Congressman Bill Archer Dog Park

Above Photo:  Gwen, a happy adopted pup rescue from South Texas Labrador Rescue adopted by Michael Graves and family.

Today we visit Congressman Bill Archer Dog Park in Houston, Texas.  The dog park is 17 acres of pup bliss.  There’s a small dog section with an agility area, large pond and walking path of .29 miles, 2 covered sitting areas, restrooms (located outside the park at far end of parking lot), for humans, plenty of mini fire hydrants and waste bags throughout to help you clean after your pup and doggie showers once you’re done. The area for the big pups has the same amenities but with .81 miles of walking paths and a larger play area. 

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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’re already in the Zoo area? We’ll get to that soon in an upcoming post titled “Near The Zoo To Do”. 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 ( 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 – The kiddos will love it – heck, I still love it!
Loveable giant!
Just a big kitty!
Aren’t I pretty!!
Come on ride the train it’s a choo choo train
Cute little orange fellows
Just waiting for some kids to leave me some treats!
Nap time!
It’s so hot I wanted to join them!
Caw caw!!
Just soaking up the sun!
These are scattered by the train entrance
Orangutan at Houston Zoo
         How can you resist my face? Orangutan means “Man of The Forest”

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 🙂 entertainment!

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




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 🙂 ) (1/800 sec – F6.3 – ISO 800)
Robin bird
Robin Bird (1/800 sec – F6.3 – ISO 800)
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)

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

Hemi Hideout (Fast Cars & Amazing Neon!!)

The Hemi Hideout in Brookshire Texas is a feast for the eyes…even if you aren’t into cars!

The Hemi Hideout in Brookshire, Texas was a completely accidental discovery that I am THRILLED I found!!! Even if cars aren’t your thing…trust me…this is a super cool place to see!! The Owner, Mr. John Hovas’ is the nicest man too and very kind-hearted! This was his vision and dream and boy did he do it up right!!!! Wow!!! I don’t want to spoil it so I’ll just show a this one shot.  Worth the drive!!

Note:  Be prepared for an eyeball overload!

Advice:  Bring your camera!!! Donations are very appreciated and are MATCHED and go to nearby charities….I was HAPPY to donate!!! Call to be sure when they are open.  Have a blast!

Thanks for being our virtual traveling sidekicks!

Max’s Human and Max


Lynchburg Ferry

Try the Free Lynchburg Ferry in Baytown to go to the San Jacinto Monument or Battleship Texas

The Lynchburg Ferry in has been a free ferry in Baytown, Texas since 1888! Even I am not THAT old! 🙂 It connects the North and South Independence Parkway and the San Jacinto Battleground monument, (which I will save for another post).  However, going there in a torrential downpour was probably not a wise idea…but then again…I’m rather know for doing random things that aren’t always the smartest 🙂 I wish once on the Ferry, you were allowed to get out of your car for photo ops but that’s a no-no. Still, it is a free, fun little adventure and then you can go see the San Jacinto Monument and Battleground and the Battleship Texas 

Happy wandering!

Max and his Human