Going Out of the Way For A Special Moment in Houston, Texas

Blog Post Type: Expert Opinion Piece

I enjoy walking into an antique shop converted from an old home. A building refurbished and opened as a funky bar with quirky gadgets that make up its theme. A boutique store that started as a thought – turned into an idea and transformed into reality. They are all individualized, unique in their own character, a product of passion.

I love hearing the history that begins with a bygone era and the subtle and sometimes drastic changes that occur bringing these establishments to life in present day. The energetic and quirky neighborhood of Montrose, in Houston, TX, offers these stories from people who wrote, lived and continued to write its history.

Houston Art Car Parade

Photo by Black Bird via Trover.com

Normally I would spend a couple of days wandering Montrose Blvd. and her side streets with coffee in hand. My “anything goes” attitude reflects the area. I’d search for a mom ‘n’ pop diner – a place representative of the fictional “Cheers” bar ‘where everybody knows your name.’ These are the places that warm souls – where daily chats make you feel like a local, the food tastes better because love and pride are two ingredients, and the service is friendly with a conversational tone between you and the staff that seems to “begin where we left off.”

But this is Houston. Home of Space Center Houston – The Official Visitor Center of the Johnson Space Center. Lunch with an astronaut is a possibility and for me a rare opportunity to share my fascination with all things space and astronomy. To talk with someone who has traveled at speeds of 17,500 miles around our fragile planet is a story I need to hear. This once in a lifetime chance will default to priority one, superseding my love affair for the local scene.

Space Center Houston

Photo by Scott Roth Events via Trover.com

Everyone geeks out about a topic or a passion they want to talk about and share. Space and astronomy are two of mine. I’m not an über geek of astronomy. However, my body gets a tingling sensation when I read or hear about numbers so large that my existence feels infinitesimally small. These numbers make me question “why am I here on this tiny blue dot floating in the middle of a nothing?” The opportunity to talk the lingo of space science with an astronaut trumps experiencing the local scene of Houston. Would I visit the local scene? Absolutely. If you are like me, you’ll do the same.

Space Center Houston is 20 miles Southeast of Pasadena, TX and a 20-minute drive away from hotels in Houston. Staying at a Budget Inn in Pasadena is ideal. I can use the extra money to splurge on my space fest and luncheon at the Space Center. If time permits, driving to the Montrose neighborhood and staying at The Morty Rich Hostel will be beneficial. Morty Rich is very inexpensive allowing me to grab a cup of coffee, enjoy a local restaurant, and sneak a peek at the offbeat shops and quirky antiques before departing to Houston Intercontinental Airport. Always go out-of-the-way for that special moment. There is time to do so and you will save money traveling when you do the right research.

About the Writer

Tony is a freelance travel writer and photographer, roller coaster enthusiast and self-proclaimed Sudoku master. He is based in the Midwest U.S. and blogs at The Walking Traveler. He is working with Hipmunk on their #HipmunkCityLove Project.

Feature Photo by Albert Nurick via Trover.com

 

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