Travel Thoughts by Kim

By Kim Pritt, Contributor Posted 29 April 2023 at 3:00 pm

Let’s go on an adventure together….to the Houston area of Texas!

One section of a city block called “Graffiti Park” devoted to murals showcasing the history and culture of Houston.

So….I did a thing last week……I went on my first major adventure of 2023! I went to Texas! I’ve been to Texas before and was able to check it off the “Visit All 50 States” bucket list item. Although it “technically” met the criteria to be considered for that check mark, I felt like I didn’t really do it justice and have wanted to return to see more ever since. So, I did just that last week!

This trip to Texas resulted in putting 653 miles on my rental car, visiting five different cities, a wonderful visit with family, scratching off three more items on the banners on my Adventure Wall in my den, and lots of amazing memories…..all in FIVE DAYS!!! I left early Monday morning the 17th and returned mid-day on Saturday the 22nd. It was an amazing adventure and I have so much to share with you all. I’ll split out the parts over a few articles – the first will cover days one and two when I was in the Houston area.

A very large sculpture in Houston commemorating the symphony – I believe it is called “Maestro”.

This trip was one of my “start with a plan and see where it takes me” kind of trips. I flew into Houston, rented a car, and started to explore. The plan was to start out by spending some time with my cousin who lives in Conroe – about 40 miles north of Houston. From there, I went to Galveston and then to San Antonio with a side trip to Austin. I flew back home out of San Antonio early Saturday morning.

When I landed in Houston about 11:15 am, I picked up my rental car and drove downtown to catch a city bus tour. I do love a good city bus tour – it is a great way to see a good portion of a city and get a taste of what it has to offer. In this case, I really didn’t plan to spend much time in Houston – the main goal of starting my adventure in the Houston area was to spend significant time visiting with my cousin. But, I did want to get a glimpse of Houston since I was there. So – I got on an open top double decker bus and had a lovely narrated ride around the city for about an hour in the bright, warm sun. I’ll admit I am not a big fan of large cities – I’m a country girl – but I can say I was actually quite impressed by Houston.

Houston is the most populous city in Texas and in the southern US. It is the fourth most populous city in the United States after New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago and the sixth most populous city in North America. Our tour guide told us about all the Forbes lists that include Houston in the top 5 or 6 ranking cities. He had a lot of impressive things to say about Houston. But, what impressed me more than any of those statistics and facts was all the art throughout the city. There were murals and statues everywhere. The guide told us that the city encourages local artists to be creative and make the city more beautiful. I was also impressed with all the deliberate green space – parks, walking trails, and trees. It really was an attractive city. Our guide also talked about how the theater district is second only to New York City in area and number of seats. It appears that culture is important to Houston.

A bayou surrounded by green space and walking trails in downtown Houston.

The one thing I personally think the city is most famous for is the NASA Space Center. I considered taking some time to see it, but it really isn’t my “thing” and I kinda only wanted to go there so I could post a selfie on Facebook with the caption “Houston, we have a problem!” Hahaha……not worth the time it would have taken away from my family visit.

As planned, I spent the late afternoon and dinner in Conroe with my cousin, Gary. I was running out of steam by then, so I excused myself after we caught up a bit over a delicious steak dinner to go get settled in at my hotel. Then, the next day I spent the entire day just relaxing with Gary and enjoying his company and our conversations.

I spent two nights at the Holiday Inn Conroe I-45 N — if you’re ever in Conroe, I highly recommend it. It is a very nice hotel – comfortable and clean. I also recommend the restaurant we had lunch at – Rudy’s BBQ! Can’t go to Texas without eating some BBQ – right? The food was delicious and the atmosphere was casual and relaxing. 

My two days in the Houston area may not sound very exciting to you, but it was exactly what I wanted and needed. I got to see Houston and spend quality time with family I rarely get to see – can’t beat that with a stick! The sight-seeing came after I left Conroe early on the third morning. There is still a LOT more to see in Texas, so I may have to go back, someday. But, for now, I am very happy with what I did get to see and do on this adventure – I did Texas right, this time!

The first of several open top double decker bus tours I took in each of the cities I visited on my Texas Adventure. The weather was absolutely perfect for a relaxing, narrated tour of the city of Houston..

Check out my blog post about the first two days of my Texas Adventure. My next article in two weeks will focus on Galveston – I LOVED Galveston and I can’t wait to share it with you.

Happy Adventuring!