Sunday, June 03, 2007

Houston Recommendations

Okay, so you get to Houston for our wedding, but the festivities don't kick off till Saturday evening. It's Friday night. What's there to do? We've compiled a list of some of our favorite things to do here in the city to answer that question.

To get your dose of culture here in the concrete jungle, go check out the beautiful Museum of Fine Arts, the Contemporary Arts Museum, or (our favorite) the Menil Collection. If you have a chance, also visit the Byzantine Chapel near the Menil - it's truly incredible.

If you want to see a movie that you might not be able to find at every other cineplex around the country, check out the Angelika, the River Oaks, or the Greenway theatres.

Catch some sunshine at the Cullen Sculpture Garden, roll down the hill at Miller Outdoor Theatre, or feed the ducks at Hermann Park.

When it comes to food, Houston is world-class but still (relatively) inexpensive. There are, of course, the usual chain restaurants, but there are also many, many local gems. For cheap and fast Vietnamese, head to Mai's or Van Loc in Midtown. For amazing sushi and Japanese ice cream, go for Osaka. If you've never tried a bubble tea (an Asian beverage with tapioca pearls), run over to Teahouse (free wifi too!). Our favorite Indian restaurant is Bombay Sweets - $6.50 for an amazing buffet with fresh naan, and don't forget dessert!

Amazing coffee, cake, fabulous pizzas, sandwiches, and even breakfast can be found at Empire Cafe. Houston's best barbecue can be procured at Goode Company, but don't forget to head across the street to it's sister restaurant, Goode Company Taqueria (one of the best breakfast places around). Mexican food is everywhere, but some places are better than others. For super cheap breakfast tacos, go to Tacos A-Go-Go in Midtown. Taqueria La Tapatia is another great taco joint, but don't forget about the 24-hour Chapultepec, just down the street. Actually, there about a billion good Mexican places in Houston.

Excellent breakfast (all day) can be found at Katz's Deli; amazing French breakfast resides at Croissant Brioche; check out Kraftsmen Baking for fabulous croissant breakfast sandwiches and great coffee. Speaking of coffee, Diedrich's is a great local alternative, but if you want to see something historic, go to the corner of West Gray and Kirby, where two Starbucks oppose each other! On the Italian side, Paulie's is pretty great for big pasta dishes and panini, but check out Collina's too. Star Pizza's deep-dish simply cannot be beat. If you need good ol' classic American fare, hit the 59 Diner.

We could go on and on. Do yourself a favor and check out the restaurant section at

Can't wait to see you!

Thursday, May 31, 2007


Well, I guess if we want folks to show up at our wedding, we should let them know where they can stay! Not everyone can fit onto our futon, after all. Here are some options:

Holiday Inn - Greenway Plaza (3 diamonds, about $80 per night)

Courtyard Inn - West University (3 diamonds, about $100 per night)

Renaissance Houston (4 diamonds, about $130 per night)

Lovett Inn Bed & Breakfast (about $150 per night)

Of course, in a city as large as Houston, the options are limitless. Give us a holler if you need more information, and we'll see you there!

Monday, May 21, 2007

'Tis The Season... get married, evidently! We've got several friends who are gettin' hitched: Tim & Meg in Georgia, Kelly & Franklin in Texas, and Courtney & Mark in Florida! Big ups all around. So now I guess we'll have folks to hang out with after all our single friends ditch us! Just kidding...

Monday, May 07, 2007

May Daze

The spring semester is finally over and I am gearing up for an exciting, but very busy, summer. Jeff and I have been busy on the wedding front. We chose Niko Niko's to cater the wedding, so there will be lots of wonderful Greek food to enjoy. We both really love the food and were impressed by their knowledgeable and friendly catering coordinator, Kostas. He listened to us, made suggestions, respected our budget, drew up the proposal professionally, and was generally gracious. I feel confident that he will put together a lovely spread for our reception.
We have a meeting at Acadian Bakery tomorrow to discuss cakes. I love their chocolate raspberry cake. So, even though they might be a little expensive we thought we would meet with them to find out our options. You never know unless you ask. After this meeting we will decide on a bakery and cross that detail off of the list.

We also have scheduled a meeting tomorrow with the calligrapher for our wedding certificate. The wedding certificate has a long history in Quaker ceremonies. In a Quaker wedding, the couple say their vows to one another without a presiding officiant. Quakers believe that it is only the presence of God in the meeting that gives the union its significance. The wedding certificate serves to document the wedding ceremony and is signed by the bride and groom as well as everyone in attendance. The certificates are generally handmade for the couple and are displayed in the home as a reminder of their vows and the support of the community. They often become important family heirlooms and can prove to be valuable historic documents. I love what the wedding document represents, and I am very excited about having this spiritual work of art created for us. The artist we are meeting has done several Quaker certificates as well as Jewish wedding documents (ketubah).

After our meetings we will be away from Houston for a few days. We are traveling to NYC to visit my sister and see her senior dance work at Eugene Lang College (New School University). Since neither of us has ever spent more than a few hours in the city this will be a very fun trip.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Making Progress

Well, it was a crazy weekend of cutting, pasting, and folding, but we got most of the work on our invitations done. Since it's tough to find invitation designs that are tasteful without spending a small fortune, we thought we'd put our modest design talent to work and make our own. It's been a lot of work, but I think the end results are going to be great (provided Clara doesn't chew them up before we can mail them). Now we just have to do the final stuffing and addressing. We also need to find the least-ugly of stamps that the postal service has to offer, with the upcoming rate hike complicating things slightly. Extra-special thanks to Zoe & Jeff's parents for helping with the preparations!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Gift Registry

Scanner guns gone wild! Ha ha - actually, we've kept things pretty simple since our apartment is too small to store a lot of stuff! We're registered at:

Crate & Barrel

Target / Club Wedd


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Que Bueno!

So we made the bakery rounds this weekend, and we made some interesting discoveries. First, what most traditional bakeries consider wedding cake tastes like sponge and high-fructose corn syrup. The customer service was nice enough at the first place we went, and the decoration available seemed imaginative, but the cake samples seemed like they were straight out of 1955. Super sweet, dry as a bone, sicky-sweet filling, and very little flavor. I guess that must be what most people want out of a wedding cake, since that's what's available at most places.

But not us! On a whim, we checked out Arandas Bakery, and we were totally impressed. Not only did they have all the great Mexican pastries that we loved when we were in Mexico, but they do wedding cakes, too! The front window had a gigantic cake (designed for a quinceanera) consisting of no less than six individual cakes. Obviously, not quite our style. But here's the deal: they'll do a tres leches wedding cake! If you've never tried it, walk right over to your local panaderia and grab some! It's basically a cake soaked in three kinds of milk (hence the name), giving it a distinctively moist texture and rich taste. It comes in several flavors, including coffee, strawberry, and chocolate, along with the plain version. Yummmm....

We've got a few more places to check out before we make a final decision, but we've got at least one (very) good choice...