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Traveling: Houston

My husband and I enjoyed a fun family wedding in Houston last month without the kiddos. This allowed us to wander art museums for hours, read, nap and have leisurely meals with my sister and brother in law. We enjoyed catching up with family and stayed until Monday so we could really explore Houston — a city we have never previously visited.

Houston is one of the largest and wealthiest cities in the nation and is rich in art galleries and museums. I had always wanted to visit the Rothko Chapel and, as I did more research on our visit, added the Menil Collection to the top of my list. John and Dominique de Menil were champions of civil rights and modern art and architecture. They commissioned the Rothko Chapel and worked with architect Renzo Piano to beautifully house their vast contemporary art collection. The Menil is illuminated by mostly natural light with alcoves of outside gardens pressing up against glass gallery walls. We visited every room and watched a film (something we could never have done with our children in tow) and got scolded for interacting with the interactive art (an infraction normally acted out by our kids). I guess we were too enthusiastic about our interaction with art.

We also visited the Museum of Fine Arts where we wandered through an exhibit featuring some of the earliest known examples of Buddhist art in Japan in a lovely, open gallery space. We sat and watched a mesmerizing and beautiful video instillation by Jennifer Steinkamp of a single tree moving in the wind while it changes seasons. We couldn’t stop staring at the image as it danced and bloomed and shed and swung through the seasons. And, even though I was enjoying every minute of precious time alone with my husband, I couldn’t stop thinking about how much of what we saw would delight my children –although for a shorter time and infused with treats and breaks. Next time!

Thanks to Design Sponge for another great City Guide to help with my trip planning.