Vacation Recap Part 2

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Hey everyone! I'm continuing my account of my trip to Texas last week, so here's part 1 (Middletown, IN, to Little Rock, AR), in case you missed it :)

Friday we woke up in Little Rock and prepared for the looong drive to Houston (in actuality, it was a little shorter than the drive to Little Rock, but they were both still long). Before long, we saw our first signs of Texas -- the interstate to Dallas!

I really wish we had more time to relax and be touristy, because Hot Springs National Park sounded really cool. Someday, I suppose.

Before long, we were in Texarkana. I had heard of Texarkana before, but obviously had never been there. I knew it was on the border, but I didn't realize it was literally ON the border. Thankfully, if you're confused, the water tower clears things up for you :)

And just like that, we were in Texas!

If the sign wasn't enough to confirm that, the overpasses did. See them in the background? Fancy.

Anyway, after driving for several hours (and passing more ranches than I have ever seen in my life), we arrived in The Woodlands, the Houston suburb where the concert was. We had a few hours to kill, so we went to The Woodlands Mall. We entered through the biggest Forever 21 I have ever been in (seriously -- two stories, with escalators), and got some lunch (dinner?) in the food court.  Hannah put on her "concert face", and we browsed a few stores. They had a pet store in the mall (my local one thankfully does not), and it just made me really sad and angry. They had three good-sized puppies stuck in an area the size of Archie's cage. That's no way to live (and I'm just going to urge you now -- if you want a pet, ADOPT!!! If you want a purebred, there are breed-specific rescues you can go to). Sorry to be a downer, but it really gets to me.

On a lighter note, we then saw a Build-A-Bear with a cutout of Cody Simpson outside of it. Now Hannah LOVES Cody Simpson. She's seen him in concert 18 times. Before our trip, she had seen him more than she had seen anyone else. So obviously, she had to pose with the cutout.

We then made our way to the pavilion where the concert would be. We had great seats (third row!), which was fortunate, because we were able to get some A/C off the stage. I'm going to go on a little rant here, so bear with me. First of all, whose bright idea was it to have OUTDOOR concerts in JULY in TEXAS? The Dallas show was in a very similar outdoor pavilion as well. Secondly, whichever numskulls designed the pavilions were obviously a few diamonds short of a tiara, because both of them had the sun setting behind everyone, so the setting sun was on literally everyone in the crowd (particularly the lawn), and in the performers' eyes. Generally, these types of venues get used more in the evening than any other time. So why wouldn't you design them with that in mind? Ugh. /rant

The Summer Break Tour includes four acts. The first was an up-and-comer named Jackson Guthy. He had a pretty sweet backdrop that had cool metallic fabric and fiber optic lights integrated. Y'all know me -- I'm a sucker for all things bright and shiny.

Now, on the surface, he might seem like some kind of Justin Bieber wannabe clone, but he's not. He's got a lot of talent, writes his own songs, and plays the piano. One of his songs in particular, "My One", is especially awesome. Hannah and I were grooving to that all throughout the trip.

Plus, he has a hot guitarist named Toby. The drummer's hot too, but I was sitting right in front of Toby, so it was easier for me to get a pic of him.

Unfortunately, after Jackson Guthy's set, I was informed that I was not allowed to use my camera because it's a professional camera. Le sigh.

The second act is a girl named Olivia Somerlyn. Like Jackson, she sings, writes, and plays the keyboard. Like Jackson, she also has a super hot band. She's sweet and bubbly, and I think she's a really great role model for little girls (especially with her song "Anymore").

Victoria Justice (from Nickelodeon's Victorious) was next, and she did several songs from the show. I've been to a lot of concerts, and had a blast at a lot of concerts (and, you know, I'm 25), but I can honestly say that "Freak the Freak Out", "Take A Hint" and "Best Friend's Brother" were some of the most fun I've ever had at a concert.

Big Time Rush closed things out, and they are way hotter in person (and it's not weird for me to think that -- the youngest is like a year and a half younger than me). They had a really fun, high-energy set, and I loved the acoustic portion; I'm a sucker for an acoustic guitar, and I think the songs they did acoustic were better than the originals.

All in all, the concert was SO. MUCH. FUN.

But then we were back on the interstate, heading toward Dallas to check in to the Hilton Anatole. We got there around 2am, but didn't end up checking in until after 3. Hannah had booked through Hotwire, and the hotel needed them to fax over a confirmation that never came. Eventually the desk clerk took pity on us and let us have our keys anyway. The hotel has SO much art, and while I waited for Hannah (I did go in and check on her after she had been gone too long), I took a pic of the wall outside our car. Cool, huh? There were others too, but I wasn't entirely awake.

 We finally got up to our room (Atrium, 9th floor), and of course I immediately checked out the view. Not too shabby, eh?

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