King Tut and the Pharaohs come to MFAH

Tutankhamun the Great and the Golden Pharaohs may make you think Houston is about to be graced by a grand rock group but that’s not the case. The entertainment comes in the form of thousands of year old artifacts direct from Egypt. If you missed the 1970s tour of the Great Tut, then you’ll want to get tickets to this one. “Spectacular” and “once-in-a-lifetime” are but two of the many descriptions applied to this traveling exhibit.

King Tut arrives with royal entourage

What is so spectacular about this museum exhibit? Well, the history and beauty and richness of the King Tut find would usually be enough, but this time the exhibit has additional treasures from thirty dynasties. Visitors will see artifacts spanning two thousand years. You’ll see items that once belonged to the Pharaoh who built the Great Sphinx. Gaze upon a gold death mask. See the sarcophagus that once held a “royal” cat. For the fashionistas, the gold sandals and ring and toe coverings discovered on King Tut’s mummy will be fascinating.

Plan now to attend the King Tut exhibit in Houston

Will you join the more than a million people who have already viewed this touring exhibit and marvel at the life, the kings and their treasures from long ago? I missed the first King Tut exihibit. I plan to attend this one. The Museum of Fine Arts Houston’s exhibit will open October 13, 2011 and run through April 15, 2012. Take advantage of the early bird ticket discounts available this month through August 23, 2011.

King Tut Houston Exhibit Tickets

Order Tickets

Who: King Tutankhamun and the Golden Pharaohs
Where: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
What: King Tut Traveling Exhibit
When: October 13, 2011 – April 15, 2012
Tickets: Early Bird Registration

Photo credits: Courtesy of MFHA (exhibition publicity)

Book Sale This Weekend for the Houston Public Library

What booklover doesn’t love a good book sale? The Friends of the Houston Public Library are putting on their terrific annual book sale event this week. If you love books and haven’t been to this sale, this is a must addition to your bucket list.

It’s been quite a number of years since I attended this event. Back then it was held at the downtown main library and it was big. Imagine how much it’s grown for it to be held at the George R. Brown Convention Center. The event is this weekend, May 13-15th. That’s Friday, Saturday and Sunday for those of you date-challenged like me. If you need to replenish your bookshelves, and who doesn’t, head on over. Maybe you’ll see me prowling among the book tables Friday looking for that favorite author or special book.

Houston Public Library’s 33rd Annual Book Sale

Friends of the Houston Public Library’s 33rd Annual Book Sale Event
George R. Brown Convention Center
1001 Avenida de las Americas — HALL A
Houston, Texas
May 13-15, 2011

Take a Staycation: Visit Houston

Gas prices are soaring, money is tight, but summer is right around the corner. Are you thinking of canceling your summer vacation plans?

Instead, why not take a staycation? A home vacation is a great way to save money and still get the value of a vacation. You’ll get to know your home city in new ways and even lighten some of the stress that seems to accompany annual vacations. Why not take a staycation?

  • Image Credit: Houston Museum of Natural Science
  • See Houston with “new” eyes

    For Houstonions, that means exploring the city and making new discoveries. Most people don’t look at their own city or town with “new” eyes. Houstonians are no different. They’re steeped in their daily life, rushing from task to task, living in cars and air-conditioned homes. Houstonians tend to be “in” the city more than “out and about” the city. They’re rushing from one point to another, often evading the heat, and missing much of what Houston has to offer. How do I know? Because I was once the same way.

    Become a tourist, visit Houston

    If you live in Houston, the best way to see the city is to put on your “visitor” glasses. Back in the 80s a friend and I decided we would look at Houston as our summer destination city. So we approached the entire vacation week through that lens. We checked the Chamber of Commerce, combed through the papers, read some guidebooks and talked to friends. We realized that a lot had happened in Houston while we were driving the freeways and working every day. Downtown Houston had grown up. The museums had exploded. It was time to play catch-up with our home town.

    How a week exploring Houston became a fun staycation

    We each made a list of the places that intrigued us the most. We canvased museums, restaurants, parks, theaters, and more. We listed places others suggested. Then we compared our lists. Anything that showed up on both lists made our final cut. Then we looked at the locations and worked out the logistics for each day. We realized that visiting one of our top spots, the Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS), had an added bonus: it’s location. So many other places were within walking distance.

    The Houston Museum of Natural Science is one of many Houston must-sees

    The Museum of Natural Science was a definite for both of us. That visit turned out to be a splendid day. We hit the Planetarium, wandered underneath massive dinosaur skeletons, and explored all the exhibits. It was quite a place then. Today the museum is among the top 10 most visited museums in the US. I hadn’t been to the Houston Zoo in years so it made the list, too, and it was pretty much across the street from the museum. Another day we included a picnic and spent the afternoon at Bear Creek Park. We took in restaurants we’d heard of but never visited, checked out historical sites and relearned and learned anew interesting tidbits about the city.

    To have a successful home vacation, stay in “vacation” mode

    What we didn’t do was visit friends, talk to friends, show up where our friends would be. To everyone else, we had left the city. We were on vacation. While we could have stayed at a local hotel to complete the “visitor” experience, we opted to return to our homes at night. We found it easy to maintain our vacation escape without being noticed so it worked for us. Today, I might opt to stay at a hotel just to round things out.

    Develop a vacation plan to visit Houston

    It is much different today to plan a vacation. The Internet makes everything easier so take full advantage of all that is now available via your fingertips on the keyboard. Check out the Houston’s Visitor’s Center. Houston’s visitor’s center is well worth a visit anyday. They have a ton of information and can help you plan a terrific home vacation. Check out Houston’s Museum District, you may be surprised to see how many museums Houston has and how diversified they are. The theater district has really grown up. You could easily spend a week downtown and still have more to see.

    Looking for kid-friendly sites to visit? Houston is full of them. From the Alkek Velodrome to Houston’s premiere Children’s Museum, there is plenty to do with your kids here in the Bayou City.

    Today I have strong memories of that Houston home vacation. I remember thinking how surprised I was that I had so much fun. I became a believer in the value of staycations as an alternative to traditional vacations and I became a fan of the city. Houston does have a lot to offer. It is the 4th largest city in the country and it is way more than cowboy hats, boots and horses. Why not give Houston a try this summer?

    Look for more about Houston as a staycation

    This is the first post in a series about using Houston as a staycation destination city. While the focus will be on Houston and Houston sites, the general ideas can be used with any city or hometown. I hope you’ll sign up to learn more about Houston and check out this blog’s Facebook Fan Page, too, called, of course, Houston Angle. You’ll find interesting links about Houston on the Fan Page while the more in-depth writings about the city will be here.

    Come back often. Share what you enjoy or find useful and let me know what you think and what you’d like to explore.

    Related links
    Take a Staycation This Year
    Exploring Houston, Texas with Children
    The Houston Museum of Natural Science
    Houston’s Visitor Center
    Houston Museum District
    Alkek Velodrome
    Children’s Musem of Houston

    Houston Livestock and Rodeo Show Shines

    Sheryl Crow - Houston 2007

    It’s rodeo time in Houston again. The trail riders have made their way into Houston. The kids have groomed and raised their animals and are ready for the shows and auctions. The midway is in full swing and Houstonians are smelling sawdust, watching rodeo events and hearing A-list performers in the nightly concerts. The year’s event runs from March 1st – March 20th. That’s 3 weeks of rodeo mania with trail riders, BBQ, chili cook-offs, auctions, carnival rides, rodeo events, and concerts.

    What are my Houston Livestock and Rodeo Show memories? If I’m not mistaken my daughter, who would probably rather be dead than admit it, had to go see Donnie and Marie Osmond one year. My favorite part of the livestock show is the children’s petting zoo. It’s not unusual to see llamas, emus, and the usual calves, ponies, and piggies.

    You may be surprised to learn that the Houston Livestock and Rodeo Show is a huge mega-charity event. Over the years more than 265 million dollars has been raised and awarded to Texas youth. This is a major annual event for Houstonians who flock to their volunteer positions in the thousands–more than 24,000.

    For videos, artist line-up, and more information on this year’s event, go to my companion page.