My summer of travel continued last weekend to beautiful Houston, Texas. I had never been to H-Town; it was only my second time ever in The Lonestar State. I booked the trip to surprise my friend Roberto Clemente Jr., whose wife was throwing him a 50th birthday party!
First stop: Minneapolis. I had a quick layover there and was sure to grab a cup of Caribou Coffee at the airport. Not bad!
Checked in to my hotel around 1 p.m. on Saturday – here was my view of The Galleria, a neighborhood populated with shops, restaurants, expensive homes and high-rises in Houston.
The Westin Oaks is actually connected to a shopping center also called The Galleria, which is the biggest mall I’ve ever been in. Growing up in Western New York and playing ice hockey as a kid, I couldn’t pass up the chance to skate in the mall’s rink for a bit.
The birthday boy! Also ran in to Buffalo Bills Hall Of Famer Thurman Thomas at the shindig. Proud to call RJ a friend.
Woke up early the next day and after a quick run, headed towards downtown. MKT Bar offered up quite the brunch: eggs in a taste tomato paste served with fresh pita bread and a Sake Bloody Mary infused with ginger and wasabi. So. Good.
And yes, that was my iPad in the last photo – tuned to the YES Network to watch the Andy Pettitte ceremony at Yankee Stadium. That’s ironic because Pettitte is from Houston; he pitched for the Astros and played the last game of his career at Minute Maid Park. That’s where the next stop of my trip would take me. After a Houston Police Officer threatened to write me a $250 ticket for jaywalking (you’re not in New York anymore, Ralphie) – I hit up MMP in my old-school Don Mattingly Yankees shirt to watch his Dodgers take on the Astros. Clayton Kershaw, one of the best pitchers in baseball, was starting for Los Angeles. Of course, I kept tabs on my Yanks while at the ballpark.
Left the game early to avoid any chance of missing my flight. Astros won in extra innings on a walk-off home run. And Houston won for it’s amenities and hospitality during my quick stay (save the police officer; c’mon man!).