Dawn...the view from our hotel room window, Crowne Plaza, Downtown. Note the giant neon cross on the building in the distance. It really stands out and dominates our view at night time.
We slept really well in the lovely bed at the Crowne Plaza, then took our time over our free buffet breakfast at the hotel. A little bit of luxury is a nice change. We waddled out very full of breakfast around 10am to explore the streets. Our strategy? No lunch required if we stuff ourselves at breakfast. And yes, it worked.
The buildings at our end of town are not all that glamorous although the local YMCA is BIG here... (ha,ha,ha...) Di providing the Y below.
In this half of downtown Houston it seems to be heavy with car parks...not all in good condition. This one looked like it was falling down.
Despite the relatively cheap car parking we saw 3 cars in a row parked in a loading zone, which earned them each a parking ticket, with a fine of $250. Ouch. Yes, we asked the guy handing them out. He shook his head too.
Discovery Park is to the east of downtown and is small but quite nice with a pond and some lawn areas. The whole area reminded us of Darling Harbour with festivals and outdoor concerts listed as upcoming events.
Around the corner is Minute Maid Field, home of the Houston Astros baseball team. They have moved these old buildings (we think to become a cultural centre) out the front but they don't seem to fit in.
We thought these baseballs were more fitting for the area, although the bats may have a problem with them...
Local Texas Outhouse, aka portaloo in Australia.
The view facing south from level 60.
Di takes a long look.
Texas has very good roads and they work on them regularly, largely adding more. As a result you get this spaghetti effect. We are happy not to be driving.
This is one of the older buildings in Houston, the Rice Hotel. It was restored about 15 years go and has a hotel and private apartments. Very nice and quite Art Deco.
For a long time, the Rice Hotel was the tallest building in Houston, at 17 floors.
We took a coffee break in Minuti Coffee Shop, from "Medina, Italy"!!??, underneath the awning of Rice Hotel. Nice environment but so so coffee. Hans desperately misses his caffe latte from Utopia in Sydney. The sacrifices we make...
Around Market Square Park were quite a few bars and restaurants so we decided to head home around 2pm and return in a few hours when Happy Hours start!
We caught the free Greenlink bus, and did a loop around Houston donwtown before getting off at our stop half a block from the hotel.
Our next bar was Heresay in the second oldest building in Houston. Great decorating and reuse of all these old glass and floor boards from the earlier lives of the building. Good cocktail list fo Di.
Some old fun things embedded in the walls. This clock apparently used to have hands and used to point to 12 o'clock. We assumed that it meant that good ol saying of "somewhere in the world it was 12 o'clock" and ok to drink.
After Hearsay bar, we wandered around the corner and onto Commerce St and the Spaghetti Warehouse for an Italian dinner. Interesting and colorful interior and reasonable food for a reasonable price. Not great, but good enough. Great atmosphere.
After dinner, we wandered down Main St and back to Sambuca Bar to listen to tonight's band.