It’s 7:30 a.m. as wisps of fog hover above the trees that blanket Hermann Park. The orange glow from the street lights peek out from beneath them. I sip coffee from the umpteenth floor of the decadent Hotel Zaza, willing the caffeine to work its magic and motivate me to pack up strewn clothes and swag acquired from a whirlwind three days in Houston*.

I had been to Houston a few times several years ago and can still remember devouring coastal Mexican seafood dishes at Chef Aquiles Chavez’s La Fisheria and sipping refreshing Kentucky Mules at Okra Charity Saloon. Little did I know that my initial taste of Houston was just the tip of globally-inspired menus reflective of one of the most ethnically diverse metropolitan cities in the country.

“Whatever you want, you can find it here,” enthused one Uber driver on the way to Cypress Trails, where I would mount a horse for the first time since some friend’s single-digit birthday. It was a humbling experience to brace myself upright for two hours while Cytron, a mellow Arabian horse ambled through the peaceful trail.

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