendly sidewalks!!

Just LOOK at those bumps and ridges! You would think that an earthquake came through and only affected the sidewalks of Montrose. Actually though, the sidewalks are so terrible because the strong roots from the beautiful Oak trees that line the streets have just knocked them loose of their foundation. God's work is mighty, eh?

Westheimer is a happening street in our neck of the woods! Here are some things that we walk past quite often:

Ex-Restaurant called "La Strada". No longer in business, but we really like the building.

Mango's: Vegetarian eats and coffee and live music!

Our favorite bike shop: Daddy, when you come in April, we will take you here!

The strip of odds and ends stores just before we get to church:
1. Pinot and Picasso: bring your own wine, they provide the paints and canvases!
2. TNT Screen Prints: screen print T-shirts, etc.
3. More stores that I can't remember the name of..... oops.

Hey! It's our church! Ecclesia: 2115 Taft Street
I work in the big red brick building on the left! Taft Street Coffee! (I am currently there now if you want to visit!)

This particular Saturday was the day for food stands! We hit three on our walk! The first one we bumped into (and purchased a lemon and sugar crepe from!) was a crepe stand called "Melange Creperie".

It was soooo good and the man working the stand was really friendly! He is from NY, but has been in Houston for several years now.

Making our way back home (after about the first 2 hours of walking), we did some side tracking onto streets that we don't really visit that much.

Barnaby's and it's sister restaurant, Baby Barnaby's are some TASTY eats here in Montrose! Baby Barnaby's (in my opinion) has the best breakfast in town! If you stop by, you MUST get the fresh squeezed orange juice and the breakfast tacos. You must.

Notice the rainbow theme? While walking the streets of Montrose, you will see many a rainbows! There is a large homosexual population in Montrose, hence you will see rainbows here and there throughout. I have yet to see an ACTUAL rainbow in Montrose! Someday, someday.

Pretty Mexican food restaurant.

We found the cutest little park! Scott and I enjoyed some swinging, tree climbing, and watching this TINY dog chase a HUGE Goldendoodle for 10 minutes... it was hysterical!

Something else you will find frequently in Montrose: Shopping carts. Most of them filled to the brim with trinkets of all sorts, hanging from the sides with bungee cords. There is many, many homeless people that roam the streets of Montrose, lugging their belongings in shopping carts, baby carriages, backpacks, whatever they can find.

Funny story: We were almost to our lunch destination (Menil Park) when we saw our friends Sarah and Tim participating in a PROTEST!! Ha! We were laughing so hard and shouting their names. We finally caught their attention and joined in the march!!

My first ever protest. It was for a cause that I could justify: There is a huge plot of land with lots of trees across the street from Fiesta and HEB now owns that property and wants to build a big HEB on that land. Now, don't get me wrong, I like HEB, but wouldn't it be so much NICER to have a PARK in that space??! I think so.

Even older people participated!

The final destination.

The leader of the pack. Her dress was cute :-)

Second food stand: Oh My Pocket Pies! Scott and I nabbed a chicken pie and headed to the park.

Third food stand: Slow Dough, serving burgers and other stuff. We didn't buy anything here, but we just thought it was funny how many food stands we saw that day!

Did I mention that on this walk, we ran into 9 of our friends!! It was so cool! We really felt a sense of community on our walk. Two of said friends were Emily and Steven.

We went to the Menil Collection, a famous art museum that is literally a 3 minute walk from our apartment, then rested in the park next door for the rest of the afternoon.

Last stop: University of St. Thomas
We live right down the street from this University.

Time walked: 5 hours.

Okay, last part of the PART 1 post! Our small group helps serve communion and offering on the second Sunday of every month and this particular Sunday we decided to meet together for lunch afterwards at Christina's apartment roof!

Well, next post will cover Spring Break, a new project, Rodeo Houston, and more!

Muchos besos! (many kisses)



Ashton said...

Enjoyed your little adventure! Especially the Greek part; I would absolutely LOVE that aspect! :-)

daddyO and honey said...

great to see your world. glad you are doing well. are you enjoying your program and your job. almost finished with one year!!