Adventures in Birds

Adventures in Birds is a wonderful place that’s one of a kind in Houston! Opened in 1980, this is a bird lover’s paradise!

 

You’ll see this sign at 7414 Westview Drive, Houston, TX 77055 to welcome your arrival.  There are so many bird cages there my lens couldn’t capture it all!

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This sweet little cockatiel greeted me in the bird room.

 

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Peachfaced Love Birds happily looked at me with curiosity – I think they’re so cute!
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Beautiful little yellow canaries (sorry about the pix but hard to do while in cage)
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Ecectus Parrot – Now that is one stunning bird!!! The color is amazing!! (They have a gorgeous red one too!)
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Want a little guy with some pizazz? How about this Red Fronted Macaw?
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This Cockatoo was so sweet and bashful looking!
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Of course they have (Budgies) Parakeets, Finches of all kinds, Canarys of all colors and tons more if you want a smaller bird.
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I loved the striking colors of this Rose Breasted Cockatoo!! Gorgeous!!
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Love that this guy is right at home – not a care in the world!! I also spotted two cute cats running around too – one black and white sporting a super shiny coat who was rather curious and one doing what cats love to do – napping!

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This little one was visiting for grooming while I was there.  The lovely couple had him for over 20 years!!

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Beautiful right?!
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So you want some toys for your special little bird??? Pretty sure you will find it here!!
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Need any kind of seeds, treats, etc. – This is only a PORTION of what’s available here!
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It just goes on and on of the things you’ll be able to get your feathered friend!
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The nice gentleman working there on Sunday, took this huge guy/gal? out for a little photo shoot for me 🙂 – thanks! It’s a Blue and Gold Macaw who was very friendly.
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How could you not LOVE that face!?!
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What a character!!!

If you are in the Houston area and looking for bird grooming, need to safely board your feathered buddy or want to get a new friend, why not support this independent instead of some big chain store – these people care and are very knowledgeable! My Dad went to them for years for his African Grey or I may not have known they existed! Great place to visit and fulfill all your birding needs!

Thanks as always for taking time out of your day to stop and visit!

Elizabeth and Max (who is a bit scared of birds so he passed on this trip).

 

 

 

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Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo! Livestock Show – Part II

As promised – Part II of my trip to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo…minus the rodeo as I haven’t decided if I want to deal with the traffic in order to see the Rodeo and Concert yet. Saw Kid Rock last time I went a few years ago and he was great!  Then, back a million years ago, I saw KC and The Sunshine Band there back when they were popular, (and he was hot :)) – wow, I’m dating myself now!!  Just to put it in perspective, in 2016 the total attendance was  2,462,030 for the Rodeo Season.

This year’s concerts, held immediately after the rodeo each evening feature these artists: Banda El Recodo, Siggno, ZZ Top, Fifth Harmony, Willie Nelson, Thomas Rhett, Luke Bryan, Demi Lovato, Sam Hunt, Alan Jackson, The Chainsmokers, Alicia Keyes, Chris Stapleton, Aaron Watson, Cody Johnson, Zac Brown Band, Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Chris Young, Blink-182, and Florida Georgia Line. (Would love to see Alicia Keyes!! But good luck on those tickets/price!).

Oh, there’s also the traditional Bar-B-Que Contest each year before the Rodeo begins to kick off the rodeo and it’s VERY competitive!!! Typically 250 team entrants or so – this year’s Grand Champion Overall, Champion Ribs winner was American Royal Winner – Iowa’s Smokey D’s BBQ, Darren Warth (Chief Cook). The winner gets a belt buckle, trophy and banner.

Before the Rodeo begins there is also a massive Trail Ride and YES, they ride all these horses, carriages, etc. right down the major streets of Houston –  from various starting points and will eventually end up in the parade, which I missed, but it was in early March. It’s quite the site to see in Houston traffic! One of the Trail Riding Teams, Los Vaqueros Rio Grande rides for 333 MILES from Hidalgo, Texas!!! Ouch!!! They began February 25th and arrived March 3rd!!!! My behind hurts even thinking about that trip!!!

Ok, so on to the Livestock show we go….

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Onward! Not near as many cowboy hats this year 😦 but this gentlemen was ready to get his “Texan” on!
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There was row after row of these little piggies waiting to be judged, name a pig breed and it was there!
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Gotta wear your cowgirl clothes! (They were super sweet, cute young ladies)
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Cute little piggie! (I loved the nose)
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Now THOSE are some horns!!   (Not sure about the ring in it’s nose though… I bet his Mama was mad when he came home with a pierced nose and my guess is a tattoo too! 🙂
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I even got to see a calf born about 2 minutes after I got there! (not this cow – I wasn’t gonna bother Mama Cow!)
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And Chickie #18 was born!
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Love the cowgirl boots! Cute! (The little ones are cute to watch and see their excitement!)
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Yes, they are just strolling along the aisle… walking their cows around!
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Time to go outside now little cow.
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These students get their pigs to move by tapping them with these little wands (not hurtful in any way) but very funny to observe and see how well some of the pigs mind their students while some are just not gonna have any part of direction!
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Isn’t she beautiful?! She was just soooo relaxed!!!
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Outside in the parking lot there were like a bazillion cows!!!
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Mr. Cow here was being a bit stubborn!
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This guy reminded me of one of those wrinkly pups and his fur felt like velvet!
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Your animal better be sparkling clean for the judges! Yep, we have Texas Car Washes here 🙂
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Want some Texas style?? Plenty of vendors here!!
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Need those rodeo boots shined?
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Shop ’til ya drop….or go broke!
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Notice what’s hanging from the ceiling?
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All sorts of scholarships are awarded here but they displayed them all in sort of an odd manner, behind glass so it was harder to see the inside artwork which kinda bummed me out a little as I would have liked to have a better visual of the art but still…great job these students do – some are quite phenomenal artists!
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Ya don’t have a cowboy/girl hat???! What???? (Get a rope!! :)) Well, don’t leave without one!!! (In truth, no,  I don’t have any “Cowgirl clothes” except a ridiculous cowboy hat I got at a local thrift store for work for crazy hat day).

Until next time, Cowgirl Elizabeth and Cowpup Max wish ya’ll happy trails 🙂 – (sorry, couldn’t resist being cheesy!)

It’s not Houston without the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo! (Photo overload!!)(Carnival and Food)PART I of II

Every year since 1932, Houston hold’s the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.  Since then, it has given $430 MILLION to Texas kids.

(Taken from The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s website)

2017 EDUCATIONAL COMMITMENT

  • Scholarships: $14,272,000
  • Graduate Assistantships: $525,400
  • Educational Program Grants: $3,614,360
  • Junior Show Exhibitors/Calf Scramble Participants: $7,653,750
  • TOTAL: $26,065,510

“The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo was organized for charitable, educational and scientific purposes to encourage and promote the breeding, raising and marketing of better livestock and farm products at public fairs and to promote and maintain research and educational functions within the livestock industry.”  

This year I just decided to check out the Livestock Show and Carnival and skip the rodeo. My post was filled with so many photos, I broke it down to Food and Carnival, then Part II will be inside the Livestock Show area. No Rodeo photos yet as I’m still undecided.

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$10 will get you entrance to the Houston Livestock Show and the Carnival.  Note:  The gentleman with the black hat is one of MANY volunteers that you’ll find doing various tasks throughout the event – VERY nice of all these folks to volunteer!!!
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Even Reliant Energy (one of our local power companies), gets into the annual event!
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Upon your arrival you can head in the direction of the giant boot or…go to the mega tent with all the food options.  I know it gets crowded fast so….
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A passerby said I HAD to get THEIR funnel cake…well, you know I didn’t want to be rude right?!! I just didn’t have the guts to try the “Fried Desserts”.
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He was telling the truth for sure! Yum! (One Funnel Cake and Coke – $11.00)
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Of course this was another option but I passed on it.
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Yep…Fried EVERYTHING!!!! On to the Carnival next….
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Even the benches are Texas themed!
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You can ride this and be Superman!
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Within the hour everything was packed!! Early bird gets the best Carousel Horse!!
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Seeing the little kids all decked out in their Rodeo gear is the best part!!!

The little kids (and this big kid…me) enjoyed the petting zoo but the Kangaroo is certainly random and not exactly “Texas like” but still – super adorable!!

Cute place to stick your hand under the horses chin to activate the water to wash your hands afterwards (preferably before too) and cute places for photo ops with the kids throughout the event.

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Different local schools compete in all kinds of agricultural projects like this planter box.
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Yes, it’s March 19th and 81 degrees so the flying swings are a good way to cool off.
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Old fashion fun!
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Now we “Texans” don’t typically ride around on camels but…sure is fun for the kids!!
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Yes, the crowds are slowly arriving!
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The Houston Astrodome is right next door! Opened on April 9, 1965 to a sell out crowd of 47,879 for the exhibition game of The Houston Astros vs. The New York Yankees, it was the world’s first multipurpose domed stadium for sports.  It’s often referred to as “The Eight Wonder of The World” but sadly its hey day was over in 1999.The 18 story Dome was also used as a shelter for those displaced by Hurricane Katrina (New Orleans, LA) in 2005 – an estimated 25,000 called it home at that time!  I miss the Dome aka “The House of Pain” back in the day when the Houston Oilers played there! (Yes, I am THAT old :)) Oh, it was also the first sports venue to have artificial turf rather than grass…thus….”Astro Turf”! We had the first animated scoreboard too called “Astrolite”.  The dome is 18 stories high. Mikey Mantle hit the first home run of the Dome too. Judy Garland was the first artist to perform their too for a sum of $43,000 for one show. Just a little Dome trivia thrown in 🙂
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My Ariel shots
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No way would I bungee jump from a crane!!!
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The tea-cup ride is more my speed!

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I wasn’t kidding about Fried EVERYTHING!!!
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Love these cows!!

Stay tuned for PART II and thanks as always for visiting!

Elizabeth and Max

 

 

Doggie Party On The Plaza (Saturday, April 1, 2017 from Noon – 5pm)

My perfect little pup, Max (co-author of this blog), is a rescue dog.  I thank God for him everyday and can’t imagine life without my buddy!!

Every year now for the past 7 years, there’s an event in Houston, Texas called Doggie Party On The Plaza.  This year it’s April 1, 2017 – the 8th event – yea!  If you love dogs,  you have to go and bring your best friend with ya!!

Here are a few of my older photo’s but I hope to make it this year to see all the cuties!!! The “Rescue Me” Parade begins at 2:30pm and the pups and floats are all always adorable!  As usual, Citizen’s For Animal Protection will be there as will Rover Oaks Pet Resort, which are of course personal favorites of mine as without both of them I wouldn’t have my best buddy today..Max!! I try to support them both any time I am able! You can get a FREE 5″x7″ photo of you and your best friend, watch the parade, see what over 80 vendors have to offer, participate in the K9 Costume Contest, visit “Rescue Row” and learn about our city’s various rescue organizations and learn how you can help, get some FREE give-aways, eat, drink, get your face painted, play games, watch demonstrations and just have fun walking around and seeing all the cute pups!!!

P.S.   Just sayin’ Citizen’s For Animal Protection has a link on their site under the DONATE tab where you are able to set up recurring monthly, quarterly or annual donations of ANY amount and I know every cent helps 🙂 or you can do a one time donation. Thank you folks out there that are doing whatever you can to help out in ANY capacity to help Rescues!!

Doggie Party On The Plaza in Houston Texas
Doggie Party On The Plaza in Houston Texas

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Thanks for taking your time to read this and helping these pups!

Max and his Human Elizabeth

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Max says, “Come on out and make some new friends!”

 

 

Lake Livingston State Park – Livingston, Texas

Today we visit Lake Livingston State Park in Livingston, Texas. Why??? Truth???

…because my awesome daughter and new, wonderful son-in-law gave me a Texas State Park Pass so it’s free for 1 year for me to visit all the Texas State Parks! 🙂 Go me – I LOVE my gift!!! Lots of the parks are close enough for me to do a day trip but camping is on soon!!

If you’ve been following me, you now know that nearby is the Naskila Gaming (slot casino) and Johnson’s Rock Shop if you wanted to do a few other things close by while visiting Lake Livingston 🙂  – I wanted to visit Lake Tombigbee Campgrounds, which is also close by but couldn’t cram it all in one day.

Enjoy some good ole fishing and relax in Lake Livingston State Park

Enjoy some good ole fishing and relax!

Or go canoeing on Lake Livingston in Livingston Texas
Or go canoeing on Lake Livingston
Pack a picnic or go camping there in Lake Livingston State Park
Pack a picnic or go camping there!
Looks relaxing huh? :)
Looks relaxing huh? 🙂
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I need to be retired and rich and travel all the parks in the US!

 

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Ok, nap time now!!

Note:  (taken from Lake Livingston State Park’s Facebook):

Lake Livingston State Park is hosting a special Birds of Prey program March 26.

A falconer will showcase hawks, falcons and eagles and demonstrate how these ‘masters of the sky’ spot and catch their prey.

Details on the Events tab at http://bit.ly/LakeLivingstonSP

Please let me know if any of you have other suggestions and I’ll try to add them to my list of places to visit 🙂 

Enjoy! And thanks for visiting and your comments and feedback!!!

Max and his human companion…Elizabeth

Alligators-Too Close for Comfort?! Am I a TOTAL Idiot?!? (Anything for a photo!) Brazos Bend Park (photo overload)

What’s a girl to do when she sees a gator a mere 2 feet from her?? Yep, take a photo (sssh…don’t tell my children as they were mad at me last time I did this :)). That said, I was pretty much shocked as later in the day, I saw a grandfather position his 7 (ish) year old granddaughter about the same distance as I was earlier in the day with her back to the gator for a photo! Guess I felt it was one thing for me-an adult to have “risky behavior” but not a kid!!! Luckily, Grandma came trudging along and well, Grandpa should feel fortunate HE’s still alive – if looks could kill, well…Grandma was NOT happy about the “photo shoot”!

Anyway, the day at Brazos Bend State Park in Needville, TX was slightly humid and sky’s kept looking like rain all day but I only got drizzle a time or two. Sorry, the photos reflect the yucky but fun day. Now it’s time to soak my feet!!! I’m exhausted!!

P.S.  This park also has the George Observatory – it’s pretty incredible to see the moon from there on a clear night!!! (And I’m not even all that “into” that but it REALLY is cool!!)

P.P.S. If you have little ones and want to see other things nearby, the George Ranch Historical Park is very close by!

Trivia:  Alligator eggs become male or female based on temperature, you’ll have a female in colder weather and male in warmer weather.

Alligators like to stay in groups call congregations.

Alligators can’t internally control their temperatures so they bathe in the sun to increase their temps.

As long as there’s an incline, they can climb! Better start looking in trees!

Warning Sign! Alligator Safety. (I saw this AFTER I snuck my "risky" photo) at Brazos Bend State Park in Texas
Warning Sign! Alligator Safety. (I saw this AFTER I snuck my “risky” photo).
They aren't kidding! Lots of Gators in this park!!!
They aren’t kidding! Lots of Gators in this park!!!
Today I am gifting you with this lovely (being sarcastic) Turkey Vulture photo from Brazos Bend State Park in Texas - NOT gonna win ANY Beauty Awards!!!
Today I am gifting you with this lovely (being sarcastic) Turkey Vulture photo from Brazos Bend State Park in Texas – NOT gonna win ANY Beauty Awards!!! Notice this hole in his nose area…weird..they don’t have septums so their nostrils are perforate! I also learned if they feel threatened they vomit their stomach acids…ok, looks gross, is gross!
After getting lost (and NO I won't admit this to ANY of my family members! ha!) I had to take a break!
After getting lost on the trails (and NO I won’t admit this to ANY of my family members! ha!) I had to take a break! Seems Boy Scouts have donated a vast majority of the benches throughout the trails and parks – nice 🙂
Why can't the water look less like Galveston, Texas' beaches! Gross!
Why can’t the water look less like Galveston, Texas’ beaches! Gross! (But just “keeping it real” 🙂
Beautiful trails are throughout the park. Suggestion: GPS where you park your car so you don't get lost like me!
Beautiful trails are throughout the park. Suggestion: GPS where you park your car so you don’t get lost like me!
Very tranquil and not a bunch of people!
Very tranquil and not a bunch of people!
Bad photo but thought it was funny :)
Bad photo but thought it was funny 🙂 These ducks eyes are creepy red!!
See those red eyes - dude...Visine!!!
See those red eyes – dude…Visine or Clear Eyes!!! This is an American Coot.
And here we had another charming character that scared the Cr#p out of me when I looked up and saw what had just used the potty above me!!!
And here we had another charming character that scared the Cr#p out of me when I looked up and saw what had just used the potty above me!!! This is a Black Vulture who thank God didn’t poo on me!
Great Blue Heron. This guy was super quite and I almost missed him! They like to hide in the water weeds
Great Blue Heron. This guy was super quite and I almost missed him! They like to hide in the water weeds.
Blurry shot of the Great Blue Heron flying away - they're huge!
Blurry shot of the Great Blue Heron flying away – they’re huge!
More of the Brazos Bend State Park
More of the Brazos Bend State Park
White Ibis at Brazos Bend State Park, Needville, TX
White Ibis at Brazos Bend State Park, Needville, TX
One big old Gator!!
One big old Gator!!

 

Any idea what this is?
This, come to find out this morning is an immature White Ibis! Found a super cool app – Merlin Bird ID and it showed me immediately – yea!!!

 

This one was a real show off
This one was a real show off (I think this is a Black Bellied Whistling Duck)
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Screened shelters at Brazos Bend State Park
The playground is near the Screened Shelters
The playground is near the Screened Shelters
Beautiful picnic area at Brazos Bend State Park
Beautiful picnic area at Brazos Bend State Park
You really can't be bored here!
You really can’t be bored here!
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Nature Center
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Happy Trails!!!

Me in 2015 holding a baby gator

Me in 2015 holding a baby gator

Thanks for visiting!

Elizabeth and Max

Max
I told Ma she can’t post ALL these photos without one of ME!!!

 

 

 

Discovery Green Park – 12 Acres in Downtown Houston of Fun

Discovery Green holds a special place in my heart.  My Dad was the first person to tell me about it.  He had read all the articles I’m sure ever written about the new downtown park by then (he was an avid reader), about it and how it was getting ready to open and that we HAD to go see it!! I think I get my sense of adventure from my Dad.  Even in his later years, but before he could no longer live alone, he’d still come up with little mini-adventures (as by then he’d tire easily) for me to take him on (we’d joke about him being Ms. Daisy from Driving Ms. Daisy), but he’d always have some kind of agenda for us when I’d go to his apartment to get his laundry, shopping and errands done for him each week.   Of course as his “driver” when he’d get these inspirations – it would often end in semi-disaster as he’d get the directions wrong or something crazy would happen to us in the process but we both agreed that’s what made life fun! I really miss him and all the places we’d discover together! Enjoy the park!!! 🙂

The featured photo is of Jean Dubuffet’s creation and is a part of his Hourloupe series, which are in New York, Chicago and Europe too.  It’s made of a steel frame and painted fiberglass.  loosely translated, the “Monument Au Fantome” means imaginary city or phantom city.

2017 Superbowl Host - located in Discovery Green Park
2017 Superbowl Host – located in Discovery Green Park ….ALMOST as big as JJ Watt 🙂

Discovery Green was a huge part of Superbowl LI with tons of things to do during the weeks before the Superbowl. I stayed clear of it though during that time as it was way too crowded for this chick :). However, there is plenty to do there on a regular basis!! Outdoor movies, concerts, special events, mist tree, shuffleboard court, putting green, Boccee courts, playgrounds, jogging trails, listening vessels, reading room, a small dog park, and various art is throughout the park, here is a map of the park. Ice skating in the winter and yoga classes and tons more of activities held at Discovery Green – just head over to their site and see!  Good place to people watch too!

Synchronicity of Color (Discovery Green)
Synchronicity of Color (Discovery Green)

A Professor of Art for the University of Texas at Austin, Margo Sawyer, came up with these colorful pieces that are painted with drilling platform paint.  She also participated in the planning of the park.

John P McGovern Playground in Discovery Green Park
John P McGovern Playground in Discovery Green Park
I scream you scream we all scream for ice cream!
I scream you scream we all scream for ice cream or…Kona Ice!
Pup on wheels (Yes, Max...you're cuter!)
Pup on wheels (Yes, Max…you’re cuter!) There are Art Carts that you can borrow recreational equipment from with a valid ID.
Dog Park in Discovery Green
Dog Park in Discovery Green – what a cute pup!
Enchanted Promenade at Discovery Green by TILT 11-22-2016 thru 02-19-2016 (They light up nightly at dusk)
Enchanted Promenade at Discovery Green by TILT 11-22-2016 thru 02-19-2016 (They light up nightly at dusk)
Wings Over Water (in front of the George R. Brown Convention Center) (Directly across from Discovery Green Park)
Wings Over Water (in front of the George R. Brown Convention Center) (Directly across from Discovery Green Park) Read more here.
George R. Brown Convention Center (Across from Discovery Green)
George R. Brown Convention Center (Across from Discovery Green)
Pretty benches in front of George R. Brown Convention Center
Pretty benches in front of George R. Brown Convention Center

Thanks for stopping by Houston Photo Journey!

Max and his faithful Human