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Mileage Update: Almost There

29 Jul

A quick update to record the progress on the race to 120,000 miles! We’re saving up for a trip to London/Ireland, and 120k miles will get us to London, then Dublin, and back to Houston for under $120 each. I am a little stressed because the itinerary is planned, we are *so* close, and I’m worried the award fares we are planning to use will just disappear. Trying not to be impatient and impulsive – not easy.

Here are the stats:

Last update -114,110 miles

TOTAL: 118,383

I’m so ready to book our airfare, and we’re only 1,617 miles away. The PointsHound bonus hasn’t hit, and we have flights coming up in the next few weeks, so I’m sure we’ll be there in no time. I suck at waiting though!


Houston Bucket List – 2011 update

18 Apr

I have been such a bad blogger!  But I have excuses reasons!  Besides all those many, many reasons, I have accomplished one or two things from my bucket list.  I also want to add a few more items….

(My original Bucket List post is here.)

Things to see and do:

1. Monica Pope’s farmer’s market

2. Rice University football game

3. watch a Dynamo game

4. visit the Holocaust Museum – Done.  I visited on an Agency Visit with the Junior League, so I didn’t get to explore at my own leisure.  I did request to get a community placement there through the Junior League, so hopefully I will be spending a lot more time there.

5. visit the Contemporary Arts Museum

6. visit the Printing History Museum

7. go to the George Ranch (as an adult) – that’s a real, live, working Texas ranch.  Yee-haw!

8. go to Washington-on-the-Brazos

9. see a movie at the Angelika – Dang it.  Should have done it while I could.  The Angelika closed for business not long after I posted this.  BUT a new theater is coming to that space called Sundance, so I will probably go check that out!

10. see a movie at the old River Oaks – Done!  Saw The King’s Speech there.  It was amazing, both the theater and the movie.  The theater has a bar, and you can bring your drinks in with you.  It’s no Alamo Drafthouse, but it’ll do.  Hope to see many more movies there this year.

11. ice skate at the Galleria (as an adult)

12. visit the Cockrell Butterfly Center – Okay, I kind of did this.  During the whole “Corpse Flower” craze at the HMNS, we went in the middle of the night to smell it see it bloom.  The line wound through the butterfly exhibit, but it was dark out, so hard to see any butterflies.  We need to go again to make it count.  I did see the most INCREDIBLE thing there though: a working apiary.  The bees live inside a clear beehive inside the museum, with a tube to the outside so they can gather pollen and nectar or whatever.  It was awesome.  

13. visit the Planetarium

14. see a show at Miller Outdoor Theater – Done!  Saw an Elvis movie.  And part of “Little Shop of Horrors”.  Good times.

15. visit the 1940s Air Terminal Museum

16. visit the Art Car Museum

17. visit Bayou Bend Museum

18. Find Howard Hughes grave at Glenwood Cemetary

19. visit all the old houses at the Heritage Society site in Downtown – Done!  We brought Andrew’s sister when she visited from Boston.  I loved every second of it, she was probably bored to tears.  Oh well.

20. make a retablo for Lawndale’s Day of the Dead event

21. visit the Menil Collection (as an adult) – Done!  Again with Andrew’s poor sister.  She was dragged all over town.

22. visit Rienzi

23. visit the Officer Lucy Dog Park

24. visit the Danny Jackson Dog Park – Done!  We walk there from our house occasionally.  Grover does NOT like other dogs though, so it’s mostly for us humans to enjoy the other dogs.

25. walk all the way around Memorial Park

26. watch the Houston Marathon –  Done!  I am on the board for Young Texans Against Cancer, and we are one of the Run For A Reason charities who benefit from the Marathon.  We got up early on Sunday morning to man a “hoopla station” and cheer our runners on.  So fun!

27. Opera in the Heights

28. stay at the Magnolia

29. visit the Jade Temple

30. visit the Forbidden Gardens – DOUBLE DANG IT. I missed this one too.  Closed forever.  The expansion of Grand Parkway ate into their property and they decided to close instead of operating next to a busy road.  I HATE THE GRAND PARKWAY.  

31. kayak the Buffalo Bayou

32. Arboretum – Done.  We had a staff meeting there.  It was beautiful, and a very different spot for a meeting (in a good way).  Though we did have to ask the funeral next door to turn down the rock and roll so we could hear each other.  I am not making this up.

33. Explore the Downtown tunnel system

34. ride in the Moonlight Ramble

35. hang out and explore Discovery Green

36. Go to an Aurora Picture Show event

Places to eat:

1. Reef

2. Shade

3. Vic and Anthony’s

4. the breakfast klub

5. Kim Son

6. Tiny Boxwoods – Done.  Delicious.  Haven’t been back as I’m never in the mood to fight people for tables.  Although they are opening a second location in the old JMH grocery store by my house, so I will probably walk to that one.  

7. Hobbit Cafe (as an adult)

8. Mark’s

9. Black Lab pub – Done.  Delicious.  Sat outside on a gorgeous day, and drank mimosas.  La.  Andrew ate a piece of salmon fried in a ball of cheese or something.  Possibly his personal heaven.

10. Glass Wall

11. Candelari’s – Done.  Meh.  

12. Ocean Palace dim sum

13. Mucky Duck

14. Daniel Wong’s Kitchen – Done.  This is now our delivery Chinese food.  They have fantastic fried rice.

15. Fogo de Chao

16. Brennan’s  – Done.  Visited during Houston Restaurant Week (Now Restaurant Month, I hear.)  Had the turtle soup, something delicious that I can’t remember, and the bananas foster.  DELICIOUS. 

17. Coco’s Crepes and Coffee

18. Tony Mandola’s Gulf Coast Kitchen – Done.  On the same night that we saw The King’s Speech at the old River Oaks Theater, we ate at Tony Mandola’s.  It turned out to be the last night at the old location, so I was thisclose to missing this one too!  They are reopened in temporary space by Chuy’s on Westheimer, but parking sucks, so no thanks.  Food was good, though.

19. Bar Annie/RDG

20. Himalaya

Why I am a bad blogger. A list of excuses.

16 Sep

I have analyzed the reasons why I am such a bad blogger and left this poor thing neglected and unupdated for months. I have decided to list them here.

1.  April 23: I got a dog.  Not just any dog, but the dog I’ve been wanting for years.  I prefer to rescue animals rather than pay for a puppy, but I wanted a young, male bichon frise – and you generally can’t be that specific when you rescue.  I have said, though, that the right dog would find me.  After a few false starts, a friend who is plugged into the rescue scene emailed about a little white bichon who had been hit by a car (!) and tied to the door of a vet and abandoned (!!) and who only had three more days until they euthanized him (!!!!!)  I called to save his life, only to find that Bichon Frise Rescue had beat me to it.  I signed up for him as soon as possible, and then harassed they poor rescue woman until she relinquished him.  Would you like to see how cute he is?

Grover Cleveland Hurst-Hoyt

I know.  So stinking cute.

2. May 5: Andrew’s birthday.  I planned a party at the Gingerman, which has a sweet, dog-friendly patio.  Andrew grew up blissfully in Ohio not realizing that his birthday is actually Cinco de Mayo, so we have to remind him occasionally with a fiesta.

Can you tell it was a fiesta?

3. May 8: Houston Crawl For Cancer.  Did you know that I am the organizer of the Houston Crawl For Cancer?  This year we had about 1500 people crawling all over Midtown to benefit Harris County Hospital District Foundation and Young Texans Against Cancer.  So much work, but so much fun.

Aren't my friends so good looking?

4. May 14: DBMAT Golf Tournament.  Seriously, this is an important organization; they raise money and awareness to benefit the deaf-blind multi-handicapped and their families.  I will be hitting you all up next year.

We hired models to show off the auction items.

5.  May 31: Memorial Day weekend in Cleveland.  Andrew tries to convince his family he hasn’t gone native in Texas.  They remain skeptical.  (Might have something to do with the cowboy boots he wore to his 10 year high school reunion.)

Also, he wore a Luckenbach shirt the whole time. Not convincing.

6.  June 16: Work trip to Washington D.C.  So wonderful, I’m posting two pictures.

Sackler Gallery

7.  June through next May: Joining the Junior League of Houston.  Best experiences ever.  Takes a lot of time commitment.  Not very many photos yet.

8.  August 27: Nerdy Thirty.  Need I say more?

At least I'm not the only nerd.

9. September 2:  My sweet, adorable nephew was born.  Evidence of sweetness and adorability:


Other things: a promotion at work, a new charity board, and a diet.  All of these things, and more, conspiring to keep me from blogging!

I am going to try to post once a week.  At least one of the thousands of photos that have been stacking up in my phone.  Maybe.  Don’t hold your breath.

Tragic – goodbye, 5 and 10

5 Apr

I can’t believe it.  After 60 years, the Variety Fair 5 and 10 in Rice Village is going out of business.  This has always been the place where you could find anything and everything.  In fact, I’ve mentioned the place several times here on the blog.

My dad’s criminal career began and ended one day in the Rice Village when he was about 11 years old.  He tried to shoplift some candy from the local 5 & 10, when he was caught by the proprietor, Mr. Klinger.  I’m not sure what Mr. Klinger said to my father, but it must have worked.  To my knowledge my dad was shamed and turned away from his life of crime.

Variety Fair 5 and 10, November 4, 2009

Please click the above link to read the whole thing.  I took a bunch of pictures that captured what the old store meant to me.

So sad.

Variety Fair Store Front

Variety Fair Store Front

Andrew's Halloween wig from Variety Fair

what the heck is in the air?

29 Mar

I am so sick of being sick!  The weather is GORGEOUS, and I am sick!  Swollen head, sore throat, sinus headache, yucky, cruddy, crawled into bed right after dinner, SICK.  Allergic to Houston sick.  And I’m not the only one.  The whole town is suffering.

And even though I am trying my little heart out to blog, and tweet, and gowalla, and professionally plan events, and voluntarily plan events, and maybe talk golf lessons(!), and joining the Junior League – it is nearly impossible to get anything accomplished when I feel this bad.  Meh.

So that’s my post for the day.  The end.  zzzzzzzzzzz