Last weekend my parents and sisters flew down to Houston to visit yours truly. With the exception of my mom, I had not seen my dad and Thing Two since Febuary, and Thing One was my long lost sister since Christmas. Weird. Even though I was very glad to see them, my great-grand mother's wisdom rose from her grave echoing: "Company, like fish, starts to smell after three days." And an intense three days it was as I played tour-guide taking my household family from one end of the Houston metro area to the next.
They flew into Houston Hobby airport late Thursday morning. In a hurricane force downpour, I picked them up for lunch and showed them the light that is Freebirds- a burrito joint that puts all the others (Chipotle, Moe's,etc.) to shame. Lunch was brief because I had to get back to the office before heading to the stadium for the Houston Dynamo-FC Dallas Texas derby match-up. Family and my dad's old fraternity brothers experienced a great game with over 15,000 in attendance live on ESPN 2 television.
Friday, we were off to the west suburbs to have dinner my two of my dad's old fraternity brothers. After a few beers, the stories began to flow with the alcohol. The more things change, the more they stay the same. The late 70's University of Evansville Sig Eps did the same stuff the early 2000's Sigma Nu's of Indiana University. Fratty stuff. I could try to explain but you non-Greeks out there just wouldn't understand.
Saturday was NASA day. The Johnson Space Center was the only thing I could think of that was uniquely Houston, plus I hadn't been there yet. We arrived to an empty parking lot and no lines so immediately took one of the tours. The space center reminded me of an ugly college campus. The buildings looked beat-up and plain- definitely not the place that orchestrated putting a man on the Moon in the late 1960's. After the tour, my family and I were greeted by two of my least favorites things in the world: large quantities of little kids and Boston Red Sox fans. The Sox were in town to plays the 'Stros so the cult that is Red Sox nation followed. I will admit, I enjoyed walking alongside a Saturn 5 rocket that fulfilled the Apollo missions and other spacecraft. I was amazed at how small the capsuls are.
By the time the afternoon rolled around, I needed food and ibuprofen badly. Luckily I had the afternoon to unwhind. For dinner, I showed my fam. a true Bayou City delight: boiled crawfish- holding true to a Fischer tradition of eating foods with heads and torsos still attached. My dad and I struggled to learn the art of eating crawfish, but once we got the hang of it we were an unstoppable machine.
That night, I showed Thing One (who's 21) how we do things in Houston'd Midtown. We pregames at an interns kegger with a round of beer pong before rolling out to sports bar/club Pub Fiction which is kind of an upbeat place to see and be seen if you're a young working professional. I introduced her to some friends before I we walked around the corner to dueling piano bar Howl at the Moon to have her meet the work crew who's still young enough to go out and booze on a Saturday night.
Sunday was church at Houston's First Baptist, another afternoon at the poolside, before dropping the parents and sisters at the airport. The good-bye wasn't bad because I'm going up there for July 4th weekend. I have to admit, I let out a sigh of relief because things were a starting to smell.