• Caroline Harris

Hometowns: Houston Edition

One of the best ways to get to know someone is by visiting their hometown -- seeing their childhood home, high school, and favorite places. You’d think that after four years of living with my friend, Abby, that I would know her pretty well. It was not until this past week of seeing her hometown, Houston, TX, that I got a whole new look into what makes her, her.

Instead of a spring break this year, we were allotted several “wellness days” sprinkled throughout the semester. While most of my friends chose to go to Miami, my roommates and I decided to finally check Texas off our bucket list.

We got the full Texan experience in only five and a half days. From the airport, Abby’s parents took us straight to a Tex Mex restaurant, Pappasito’s. Right off the bat, we saw cowboy hats and boots and Texas flags everywhere. Everything is, in fact, bigger in Texas.

We spent the first two days of our trip at Abby’s family’s lake house an hour outside of Houston. We rode jet skis, took the boat out, and grilled an amazing dinner with her dad before having s’mores by the fire. We also ventured out to Walmart - the only store for miles - to get a few groceries and let me tell you, the people watching was next level. We walked on some amazing trails in a nearby forest, and finished a puzzle while we were there too.

From the lake, we headed to a San Houston horse race, where my roommates got a taste of horse betting. We waited in the Whataburger drive thru line for an hour to get subpar chicken biscuits and patty melts, but it was worth it for the experience, right?

The next couple of days, Abby’s older brother, Drew, showed us around downtown Houston and an area called The Heights. We went to some awesome thrift stores, coffee shops, and restaurants. My favorite restaurant was Savoir, which had amazing cocktails, pizza, and salmon. Abby took me to the cycle studio that first sparked her love and passion for spin and we did a Rodeo Ride, which was just too fitting.

We headed back to Abby’s hometown, the Woodlands, and cooked an amazing pasta meal with her parents. She drove us around some jaw-dropping neighborhoods, where Chris Paul and Travis Scott have houses. We finished the day watching the Grammys, a calm end to an eventful trip!

Getting to see where Abby grew up was such a gift. I love exploring new cities, but especially when they are so closely tied to the people I love the most!

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