Last night I flew into Texas and it was definitely an experience.
I got off of my flight which was delayed by two hours, stumbled on down to pick up my luggage and then waited for my shuttle to arrive. By this stage I was super hungry because I was supposed to land and be at my hotel by 7.30pm-8ish but because it was so delayed I didn’t end up getting to the hotel until just before ten and I hadn’t had any dinner because I thought I would have food once I got settled into the hotel.
The shuttle ride from the Airport to the Hotel was also an experience just because it was my first look at a new city. So far i’ve only visited places i’ve been to before and this leg of the trip I have no been to at all. So to see Texas for the first time was insane. The place is fucking huge. And i’m not talking tall buildings i’m talking every store being four times the size, and every store being 100m away from the store next to it. If you don’t have a car in this state then you are screwed. And talking about cars they are all as well, huge.
Because i’ve never been here I wasn’t sure what to expect, but i’m surprised by how many african americans there are and also mexicans! I’m not trying to be racist but it just surprised me. At first I was a little scared but once I started talking to a few people I felt comfortable.
The ride in was just constant store after store, mall after mall, the freeways are huge and have 4 lanes each and weave in and out of eachother but Houston as a city is so incredibly tired. I’m going to post some photos after this but I was astonished by how quiet the city as. At times I kind of felt like I was alone and I would be on a main street. There are no stores, no fast food, no nothing. It’s all just buildings and an occasional restaurant here and there.
I being the idiot that I am decided to wear a bright pink dress through the city and there are a lot of people just hanging around. I turned around one corner and three African American guys just dropped to the ground and started bowing at me saying that they are not worthy. I couldn’t help but just laugh like an idiot and keep walking. Just everyone is nice and that helped me get a bit more comfortable.
I was going to go to the Houston Space Center but it is actually an hour drive from the city and since I have no means of transport that was going to be a trek. I ended up just walking up and down the streets which was strange because it really is so bare and quiet.
The Downtown Aquarium is the only real place that I visited and it was pretty good. I was going to visit some of the Museams and Zoo’s and Centers but I once again got caught up in my own little adventure and just walked block after block. When I got back to the hotel I worked out that I had walked 41 blocks over the 5 hours I was out.
While I was walking I was once again just kind of looking through my camera lens and walking wherever looked like it would be a good photo until I ended up at this massive Baseball stadium. I walked around thinking it was closed but then found a door for a merchandise store. The store was for the Huston Astros and they’re a Baseball team in Texas. I had a bit of a look around but then realised how tired I was and went to leave.
I was just about to walk out when I turned to my right and saw the whole stadium through the glass doors just sitting there. I ended up walking to a woman who welcomed me when I came in and asked if they did any tours and she replied with a ‘Well i’m the tour guide but no one has shown up today, if you want I can give you a tour for $9’. I pretty much ran to the counter to pay I was that excited.
I’ve never been inside a Baseball stadium. I haven’t even watched a proper Baseball game in the flesh yet so to be able to walk through a Stadium was so exciting! The first thing she did was tell me that the building we were standing in used to actually be a massive train station which had its last train service in 1970 and was later converted to the main foyer for the stadium. The building was pretty much kept the exact same which is a rarity in Texas because like us, they tear down their history to build new and better buildings.
We then walked through the glass doors and standing at the back of the stadium I was already blown away. It’s one thing to see a stadium during a game but to see it completely empty was incredible. We then walked down the stairs and she took me straight onto the pitch. She then explained to me that there was a game on this afternoon and that all of the groundsmen will be hanging out with us sorting out the greens before the game starts.
Standing on the pitch looking up at the stadium was insane. I don’t know enough words to even convey the emotions I felt standing there but it was absolutely incredible. Looking up at all of the empty seats and the beautiful architecture and i’m just thinking to myself that this is worth nine dollars already.
Not only did she take me onto the pitch but she let me into the dug out to see where the players sit and the game was between the Marlins and the Astros and the Marlins coach was actually sitting in the Dug Out looking over stuff for the game that night. He was just sitting there! He gave me a smile and said hello and then we went back up the stairs and up to the top platform where you can see the entire stadium.
After a long walk we got to the top and the view was pretty incredible. I had noticed when I was walking towards the stadium that there was this strange roof at one end but didn’t think that much of it. My tour guide then told me that 5 hours before each game, if there is more than a 50% chance of it raining the roof gets closed. So this small roof at one end actually slides over the entire stadium so that the whole thing is covered and whilst we were standing up the top of the stadium the roof began to close! Apparently that’s a super rare thing and there I was just sitting there watching it.
We then walked down to the corporate level where businesses buy rooms for their workers to watch the games from and my god do they shit on our shitty corporate boxes. Then after that we went down to the very bottom level for the Silver Seating which are the most expensive seats in the stadium but we were interrupted by a Fire Drill haha. I was the first person even in the tour of the stadium to be unfortunate/fortunate enough to encounter a fire drill whilst on a tour of the stadium. But in the process the players of the Marlins and Astros had to use the same exit to evacuate so they were standing next to me making jokes and I was just standing there thinking how lucky I am to be experiencing all of this!
Anyway we eventually went back to the Silver Seating and I saw where the owner of the Stadium sits every game and I saw all of the team photos from years previous and all of the little things incorporated into the stadium. It was just absolutely incredible. I’m astounded by how much pride goes into it and how well maintained the whole place was. It was the best experience and the most inexpensive and even now I can’t believe I got to walk around it let alone have a private tour.
I also got to have a look at the level where all of the media broadcast from and they were all setting up for the game and they were even explaining to me who they work for and what they do and how it all works including the radio, television broadcasting and how it all gets done. Everyone was just so welcoming and happy to talk to me even though I had no right to be there when they were haha. And I just checked the score and the Houston team won so now I wish even more that I had stayed when I had gotten offered a ticket!
Anyway after that I caught my bus to Galveston which is where I am now. It’s just a little island off of the Texas shore. I’m staying on the Waterfront and i’m pretty excited to watch the sunrise tomorrow from my window.
I also had catfish for dinner! It was so fresh I could barely pick it up with a fork!