There is a severe drought in the Houston area and while I did expect it to be dry, I did not expect it to be this dry. Houston, at first impression, reminds me a great deal of Phoenix. Although there are areas of towers giving portions of the city a metropolitan feel, the majority of it seems to be low and sprawling.
If there is a trademark of Houston highrise architecture, it is the use of reflective glass used to help keep at bay the harsh, hot, glaring, Texas sun. The tallest building in the city is an impressive black pillar with setbacks near it's pinnacle and grooved sides which make the building appear to morph as the sun and shadows play off of it's ebony glass facade.
After settling in and catching up, my hosts and I go to dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. As Texas has a large Mexican population and a long historical relationship, both friendly and unfriendly, with Mexico,the food is excellent. I have my first experience with a spinach burrito. We also share a shrimp cocktail with avocado, tomato and cilantro which I will attempt to recreate when I get back home.
We return to the house with a close friend of my hosts and relax and converse in their beautifully appointed screened porch. It is a comfortable space of deep cushioned rattan chairs and is accented with African animal print pillows and fabrics. It's walls are composed of screened panels and salvaged windows and shutters. Large tropical plants rest under plexiglass ceiling panels that line the outer edge of the room allowing light to enter and giving you the feeling that you are outdoors even though there is a roof over your head. The light evening breeze flows through the screens as we enjoy champagne garnished with chambord before retiring for the night.