That feeling when your vacation is just starting… The energy, the anticipation and the possibilities. The moment I got done with Immigration/Customs and took the first step in Houston, it sunk in. My first step outside India and it was unbelievable! The next significant moment happened 9 minutes later as I peed for the first time outside Indian soil.
Contrary to my expectation, my fiance (hence referred to as….. Mr. D!) and I felt at home from the first second. We dropped my bags at my sister’s place and then stepped out to City Center for some dinner. We had some pizza, burgers and the most yummy chocolate creme brulee cheesecake at this place called Ruggles. My first lesson – the serving size are humongous in this country! And a paradise with those drool-worthy desserts. My stomach started preparing itself for three weeks of ecstatic food binge.
The Halloween lights were still twinkling and they made a pretty picture as we took a walk down the lanes. With Thanksgiving and Christmas round the block, the mood was already being set.
The next day I woke up at six wanting dinner (Bully for time-zones) and helped myself to a pre-breakfast. We stepped out to make the most of daylight and went to a nearby pond to say hello to some ducks. After that, we made a healthy start to our holiday and went for a run at the Memorial Park trail. The air was teeming with adrenaline and I was bursting into random peals of laughter at the sheer joy! The brightness of the sun was warm and the blue of the sky was welcoming. Every ray of sunshine represented a promise for the rest of the trip.
The run did wonders to build our appetites and we caught some brunch at Onion Creek. They serve the yummiest mimosas and incredible scrambled eggs in queso sauce! My brother-in-law was determined that D and I did not sleep off; he did a great job at keeping us busy till late evening which included a stop at the Memorial Mall and a Mediterranean restaurant called Fadi’s. We also had to scramble at Target for a pair of boots for me because my sister’s were too big (My size turned out to be 4 – still a tad loose but better than 3!)
We were slowly getting used to right-side driving and feeling like kings of the road as pedestrians. There was still some disorientation about the time because of daylight savings which more or less stayed till the end of our trip – the sun setting at 4:30-5 was too much to accept! At dawn, D and I flew to Washington DC with big loopy smiles on our faces. Through our flight, we swapped first impressions which more or less stayed –
- The air is clean!!
- People like to keep their shutters down.
- The country really loves its cheese and condiments.
- Tipping is sacred and not doing so is a sin.
- Toilet paper deserves a special mention in Maslow’s Hierarchy for Americans.
And thus began my trip. First stop was Houston where we were essentially dumping our bags and then moving on to other places. Next stop is Washington DC – the place that stole my heart.