In our shared house in Canada, I remember telling one of the Canadian girls who lived with us, about our planned trip around America, and how I always wanted to go to Texas. She didn’t understand why, saying that she thought it was scary because of all the guns; already anxious about going into the unknown, her comments unnerved me slightly, but not enough to put me off going.
Before leaving Canada, we planned to travel most of the US by Greyhound bus, and as our time in New Orleans came to an end, we headed for the coach station.
Our first impressions of travelling by means of this was not good. We had to wait like three hours for our bus to arrive due to delays, before we could set off to our next destination, Houston Texas.
The journey was around six hours long (including stops), and on arrival, we didn’t need road signs to tell us, we were in Texas. Texan flags can be seen all over, and of all the states we visited around America, Texas definitely had the most flags on show, (I reckon they’d give Canada a run for their money, those guy’s plaster their flag everywhere too).
On arrival to Houston, my nerves from before increased, when I saw something from the coach window that I’d not seen before in any other city I’ve been to.
You know those electronic billboards that have advertisements on usually for a movie, or perfume or something of the likes? Well, in Houston we were greeted by a massive electronic billboard displaying the words, “WANTED FOR MURDER”, accompanied by a photo of a man’s face.
It was like a homeless town
The coach station in Houston, had one of the worst sites of poverty I saw around America, it was like a homeless town. There were loads of people, mostly African-American, carrying quilts, sitting and laying on the street, and there were so many homeless people in one spot, it was like a little community. It was a real sad sight and a bit of a culture shock.
When we got out of the station, we headed to our Airbnb. Our hosts were this nice Mexican couple who had two really cute dogs which definitely helped take the edge off for me.
I pictured Texas in a stereotypical way, to have cowboys, guns, horse carriages, the lot
Houston wasn’t like that at all, our destination after Houston was more like how I envisioned Texas to be, but I’ll tell you more about that in my next blog post.
Houston had tall buildings all around, and Texan flags everywhere.
Don’t ask me why, but for some reason I was worried about racism in Texas, and I was pleasantly surprised to find how ethnically diverse it was. I’d say Mexicans take up the majority of the population (in parts of Texas), and rightly so, considering it used to be a part of Mexico; I wouldn’t say this for Houston particularly, but definitely San Antonio.
I couldn’t wait to try some Texan BBQ
As always, I was excited to try the local cuisine and although we didn’t get the famous Texan BBQ in Houston, we did have some nice food while there. One night, we went to this lovely little Mexican restaurant, it’s always a good sign when you go out to eat, and the people eating in there are of the same origin as the food being served.
On a different day, we found somewhere inside a shopping mall that served Muffaletta’s, and considering we didn’t try it one in New Orleans, and we weren’t too far away, we figured it to be a safe bet. Now I know what your thinking, “why would you get that in Texas, when you just came from New Orleans?” And the answer is, I don’t know. It tasted so good that after trying one, I wish I had tried it in the city where it’s known as being one of their most iconic and identifiable dishes.
To be in the presence of spacecraft that’s ACTUALLY been in outer space, is amazing
It’d seem like such a wasted opportunity to not go to NASA while in Houston. It had to be done.
We heard some real Texan accents while looking around there, which was cool, but not as cool as the spacecrafts, astronaut suits, and everything else they have there.
We joined this tour where this guy took us around and told us some very interesting facts and stories that we’d have not known had he not told us. For instance, he spoke of the politics involved in the history of space exploration, between the Russians and the Americans particularly, and how the astronauts of both nationalities were actually good friends, despite the political rivalry. He told us about a photograph in existence of two Astronauts, one American and one Russian in embrace, and about a letter from one of them to the other which showed how close they were. It’s a shame they don’t have the photograph he told us about on display, but I doubt it’ll ever surface in the public eye, due to surrounding politics.
We didn’t spend a lot of time in Houston, but if you ever plan on going, I’d definitely recommend a trip to NASA for the day, no matter how long your visit.
Join me in my next blog across Texas, as I take you to San Antonio, (one of my favourite cities of the whole adventure). Coming soon!