Based in Houston, Texas, GEV is a blog by The GreenEyed Venuist. Her posts explore travel and photography through her green eyes.

Stay-cationing in The Woodlands and this weekend's festivities

Houstonians are territorial. You either live in Houston don't. The Woodlands is technically a burb of Houston but if you were to ask anyone that lived there, they'd swear it was it's own continent. It's far enough from the inner city to feel like a whole different venue but close enough that you don't have to go broke or forego cable for the month in order to get there.

Last weekend, several friends and I decided to continue a newly founded tradition of stay-cationing at our friend David's home in the woodlands. David's house is like an oasis outside of the city (hence our weekend usage of #outsidetheloop in all social media postings) and a perfect place to getaway for a while-with lots of room, a huge kitchen and one of the most beautiful backyards with a pool. Check out the pic below:

Gorgeous, right? It was especially perfect given that I currently completely fed up with work and my mundane daily routine. I think part of the reason I love to travel so much, of course I get to see and experience new things, but it really makes me appreciate home. I love heading south on 59 from IAH. The moment I am greeted by the Houston skyline, I get this incredible sense of H-town pride. Plus, who doesn't yearn to feel the cool sheets of their own bed after a long trip?

Despite the fact that Houston is the 4th largest metropolitan city in the US, it is seriously lacking in nightlife options for the professional, semi social 30+ crowd. Also, the 7 of us all come from different backgrounds, culturally, professionally, etc. Fortunately, our first night out we managed to find a venue that suited all our varied interests and we danced the night away on a humid rooftop deck to the sounds of a pretty cool DJ. Here are some pics of me and the ladies:

We directed our caravan back to David's Resort (I coined this name, by the way) later that night and stayed up talking, listening to music and taking a moonlit dip in the pool. If it weren't for the swarms of mosquitoes, this would have been near paradisaical. 

The next morning, the women shopped and prepared brunch and some additional guests joined us. In addition to my love for traveling, I love foooooood. As does my brother. So, we kinda ended up taking over the brunch preparations. Dorian requested my famous cornbread pancakes so I had to introduce them to the group. The cornbread pancakes are a creation from my kitchen....what makes them so special is the addition of Parmesan cheese, butter and scallions. There are two ways they can be done - the easy way is to mix the cheese into the batter. The better way, and my personal favorite, is to sprinkle cheese onto the pancakes while they're in the pan on the uncooked side. That way, when you flip them over, the cheese cooks into the batter and you get this amazing cheesy, crispy crust on one side. The first time I made these for my family....I couldn't flip them fast enough! They were gone within minutes!

We spent the remainder of the day by the pool, on a mission to get me tanned. I managed to catch a few rays but I've got a long way to go before I reach my optimum shade of almondy. lol. 

Finally, it was time to head home. Dorian and I spent the rest of our Saturday evening on a party bus with good friends. I didn't get a pic with my bff, Alan, but this night was in celebration of him so we definitely had to be there to share it with him. 

Sunday was brunch at Hearsay Gastro Pub with weekend brunch club with fellow law school grads. We met two new friends, whom essentially joined us in our quest to find the bottom of the bottomless mimosas....see the pic below:

Reflecting on this was definitely one for the books. Tell me about your weekend...or your travel plans for the upcoming July 4th weekend! 3 days weekends are the perfect opportunity to get away....I wanna hear from you! Oh yeah, be safe out there folks and remember: there is nowhere to go but get going!

Top 50 Cities

Happy Friday!