Where in world...?

An old friend phoned the other day. He never phones. But this time he just had to know: "What are you doing living in Florence?"
He thought I was in Florence, Italy. I told him it was Florence, Massachusetts.
Here are some answers -- my occasional wanderings through Florence, MA and the surrounding Pioneer Valley.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Florentina says Howdy, Houston

Spent a lot of time enjoying this part
of my hotel room because of my cold.
For the last four days, it's been Florentina on the road. This time, Houston was the destination. Unfortunately, upon arrival in Houston's Hobby airport, it became clear that a cold was paying a visit to Florentina's upper respiratory system at the same time she was visiting Houston. The very warm weather made things a little uncomfortable because of my cold, but overall the warmth was really welcome for my entire stay because I was otherwise indoors in air-conditioned discomfort. Luckily the hotel room was really very nice with a super comfortable bed.
UHD at night. View from Spaghetti Warehouse.
Houston was this year's location for a conference I have attended on a number of occasions and have always enjoyed because of the terrific people and great conversations. The conference organizers always pick great places, too. This year's actual conference site was at University of Houston-Downtown, which came as a surprise for a couple of reasons. One of the reasons is that I usually can't quite figure out where the actual panels will be presented from the program materials.

Dinner at the Spaghetti Warehouse
 Unfortunately, because of the cold that traveled with me, I was not as adventurous as I had hoped to be when exploring the food scene. Italian-style food seemed to win out in the choices made, partly because it meant exerting less energy that would be otherwise needed for recovery and/or doing work-related activities. Mexican food seemed to fall out of favor when laboring under a cold, unfortunately.

We ended up at the Spaghetti Warehouse, right near the UHD campus, which has a colorful history to go with its colorful, eclectic decor. It also has its very own ghost that haunts the ladies' room. I was very glad to learn about it long after I had left that space, as I might have been too freaked out to use the faciliities if I had known. Remember that ghost that shows up in the bathroom at Hogwarts?

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