Day 1: Houston, We Have a Problem

Day 1: Houston, We Have a Problem

Day 1 of my 30 day adventure saw a bit of turbulence, both in the sky and on the ground. But I must say that I’ve never had so much fun in an airport. As I’ve mentioned, this is my first experience with jetBlue, and so far they’ve been amazing! After passing through security at JFK, I grabbed a Sharpie and stopped by the “give us the scoop” wall to promote the blog:

I was even interviewed on video about my trip by some of the jetBlue staff. Maybe they’ll put it up on their website? Then I grabbed one of the free, comfy, AYCJ jackets, and a free donut before heading off to my gate. Free is my favorite price, especially when it’s actually cute and/or delicious!

Once on the plane, I enjoyed the luxuries of even more free stuff that jetBlue offers- a Doritos snack mix, Welch’s orange juice, and DirecTV. I didn’t have to pay for a legit meal until 6pm today!

About two and a half hours into the flight, I flipped past the weather channel to see that a tropical storm was tearing through Southern Texas, and the weather for Houston was looking similar to what I’d imagine tornado season in Kansas is like. The descent down to the airport was a bit bumpy, but thankfully the worst of the storm was on its way out of the area. Seriously though, where the hell did this Tropical Storm Hermine come from?

After landing safely in the pouring rain, I called my friend Matt to pick me up from the airport. He lives in Boston but was traveling for work so we decided to meet up down here in Texas. Somewhere along the line, after several discussions about airports, hotels, and cities, there was a miscommunication. He was in Austin, not Houston! I couldn’t believe it! After freaking out for a minute, I was able to quickly get in touch with a friend back in New York who used to live down here. Thankfully his friend Sam agreed to come pick me up and take me on a tour of Houston both by car and by foot. He made it to the airport in 45 minutes, and we spent the entire day driving and walking around in and out of the rain, checking out the city. The two highlights of my trip so far were 1) seeing the old Enron building:

and 2) the view from the Sky Lobby in the JP Morgan Chase building:

Sam set me up in a hotel for the evening, and is coming back in the morning for us to stop by a few more places before heading to the airport. I’m a girl on an extreme budget— so extreme that I’ve packed instant oatmeal and granola bars for the majority of my meals. I’ve already spent about half of my initial budget for the entire trip on this unexpected hotel room tonight, so I’ll really have to keep on eye on my spending for the rest of the month! Stay tuned for money-saving travel tips, and please, feel free to share some of your own!

We stopped for a drink at the Armadillo Palace, where I paid only $2.25 for a bottle of Lone Star. Then we had dinner at a Tex Mex place called Cafe Adobe, which quite honestly wasn’t anything special. Sure it was good, because I don’t think I’ve ever had any form of Mexican food that wasn’t good. But it wasn’t any better than some Tex Mex food I’ve had up in New York. I had the cheese enchilada, queso and guacamole tostada, along with refried beans and rice, and fried ice cream for dessert. I order fried ice cream any time I see it on a menu, so believe me I’ve had my share. This dish had pecans rolled into the mix, so that was a bit of a welcomed twist. Different, but good.

So far, Houston isn’t really what I thought it would be like. I think it resembles Florida in many ways, and Detroit in others. It’s a different kind of city than what I’m used to, especially New York. It’s very spread out, with lots of integrated neighborhoods. The ghetto isn’t necessarily sectioned off into one small area, neither are the super nice areas. It was hard to take pictures in the rain today, but I did manage to snap a few. Check em out here on Flickr.

Back to JFK tomorrow to get ready for Portland, Oregon!

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