Imagine someone giving you a paintbrush, beautiful acrylic paint and a blank canvas. Your task is to create a picture of a place you love the most. You begin to choose the colours carefully and smile with each stroke that you make. If this were my painting, it would be of Houston… from the 0 mile marker that begins in Galveston Beach, a mere 45 minutes away from where I live, to the very doorstep of my home. My painting would feature bright reds to represent the warmth of the many ethnic groups of people that make this city wonderful, vibrant green for the lush landscapes, elaborate blue hues, yellows and so many more vibrant colours that describe this city.
In a small nook in Houston stands a small, brown, wooden building that looks abandoned. It resembles a 1920’s gas station that immediately transports you to another era in time. In fact, there are two gas pumps in the front that are rusted from age. As you walk closer you soon realise that it’s not abandoned. It’s filled with life. The atmosphere makes you feel like you just stepped on to the set of a Coca-Cola commercial. Everyone is smiling and the music is like a soundtrack about your life. This is Dry Creek Café and it’s my favourite restaurant in Houston. This place is special to me because this is where my husband and I ate lunch for our 2nd wedding anniversary and we have been eating there ever since. It is the perfect little getaway for us. You can literally gobble up everything on the menu because of the awesome food choices. Dry Creek Café is one of the many places that I’m going to miss.
The architecture in some of the older neighbourhoods in Houston is reminiscent of a time capsule. The infrastructure and the exterior tell a story of city that has a rich history. Sometimes the designs of some houses reflect a happy space, while others tell a different story. Historical home tours are given in Houston, as well as, Galveston each year. Although the tours have docents that reveal timeless facts about the architecture, if you’re really quiet, the houses tell a story of their own.
Another thing that I really love about Houston is the fact that friendly smiles, cold ice tea and homemade cooking are only a door-knock away. Family, friends and colleagues are always around. Everyone helps each other through the daily accomplishments and also the woes of life. Houston sings its own song. It sings of life, love and happiness.
I will definitely miss living in Houston but there is a home awaiting us in the UAE. This home too, is a beautiful picture filled with eateries, shopping malls and a diverse history. I am looking forward to dining at the Leisure Restaurant. I read about it in a blog that I follow, Life with Jordan. I am looking forward to seeing the breath-taking architecture of the mosques and meeting new friends and colleagues.
As for Houston, I’ll put the painting away for a while. I take out another blank canvas to colour it with all the new experiences that the UAE will offer. On this canvas, I already see the magnificent colours that will fill this place as well. I am ready to begin painting the next chapter on this new canvas of my life!