Road Trip to Houston, TX

Hi All –

Hope you don’t mind me posting a day early.  Tomorrow (Saturday), I’ll be at the Ohioana Library Book Signing and won’t have time (and possibly internet) to reply to comments so I thought today might be better.  A little about the Ohioana Library.  Ohio is the only state in the United States that has a non-Ohioanalending library dedicated to archiving the work of Ohio authors and artists.  While I’m not originally from Ohio, Ohioana decided that living here for the last fifty years or so qualifies me as an Ohio author. 🙂  I have to admit it’s pretty cool to have my books stored in a temperature controlled vault for prosperity.  The library can be used for research, but staff handles each book with gloves so as not to leave oil stains that might damage the work later on.  LOL.  I assure you my books are not treated with such respect in my household :-).  Here’s the program for the signing.  Isn’t it pretty?  But enough about Ohioana.  I thought I’d share some pictures from my earlier trip to Houston, Texas.

I had to travel to Houston in early March for a Romance Writers of America board meeting.  The meeting was held inView from hotel an area north of the city called the Woodlands, which was very nice and lush and mindful of the impact population has on the environment.  In fact, the shuttle driver mentioned that it was hard to navigate the area at night due to lack of lighting.  Here’s the view from hotel room.  You can see a man-made canal that runs along the back of this hotel and many others.  There wasn’t a lot of activity on the canal.  A large boat not quite full of tourists would glide by every now and then.  Lots of walkers on the banks canal at nightthough.  Check out this photo of the canal at night.

Those board meetings were particularly long.  One night while I was walking (had to get in my 10,000 steps which is hard when you sit all day!), I saw this little guy on the canal bank.  blue heronHe seemed pretty used to people strolling by.  I think he would have preferred it if I was a fish.


Can you see those tall trees on the opposite side of the canal?  I just assumed it was random landscaping, but it was not.  It hides a hidden Koi pond.  You could pass right by it and never know it was there.  But if you hiddentake the less traveled path behind the trees you see this.

And if you follow around the bend, you’ll bump into this.  The lines you see are reflections of the hotel behind it.koi watching

Down futher along the main path, there’s something like a bus stop.  I believe a trolley bus might drive by.  The stop has a saying inscribed that’s meaningful to every writer, “The Journey is the Reward.”  At least I believe it is.  What you can’t see is a pole in Journeyfront of the stop with a sculpture of fish swimming by.  LOL.  We know what that means!fishsign

Further down the canal, on the hotel side, is a cute little maze.  Obviously, the maze is designed mermaidfor little people as an adult would have no difficulty determining the route :-).  Every so often, you’d stumble on a large concrete book that told a fable and included a beautiful tile rendition of the story.  I’d already photographed the mermaid and the woodcutter when I discovered that our favorite rooster managed to get himself memorialized in acat,rooster book.  I give you The Cat, The Rooster, and the Mouse.  🙂

It was beautiful in Houston.  Back home in Ohio it was cold and snowy, but in Texas I saw blooms such as these along the banks.  A much needed a reminder of what was to come.  Finally, spring has arrived in Ohio.  All I can say is – About Time!

How about you?  What’s the spring like in your part of the world.  Any neat places to visit?  Do you know of any places the rooster has been similarly memorialized?  LOL.  Let’s catch up.

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  • Ninfa says:

    Lovely pictures. Hmm I really need to ask this Ms Donna, are ordinary people allowed to read books on that library? Do they need gloves also or only the librarians handled it?
    Here in Singapore is just a normal day everyday, the heat is super, really need lots of water and stay indoor in front of the fan. The temperature read up to 36 degrees

    • Hi Ninfa –

      I’ve not done research at the Ohioana, but I’d guess that as long as one used gloves when handling the materials and stayed on premise (remember it’s a non-lending library. You can’t check anything out) you’d be allowed to handle the materials. I do know the way the material is situated. It’s all in a box designated by the artist’s name. So I have a box in the same temperature controlled and sealed environment as Bob Hope, Clark Gable, Erma Bombeck. It’s cool.

      You’d love it here, Ninfa. Very temperate. I don’t have the heat or air conditioning on. Humidity is low. Quite a difference from Singapore, but come summer the two might feel the same. 🙂

  • Jane says:

    Hello Donna,
    The weather is finally great here. We had a wacky March with temps dropping and rising 20 degrees in a 24 hr period. I’m hoping to head to a couple of museums, especially Discovery Times Square to see the Star Wars and Vikings exhibits.

    • Hi Jane!

      I believe our March was warmer than usual, though not as warm as Houston. It was great to shed the heavy coats. Then at the end of the month and the beginning of April, it was COLD! The flowers were coming up due to the warm March and they got hit with below freezing temperatures. Snow flurries, short-lived snowfall, it was crazy. Now we’re past all that (knock on wood) and into a beautiful spring. Wish I could bottle all this 🙂

  • Debbie Oxier says:

    I live in Indiana so our weather is similar to yours.

    • Hi Debbie!
      Don’t you just love this time of year when all the flowers are busting out of the ground? I do. It’s one of the reasons traveling to Houston in early March was lovely. We planted flowers with scented blossoms around the front of our house and it smells heavenly. Hoping this spring will last a bit longer before racing into summer.

  • helensibbritt says:

    Hi Donna

    Thanks for that lovely our how nice is that place I could stroll around there for hours 🙂 I m sure there are lots of similar places around here I need to find them 🙂

    As for the weather well autumn has not really arrived properly here yet it has been really hot although the nights seem to be getting a bit cooler I want cooler weather

    Have Fun

    • Hi Helen – I did enjoy exploring the Woodlands – well the sort of exploring one can do on foot. I think it’s easy of miss the treasurers in one’s own back yard. We have a similar maze in the botanical gardens near me only they don’t have the impressive tile books.

      Isn’t it neat that our weather is somewhat similar at this time of the year and then again in Sept./Oct.? I’m loving it.

  • What a lovely tour of Houston! I must admit the canals hold a certain fascination for me as they remind me of my visits to Amsterdam.

    It is the monsoon season in Alabama. Days of endless rain followed by days of endless warm and damp. Today is fairly pleasant. It hasn’t rained for a few days so the air is actually not too wet and the temps are in the low 80’s.

    I am looking forward to seeing San Diego for the very first time and to seeing all of the Banditas and Buddies I can in July!

    • Hi Louisa!

      I can’t wait for San Diego as well. It was beautiful there in November and I’m told we’re guaranteed beautiful weather for the convention 🙂 .

      Texas had flooding when I was in Houston in early March, but I couldn’t see any evidence in the area where I was. The TV had lots of reports. But that flooding wasn’t even close to the major flooding they just had this month. Crazy! Our highs are in the 70s, so it’s really nice at the moment.