Today is hot. Hot, humid and steamy. I’ve been here 19 days and have witnessed huge differences in temperature. I arrived to a warming 24 degrees, which suddenly dropped to 9. Obviously, I have only packed for the summer as that’s what was promised. It’s now steadily creeping back up to the mid 20’s and all is good. The nanny here, said there is no in between. It’s either one or the other. And everyone else says “Welcome to Houston.”
So, anyway, all is good. I’ve had a proper day of exploring the other day. I have permission to use the little red car and have been driving around and growing in confidence on my breaks, although the turning right on a red stop sign still confuses me as it’s not always so, oh and I drove the wrong way down a one way road this afternoon. Only a small way, but the guy coming the correct way was obviously perplexed. I’m ashamed to say I played the female card, but what can you do?
The evening I had off happened to be St Valentine’s and I invited the nanny out for dinner in the evening. The restaurant of choice was a place called Relish. I had said to the mum earlier that I was craving steak as I’ve been living on salmon the last few days (I googled how much salmon, is too much salmon the other day. I kid you not; turns out you can eat salmon 14 times a week, so I’m way down..). Anyway, Relish did have steak but at $40 I was not that desparate, so went down the burger and fries route and a glass of red. It was enormous and when we left we were each presented with a rose.
Very nicely, I’m being put up in an hotel on my days free, and was dropped off there for a good nights sleep. Which was so needed.
I had a late check out the next day, so after a bit of Facetime with the parentals and sharing the news that the purchase on my property had happened (I’ve bought my own little House of Dreams; Anne reference there) I was picked up by an uber and driven to my first destination.
In my wanderings, I had come across a fitness studio called Define and their classes really appealed. After a quick tour around the 3 studios and then introduced to my instructor I was thrown back into the 1990’s with a twist. Aerobic, barre work, elastic bands and weights. I was wringing wet and my body ached by the end. I left with the teacher words of reminding us that we are amazing. So American.
I wasn’t expected to pick up the car until lunchtime so decided to pop across the road to Brasserie 19. I’d wandered past it before and noticed everyone looking very smart sitting inside. I was still in my gym kit but ready for a spot of brunch. I pushed open the door and stepped into a cool, white room. All the waiters had long aprons on. There were a couple of other customers in there, eating at the bar. I walked up to the desk to ask for a table for one, adding that I probably wasn’t exactly dressed right for the place.
I’ve been trying to choose eateries that have a choice of other than plastic. That’s one of the things that makes me twitch about being here, in America. The plastic waste is phenominal. The hotel where I’m staying, breakfast can come in a plastic tub with plastic spoon. I tried on the first day to order from the menu and requested oatmeal, fairly confident it would arrive in a ceramic bowl. It did, but the nuts and cranberrys were in two small plastic pots on the side. The coffee comes in throwaway cups (Starbucks is the provider). I can’t tell you how many times my Keepcup has been called cute. Food is placed on cardboard plates and tossed away. Or delivered. In plastic. I do honestly think that this might be the last time that I do America, though. Coming into the country makes me feel sick, although, I did have an amusing moment at customs (which never happens). I had completely forgotten I had an apple in my bag and was just at the check point where you have to declare if you’re selling anything, or got any fruit/vegetables with you and I suddenly remembered I had. I beckoned over the guy who was directing us to our stations and explained my predicament. He told me I was too late or, I could eat it now and he’d look the other way. Thankfully, I’m the sort of person that eats the whole apple, but that was the quickest I had ever scoffed one.
The one thing I shall say in their favour is that there are plenty of water stations around to refill your own bottles. I’ve seen them in the parks and around the shopping malls. A definite plus there as it is soooo hot at the moment.
Thursday afternoon, once I had picked up the car, was to drive to the Museum District. I spent a short time in the Museum of Contemporary Art. I really don’t “get” contemporary art. I then found out that the Museum of Fine Art was free after 5pm unti 9pm on a Thursday, so spent a happy couple of hours, wandering around there. I barely scratched the surface as it’s over many floors, but shall go back when I get a chance and finish off.
And that was my day. Everyone is super friendly here and my accent has become extremly British, to the point I say “Cheerio” a lot. Work is tiring but the family I’m with are lovely. I’m now looking forward to sleeping on Wednesday night 🙂