Hanging around downtown

That's my car!

Haha, nahhh, that's Steven's FJ Cruiser.  I promised him during winter break that we would go rock climbing the next time I saw him, but I didn't come back home for spring break, and I didn't see him in the week that I was back right after finals.  So after half a year, I finally held my word (whew!)!!  I used to swim at the UH recreation center (too many times to count, omg) for swimming meets because a lot of teams would host meets there.  Suuuuch a nice pool, and it can be converted to 25yds or 50m lengths, so we could use it all year around.  Oh yeah, being an indoor pool is always a plus :)  

At these swimming meets, we would head towards the pool through the locker rooms and pass by the basketball courts and rock climbing wall, but not be able to explore anywhere.  But todayyyyy, Steven was taking me!  I wasn't there at 5am for a swimming meet or staying until 10pm for semifinals and finals; I was there to play! :D

Since he goes to UH, Steven pretty much used everything the rec center has to offer @_@  Apparently he set up weights for me (I thought it was for himself), but then I ran away towards the dumbbells.  And then I saw that the lightest dumbbell in that area was 30 lbs, so I ran towards the other side of the massive exercise room towards the aerobic area and found an elliptical machine.  First time to use one for real :D  Quite fun and better for my knee! ^_^

Omgahh, the weight room / aerobic room (basically whole rec center) are ENORMOUS!  THe room stretches until forever, and there are literally machines of anything you can imagine.  A back stretcher?!  A cycle machine where you use your arms instead of your legs?  Yeahhhh, they got it.  Not that I do weights or use the aerobic room at school, but I did my first year, and WashU does not have nearly as many to choose from ^^''

Ahh, quick picture in front of one of the many mirrors that I always used for swimming meets!

Good memories :')  I thought it was funny, because somehow I ended up wearing UH's colors (white and red), so I sort of fit in better than I thought I would.  Although I feel like I stuck out like crazy because I kept freaking out near the weights and exclaiming over ever machine. =_=''

Also, there is an indoor track that loops around the complex, and Steven and I had the bright idea to run around for fun and then sprint one for real.  I got a 30 second head start, and he probably could have beaten me anyways @_@''  He makes running looks so easy, omgawd.  It was like running against an obnoxiously fast (and obnoxiously confident / silly) Usane Bolt x_x  After I basically collapsed once I sprinted for a lap (that's almost a whole minute of pure sprinting-- try it, you'll die too!), I asked for a 30 minute break before doing anything.  Haha~  Instead I learned how to work my lower abs.  It was the first time I felt sore in my lower ab region the next day!  Yayyy, happy :)  I'll work on that more if I can find the machine at school.

Okay, onto (what is in my opinion) the highlight of the rec center.  The pool.  

Wow, so pretty! 

So pristine, so huge, so deep, so cold :D 

 They also have a beautiful diving well.  I didn't want to bore Steven while I swam for real, so I warmed up and then forced him to learn how to swim breaststroke.  Suuuper impressed.  He learned quickly and tried really hard to correct everything I told him to.  I taught swim lessons for 4 years during high school, and it was like teaching a super compliant and strong little kid ;)  I wouldn't let him out until he finished two laps of quality breaststroke, and after he did, he complained that it was harder than all the sprinting and weights we did upstairs.  Ha!  So weird how people usually say that.  Swimming is definitely the easiest for me @_@

I was shivering because I was just standing and wading alongside him while I was watching and correcting his stroke, so we hopped into the hot tub for a bit (imagine a huge bubble bath) and then into the sauna.  It was my first time in a sauna, and I thought it would be moist.  WashU has one in the locker room, but I've never been in before.  Instead, the sauna was super dry.  It was... essentially an oven.  For reals-- my skin turned pink all over!  Reminded me of someone Asian glowing ^_^  *sigh*  Anyways, although my skin dried up, I felt very loose compared to being stiff and cold from the pool.

Why is Steven so happy?

Because we're about to eat, duhhh.  Haha!  Hungry from the workout, we left the rec center to refuel right down the street at the McAlister's on campus.  It was my second time at a McAlister's, but the one on UH campus was definitely better than the one near the Cinemark theater!  There were a lot of people piling in for lunch, and the atmosphere was happily busy.

I got what Steven usually gets: the pick 2 combo with a baked potato and a salad.  He ordered a vegetarian combo since he's sticking to the vegetariann diet for 40 days.  Then I enjoyed my baked potato with cheese, chili, and jalepenos and grilled chicken salad.  Mmmm, sooo good, I love me some baked potatoes (loaded / with the works, of course!) :D

Steven's baked spud had mozzarella cheese, and the taco salad looked nothing like the one at WashU.  I think WashU's looks more yummy!  ... although it is probably much much unhealthier :P

So many yummy toppings on the grilled chicken salad~ @_@

Yummy potato (we ate the skins too!)
Veggie spud!

Healthy taco salad

4810 Calhoun Rd. #105
HoustonTX 77004

I was a bit sluggish after eating, but we headed back to conquer the rock wall.  I was a bit scared of jumping off from the heights after climbing up at first, but I got used to it.  Climbing is actually a lot of fun :)  I like using my whole body-- my legs and arms to propel myself upwards and my core to stay balanced.  It's also like a big puzzle, because you need to decide where to position your feet and hands and what direction to pull your body. :D  Yay~

Preparing to conquer a wall

Love how everyone was wearing the same colors, haha
After the day of being a slug (too sore, can't move), we had a fat day.  Haha, I don't think it was officially called that or anything, but we saw Total Recall, because Steven hasn't been in a theater since last summer, while I haven't been in one since... last month or probably less -_-''  Haha, but  we watched Total Recall.  It was really good (in my opinion), because I expected it to be not that great.  The plot was cheesy and predictable, but I liked the action and the imagination.  It's like Tron.  Pretty graphics (although soundtrack and graphics cannot compare to Tron!), but scratchy plot.  I kind of think the main character is somewhat attractive too :P

Then after sitting on our butts for two hours, we went to Ruggles Cafe in Rice Village.  The restaurant and bakery was packed!  We had to  scout out a place to sit.  I chose a pick 2-type deal, ordering the vegetable soup and turkey and cheese panini.  The usual sandwich bread was replaced with toasted flatbread, which was extremely crisp yet chewy = extremely delicious.  :)  The flavor was good, probably due to turkey always being good, and the cheddar being sharp.  The soup was probably one of the best vegetable soups I've had.  It was chockful of veggies!  Tomatoes, carrots, zuchinni, om nom nom, happy happy ^^

Tables were filled!

Steven ordered a vegetable wrap and fries.  But they offer sweet potato fries if you're feeling more adventurous (I usually like them better than regular).

Steven: "For being all vegetables, this wrap is really good."  Ha!

Doesn't that look delicious?!  Om nom nom, turkey and cheese sandwich by a bowl of hot vegetable soup!

Afterwards, Steven prodded me towards the dessert case.  Ahh, everything looked so darn good.  There was a lemon bar that I kind of wanted to try only because it was basically the size of my open hand @_@  But we both decided on bread pudding.  Yay for decisive guys!!!  I like bread pudding...  Mmmmmmmm~  ooey gooey, warm, aromatic, and with a scoop of vanilla ice cream?  Wait no, I love bread pudding!  I liked this one better than the other bread pudding I've had (Thanksgiving with the crew at the Knight Center).  I wonder if the rbead pudding that Josh raves about at Harvest can stand up to Ruggles' rendition?  :3

Oh yeah, the dessert came in a super hot bowl, so it was steaming hot and the cold ice cream was melting quickly.  Sorry for the weird angle; I think I was freaking out that the ice cream was melting (I don't like melted ice cream x_x)... Durr.. 

Whole wheat bread pudding with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top

The little S-shaped cracker thing was kind of stale and didn't taste like anything, so I think that was purely for decoration.  Otherwise, I would definitely come back to Ruggles for the bread pudding :)  They also offer croissant pudding and white chocolate bread pudding, but I think this one (whole wheat bread pudding) was superb because it used a lot of cinnamon and raisins ^_^b

Snapped this candid picture of him.  He looks so confuzzled XD

Yay!  Thanks Steven for showing me UH's rec and parts of downtown~  Such a long drive, and I still got a white peach :)

Ruggles Cafe
2365 Rice Boulevard
Houston, TX 77005

Debra said...

Ohh how do you exercise your lower abs?

I want to be taught how to swim by Wendy tooooo!!!!!! That's one of my "Things to do before I graduate." Swim with Wendy!

I keep seeing Total Recall ads around Taiwan. I was contemplating watching it while I was reading your description.. until I saw "It was like Tron!" and then I was like "Oh, never mind!" Hahahahaha just kidding, Tron wasn't that bad, but I definitely didn't like it as much as you!

WE'RE STILL IN THE SAME COUNTRY HEHE why am I more excited about this than being in the same house?? Ah, maybe I'm excited about both~

Wendy said...

You have to use this weird machine where you basically do situps upside down? @_@''

Yahh! I'll teach you whatever stroke you want to learn :D Swim date with Debrawrr, tee hee hee <3

BLAH Go see Recall! Even my cousin liked it :D It's cheesy, but lots of action. good good! Sort of like Inception too?

Ooh you're probably on the plane while I type this out :) Hope it was a comfortable flight~ ^^b Wahh going to see you ultra soon~ :3