How to kidnap your best friend

This weekend was a whirlwind! I am still best friends with two girls I went to high school with, and one of them turned 35 today. Remember when you were in high school and 35 sounded so freaking old? Yeah, well. It’s our year.

 

Source: Uploaded by user via Heather on Pinterest

 

We’re old.

Anyway, two of us (the ones that live close to each other) decided to drive 3 hours, kidnap Brittaney, and whisk her away to the thriving metropolis that is Houston, Texas (yet another 1.5 hours away). We planned this in less than a week. It was a nightmare for me, since I am a huge overplanner. I do not fly by the seat of my pants. Not well, at least. Thanks to Brittaney’s kickass husband and kickass mother-in-law, we pulled it off.

We left Friday morning (I had scored a rare long weekend off) for our three hour jaunt to Aggieland. We finally arrived, and of course, 2 minutes before we pulled onto her street, my sweet nephew called me and had very important questions about a Wii Sonic game that I apparently own. He wanted it and he wanted it NOW. I love talking to him, but now was not the time – my stomach was turning flips hoping we could pull everything off! I told him to call my husband and that he would bring it to him, and I gently told him I had to get off the phone and for him to send me a picture of his new “scorpion hot wheel car”. I still feel bad for not talking to him longer! (And I got that picture less than 1 minute later, of course).

We parked in her driveway and ran to the front door. Christie rang the doorbell while I tried not to puke.  No one answered.  I was starting to freak out! I told her to keep on ringing it – we were holding a number 3 and a number 5, so she was the one on the doorbell side. What seems like an hour later, the door opened. I WISH I had gotten a picture of Brittaney’s face.

Her first word was, “What?” and then “Is something wrong? What’s going on?”. We pushed our way into the house and told her to pack a bag and that she was being kidnapped! Brittaney is an overplanner as well, so this threw her completely off. Amazingly, she had makeup on due to a doctor’s appointment earlier that morning so all she had to do was get some clothes and PJs together. Somehow, we got out of the house about 30 minutes later. I couldn’t believe it!

We ate lunch at a little place in Navasota called “Martha’s Bloomers“. It was highly recommended by my boss, so we decided to check it out. Christie is a bona fide tearoom freak, so I knew she would love it. We got there, looked around in the little store and garden, and then made our way back to the restaurant part. We waited. And waited. And waited. No one was at the host stand, there were people waiting, and we weren’t sure what the heck was going on. Finally, at least fifteen minutes later (not even exaggerating), a very frazzled lady walked into the waiting room. She basically ignored the three of us, and we had to tell her that we needed to get on the wait list. She said it would be 15-20 minutes. Ugh. Of course. We should’ve just left at that point.  Thirty minutes later (at least – again, not exaggerating) we saw people that walked up after us get seated. That was it. We had wasted 45 minutes just trying to get seated at 2 pm on a Friday! Come on! We walked back up to the room, and were ignored again. She finally spoke to us and said, “You’re next on the list to be seated, I’m the only one hosting and cleaning up tables today”. Sorry, but not my problem. Having worked in a restaurant and retail, I’m pretty forgiving – but I have my limits. Then, not 5 minutes later, she calls out for *another* party. Christie gave her the look from hell, and the lady had the cojones to say, “You’re next”. Hello? Christie continued the death ray glance and the lady finally gave in and seated us. Seriously. What a bunch of crap. THEN, we finally got a waitress (after watching others that came in after us be helped) and they were out of basically everything we wanted. If you’re out of things, you should probably erase the menu off of the chalkboard outside of your restaurant. We all ended up getting the same thing, something we knew would be simple and quick to get to our table. Whatever. The food was good, prices weren’t too bad, but we should have cut our losses and left when we were ignored for the first 15 minutes to even get on the list.

I had reserved a hotel room at the Hilton Post Oak near the Galleria. It was okay, not what I would expect a “4 star” hotel to be (that is the supposed rating for this hotel – I’d probably go more with 3 stars, but I’m a hotel snob). I got a good price on it, so it was just fine for what I paid. Due to good old Martha’s Bloomers, we hit Houston at prime rush hour traffic time. We made it to the hotel and laid around for a good hour just talking and laughing – it was great.

We had reservations for dinner at Backstreet Cafe. We were so excited about this, because we rarely get to go out for nice dinners – ever. Nice for me is pretty much Chili’s, if that gives you any clue. We were seated right away, on their awesome patio. I wouldn’t sit out there in the summer (no way Jose!) but the weather was really nice that night. We started out with a pitcher of the red wine sangria and some of their fresh sourdough bread and butter. I could’ve eaten that bread all night and been completely happy! We had the artichoke flatbread for an appetizer – I don’t branch out much, and the only artichoke thing I have ever had is spinach artichoke dip – it was good. I did find out I’m not a huge fan of artichoke hearts – no real reason, I think it just has a funky texture that I can’t get with. Christie had the scallop special, Brittaney had the lobster special, and I had goat cheese stuffed chicken. I don’t do seafood AT ALL, but I decided last year in Los Angeles that when I travel, I will try other foods, even if it means gagging.

Well, I will just say that I hate scallops and I don’t like lobster. And also that Brittaney had to remind me to breathe and swallow. We’re talking tears running down my face because those scallops were so buck nasty. I’m sure if you like lobster and scallops you would love both of those dishes, but I did not. My goat cheese stuffed chicken, however, was fantastic and I would like to replicate it for dinner someday.

They brought out an itty bitty mini almond cake with ice cream and a candle on top for Brittaney. It was on a tray with “Happy Birthday” written on it in chocolate. It was awesome! Then we ordered a Petit Trio of desserts, which included a dark chocolate raspberry cake with coffee ice cream, a pear crisp with vanilla ice cream, and a creme brulee. I only tried the pear crisp and creme brulee and loved them both equally.

We were there for 2.5 hours. It did not seem like that long because we did do a lot of eating and a lot of talking and drinking – but the service lacked a little. For the prices we paid, I expected better service, but I will go back next time I’m in Houston and give it another shot. Our waiter was attentive when he was there, but he just wasn’t there enough 🙂

We went back to the hotel, drank some more wine, ate a couple of cupcakes we brought from Market Street, and went to sleep. We fell asleep watching Storage Wars: Texas. How sad is that? I do believe we were OUT by midnight.

The next morning we got our stuff packed up and checked out of the hotel. We went to Katz’s for breakfast and it did not disappoint at all. Christie and Brittaney had mimosas, I stuck with water. Brittaney ordered challah french toast, I ordered buttermilk pancakes topped with bananas, and Christie ordered blueberry blintzes. Everything was SO good. I wish we had one here, I would go there every chance I got. Their lunch and dinner menu looked great too.

We did a little shopping at the Galleria, and then decided it was probably a good idea to head back home. We could only be gone for one night because Christie had to be back Saturday night. We ate at Chuy’s in Cypress (always a favorite – give me Chuy’s any day and I’m a happy girl). We planned to stop at Buc-ees again on our way back, but missed the exit. I’m still thinking about Beaver Nuggets and how delicious those crack-laced treats are.

I’m so glad we could pull this off – I know it was nice for Brittaney and Christie to have a night away from their kids and just enjoy themselves. I had a blast too. I’m glad we surprised Brittaney, and shocked. She does not let anything surprise her, but she can’t say that now.

Happy birthday, B. I love you!

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