2 Girls Who Travel Get an Exclusive Screening of the Marshall Movie

Prior to its Oct. 13 release, we were able to see an advanced screening of the new movie Marshall, which tells the story of a young Thurgood Marshall – before he was appointed the first African-American Supreme Court Justice.

Marshall depicts a young attorney for the NAACP who has been sent to Connecticut to defend a black man accused of raping an affluent white woman. But this was the 40s and racism was still alive and well. Throughout all the court proceedings, though Marshall is the brains behind the defense, he’s not allowed to speak. Instead, his co-counsel, a white man named Sam Friedman, whose character you just can’t help but to love, does the speaking for him.

Won’t be giving much away here, guys. No spoiler alerts because we want you to see the movie. It was executed exceptionally. Chadwick Boseman (he played Jackie Robinson in 42) did a great job as Thurgood Marshall and everything in the story moved quickly – but not too quick.

At the VIP advanced screening, we heard spoken word and several speakers including Krystopher Darkins, ex-football player for the Green Bay Packers. Head to our Facebook for an excerpt from his speech.

And go check out Marshall now; it’s playing in theaters everywhere!

Ex-Green Bay Packer Krystopher Darkins

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee’s office sent a representative to speak on her behalf and present Ciara Suesberry of Berry Dynamic Public Relations Agency with a special recognition.

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2 Girls Who Travel Hit Up the International Bacon Fest

So the International Bacon Fest (aka Bacon iFest) was this weekend and like the name suggests, all things pork were on the menu. The event, held in downtown Houston, had stuff for the entire family including a watermelon-eating contest for the kids and adult beverages for the grown folks!

Live bands performed on the stage while patrons visited booths featuring bacon and pork dishes from around the world.

And the best part about Bacon iFest – it benefits Texas Lions Camp, a residential camping facility for children with physical disabilities, type 1 diabetes and cancer. Bacon for a cause? We can dig it.

Keep reading for highlights from the day!

We absolutely cannot pass up a mural, so when we saw this one on the way to the festival, we had to snap a few pics!

I’m sure you know, but Houston’s climate is hot and humid about 10 months out of the year – seriously. So while some people are experiencing crisp, fall weather, we were melting. This booth made a killing!

Cinnamon rolls from Bundtcake-a-holic

Yardie Dog

Yes, these are bacon-wrapped hot dog weenies!

Flashback to the 90s! We loved Mario and Luigi so imagine our excitement taking this pic!

And the best part – Mario and Luigi were passing out pork rinds! Don’t worry, these were the healthy kind … gluten-free and fried in sunflower oil 😉

2 Girls Who Travel Attend the Black Heritage Festival in Houston

It’s that time of year again … we were happy to attend the Houston Black Heritage Music & Arts Festival last year and super excited to be joining as media again this year!

True to its name, the third annual event celebrated black heritage and included musical acts – local and national – vendors, black politicians, a fashion show showcasing black designers with beautiful black women of all shades and sizes and so much more.

The look you give when you know you just slayed.

Our girl Shaniqua serving…

As we arrived and made our way to the stage, we could hear gospel singers praising God and jamming at the same time. We’re fans of praising while jamming! It was awesome to see the grassy area in front of the stage full of families, couples and people young and old enjoying themselves. The weather even cooperated as the unrelenting Houston heat and humidity took a break allowing for a very pleasant evening outdoors.

Just in time for the musical concert. We were all treated to performances from Elle Varner, Eric Benet and Tamia. Wish we could’ve snapped more pics but we were too busy singing along.

Oh hey, Eric Benet!

Eric Benet performing “Chocolate Legs”

Be sure to follow our Instagram for more concert footage and interviews!

The 2017 Houston Black Heritage Music & Arts Festival Honorees:

  • Isiah Carey – News Reporter, Fox 26 News
  • Percy Creuzot, III – Owner, Frenchy’s Chicken
  • Larry Green – City of Houston Councilmember, District K
  • Willard Jackson – Vice Chairman, Ebony Magazine
  • Larry Johnson – Development Director, KTSU
  • Darryl King – CEO, Principle Partnering Group, LLC
  • Sylvester Turner – Mayor of Houston
  • Velma Trayham – CEO, ThinkZILLA PR & Consulting Group LLC
  • Darian Ward – Press Secretary, City of Houston

10 Blogs We’re Lovin…

Okay, we know you’re used to our blogs being about our latest travels and food finds! But no good blogger functions well without reading a few blogs of their own! So this week, we decided to share some of our favorite food, lifestyle and travel blogs. This by no means is an exhaustive list, but definitely some blogs you should check out. And no shade to the fellas, but these blogs are all run by ladies 🙂

Here they are, in no particular order:

Black Girls Who Brunch – This popular blog got its start focusing on the always-happening brunch scene, but owner Erika dishes on much more than just that – everything from her travels and giveaways to delicious recipes. She’s even hosted a hugely successful brunch event and is planning on another one!

Fashion Crazed Foodie – As the name suggests, this blog combines two things us girls love: food and fashion! Syretta does an awesome job of seamlessly intertwining the two. And the best thing about it – she gives you the scoop on the hottest fashion styles without breaking the bank.

Gristle and Gossip – A real foodie mover and shaker, Renia has the 411 on every food-related event in Houston and is president of the Houston Food Blogger Collective. She is also an avid supporter of minority-owned restaurants. Follow her blog to get the latest “gossip” on food.

Dash of Jazz – From interior decorating tips and ideas to delectable dessert recipes, Jazz is the ultimate lifestyle blogger. She offers a bit of everything in her blog and does it in a very classy manner!

Feed the Curves – Don’t think eating healthy can be fun or taste delicious? Blogger Karinn shows us why it absolutely can – and looks great doing it! With an affinity for culinary arts, she serves up meals that are good for you and presented beautifully. We dare you not to find a recipe you want to try after looking through her blog.

Brunchin’ with Gelle – Food and lifestyle blogger Angelle has jumped on the scene with a girl-on-the-street guide to having fun in Houston. From hidden gems to the best happy hours, Angelle has you covered. With a tagline like “I’m not a lush, I just brunch a lot” how can you not get a kick out of the blog?

She Flies Solo – Travel is our first love, so of course we had to point you in the direction of She Flies Solo blog. Kay LJ is 100 percent committed to encouraging solo travel for the everyday businesswoman by hosting events, offering invaluable advice through her blog and social media and offering travel services. She shows how you can travel the world and still stay within your budget.

MsIndependent – Erin, founder of MsIndependent, has an interesting testimony to how she started her company (you’ll have to go to the blog to read it yourself :)). But when we tell you this girl plans awesome events, we mean it. Food crawls, fitness classes, happy hours … you name it. We’ve attended some of the food events ourselves and we love them. Her upcoming event #GirlsNightOut Houston Strong on Sept. 28 will be benefitting the survivors of Hurricane Harvey.

Deidre Mathis – With a bio that includes traveling to 36 countries, features in Black Enterprise and being the author of a book about travel for young professionals on a budget, Deidre Mathis is a must-follow for all travel lovers. And get this? Her latest project will be the opening of an international hostel, making her the first African-American female U.S. hostel owner!

The Corkscrew Concierge – Got a wine question? We guarantee you Kat has an answer. Aside from being a certified wine specialist (yes, we said certified), she travels too! So she’s the one you’d go to if you wanted to know the best wine vineyards to visit for an upcoming trip to Napa Valley.

2 Girls Who Travel Switch It Up: The Mad Potter

Ever get tired of doing the same old thing for Girls Night Out? Movies, wine. Dinner, wine. Shopping, wine.

Ok, let’s not nix the wine, but how about doing something to tap into your creative side?

We suggest trying out The Mad Potter – like the name suggests, this involves … you guessed it: pottery!

This is the before of our masterpieces … we painted tumblers for our wine!

The Mad Potter offers a Girls Night Out special on Thursdays, which includes painting and wine for $15. Not bad and it’s really a great time. There are three Houston locations and we, along with some of our Houston Food Blogger Collective fam, visited the location in River Oaks last week for a night of fun, creativity and … wine!

And what girls’ night is complete without food? These snacks were really good and went will with our wine!

The Mad Potter founder and owner Meredith McCord was on-hand with her awesome staff to answer any questions we had, offer their tips/advice on how to get creative with the art and fill up our tray with whatever paint color our hearts desired. Not to mention they kept our glasses full, so it’s definitely a yes for 2 Girls Who Travel.

What sets The Mad Potter apart from other painting activities is there’s no guidelines, steps or template to follow. You literally create what your heart desires. You may see you need to paint over/wipe off one area and start over … or you may throw caution to the wind and just paint something, and see where it goes.

Finished! Kim’s to the left and Val’s to the right.

2 Girls Who Travel with owner Meredith McCord showing off our abstract masterpieces!

2 Girls Who Travel with fellow blogger Angelle!

Successful Girls Night Out 🙂

*Note: After you paint your pottery, you have to leave it at the shop for about three days so it can dry in the kiln. Then you’re free to pick it up anytime after that. For more information on The Mad Potter, visit their website.

Janet Jackson State of the World Tour Stops in Houston

Kim here – half of 2 Girls Who Travel. I had the chance to see one of my favorite artists in concert – Janet Jackson at her State of the World Tour. The last time I saw Janet was at Essence Festival in 2010. So when a friend said they had an extra ticket to the concert, I was super excited. I picked up my ticket and started practicing my favorite Janet songs so I could sing along.

I normally don’t complain about parking. I knew that it was going to be crazy, so I was prepared to walk a mile or pay an arm and a leg. I lucked up on a parking spot right across from the Toyota Center, but of course it was $25 to park! I guess I just feel some kind of way paying $25 for a space that normally charges $6! LOL. Oh well… I begrudgingly swiped my card. The price you pay for convenience.

$25 to park!! Yikes!

So let me now tell you that 51-year-old Janet (Ms. Jackson if you’re nasty), did not miss a beat and she definitely did not disappoint. Not sure what fountain of youth she is drinking from. Janet is simply gorgeous. G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S.

Another highlight of the night – Janet’s outfit changes. They were a mix of sexy and cool with her signature black outfits and white shirt and jeans. The new mother looked ahh-mazingly svelte in it all.

We were living for our favorite songs like “If”, “I Get Lonely” and “Rhythm Nation.” Her entire set was life-giving. Her band was also on point. It was like they had been playing together nonstop for years. The guitar player had a solo with a riff out of this world.

Janet also has some phenomenal dancers. I just have to give a shout out to her curvy dancer, Allison. She did that and did not miss a beat and put in major ‘werk’.

During the night, Janet also shared messages through videos and some of the choreography about racism and domestic violence. She didn’t shy away from these important topics. It was real and in your face. Kudos to Janet for doing this.

At the end of the night, Janet was truly gracious. She closed her set by saying, “Houston, I love you so much. Thank you and may God continue to bless you every step of the way on your journey.”

And lastly, “Love you, Janet!” scrolled across the screen.

Totally incredible night! If Janet is coming to your city, don’t miss her show – she’s still got it!

 

 

Post Harvey Restaurant Visit: The Rouxpour in Sugar Land

After Harvey left and took with it its rain and dark cloud of destruction, 2 Girls Who Travel decided to get back to the food. We had been cooped up in the house long enough, so we decided to venture over to Sugar Land and try a restaurant that’s been on our radar for some time: The Rouxpour Restaurant & Bar, and if you couldn’t tell by the name, it’s food inspired by the great New Orleans. Y’all know our affinity for the NOLA!

The Rouxpour is located in Sugar Land’s Town Square among other great restaurants, but this one stood out to us! We visited for Happy Hour and met our good friend and fellow food blogger (foodies unite), Angelle. You can check out what she’s been eating on her blog Brunchin With Gelle.

Happy Hour at The Rouxpour is Monday through Friday from 3-7pm. So ample time to get off work and arrive in time to partake. The HH menu consists of enough light bites and signature martinis to keep us occupied for a few hours.

Mexican Martini

Lemon Drop

Trust us. You need these hangover fries in your life – the tender meat and gravy reminds us of the roast beef poboys we had in New Orleans.

These crab fingers were swimming in some delicious sauce.

Would you look at these beauties?

So HH came and ended, and we were still at The Rouxpour. So we ordered off the regular menu and tried the signature chargrilled oysters.

These Rouxpour signature chargrilled oysters are beyond amazing … fresh and the garlic, butter and Parmesan take these to a whole new level.

The Rouxpour is one of those places we will definitely be visiting again to check out their other food menus. We’ve only scratched the surface!

2 Girls Who Travel’s Hurricane Prep Tips

The most recent storm Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall in southeast Texas as a Category 4 hurricane, reminded us that we are still in the middle of hurricane season and as such, we wanted to share our tips for how to prepare for one.

So here are 10 2GWT hurricane preparedness tips, in no particular order:

  • Charge Your Phone – It’s not only important to charge all your mobile devices and laptops, but be sure to charge your external battery chargers as well, in case you lose power.
  • Have Necessities in Easy Reach – Have batteries, flashlights, candles, matches or lighters on hand. We advise to have them out in the open in an area in which they’ll be easy to find, should you lose electricity.
  • Get Your Water Early – If you’re not a procrastinator, you should snag up water and non-perishable food items beforehand. This will allow you to eat and drink should you a) lose electricity or b) confined to your home due to flooding streets.
  • Clear Out the Fridge – If you go for days without power, you risk all your food thawing out. If you have some stuff already ready to cook, go ahead and cook it all in preparation. This way you won’t starve or end up throwing away spoiled food.
  • Fill Up Your Tank – Even if you plan on going nowhere, gasoline becomes scarce around storm time.
  • Load Up Your Devices – Download your favorite Netflix shows to your phone or iPad so you have something to watch if there’s no electricity or internet.
  • Fill Up Your Bathtub – Fill a bathtub with water and keep a bucket close by in case your water gets shut off during the storm. This will allow you to flush your toilet.
  • Stay in the Know – Local news stations will have around-the-clock storm coverage, including everything from warnings, school closures, road closures and important announcements. And Facebook has helpful features in which you can mark yourself safe so loved ones outside the area can see that you’re okay. Waze is a cool app that lets you know what is happening on the roadways.
  • Travel Smart – If you’re traveling, most larger hotels have generators and are prepared for storms, so ask when you check-in!
  • Leave Early – If you do plan on evacuating, it’s best to do it as early as possible so as not to clog roadways for motorists instructed to leave and avoid being in a mess yourself. *Always adhere to the warnings of your local officials regarding evacuations. And use common sense and best judgement. If rain/flooding has already occurred, it’s too late.

Stay safe, friends!

2 Girls Who Travel Have a Taste of Liberty Kitchen Garden Oaks

We’re back this week dishing about another modern, trendy restaurant serving up good food – duh, I mean that’s what we do.

We were invited out to sample Liberty Kitchen Garden Oaks’ (LKGO) brunch menu Saturday with fellow Houston food bloggers and we are so glad we made it out to Houston’s Northside to do so!

Liberty Kitchen has four Houston locations – the others are in the Heights, River Oaks and Memorial City. As the owner explained to us, each location offers a core menu with some unique menu items. He said the LKGO menu appeals to any taste and any price point. That variety also attracts the diverse crowd that is characteristic of the neighborhood.

We started with some delicious cocktails. We both opted for the Liberty Mimosa because we are huge mimosa fans. These were made with pineapple vodka and were awesome – sweet, but packed a mean punch!

Liberty Mimosas

Next, they brought out some delicious appetizers to share, which included deviled eggs covered with everything from fried oysters to fried chicken, some to-die-for crab balls and a cocktail of shrimp and fried oysters (no, it really came in a cocktail glass).

These crab balls were definitely a crowd favorite, so good with the dipping sauce!

Lovely presentation

Oh, yeah and can’t forget the mac and cheese. It was served hot and ooey, gooey with cheese.

Now on to the entrees. Everybody was able to select from a choice of four: Val had the surfers donut bowl and Kim had the Dixie fried chicken sliders.

Real Cowboy Surfers Donut Bowl

Dixie Fried Chicken Sliders

Verdict: the surfers donut bowl came with cake donuts, fried chicken chunks, bacon and gravy. (Note: it also includes eggs, but Val hates eggs so the photo is sans eggs). The crispy chicken and gravy was delicious. The cake donuts? They were fried which made them a bit heavy and extremely dense. Everything else was delicious, though. Kim loved the sliders which were topped with American cheese, cream gravy and eggs. Don’t worry – we got pictures of the other dishes for you, even though we didn’t eat them! Lol

Red Velvet Pancakes

Frosted Flake French Toast

This cozy and quaint restaurant is definitely a place we’d visit again. The staff is just as welcoming as the bright colors inside the restaurant. And when the relentless Houston heat lets up, we’d definitely like to try out the outside patio!

Cheers!

Houston Restaurant Weeks Review: Union Kitchen Memorial

Another week, another restaurant! Houston Restaurant Weeks is probably one of the most exciting times in a Houston foodie’s life. We’re no exception. It’s the perfect time to go to a new restaurant you’ve been itching to try or select different menu items from some of your favorite restaurants.

This past weekend 2 Girls Who Travel shot over to Union Kitchen in Memorial to sample their Houston Restaurant Weeks lunch menu. It was three courses (appetizer, entrée and dessert) for $20.

How was the food? Glad you asked …

This oven roasted ceviche as an appetizer was interesting. Other than being almost bite-sized, it was covered with a cilantro citrus butter. Usually, our ceviche is preferred fresher with no sauce, but it was pretty good.

If you’re opting for a lighter appetizer, this grilled apple salad is sweet and refreshing. It comes with apple cider dressing, shaved gouda, oven-roasted tomatoes and candied hazelnuts. And there’s a delicious grilled apple slice on the side!

Now this was THE pick for entrees. It’s a poblano pepper stuffed with a three-cheese blend and plenty of delicious crab meat. As if that isn’t enough, it sits atop a bed of dirty rice. Yum!

Had to get this baby to-go! Dessert was the white chocolate ice cream sandwich: two huge soft and chewy chocolate chip and hazelnut cookies with ice cream and a delicious cream cheese frosting. Can’t go wrong with any of that!

The Union Kitchen Memorial is located at 12538 Memorial Dr., Houston, TX 77024. It’s definitely worth a trip during Houston Restaurant Weeks. The lunch was a great value!