The Kramer Kids Take on Houston!

A post from Kelli–

When I was in college for teaching, we were required to student teach for atleast 2- 7 week periods.  We obvioulsy had the option to student teach in northeast Iowa, but there was also the option to student teach in Houston.  I couldn’t understand or even fathom picking up and moving to Texas for a few months to student teach.  There were so many ifs and uncertain things I was sure it would drive me about nuts.  I didn’t know who would ever want to do that–I learned who though–Karl!

When he initially told us taht he was going, we all had mixed feelings.  Being gone in a new area, states away was a bit scary, but it was very much of a learning opportunity for him.  Back in August, Kalissa had mentioned going down to see Karl, but I had kind of brushed it off and didn’t really think anything of it, assuming plane tickets would be hundreds of dollars and that we’d need to be gone for a week.

Just a bit later, she messaged me saying that she found flights that would leave Friday, come back Monday, and would be cheap–$120 ish for a round ticket–How could I say no to that?!?!?!  After a bit of extra investigating and removing the “frills” of  a carry on bag, refreshments on the plane, and not able to guarantee we would sit together, we ended up getting tickets pared down to $80.00 for a round ticket!

After pulling a few strings at work and getting those 4 days off, I was ready to head out!  We each were able to bring a personal item–like a backpack or smaller bag.  I also got a medical bag for my sleep machine.

We all met at mom’s on Friday afternoon.

LEAVING (300x225)

We ended up flying through Spirit which is a pretty no frills airline–But we aren’t really frilly people, so it worked out great.  I even impressed myself and drove up to Minneapolis with assistance from my GPS. Kayla knew of a secured parking lot that we parked in and caught a shuttle to our terminal.  Our flight was originally going to leave at 8:30 or so, but ended up getting pushed back to closer to 10:45 which was frustrating, but I’d rather be a bit late and have a functioning plane.

We got in at about 1:30 in the morning and Karl picked us up.  We had a little snafu as the hotel informed me that they didn’t have a room that we could stay in for 3 days and they were going to make us switch on Sunday, but I brought out my Jo Kramer voice that I had packed in my back pocket and the magically got it all sorted out.

On Saturday, we went down to Galveston as I hadn’t seen the beach.  We found an amazing seafood shack and had lunch–and boy was it amazing!  I’ve never been one for too much spicy food, but my cajun seafood platter was quite splendid!

After lunch we headed out to the beach which was pretty spectacular!

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It was so cool to just sit and look out at nothing.  Kayla and I wadded in a ways, but mostly spent the afternoon chatting on the beach.  It’s really great how I feel like my siblings are more my friends rather than just my siblings.  And even though we all have a similar background, I don’t know that I would have picked them all as friends unless they were my siblings, just because of age and location, but I am finally able to get together with them and be friends rather than just siblings.

After a quick stop at the hotel for a shower, we grabbed an Uber and headed down the road a bit for some Mexican.  It ended up being less than a mile, so the Uber was cheap, but it also meant we could walk home.  The guacamole was AMAZING!  I think lots of it has to do with the fact that they are able to get fresh produce more readily, but boy was it good.  I was worried that they were going to have to roll me out of there for a bit, but I managed to get out on my own.  And they had $3.95 margaritas!  We definitely took advantage of those.

On Sunday we vegged out for a bit and headed to the Galleria which is a huge mall!  The boys ended up dropping us off for a bit while they went to a gun show in Pasadena!  We did a bit of shopping and then stopped for sushi in the mall.  The restraunt was super cool because you sat down and then the sushi rotated around on a little belt and you just pulled off what you wanted.  The plates were color coded to know how much money they were.

Sushi 2 (300x225)

It took a bit just to see what things they all had rotating before I picked out a few plates.

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Kalissa was quite intrigued by the concept too!

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Kayla ended up ordering a few things off them menu that weren’t on the belt.  She ordered AMAZING terryaki balsamic grilled brussel sprouts!  Seriously they were probably the best veggies I’ve ever had!

Sushi 4 (225x300)

And of course we had to take a sister selfie after lunch!

Sushi (225x300)

We really liked the sushi, but decided that it seemed a bit strange because we were more focused on grabbing the next plate and felt we weren’t able to have a good conversation, but we still had a good time.  We were also next to the ice skating rink so that was fun to watch too!

We grabbed some gelato while waiting for the boys to come get us and Kalissa to search for a necklace she had lost.

Gelato (225x300)

After looking at this picture, I have decided that I officially have my mom’s hands–minus the thumb ring.

We grabbed burgers for the boys on our way home from this cool little burger shack underneath an overpass.

Hamburger shack (225x300)

We ended up back at the hotel for a quick little nap and refresher before we went out for supper.  The first place we went to was closed, but we definitely found another AWESOME BBQ place!

BBQ (300x225)

I ended up getting a 2 meat platter and chose ribs and Czech sausage.  I also got 2 sides and bread!  Boy was it good!

After heading back to the hotel, we hit the sack a bit earlier as we had to be at the airport at 5:30 the next morning to head home.  Monday seemed to drag between the flight back and drive back home, but isn’t that usually the case?

It was a great trip and I’m glad that I feel like I can talk with my siblings as adults rather than the annoying little brother or sister.  It’s also really great getting so see how their lives are changing and their families are growing.  Karl was a great host and I was amazed with how well his driving skills are.  Without his expertise we would have probably stayed in the hotel and ordered out.

Overall–Would I do it again?  Absolutely!  Kayla and I were talking about maybe planning something next summer for just a few days.  I realized how much you can really fit in a personal item–and that really cuts luggage costs a bunch.  Will I be jumping at the boat to go anywhere soon, maybe not, but traveling is still in my sights!



3 thoughts on “The Kramer Kids Take on Houston!”

  1. Susan the Farm Quilter

    Glad you had fun in Houston…next time you should plan it so you can go to the Quilt Market and Festival!

  2. The next time y’all come down, may I suggest Rudy’s BBQ, Chuy’s for delish TexMex. The food is sooo fresh and the Grandma Rita’s are deeeelightful !!!!!!!! Free queso, taco meat, salsa, retried beans & chips,during Happy Hour. Next time try the Woodlands Mall, just north of IAH on I-45…And Old Town Spring shopping area which is north of IAH airport too, there are at least 2 quilt stores maybe 3..some antique shops, food places and a multitude of different kinds of quaint little shops..Actually y’all need to come when the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo is going on, it’s the largest & grandest in the world. The things to do, see, touch, ride, experience and eat are phenomenal, it last 3 weeks in the month of March.
    Glad y’all liked it here and hope your encounters with Native Texans was friendly and hospitable. My hubs is a Native Houstonian, a rarity these days, and I’m from a little town just west of Corpus Christi, Tx. And Quilt Festival starts next Wednesday night, thru Sunday…y’all ought to come on down here !!!!

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