G.N.O. + Double Dates

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My 26th Birthday in Houston




Even though my birthday may technically only be 24 hours, I usually like to extend it to a full 48. Making the most of my birthday weekend in Houston was no problem and I had no shortage of new experiences and memories.

Houston Staycation

Leaving work early on Friday, I got us a hotel downtown for a staycation of sorts. I chose the Hyatt Regency mainly for their roof top pool, but also because I scored a decent deal through Orbitz and the Hilton Honors program. $120.00 per night, which came out to $243.00 for both nights, which isn't bad when it's within walking / biking distance from many of the things I wanted to do. For being the typical planner that I am, I wanted this weekend to be relaxing. I had been working 2 jobs for about a month at that point and all I wanted was to drink by a pool until the sun went down. So for the first night we checked in and relaxed for an hour before getting ready and heading up to the Spindletop, the rotating restaurant that sits on top of the hotel. I had no prior reservations but they were very accommodating when I called 30 minutes before to request a table for two. The food was amazing and the view was breathtaking. It was right after Prince had passed away, so we could see the City Hall lit up purple.






After dinner we were too full and tired from a long work week to try and venture out, so it was trash TV and a comfy hotel bed for the rest of the night.


Making My Way Downtown

The next morning, my cousin met up with us after we grabbed breakfast at the Einstein Bagel Company, which is inside the hotel, and then we all walked just a few blocks to the closest B-Cycle Station. I have watched people riding them for years around downtown and I had always wanted to try it. The concept is simple enough, there are bikes you can rent with your credit or debit card for $5.00. You can download the app and become a member, which is free. This allows you to take advantage of the $5.00 member rate, which is good for 24 hours. The first hour (60 minutes) is completely free, and in order to avoid any additional fees (which would only be $2.00 every 30 minutes after the initial 60 minutes) you just have to check the bike back into a B-Cycle station every 60 minutes. There are plenty around town and I found no issue with finding a station every hour.



Our first leg of the bike ride took us to Franks Pizza for lunch where we easily locked up our bikes outside as we went in. Taking our slices with us, we biked across the street to Market Square Park to grab a few beers at Niko Niko's and sit down to enjoy lunch outside. When we were done, our first 60 minutes were almost up so thankfully there was a B-Cycle station right there at Market Square Park. We checked in and out our bikes and then we were good to go for another hour.





This was right after the "500 year floods" that Houston seems to have every couple of months, so we took advantage of the water receding and road the bikes down by the bayou. A place I had never been before, it was quiet and unique, a place I would visit again.




We biked for another hour before finding the station near our hotel to return the bikes. Next on the agenda was pool time with a side of margarita. (ok - beer). I was able to relax, but before I knew it, it was time to get ready for my birthday dinner and evening.



Red Dress Boutique did not disappoint with my baby blue romper and nude heels
& my wonderful friend Paige glowed in a dress from LuLaRoe.

Color Walls & Hot Dogs

I planned to have dinner at the Moon Tower Inn, opting for a more laid back feeling with outside picnic tables, hot dogs and beer. A few days before my dinner I found that the Sugar & Cloth Color Wall that had just opened was right down the street (literally) from Moon Tower Inn. I informed all my friends that I would be at the color wall to take photos 30 minutes before dinner if anyone wanted to meet me. I was so glad I did because we got some great photos.




   
Food was good, but I wish the outside area was a little more lit at night. They have hanging tree lights but that only helps so much. In addition, they had a huge flood light from a lamp post that really threw off the vibe and feeling of the laid back atmosphere. But none the less, I had a good time and after dinner everyone headed to Around the Corner - yes that's a bar - in the Lower East Side. What used to be a house was now a full fledged bar with a big outdoor patio and unique, but charming, decorations. We were there for the better part of an hour before some of my friends realized the house next to us had been converted into a club. Although my clubbing days are far behind me, every once in a while it's fun. With my remaining friends, we headed next door to the club house and spent the rest of the night there. It was different, but interesting in it's own way with multiple rooms and a small main room with the dance floor and bar.




The only thing I will say about this place is that the DJ didn't think "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon 5 was the vibe he was going for - he obviously didn't know it was my birthday.


Bloody Sunday

And what successful birthday weekend is complete without brunch? One of the things I love about my birthday being at the end of April, especially in Houston, is the abundance of festivals, events and activities going on. This year I saw that the Houstonia Magazine was putting on their annual Sunday Bloody Sunday: A Boozy Brunch event, full of local food vendors, a Bloody Mary competition and much more. Held at Green Street, it was the perfect ending to my 26th birthday.



Recap: Amazing weekend with my favorite people. I felt so loved and proud of all my friends that came to help celebrate with me. Shout out to my significant other for tagging along on one of my many adventures, and surprising me with a cake at dinner. Even though my birthdays always seem to come and go all too quickly, there's always next year.



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