Tuesday, June 30, 2009

4th of July Events!!

Here are the descriptions of some of the best 4th of July celebrations in Texas. And the best part? Most of them are FREE!! Happy 4th!!

Fair Park Fourth

Enjoy a free of charge, fun-filled day for the whole family, which includes free admission to museums, musical performances, games and food. Fireworks will be viewed from the newly renovated Cotton Bowl!

Freedom Over Texas

This year's event will feature one of the largest land-based fireworks displays in the nation!! With musical performances from local bands and Clay Walker, along with rides and games for the kids, this is a can't miss!! Plus, admission is FREE!!

San Antonio:

Salute to the Union

Celebrate the traditional 4th of July in at Fort Sam Houston while they pay tribute to the 230th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and the United States by shooting off 50 cannons to represent each state.



HEB Austin Symphony

Enjoy the patriotic sounds of the Austin Symphony as you celebrate how proud it is to be an American! A spectacular view of the fireworks will be displayed over Lady Bird Lake. Admission is free!!

Fort Hood:

Freedom Fest

Come celebrate your freedom and view the best fireworks display in central Texas! Dierks Bentley will be performing, with a free carnival, games, food and fun for the whole family! From 1-10pm, fireworks at 9:30.


July 4th Big Backyard Barbecue

The fun starts at La Centerra at 5pm with live entertainment from area high school bands and local bands from Houston. Fireworks from Pyro of Houston at 9:15. Food and beverages available at the local restaurants.

Galveston’s 4th of July Parade and Fireworks!!

Kick-off your celebration with a parade in historic downtown Galveston and watch the Gulf of Mexico light up with an amazing fireworks display along the seawall!

Make it a safe and happy fourth Texans!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pleasing to the Eye....

The Menil Collection in Houston is the place to go when looking for an escape from the noise of the bustling city streets. Located on a campus known as the "Neighborhood of Art," this pristine building is surrounded by shady, tree-lined streets, giving it a homey appeal. The peacefulness of the neighborhood is reflected in by the tranquility of the museum. As I walked in, the noise was so minimal, you could hear a pin drop. Whispering to my niece "Use 4-inch voices only," I was afraid to even gasp at a sculpture that caught my eye, as the guards would peer around the corner to make sure we were on our best behavior. Even though all are welcome, the museum is not kid friendly. Some of the modern art exhibitions lean more towards the R-rated side, so beware when taking your little-littles. I had to cover my niece's eyes a few times so her parents wouldn't kill me!

The paintings and sculptures in the museum are plentiful, making it almost hard to believe there is no entrance fee. You won't find Monet or Van Gogh in this collection. The art is somewhat provocative, but from different eras such as Ancient Greece B.C., 1920s Modern, as well as tribal remnants from Alaska. The museum itself is beautiful, with the Texas sunlight peaking in through the canvas sailcloth ceilings, the soft light gleaming on the paintings of the gallery walls and the whit-oak floors. A huge monarch butterfly bid me farewell as I exited the museum, welcoming me to the pleasant neighborhood atmosphere. The bookstore across the street was useful in finding information on my favorite artists in the collection! If you're in need for a little tranquility in your life, along with wanting to view fantastic art and sculptures from centuries past, The Menil Collection is the place to be! Plus, it's free!! Parking is also free and conveniently across the street from the gallery. http://www.menil.org/

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Going Ga Ga for Hotel ZaZa!!

Having been born and bred in the Windy City, I've grown accustomed to seeing lavish hotels as I walked the streets of downtown Chicago, knowing there was no way I could possibly ever afford a night's stay there, let alone a martini in their "ultra classy" lounge. So, when I was invited to a charity event at the posh Hotel ZaZa in downtown Houston, I felt a bit intimidated. "What would I wear? (or what still fit?), How should I do my hair? Should I get my nails done?" were common questions rolling through my mind, as I was only invited 6 hours before.

Wearing my "little black dress" (it's because of last-minute invites to swanky events that every woman should have one), we pulled up to the hotel with about five people waiting to help us out of our cars. I had a reason to feel intimidated. Although, walking into the hotel lobby, I felt like I was in the lounge at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, but with a "homey" Houston feel, immediately drawn to the huge gold cow they have presented under pink and purple lights. Our event was poolside, which had a balcony that overlooked the beautiful museum district. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect night! The staff was very attentive and friendly, even when we went down to the Monarch Lounge for drinks and appetizers. Here's a tip: The Steak and Sticks were phenomenal!! Their appetizers are big enough for 2-3 people, and are the way to go if you're on a budget like me. :)
Hotel ZaZa is definitely a place to relax and have a martini in when visiting Houston! The staff and atmosphere will make you feel right at home!! http://www.hotelzaza.com/houston/