Friday, March 27, 2009

Ms. Hogg was amazing!

Had a cousin in town this week - my favorite one on my Dad's side. That's saying a lot, since there are 13 first cousins on that side of the family (six more on mom's side, for a total of 19 in all!) My aunt came too. Their trip was scheduled to coincide with Spring Break, which gave us a nice amount of time to hang out and play. In our goal to find something to do with cousin, his mom and my mother, who is 85, while avoiding the rain, not paying too much for something that would require hours to experience, doing something fun, and not overtiring the grandmas in our group, we touched upon Bayou Bend. The estate of Texas legend Ima Hogg, Bayou Bend is an impressive site. I can't believe that in the 40+ years I've lived in the Houston area, I'd never been there. I'm going to add it to my list of favorite places to take out of town guests!

The house is really impressive. Built in the late 1920s, Miss Hogg filled it with historic American furniture representing all eras in American history. My favorites were the ones that looked the most like Greek and Roman culture, like the Federalist style. And I loved the Texas room - of course! If you want to see photos of the rooms, including a 360-degree panoramic view of some of them, are here.

Equally impressive, however, were the acres of gardens. I'm not usually a fan of going to look at flowers, but this collection was amazing. The manicured hedges, gorgeous samples. .. the wisteria, for instance, smelled amazing.

Think I'll go back, and even plan a visit to coincide with what's blooming at the time!

Oh - and no, she did not have a sister named Ura.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Try saying it with a British (specifically, Welsh) accent. Then watch this: