This trip took place from February 17th through February 22nd, 2017.
Day 4, Relaxing Rainy Day: James did not sleep well. He had Beth and me up quite often overnight. Beth is needed much more if he’s hungry but this particular overnight crankiness was potentially caused by teething. He doesn’t have any teeth yet but his gums are getting firm, especially on top, so we think teeth are coming soon. We couldn’t get him to successfully sleep in his pack-and-play crib so we resorted to having him sleep on the bed next to Beth. I toss and turn in my sleep sometimes and do not feel comfortable sleeping in a bed with my infant, defenseless son. I could roll over and crush or suffocate him and not even wake up – not happening! I went out to the living room instead hoping to sleep on the couch. Maple, unfortunately, had claimed that spot for herself and I didn’t feel like robbing the house’s fourth resident of her preferred sleeping location. I ended up on the floor at the foot of the bed back in the guest room. I had a pillow and blanket but it was not as comfortable as a bed or couch. Beth was able to get James to sleep more consistently once he took over my half of the bed. I think he just wanted to be close to his mama!
It rained overnight and continued to do so all day. It was President’s Day so Val had the day off. Dave was supposed to go to work, as I would have done if we were back in Minnesota, but a flash-flood alert arrived via email overnight that suggested travel might be dangerous. I had originally thought we’d try to visit the Children’s Museum as a possible activity but there was no firm plan for the day with the rain and possibly flooding. James and Carter had some tummy time on the play-mat while we grabbed a quick breakfast. When he tired of tummy time, Carter switched to playing with his trucks, blocks, and doctor set. He likes to build towers and castles with his blocks and then push them down. He also has a big Thomas the Tank Engine train table next to the kitchen. He alternates pushing trains around and going Godzilla on the track setup. This causes Val occasional discomfort as she prefers the table in it’s pre-Godzilla existence. The level of OCD that I have understands where she’s coming from!
It was the worst weather day of the trip with the rain but it ended up being an average storm. A thunderstorm and flash-floods were predicted but it wasn’t bad enough to keep us from a lunch excursion. Since he was home after all, Dave stayed with Carter and the rest of us drove to one of my favorite Houston eateries, Lankford Grocery Café. I’ve written about it many times on this blog having eaten there on two previous trips and in anticipation of going again on this one. We first learned of it because it was featured on an episode of Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, hosted by Guy Fieri. I wanted to go long before I knew it was just a couple blocks from Val and Dave’s previous residence in the hip Montrose neighborhood. The trip was a bit longer now from their new house in Westbury but traffic wasn’t bad considering it was a holiday. Parking is usually scarce right in front of the restaurant but we only had to walk a block. There was one table open when we arrived which tells you how popular Lankford still is. Unfortunately for us, the table that was open was a booth on the far wall that was a bit too tight for James’ car-seat. We had to hold him and prop his car-seat into the booth so that it was sitting vertically and overhanging the table. There were only two people working the dining area so it took a couple minutes for someone to take our order.
James decided he was not happy to be where we were and started to fuss. My burger and Val’s were brought first. I didn’t start eating right away because I was expecting Beth’s sandwich and our shared tater tots and curly fries would be arriving shortly. They did not. It was at least ten minutes before the rest of our food showed up. This was, by far, the worst experience I’ve had at the Lankford. The food was still good but the service was far removed from our previous experiences. Our server wasn’t particularly helpful or even apologetic when our food was so late. Individuals and businesses are all entitled to an off day so I won’t hold it against Lankford long-term. Beth ended up holding James while Val and I ate my Grim burger (with bacon, fried egg, mac and cheese, and shredded cheese) without the much-desired sides. Val grabbed James for a bit when Beth’s buffalo chicken sandwich finally arrived and even took him outside for a couple minutes when his fussing reached its peak. The new, quieter scenery on the covered patio did the trick and she returned with a calm baby. We paid and got out of there. Val took a wrong turn and ended up on a road that was under construction. She had to trek through some thick mud for a couple blocks.
Back at the house, we watched The World’s End featuring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, and Rosamund Pike. It was the last of Edgar Wright’s Cornetto Trilogy that I had not yet seen. This trip was really helping me catch up on movie series! I’ll probably have to watch it again in a year before I truly judge it but it’s my least favorite of the three. It’s not an easy contest, however, because I like Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz so much. Perhaps additional viewings will level the playing field. For once, Carter was completely on board with watching a movie I had picked but Val thought parts were a bit too scary for him so we paused it occasionally when he came into the room. We didn’t finish it until he went to bed because he figured out we weren’t letting him watch it and wouldn’t leave the room. Dave made ground turkey tacos with corn that were delicious. End of day four.
Coming Soon: Trip #8 – Houston [Day 5] –>