Defeated By The Heat

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July 28th 2022
Published: July 29th 2022
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Montrose MuralsMontrose MuralsMontrose Murals

One of the many street art murals around the Montrose District.
Today, we thought we would head into Downtown Houston, although our guidebook had not filled us with optimism for what we would find when we got there. We were staying about 10 miles from Downtown, but it was fast and straightforward on the Interstate 45. There was just all the lanes coming and going and I think there were up to nine lanes in each direction at one point. There's also a constant stream of raised advertising boards, most of which seemed to be for ambulance-chasing lawyers. Don't get me started on them, as that scourge of modern life has been exported to the UK now.

We headed to the Montrose District first, which our guidebook had said was one of the few areas that could be explored on foot. Sorry Houston, but we were decidedly underwhelmed - a few street murals and that seemed to be about it. It did look like it would come alive at night though (lots of restaurants), so visiting at 11.00 in the morning is probably not doing it justice.

We did stop at Voodoo Doughnuts, which went down very well thank you - a Mango Tango for me and a Cannolo for
Interstate 45Interstate 45Interstate 45

Not too busy and straight to Downtown, but constantly make sure you're in the right lane.
my wife.

We walked around for a while, but with the heat at 109°F (a staggering 42.7°C according to my calculations and almost as hot as when we visited Death Valley - see We Left Vegas and it Got Hotter) and there being no shade and no breeze, we were finding it really quite hard to motivate ourselves.

We actually saw some people out running - how they can do that in this heat is beyond me!

Next, we drove on to Memorial Park, with the expectation that there would be some shade there for a walk. We parked up at the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center and discovered that other scourge of modern life - number plate recognition cameras with payment by phone only. Don't get me started on those either (see Nineteenth Century Railways and Flying Like Superman). I thought there were mainly UK problem, but then maybe we've exported that here in revenge for the ambulance-chasers.

I've actually got mobile data roaming, but what if neither of us had any data? I really couldn’t be bothered to download whatever tedious app was required and then go through an even more tedious registration process (ok, I've started), but luckily, for some unknown reason, the parking is
Central Business DistrictCentral Business DistrictCentral Business District

The impressive centre of Houston.
free on Thursdays. We walked some of the trails and had a quick look in the Nature Center building, but we were still melting in the heat so we headed back to the car and got that air-conditioning blasting.

The Central Business District looks impressive, but I don't think there's a lot there for visitors. There are apparently also some impressive (and almost certainly air-conditioned) museums, but the heat and worn us out and we decided to head back down I-45 to our hotel.

Sorry again Houston and I am probably not doing the place justice, but for America's fourth largest city, there is not that much for visitors (although the Space Center alone made it worthwhile). I would counter that though with it looking like a very nice place to live - it's obviously very affluent with nice, prestigious looking houses and, unlike most other American cities, no one sleeping rough and, so far, we haven't once smelt any weed (see Closed and Dirty Stations, Beggars, Rubbish, Touts, Over-hyped Sweets, Zero Social Distancing and The Constant Smell of Weed, But We Love New York).

Come later in the afternoon, it did cool down just a bit, so we decided that we would walk to the Clear Lake so my wife could see the jumping fish that I had
Voodoo DoughnutsVoodoo DoughnutsVoodoo Doughnuts

Worth the trip me thinks (and there is one in San Antonio also apparently).
told her all about (see Planet Mars is Calling ). I saw a couple as we were walking towards the lake, but, once we got there they, unfortunately, all decided to take the rest of the afternoon off. I'm sure my wife didn't believe me.

Discovered, amongst all those eateries around here is a Cheesecake Factory - just five miles away. Cancel everything, we know where we're going to for supper now. I just hope that our daughter doesn't read this as she would be absolutely gutted to find that we have gone to the Cheesecake Factory without her, especially after the Macaroni Cheeseburger crisis of the last time (see Drama Inside and Outside The Cheesecake Factory).

Needless to say, we couldn't finish all the huge portions, so I asked for "a box" to take some of it back with us. I had a chicken sandwich and that will go down very nicely for lunch tomorrow on our long drive to New Orleans. Oh and that gives less than a day now to come across a situation that justifies saying "Houston, we have a problem", although we don't want anything too severe.

Additional photos below
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We Love Our Troops.We Love Our Troops.
We Love Our Troops.

More Montrose street art.
Memorial ParkMemorial Park
Memorial Park

Gardens around the Houston Arboretum.
Acme CinemaAcme Cinema
Acme Cinema

Some Montrose Architecture.
Cheesecake Factory BoxCheesecake Factory Box
Cheesecake Factory Box

A box to take some of my massive Chicken Sandwich portion back with us.

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