U.S. TravelWining/Dining



Celebrating a marriage in the family of great friends was the reason for 2+ days spent in Houston …. and how many of you know that Houston was named numero uno on the Forbes List of the Coolest Cities to Live in the U.S.???   Of course by coolest ….. Forbes obviously was not referring to the weather (can be very hot and humid) nor the prospects for winning the World Series anytime soon.

Having said that, on my 6th (I think) visit there I would concur that Houston has a lot going for it.   Open spaces, great shopping, reasonable housing prices (in certain areas), professional sports teams, close proximity to Austin for UT games, the rodeo and good business opportunities.

We’ll start with the accommodations of choice … the St. Regis (gotta love those Starwood points).  The close proximity to the famed Galleria and the newer Uptown Park, plus the main highway (freeway?) for access to our events, made this hotel a great choice.  We did take issue with one minor detail, and I’m wondering if any of my fellow travelers regard this as a pet peeve.  Upon calling “Private Dining” (Room Service) to request our table be removed after we were done, I was advised I could simply put it in the hallway.  Uh-uh, that is a major no-no.  Not only would I never do that, but (on a different trip) after walking by someone else’s table a couple of times over several hours and finding no response to our requests to have it removed, the hubby put the table in the elevator and pressed the button for the first floor while he came back to our room.  Yep, probably won’t be returning to the Park Hyatt in Melbourne any time soon … Seriously, back to discussing our expectations at fine hotels, if I wanted to experience dirty dishes I could just stay home!
The rehearsal dinner (which truthfully should be called “the night before dinner for anyone who came in from out of town plus the bridal party, etc.”, ‘cuz all the rehearsing has already been done) was at a fun Tex-Mex place called the Cadillac Bar.  Yummy fajitas, margaritas and a chance to wear cowboy boots that mostly gather dust at home made for a great evening.
Yep, well said.



Saturday lunch was at Houston’s famous Kenny & Ziggy’s, which has been featured on Triple D with Guy Fieri.  Pretty much anything on the menu is delicious, ample and what one looks forward to at a deli.

Classic roasted chicken (with paprika!)

On to the main reason for the trip, the wedding reception on Saturday night.   With a guest list topping 550, finding a space large enough was no doubt a challenge.  The choice of The Corinthian in Downtown Houston, an historic space built over 100 years ago, was both beautiful and spacious.  Indeed they were able to accommodate the crowd with plenty of room to dance.

Son Sam, me and the hubby at the wedding …
With beaming Mama of the Groom and BFF Kay


Tough to resist desserts at Pann’s
Sunday was spent hanging with our friends and their friends/family before flying Southwest home.  (BTW, their Early-Bird fee for automatic check-in is now $12.50 and if you change your ticket that part is not refundable … more costs passed on to the customer!)  We landed at dinnertime and unfortunately our fave Mexican place close to LAX (Paco’s Tacos) had a long wait.  Having spent my growing up years in nearby Ladera Heights and knowing the area well means only one one thing: eating at Pann’s.   This iconic coffee shop always brings back memories of my family’s weekly dinners there.  Maybe sometime soon I’ll order something other than the Deluxe Dreamburger, but likely not.  All you movie buffs, Pann’s has been featured in quite a few films, from Pulp Fiction to Little Miss Sunshine.  And after 60+ years, the food is still really good!
My forever go-to …
Hasn’t changed a bit since the 50’s