Oh, Houston – You Delight Me

This past weekend I celebrated my birthday in Houston with eight of my favorite people on earth. My sweet friend Merritt was an incredible hostess to all of us, and even though I can never thank her enough, I will die trying. Because ohmygoodness – she totally outdid herself. Just thinking about the last three days makes me all teary-eyed in the happiest possible way.

But before I talk about All The Fun With Friends, I feel like I need to share a few preliminary facts. Please bear with me as I work through my chronic need to over-explain and wade through far too many unimportant details. I have lived long enough to know that “succinct” isn’t really my style.

1) I had never been to Houston before this weekend. I mean, I’d changed planes in Houston, but I’d never spent any time there that didn’t involve running up escalators and trying to catch a terminal shuttle.

2) I LOVED HOUSTON. It reminded me of Baton Rouge and Memphis, but it’s totally its own thing. And sweet mercy it goes on forever.

3) If I moved to Houston I would gain somewhere between 40 to 50 pounds the first week I was there. This is merely a conservative approximation. Results could vary.

4) And in all seriousness: the food was some of the best I have ever eaten in my life. I couldn’t get over it. I HAD NO IDEA.

5) I got home late this afternoon, but please let me assure you that I miss Houston already. In fact, I may ask Houston to be my BFF. I know it seems soon, but I think we forged a lasting bond.

All righty. I’ll be back later with pictures and details and stories and much talk of food.

For so many reasons, it was one of my favorite weekends ever.

Seriously. What’s not to love?

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  1. YES to number two! But I kind of like that about my city :)

    I’m excited to see where you ventured in the grand city of Houston :) I’m still in college, but I feel like seeing my city featured on a blog is a bit like a mother’s pride when her child wins Student of the Month. Yes? No? Oh well. Houston will always be home sweet home to me!

  2. I’m so glad you loved my hometown! I’m also glad you got to see our chamber of commerce weather. It’s not always gorgeous like this weekend, but I love H-town anyway! According to Big Mama you guys spent the weekend in my neighborhood and I’m sooooooooo disappointed I didn’t run into you at,Nordstrom’s Rack or Lupe Tortillas…all my regular haunts!Happy belated birthday!

  3. I am just so glad that Houston weather was on it’s best behavior for your trip here! It was a GORGEOUS weekend. Let me assure you, we only get about 3 weeks in the fall like this so glad you made it in time.

  4. Happy, happy, happy birthday, Sophie!! I can’t wait for more details!! Houston is pretty special to me too.

  5. Awwww, so glad you had such a good birthday weekend!!!! :)

  6. Jenny F. says:

    Happy Belated birthday… As I write this I am sitting in a high rise building in beautiful downtown Houston working (well after I write this). I’m so glad that you had an amazing weekend in here with this beautiful weather. Good food here is in abundance. Best wishes for a wonderful year.. At your new age!

  7. Happy Birthday! Sounds like a very fun weekend and I look forward to hearing all that you did while down in Houston.
    I won’t ruin your image of the beloved city with talk of mosquitos as big as your head and humidity thick enough to choke a horse. When my parents lived down there, I always feared being carried off by those mosquitos, much like the monkey scene in Wizard of Oz. I’m so glad everyone was on their best behavior while you were in town.

  8. Happy Birthday! I am so glad you had fun on your trip! Your friends sound like the bestest!

  9. Happy Birthday!
    Please don’t leave a detail out of your trip…we just moved to Houston & I want to love it the way you just described! List restaurants, shopping, etc…whatever made you so happy! We moved from North Carolina and I miss it terribly but am open to loving Houston!

  10. Okay, judging from the size of that tortilla, I’m hoping you went to Mamaninfa’s. That’s some GOOD mexican food! Much like Chuy’s! I have a friend who lived there for a while and I loved to visit just for that reason! Did you learn the Houston lingo like “inside the loop” and stuff? Hope so! ;)

  11. It sounds like a blast! Melanie wrote a nice post about it, too.

  12. So glad to read how much you enjoyed Houston. Want to know why? I am headed there Wednesday and will be there through the weekend to cheer on our beloved Bulldogs!!! Can’t wait for all the details so I will know where to go and what to do while there. Happy Belated Birthday.

  13. Dawn-Htown says:

    You were in my town!! It’s only the coolest place on earth, and as others have said…the weather we are experienceing right now…well it just doesn’t get any better. So glad you enjoyed the birth city of my five lucky children. And they ALL love being from our great city and state. And those bulldogs? Oh my!! Happy Birthday

  14. Christy T. says:

    Happy (belated) Birthday!
    I was born and raised in Houston, so I’m glad it treated you so well… There is nothing like the Mexican food in Houston, well and the steak and the BBQ, and some of the other things like the chicken fried steak from Goodson’s Cafe in Tomball… I can totally appreciate the approximation of weight gain.
    Also, good timing for the visit… Because you DO NOT want to take up residence there in the summertime. Though I’m sure you have some degree of understanding about it from living in Bham.
    I’ll look forward to hearing your stories as you share with all the details!

  15. Mary Kat's Mom says:

    Happy Birthday ! ! ! I’m thrilled to hear you had such a great time! I bought the hair stuff you told me about and I like it but have a question. See you later!

  16. Alysia in MS says:

    Happy Birthday! We share the same birthday month. Yay! Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend. Looking forward to reading about it.

  17. Glad you loved our city! Our weather was practically perfect and it sounds as though our restaurants showed off their stuff to you as well! There’s some seriously good food in this city.

  18. And I bet Houstoin LOVED you back, dear Sophie!!

  19. I sneezed, while typing, Houston, can you tell?? :0)

  20. We lived in Houston for 4 years and loved it. Made some great, life-long friends and fell in love with Lupe Tortilla, which I’m guessing is where the photo was taken. Glad you had a great time and a fun birthday!

  21. Happy Birthday! I have had many good times in Houston. Glad you enjoyed it, too!

  22. Don’t you just love a restaurant that advertises that their tortillas are as “big as yo face” and mean it! :)

  23. so, the tortilla pictured in this post….maybe it is true, everything is bigger in Texas! :)

  24. Happy Happy Birthday, Sophie!
    I have a few comments:
    1) I love love love the name Merritt so I am thinking I should maybe have another baby just so that I can name her that.
    2)We just moved here (Houston – SE burbs) in June. From the North. Way North – like Winter 9 months a year North. And we LOVE it. LOVE it.
    3) I would appreciate you sharing all the culinary delights of the weekend because while I have already put on a considerable amount of Houston-goodness-weight, I am sure I could add a few more inches to my hips.
    And Happy Birthday again!!!

  25. That sounds like a rockin fun weekend!
    Makes birthday’s even more special!

  26. Happy Birthday! I think we should all go to Houston on our birthday. I may make it a new rule for my family…

  27. Oh, Sophie! I totally hear you! I ate my way through Houston a few years back, wondering where that town ahd been al my life! Cajun, Greek, MExican – it was a revelation! And because “Big” comes before “Boo” in my feedreader I know from Melanie that you had fajitas at Lupe Tortilla. I live in SoCal so I know good fajitas when I see them. Lupe makes hands down the best fajita I’ve ever had. Life changing! So jealous every time I hear of someone enjoying them! Talk about a stronghold! ;-) Glad you had such a lovely birthday weekend with the girls! Can’t wait to hear about it from the birthday girl’s mouth. Or fingers, as the case may be!
    Blessings on your coming year!!

  28. anotherlisa says:

    so glad you had fun. i grew up in memphis and i love houston!
    it is truly home now, and we are proud to have 2 native houstonian daughters.
    did miss beth moore come see you at lupe’s for your b-day? or did you see her at church sunday?
    come see us again quickly! you’ve got lots of fans here :)

  29. You were here. And I am here. And now you are NOT here, but I am still here. Seeing as how we only cyber know each other, I guess I can’t blame you. But, yes. Houston is a lovely place that gets a bad rap for MANY reasons–all of them from folks who don’t live here. Glad you enjoyed your stay. I’m hoping that HUGE tortilla was from Pappasitos–if not, then put that on your place to eat next time–though I see up top that you went to Lupe Tortilla. . .ALSO muy bueno. . .as is Alicia’s over on the northwest side of town. And you picked a FINE, FINE weekend to visit–wasn’t the weather GORGEOUS???

  30. What a fabulous weekend!! The weather in Houston this past weekend was perfect!! Don’t let it fool you…it’s not always like that!! Oh, and Lupe Tortillas….only my most favorite beef fajitas in town!! Happy belated birthday!!

  31. I would recognize a tortilla from Lupe Tortilla anywhere! and that looks like one! I hope you had the beef fajitas and the queso. yum!

  32. It’s true, we rock. Especially in the restaurant area. Where did you eat?

  33. Sounds like such a sweet time with good friends! What a great way to celebrate your birthday! Oh…and happy birthday to you from me, as well…even though I’m essentially a stranger and haven’t stopped by for a BooMama visit in far too long.

    It still always feels like I’m sitting on the back porch sipping lemonade or iced tea…(sweet of course) or what-have-you with a good friend when I do. Thanks for that.

    Continued blessings to you…

  34. So glad you enjoyed Houston. Let us know next time you’re in town. Would love to hook up.

  35. Is that Big Mama and her bangs behind tortilla number 1?

    I just got through reading Big Mama and it sounded like yall had such a great time. I can’t wait to read all about it and see some pics.

  36. Oh the homemade tortillas…. oh how wonderful they are…oh how I will miss them.
    We moved to the Houston area 3 years ago for school. We are from a tiny town in Louisiana. Hello culture shock! Even Kroger has fresh made tortillas everyday.
    We have fallen in love with so many things from Houston. Mostly revolving around food.

  37. I am a rare poster, but devoted reader of the blog & your cute articles in FamilyLife. My husband and I are currently praying about a big move from our beloved hometown of Chattanooga to the big metropolis of Houston by the end of the year! My heart is so encouraged by your words about Houston! Just what I needed to hear after finding out last night that the traffic is pretty much horrendous 365 days of the year. Please post some more details about your time there!