The Friday Five, 11/25/22: 5 things I've been up to this week

I had a fun time in Houston this past week, but unfortunately, both my boyfriend and I caught some sort of crud from it, so Thanksgiving will be a bit modified—not COVID (I tested both Wed. night and Thurs. AM for it, and was negative both times) but probably a cold.

6-oz. filet with garlic butter at Taste of Texas
6-oz. filet with garlic butter at Taste of Texas

What I've been up to this week:
  1. Houston trip. And I'll break this down in the next sections, too. We went from Saturday to Tuesday and it was a fun time, despite the weather, which was 48 and rainy most days; thankfully, for our Renfest day on Sunday, it was sunny out. I have been to Texas before (San Antonio twice; outside of Austin, for a work trip; and one night in Dallas, also for a work trip) but never Houston, and there's a lot of things to do, see, and eat there. 
  2. Eating out. The top meals of the trip for me were definitely Taste of Texas, on the last night—normally there is Texas memorabilia all over the walls, but instead it was all decked out with Christmas decorations—Lupe Tortilla, where we had tableside guacamole, and the Aquarium, for a quick snack, which has a huge aquarium that runs throughout the restaurant. The Renfest also had a great selection of foods from which to try. 
  3. Texas Renaissance Festival. We were literally waiting in a (what later turned out to be) two-hour line to get into the Michigan Renfest a few months ago, and my boyfriend was like, we should go to the Texas Renfest. I pitched them via email and got a response while we were STILL sitting in traffic, which basically said to come on down and I could bring guests, too—so on Sunday, my boyfriend, one of his friends, and myself all went. We went to about four or five shows, my favorite being the Washer Women and also the Firewhip show, and you'll definitely want to stay till nighttime there, because they do a daily fire show and also fireworks, which was pretty cool. For foods/drinks, I had mead, a turkey leg, an empanada, a giant pickle, and a lot of other things. I also picked myself up a souvenir cup to bring home.
  4. NASA aka Space Center Houston. This is directly on NASA's campus in Houston—I know this because our GPS steered me wrong and I almost ended up going onto the campus itself, where I would have had to show an employee badge to get in (oops)—and was quite cool. There are three different tram tours you can take, and my favorite was the one that took us to mission control from 1969—the room has been restored and that is what people actually saw during the mission; Queen Elizabeth sat in one of the visitor seats at one point too, apparently. We ended up staying at the Space Center from like 11am to 5pm, when originally we had planned on like 11am to 3pm, since there are a LOT of things to do and see there. 
  5. Renting a car. This is only my third time renting a car—someone hit my car in a Detroit parking garage once, so I had to rent a car while my personal car was being repaired; we rented a car in MA/RI a few months ago; and now this time. We went through Costco Travel, because the second driver is free (if you book directly through the car sites, and you aren't married/do not live together, it's not free), and it was a pretty good deal, though we did add $12.99 per day for the ridiculous Houston tolls. We were supposed to get a Ford Edge or equivalent but my theory is that they were out of those—they offered us a Ford Explorer upgrade for $15 per day but we declined, and then they hooked us up with a Toyota Highlander (one of the first cars I reviewed back in 2017), which was a super nice ride, so I had no complaints. 
Fire show at Texas Renaissance Festival, called Solar Rain
Fire show at Texas Renaissance Festival, called Solar Rain

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