What’s been up? I hope you had a chance to enjoy your weekend before the cold front blew in. The good lord knows I did. I went a bunch of places this weekend and experienced a lot of cool things and as promised I’ve come to tell you all about them.
I kicked my weekend off by going to the 2nd Annual Mardi Gras celebration in Downtown Houston.
The drive to Downtown is usually only about 20 minutes away but this weekend the freeway was packed with people trying to get the the Rodeo at NRG and the Mardi Gras celebration on Galveston Island so it ended up taking us closer to an hour. Once we got Downtown parking was actually pretty easy to find, probably because we got there super early.
When I found the information on Eventbrite for the celebration I had an idea in my head of the type of day/evening we were about to have. In my head, I envisioned people from all nationalities and backgrounds partying in the streets in purple, gold, and green outfits. Confetti, streamers, balloons, masks and beads everywhere. I expected to smell the smells of New Orleans, cooking crawfish, king cakes, pots of gumbo, etouffe, jambalaya, and good ole fried seafood. I thought the streets would be glittering with gemstones fallen from bedazzled costumes, feathers, sequins, bells, and other lost adornments. I anticipated being able to hear the jazz and zydeco music blaring as I got close to the action. Was even picturing myself dancing a little jig while I happily drank, ate, and laughed my way through the night. I expected Mardi Gras!
What we walked up on was not even close to my expectations. I guess the first clue should have been when we first made it into the city. We decided to take a drive around to see where we wanted to start for the day and the streets looked about as lively as they would on a Thursday afternoon. Forever the optimist, I held out judgement. I rationalized that even though all of the event flyers said the festivities would begin at 3 p.m., things would be getting going soon since it was 5:30 p.m.
On our way from the car, I spotted a bar that had a giant sign advertising they had boiled crawfish. “This isn’t going to be so bad.” I’d said to myself. Crawfish was one of the main things I was looking forward to for the night. Next door to the bar was a restaurant with two “attractive” women dancing to loud Tejano music outside. They were excitedly inviting people to come and join the party while handing out beads and advertising there was no cover charge to get in. My cheap heart jumped all over that. We got our beads and went in. Inside, the hostess told us we could sit anywhere but a quick look around showed that there was no seating. It looked like tables were being cleared away, no doubt in anticipation for larger crowds coming in soon. We decided to take a walk through and see what they had set up for the celebration. To us, it looked like a regular restaurant with regular customers. There were maybe three people in the entire place that looked like they had come to celebrate Mardi Gras.
Since the dancing girls from before had promised this restaurant had the best margaritas, we made our way to the bar to order. At this point I was determined to make this day great, especially since Tre had already started to groan out her disappointment with the festivities. We got our margaritas and went outside on the patio area. I was hoping in the amount of time it took us to finish the drinks I would have found something more exciting for us to do. While we drank Tre went next door to the bar advertising crawfish to see what they were going for by the pound. The idea was, maybe would could get some bugs and kill some time popping tails and sucking heads. That turned out to be a bust as the clearly over worked waitress hurriedly told Tre they were all sold out. By the time we each had gotten about halfway through our $14 salt flavored margaritas, on the poop smelling patio, we’d decided to just go walk the block. Surely there was more to be seen and I was hell bent on finding it.
For the next 2 hours we walked up and down Congress Ave. taking in the sights. There, we started to see a few people dressed in Mardi Gras costumes, donning beads, and looking like they had come to party, but it wasn’t many. There were quite a few restaurants that had purple, green, and yellow decorations in their windows advertising they were participating in this year’s celebration but not much more than that. Around that time is when we realized that this was going to be basically a block long bar crawl. That would have been fine had it just been Tre and myself since we are both well beyond 21 but, since we had Scooter with us, a bar crawl would definitely be a problem. I for sure wasn’t willing to leave him to himself on the streets of Downtown Houston while so many people would be getting drunk and out of their minds so we decided to just leave. I had my mouth set on some good, spicy, clean, crawfish so we headed back to Spring to our new crawfish spot.
242 Pub & Grill
On our way back home from Downtown, Scooter decided he didn’t want crawfish so we stopped him by What-a-burger and then dropped him off at home. He’s lame like that, lol.
When we got to 242 Pub & Grill the parking lot was packed and it was looking like there was definitely going to be a wait. This was not going to work for me because I was starving and the half of a margarita I had earlier was doing a number on my head and my stomach. We got out, hopeful that we would be seated immediately, and went inside.
The bar was in fact crowded. From the door I could smell the bugs and saw several tables with baskets full of the delicious sons of bitches. I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you my mouth was already watering. Once we got to the front of the line, the hostess asked if we would mind a seat at the bar. To be honest, I didn’t care where we sat as long as I didn’t have to wait.
We sat and placed our order with a very busy bartender . 3lbs of crawfish each, an order of fried pickles, another margarita for myself (I was living real dangerously this weekend.), and a mixed drink for Tre. For those of you who aren’t new here, I’m sure you’re probably wondering when I started drinking again. The answer is that I haven’t technically started drinking again. This weekend was an isolated occurrence brought on by my anticipation of celebrating Mardi Gras. Anyway, the wait wasn’t long before we received our food and I was launched head first into my happy place.
Since we have been going to 242, the conversations between Tre and I have changed. Dare I say in a good way? I don’t know if it is the atmosphere of the place with it’s collage of T.V.’s all set to various sporting events, intimate seating, and dim lighting or if its a by product of me taking time away from social media, but I feel like we talk about things that matter to us individually and as a couple more openly while we are there. It’s the strangest thing. This night was no exception. We snapped, sucked, and ate our way through conversations on relationship intimacy, M.M.A. fights, the fundamentals of basketball, her career aspirations, and the direction of my social club. After about an hour and a half we left. I stumbled my way to the car and she drove us home. As soon as I got upstairs I walked straight into the bed leaving a trail of clothes from the front door to my bedside. The next thing I know I was waking up on Sunday morning. I started Sunday, the same as I had the day before, by going to the gym. We had made plans to go to the vintage hip hop flea market next weekend but a quick look at my calendar showed that I had gotten the dates wrong and it was this Sunday so after the gym we got ready and headed out.
Vintage Hip Hop Flea Market
Since my Mother in Law couldn’t make it to the Mardi Gras celebration the day before, Tre and I invited her to come with us to the Flea Market and she happily agreed. It was the first time anyone from my family would be meeting ANYONE from Tre’s family and I was secretly nervous as all get out. Scooter met Gammie, Paw Paw, and Mama Pam on Saturday. After the brief introductions we set off for the day. Looking back I don’t even know what I was so nervous about, I guess it’s just one of those things.
We got to the flea market at almost 2 p.m. While we were looking for parking I saw some of the most beautiful art and graffiti on the sides of the buildings surrounding the flea market. With my nose practically touching the window I sat in the back seat of Tre’s car oh’ing and ah’ing over the sights.
There was free parking across the street from the lot where the flea market was held and I was real excited about that since the event was on Leeland, close to downtown.
As soon as we got out of the car I could hear the heavy bass of hip hop music. I could smell fried food in the air and I was hoping they would have elotes, I’d even told Tre about my fat girl fantasy.
The music grew louder as we crossed the street and I could begin to see that people were in a circle around a moving figure. As we got closer I realized that the people were cheering on a group of kids break dancing to the music! How dope is that? This was my first time seeing something like this outside of a movie and I felt my chest swell with pride. It was a weird experience for me. Sure, I’m around black people all of the time and I am well versed in the culture but it was something about being right front and center watching as black and brown people of all ages had come together in this lot, selling nostalgic trinkets, break dancing, face painting, battling each other, and just existing peacefully in this black ass moment.
We walked around for a while, browsing the racks. Mama Pam found a couple pairs of super cute sun glasses and I found a great deal on a F.I.L.A fanny pack!
We didn’t spend much money while we were out there because the vendors were definitely cashing in on the “vintage” of it all but it we still had a really nice time and I’m planning on going back again next month.
We left the flea market about an hour after we got there and stopped by Payless to see if their clearance sale had gotten any bigger. News Flash! Everything is still 30-50% off…. BBOOOOOO!!!!
Before we took Mama Pam back home we stopped in to Pappa’s Seafood for lunch.
This weekend was definitely one for the books. Scooter had so many firsts and he was so excited by them all. We got to see some amazing art. We caught a break dancing contest, and we got to hang out with my mother-in-law. Memories were definitely made and I can’t wait to see what fun this weekend has in store for us.
Well guys, as much as I’d like to stick around I must go and start getting ready for the gym. What did you do this weekend? Leave it down below!!
Until next time…
Don’t judge me. You don’t know my life!!!