Summer is over. School is back in session. We are still tired, somehow. So, what did we do? We decided to book a relaxing small vacation to Sarasota, Florida! We found a great property on Siesta Key that is seaside with a private section leading to the beach. Our unit was literally a condo so we were able to cook in the kitchen and lounge as if it were our own home. We spent our mornings on the beach, or at the pool. Hot afternoons were reserved for shopping, dining, & exploring the towns of Siesta Key, Longboat Key, Sarasota, St Armand’s Circle, etc. In the evening, we were determined to be back at the beach to chase the sunsets which were absolutely glowingly glorious! Who knew that Florida had some of the most incredible sunsets?
The American Heart Association just hosted a lovely luncheon on May 12, 2023 to raise much needed funds for their mission. I must say, the event did not disappoint. It was a sold out crowd and full of patrons in beautiful red. Red definitely looks good on most! My friends Anna Kaplan and Cortney Cole were hosts of the event. They helped fundraise thousands of dollars for the organization. Not only did I enjoy the event, support a cause, but I was also the auction winner of the beautiful diamond earrings, about 3 carats. The Post Oak Hotel was the perfect venue for the event. We are so lucky in Houston to have lovely venues and lovely philanthropists to keep these missions alive! Did I mention there was a special survivor/guest that happens to be a famous singer/songwriter? Amy Grant!!! She was lovely to listen to in talks with radio host Sarah Pepper from MIX 96.5. Let’s also mention, her unplugged performance live for her Go Red audience! What an event! For more information click this link www.goredforwomen.org .
February 18, 2023 The Women Offshore Foundation hosted a Mardi Gras themed black-tie gala at The Petroleum Club in downtown Houston. I have several friends in the offshore business and purchased a table to support their event. What a night it was! I rounded up a group of wonderful friends and we had a ball. I even won a live auction item…..7 nights in a private cabin in Lake Tahoe! I look forward to that future adventure.
Just a bit about The Women Offshore Foundation. Established in 2017 by mariner Ally Cedeno, this 501(c)(3) organization propels women into meaningful careers through access to a worldwide community and professional development resources, while raising awareness amongst industry leaders and decision makers about issues affecting women on the water.
Their stories are real. Their ambitions are fearless. These women are our leaders at sea. It is such a privilege to support these strong and intelligent women who are shaping the waters around the globe! For more information to join the group or to offer support, please visit their site https://womenoffshore.org .
Recharge and reset without leaving your hometown! My brokerage Sotheby’s recently hosted a “staycation” for top performing agents. In years past, it would be a trip to New York or Miami, for example. Thanks to the pandemic-life they switched gears and planned a whole weekend of fun for us in town, in our downtown Houston, and we truly felt like we were on vacation. The Marriott Marquis near Discovery Green and the Convention Center is home to a Texas-sized rooftop lazy river! The resort-like hotel offers plenty of outdoor fun, multiple bar and restaurant venues, not to mention their amazing walkability to sports venues and more.
While downtown, try to venture out and take a boat ride! We did a guided Buffalo Bayou boat tour along the muddy bayous through the heart of downtown past Allen’s Landing, the Sabine Promenade, etc. You will learn about our city’s history plus see historical and architectural sites. Truly fascinating. Not to mention, the view from down below! I was pleasantly surprised that we did not meet up with any critters. However, there are wild otters in our waters now! That would be a hoot to see! To book your 1.5 hour tour, visit www.buffalobayou.org .
Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my!!! Have you ever explored the Houston Zoo? Despite the HOT summer days my friend Lindsay and I braved the heat and took our little toddler monkeys to the zoo for the ultimate playdate adventure. Tip #1 – show up early! Parking is free but spaces fill up fast. We hit the ground running right when the zoo opened. Tip #2 – if you have a wagon it is so much easier to tow kiddos and “stuff” around the park. Or, bring a stroller. Tip #3 – wear sunscreen and pack bug spray. Tip#4 – bring snacks and hydrate. The zoo does have concession areas and Moms they sell wine! Tip#5 – know your route. The zoo his huge and you might want to bypass some animals to get to your favorite attractions. Speaking of favorites, we loved seeing the baby elephants, sea otters, and the sea lions. The Houston Zoo has special exhibits and events every day so check the calendar! There is always something new to discover so if you if you really want to maximize your experience then buy the family pass for the year. It’s more than worth it. The Houston Zoo is located at 6200 Hermann Park Drive in Houston, Texas. It is right next to the Med Center, several museums within walking distance, The Miller Outdoor Theater. Definitely take the kiddos next door to Hermann Park to ride the Choo Choo train! All Aboard! For more information head to their website www.houstonzoo.org .
Our tradition usually leads us to the St Luke’s United Methodist Church pumpkin patch, but thanks to the COVID-19 times, they opted to not host this yearly event. Another wonderful alternative, which is probably not an alternative to others but their primary, is the Memorial Drive Methodist Church pumpkin patch. They were open for big business and we walked away with the biggest pumpkin we could find! Not only do they have an exciting variety of pumpkin options, but adorable phot-op backdrops for the kiddos, and the most expensive pumpkin you can buy is $25. So, have fun picking both big and small! It was our perfect Sunday activity for today, followed up with brunch at Royal Oaks Country Club.
Stay Safe. Wash Your Hands. Wear A Mask. These are the most common words we hear this year. Thanks to COVID-19 our lives will never be the same. In my world, travel is a huge part of who we are in my family. We love adventure and experiences. Plus, sometimes we just need a little break from every day life. Since hopping on an airplane is not so fashionable, we are now opening our minds up to some convenient road trips. Honestly, since we have a toddler who cannot sit still, short road trips is truly the way to go for us anyway.
First stop this year we chose San Antonio. This is a place we can go to many times and have a different experience each time. Since most large public places are closed such as Sea World and Fiesta Texas, we chose a hotel resort with some amenities to keep us occupied and safe. We tried out the Hyatt Residence Club at Wild Oak Ranch. In a perfect setting, this place has all you can offer to a family. They have a golf course, put put, fire pits, pools, slides, horseshoe games and corn hole, sand volleyball, restaurants, club house, and more. But due to social distancing restrictions the only attractions open were the golf course and the lazy river. We seriously went just for the lazy river! It was awesome!
Enter the trance of exotic Sedona, Arizona. A flight to Phoenix then a few hours drive, you will enter this fire-like magical wonderland. A peaceful place, many come to meditate, hike, retreat, and heal. There are magical powers we hear coming from the five area vortexes. A many “psychics” call this place home too. They must know something? I really wanted to find out, but it will have to be a reading on another trip!
My husband just celebrated a “round” birthday. So, we decided to take a nice vacation to a place we have never been. So, Sedona here we came! And, somewhere not like Vegas I might add! It did not take us long to agree on Sedona, and the Hyatt Vacation Club Pinon Pointe was perfect for us and our +1! Located in the heart of the city, walkable to restaurants and attractions, we could not have landed in a better place. Breakfast and Starbucks coffee at 7am, then a dip in the pool, then exploring the beautiful town and surroundings. Not a bad view anywhere, including the gas station! Also, the property had an activities center which included ping pong, pool table, free internet, grilles, and a fire pit.
Since we have an 8-month old son, we knew this trip was more of a test than a full on eventful adventure. We used our days to discover what we can do in the future! Hiking is definitely an attraction, including their “pink jeep” tours, helicopter tours, river rafting, etc. We very much enjoyed just driving our rental car anywhere and everywhere. Popular sites include Maroon Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Coffee Pot Rock, Cathedral Rock, Snoopy Rock, and Bell Rock.
Some like it HOT and others kept it COOL for the 19th Annual Thanks for Giving Charity Gala benefiting the Kym Coleman Education Foundation. Saturday, October 14th my husband and I dressed up and joined our wonderful group of friends for the Fire & Ice gala for an evening of philanthropy and fun at the Bayou Events Center in Houston.
From the masquerade decor, to the music, dance floor and theatrical entertainment, to the silent and live auctions, there was something for everyone that evening. In fact, I won two auction items and also participated in the live auction which was a lot of fun!
The Kym Coleman Education Foundation was founded by Cookie Michael in loving memory of her daughter, Kym Coleman, who perished in a plane crash in 1993. Kym had a mission to assist school children that were not as fortunate as others were and to help improve their quality of education. This gala raises thousands of dollars to support incentive programs to low income elementary schools, like the Honor Roll Bicycle Program. For more information on KCEF visit their site www.kceffoundation.com.