Family Birthday Fun

IMG_4175It’s been a while since I’ve blogged but I want to fill you in on my family’s visit for their birthday celebrations. It was my brother and sister-in-law’s first visit to #Houston and now that my sister, Tamona, has moved to #Dallas, I’ve lost count of the number of time’s she’s been down. It’s nice to have her so close!

My brother, Aaron, turned 50 November 14th and my sister, Tamona, had a birthday November 19th – I won’t tell you how old she is because she’d kill me. Anyway, they decided to come hang out in Houston to celebrate and we had a great time.

Aaron and Medina arrived mid week and had a chance to reconnect with friends and get accustomed to Houston traffic. Well, I’m not sure if getting accustomed to Houston traffic is something anyone does. However, they managed to stay safe while in traffic.

We spent some time getting pampered and got pedicures at Secret Escape Nail Lounge. This has to be one of my favorite pedicure spots. Not only do they have the normal massage chairs, they offer free beverages…including adult beverages. They also finish the experience with a great neck and shoulder massage. It was a highlight of the visit!

We went to Phil & Derek’s – A #jazz lounge. I’d recently gone for the first time and knew they’d like it. We started on the side with the TVs and comfortable seating. We ordered food and between the catfish and shrimp baskets, I was in heaven. It was the best catfish I’ve ever had. The seasoning was perfect and the batter was very light. They have perfected French fries too. Every single fry was nice and crispy. I give them props for their wine pours. I ordered a #Malbec and it was nearly 12 ounces. Don’t kill me for saying this, but they’d probably make a lot more money if they pour the “normal” resturaunt pours. We ended our time at Phil & Derek’s on the patio where cigars are allowed. Sitting out watching football and reminiscing about old times was fantastic!

I had to take them to one of my favorite places, The Briar Shoppe, a #cigar shoppe. We actually went there a couple of times during their visit. I bought Aaron his birthday present at the Briar Shoppe: his first pipe. I’m glad he was able to have his first pipe experience there because he received a great lesson from the Briar Shoppe’s pipe aficionado, Ross. What a Huntsman Ross is! Aaron go the lessons he needed and looked like a total dork learning to smoke that pipe – I say dork lovingly! They also met a few of the regulars that hang out at the Briar Shoppe and who I spend time with to wind down. It was great!

We had lunch at Just Oxtails. I’ve heard about this restaurant since I arrived to Houston. It was pretty good but I didn’t really like that their oxtails are thinly sliced. The flavor was amazing and the sides were pretty good. I think it’s worth a try.

We went to the Alley Kat – on a Thursday night. I’ve heard so many things about Alley Kat and I’d been before. However, Thursday is apparently the night to go. So we went and it was quite an experience. A guy tried to punk me out of a parking space. He told me the spot was for valet: it was a metered parking space so I parked there anyway. He was a little ticked off. When he saw me inside we laughed about it.

We sat out on the patio and did a ton of people watching. The music was fantastic as well. Folks were nice and in good spirits and I lucked out and got Tamona’s gift while I was there. There’s a young man in #Houston who makes jewelry. I’ve had a couple pieces of his work and I asked him to make Tamona a necklace and earrings while we hung out. And he did!

We did all of this before my sister arrived! Once Tamona arrived, we had a planned birthday dinner at PappasBrothers Steakhouse. It was quIMG_4195ite delightful. After the meal, we headed to City Centre to take in a live band at the Monnalisa inside Hotel Sorella. After watching the “old people” – just kidding – singing the lyrics to all the 80s music it was time to call it a night.

It was such a pleasure to show the family around and have them in my new city I call home. I hope they come back soon!

Living life…and it’s still good.

 

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