Houston Funeral Museum

Let’s be a little weird today…just a part of life, but the visit to the Houston Funeral Museum was interesting. It might seem at first to be a bit morbid but it’s quite historical and educational, and you might be surprised what you find and learn there!

Advice: ¬†BEFORE you pay your (currently $10 Adult/$9 Seniors & Veteran’s, etc.) go to the entrance lobby and look for their 1 page pamphlet and on the back is a buy 1 get 1 1/2 off coupon valid until March 31, 2017

As always, Max and his Human thank you for being a part of our world ūüôā

Replica of the 1966 Batmobile done by "The King of The Kustomizers" George Barris
Replica of the 1966 Batmobile done by “The King of The Kustomizers” George Barris
Old embalming history
Old embalming history
Respectful display of pope exhibit
Respectful display of pope exhibit
Oldtime hearst
old-time hearse

Houston Zoo

See what the Houston Zoo has to offer!

The Houston Zoo is always a fun place to visit. ¬†Want a full day of activities since you‚Äôre already in the Zoo area? We‚Äôll get to that soon in an upcoming post titled ‚ÄúNear The Zoo To Do‚ÄĚ. But if you can’t wait for that post, here are some ideas and links…Near the Zoo, there are tons of things to do!!! Leave your car parked at the zoo and check out the Japanese Gardens¬†both are in Hermann Park but the Gardens are now free to visit. ¬†It’s a very zen like vibe and kept in pristine condition. ¬†You’ll see plenty of wedding photographers here throughout the year too as it is indeed beautiful! You’ll also see the Mary Gibbs and Jesse H. Jones Reflecting Pool , which is 80′ wide and 740′ long with live oak trees on both sides, on your way from the Zoo to the Japanese Gardens. ¬†The Hermann Park Golf Course¬†which was built in ¬†1922,¬†is across from the zoo but I don’t golf so can’t help you on that one! McGovern Lake is right next to the zoo and there you will see water fountains and most days there are paddle boats available to rent, bikes are available close by to rent too. ¬†Of course there is the Buddy Carruth Playground For All Children (most items are handicap accessible). Miller Outdoor Theatre¬†, built around 1922 is a real gem! There are numerous free plays, concerts, etc. throughout the year held here. ¬†Tickets are released the same day as the performance to sit in the actual 1705 covered seats and 20 wheelchair spots. ¬†Most people tend to sit on the raised lawn though that can support about 4,500 more people. ¬†I have personally seen some fabulous performances there…operas, plays, musicals – there is always something fun! Footloose is coming in March of 2017 – yea! The Houston Garden Center is in the same park. ¬†The Houston Museum of Natural Science is nearby too with constantly changing and interesting exhibits along with their Cockrell Butterfly Center¬†and IMAX Theatre which has been upgraded now to a 4k digital with advanced 3D. ¬†Across the street you will see a large, bronze sculpture of General Sam Houston on his horse named Saracen where he has sat since 1925. ¬†If you pretend to be Sam Houston and look the direction he is looking, you’ll also see Mecom Fountains, donated to our city in 1964 by John and Mary Mecom (he was in the oil industry). So pack up a picnic and enjoy your busy day!!!

Note:  I just put the zoo link up rather than the cost, hours, etc. as it changes periodically but check it out for discounts and FREE days to visit, current !!

Advice:  Get there early so you can grab a parking spot easily-they fill up fast! Save money and bring your own cooler of drinks and food but no booze, glass bottles or straws allowed and no smoking inside the zoo.  You can download a zoo map to plot out your adventure here. Oh, and don’t forget your camera and comfy shoes!!!

Sea Lion Houston Zoo
Sea Lion Houston Zoo
Max’s Ma wishes she could join me in the pool! Females are the winners in Sea Lion longevity as they can live 30 years whereas Males…around 18. 

Shoebill Stork at Houston Zoo
Shoebill Stork at Houston Zoo
Houston is lucky to have these beauties (ha..beauty IS in the eye of the beholder right?!) only 4 other USA zoo’s currently have these creatures called Shoebill Storks

African Lion at Houston Zoo
African Lion at Houston Zoo
African Lion at Houston Zoo. Female Lions are the Pride’s (group’s) main hunters.
Bald Eagle at Houston Zoo

A Bald Eagle can spot a bunny from about 3 miles away! Their wing span is 6-7 1/2 feet

Houston Zoo Train
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Houston Zoo Train ‚Äď The kiddos will love it ‚Äď heck, I still love it!
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Loveable giant!
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Just a big kitty!
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Aren’t I pretty!!
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Come on ride the train it’s a choo choo train
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Cute little orange fellows
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Just waiting for some kids to leave me some treats!
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Nap time!
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It’s so hot I wanted to join them!
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Caw caw!!
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Just soaking up the sun!
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These are scattered by the train entrance
Orangutan at Houston Zoo
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†How can you resist my face? Orangutan means ‚ÄúMan of The Forest‚ÄĚ

Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary

Enjoy bird watching? Go to Edith L Moore Nature Sanctuary and get your Zen on!

Off Memorial Drive, you will discover one of Houston’s hidden gems – ¬† The Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary¬†an 18 acre sanctuary with a 1932 log cabin (but I’ll allow you to discover more of the history when you’re visiting-can’t ruin all the surprise effects for ya!) . If you need to escape from your fast paced life but don’t have time to go anywhere…try this enjoying nature in this little slice of paradise. ¬† Check the link for open/close times but generally 7am-7pm via automatic locking gate. ¬†This is a popular place for birding folks and people looking for a peaceful walk. ¬†If you need some tranquility in your life along with some pretty birds and rabbits grab your car keys and head out. Oh and did I mention ….it’s FREE ūüôā entertainment!

Note:  Parking is actually in the church parking lot of Memorial Drive United Methodist Church (look for the chain link fence and gate Рit will be obvious-see below photo) at 12955 Memorial Dr, Houston, TX 77079

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Advice: ¬†Bring your camera, bug spray, comfy shoes and I’d suggest whatever the weather says, plan on it being at least 5-10 degrees hotter while in the sanctuary. ¬†It can get pretty hot and humid towards to warmer months. Also, morning is best for you bird watchers.Oh, here is a pdf map you can print of the trails.¬†Enjoy!!!

Max gives this place 2 paws up and says thanks for visiting Houston Photo Journey!

Northern Cardinal Bird
Northern Cardinal Bird (1/800 sec – ISO 400 – F 6.3)
Female Northern Cardinal
Female Northern Cardinal (1/800 sec – ISO 800 – F6.3)
Downy Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker (1/800 sec – F6.3 – ISO 800)
Northern Cardinall
Northern Cardinal – (My good luck bird ūüôā ) (1/800 sec – F6.3 – ISO 800)
Squirrel
Squirrel
Robin bird
Robin Bird (1/800 sec – F6.3 – ISO 800)
Bunny
Bunny (does anyone know what kind this is??)

Found some 2015 Photos Shown Below:

2015 Hairy Woodpecker (sorry so blurry!)
2015 Hairy Woodpecker (sorry so blurry!)
Red-Eared Slider Turtle (Taken in 2015)
Red-Eared Slider Turtle (Taken in 2015)

Hermann Park – Kite Festival

Be a kid again at the Hermann Park Kite Festival

The past three years Hermann Park has had a Kite Festival on the hill by Miller Outdoor Theatre, I missed it last year, so these photos are from the previous year.  This year the Kite Festival is Sunday, March 26, 2017 from 10:00 am Р5:00 pm.

Note: ¬†You might think (like I did), that a kite festival sounds kind of boring…just nothing that me and my adult daughter would enjoy. ¬†Wrong!! We had an absolute blast playing like kids ourselves and watching everyone else act like children and enjoying every second of it!! Seeing the enormous smiles on the kids faces and vast array of different kites in the air was fun too!

Advice: ¬†Don’t just stay by the hill at Miller Outdoor Theatre flying your kite the entire time! Walk around by the reflection pool, check out the vendor booths, enjoy the music, watch the kids do a dance off, see the butterfly ladies on stilts – enjoy the outdoors and chilled crowds. ¬† Bring a small blanket in maybe a backpack along with some water bottles, bug spray, snacks for your kiddos and definitely your camera!!! Go be a kid again!!!

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir¬†in Stafford, Texas is breathtaking! It’s a place of traditional Hindu worship but respectful visitors are allowed. ¬†The exterior is made of Turkish Limestone and interior of Italian Marble. ¬†The hand carvings are stunning as you can see in the photos below. ¬†It’s truly a sight to behold and worth a visit!

Note:  Mandir basically means a temple or place of worship.  There is a souvenir shop and plenty of photo ops!

Advice:  Check the Visitor Guidelines before you leave please to be sure you are dressed appropriately, etc.

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Bayou Wildlife Zoo

Bayou Wildlife Zoo was a blast in Alvin, Texas

Bayou Wildlife Zoo in Alvin, Texas was a special treat. ¬†Not far from Houston, I saw it featured in the news recently so packed up the Canon Rebel T3i and headed out. ¬†What a cool place! The staff couldn’t have been nicer or shown more love towards the animals too – that’s a really big deal to me!! ¬†I had a totally tame deer just following me around! There is a petting area with goats and pigs. The Tram ride is included in the cost and takes you on a nice ride through the park to see the animals then you are free to walk around a portion of the zoo on your own too.

Note: ¬†Does $20 for adults and $10 for kids seem a little on the high side? Well, I will tell you the animals seem extremely very well cared for and the staff obviously love them all so yes, for me initially I wondered if it was going to be a rip off, but to see how well they are loved and much must be invested back into their care…I left perfectly ok with the cost.

Advice: ¬†Bring CASH!!!! They only take cash or checks but not sure on their check policy so better off safe with cash. ¬†At last glance it cost $20 for adults and $10 for kids. If you want to pay a couple dollars more to be able to feed the animals from your bucket…get there early so the animals haven’t gotten full and uninterested ūüôā .

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This deer was my buddy and kept following me around – loved it!

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Review: Wedding Photographer in Houston

Review: Houston’s Ammar Selo Photography – he was my daughter’s wedding photographer

Wedding Photographer Review Time: ¬†While I’ve had¬†the privilege recently of seeing numerous friends and co-worker’s wedding photos, they just don’t compare to the photos of my daughter’s wedding photos (not because it’s my daughter, but because the quality was phenomenal! As I would be ten times more picky about her photos!!) ¬†Ammar Selo Photography was chosen for her and her hubby’s special day. ¬†Of course I had gone online to research Mr. Selo’s work and thought it was outstanding, but when it’s YOUR child getting married… you want PERFECT!!! Indeed, PERFECT is what we received! I really cannot recommend this photographer enough!! He managed to capture images far exceeding our hopes and dreams and did so under some challenging circumstances to say the least! He was super fast with the photo previews, was practically invisible during the ceremony and reception yet blew our minds when we saw the photos! He was EARLY, captured those of us (ah…that’d be me that need to lose weight) in the best (i.e. slimming) flattering manner along with the rest of the guests, was very respectful and polite and just overall a pleasure to work with on this most special day!

Note: ¬†Mr. Selo has no idea I am writing this and therefore, it is an honest, unsolicited, review for those of you struggling to pick that perfect wedding day photographer. ¬†I don’t take putting my name of recommendation of anyone lightly! But this guy is great! Wedding Wire shows some reviews (all 5 stars which is the best score you can get) and I now see that he was won the 2017 Couple’s Choice Award – that makes me happy to learn. Very reasonable pricing too.

Advice: ¬†Be clear and honest about your expectations when hiring Mr. Selo about what sort of photos you are looking to get and what you do and don’t like. ¬†My daughter and her husband were and the results were incredible! I would additionally suggest booking early!

Thanks for visiting Houston Photo Journey!

Max and his Human known as Ma