Thursday, July 10, 2008

Notes on a business trip

The mugginess of the Gulf Coast in July is something that I already knew about; but a mental acceptance is one thing and the hot, wet reality that slaps you in the face when you walk out of the Houston airport is something else.

The Deer Park Comfort Inn has not only a Texas-shaped hot tub but also a Texas-shaped waffle iron.

They serve something down here that is casually referred to as "green sauce" that contains lime, avocado, chiles, cilantro and...sour cream? I'm not sure. But we were eating it by the spoonful. Our waiter finally brought out a jug and filled up a bowl for each of us. If anyone from Texas is reading this blog, I'd really, really love the recipe.

And, speaking of food, when did Poland annex south-east Texas, or is there some other explanation for the local infatuation with kolaches?

Live oaks are amazing. I tried to sketch one and gave up.

There is a primary school just outside Dayton that is the jolliest place I've ever visited. If I were a little kid I would think it was just...spiffy. There's a bright-red 1945 Ford truck parked in the middle of the school library. The students call him Dewey and they get to sit in the back and read.

Grown, adult, experienced travelers should know better than to eat crab cakes and onion rings for dinner the night before a 0530 flight. I mean, really.

And finally, why is the Atlanta airport always full of sailors?


mamafrog said...

Can't help you with most of the stuff--I'm an Okie with relatives in Texas--but can tell you about the Kolaches! (I'm drooling right now thinking about them!) There were a lot of German and Polish settlers in both Oklahoma and Texas back in the early days, a lot of different groups actually! (I have extremely mixed heritage because of this!)Anyway--they brought their favorite foods with them and, since everyone loves sweets, Kolache became very popular. It's sold at every festival during the year and in a lot of bakeries. I remember going to the Arts Festival every summer in Oklahoma City and getting one.

Amy said...

The sauce you are referring to is Tomatillo sauce. They are a Mexican type of green tomato. I don't know how to make it, but I do ADORE it. I lived in the Houston area for 13 years before moving "up north" to Amarillo. We may be moving back this fall.

Karen in Wichita said...

Yeah, I was in Houston last June (2007) for a conference at UHouston. There was a fountain in the courtyard of the student center, which made us go "What, the humidity wasn't high enough already?" It was pointed out to us that this was, after all, the off-season, and that the courtyard was very pleasant during what passes for winter there. Yeah, whatever.

The really awful part was going from the warmish-humidity into the excessive air conditioning, where you're suddenly *cold* and wet. I'm amazed I didn't get con crud out of all of that.

The weirdest thing I noticed about the food, was the penchant for restaurant trifectas: barbecue, Mexican, and seafood (IIRC) versions of essentially the same restaurant.

GDad said...

I haven't been to TX since I was a kid. I think I'd like to visit again.

Shay said...

well, one evening we had Mexican, one evening we had seafood, and one evening we had fried chicken.

All in all another one in the eye for the American Heart Association.

T-Mom said...

Sounds like a fun trip. I love the Ford truck in the kids' library!

I lived in Dallas for a couple of years, and chose Dallas over Houston because I'd lived in Beaumont as a kid and figured I didn't need a repeat.

Did you ever watch the very short-lived TV series Houston Knights? One of the cops is from Chicago and really suffering from the local climate, and in one show there's a scene of him waking up to the radio announcer cheerily stating "98 degrees and 90% humidity!" "What a surprise," says our hero. I thought that summed it up pretty well.

Sewicked said...

I'm in NC where I'm surprised everyone doesn't drown from all the water in the air.