Hello Houston! Part 2

Are you ready for more Houston adventures?  In this post, we’ll give you a preview of four more excursions, which could be a great addition to your conference experience!

bayoubendIf you are fortunate enough to have visited Houston’s beautiful River Oaks district, you know that one of the neighborhood treasures is Bayou Bend.  This beautiful estate formerly belonged to Houston civic leader and philanthropist Ima Hogg.  Once you cross the bridge and enter the formal grounds of the estate you will be surrounded by one of the finest showcases of American furnishings, silver, ceramics, and paintings in the world.  Sara and I met with Visitor Services Manager Lavinia Ignat and Senior Visitor Services Attendant Elizabeth Faulkinberry to ensure that this excursion will be tailored to our knowledgeable interior design and home furnishings professionals.  Excursion attendees will also be able to enjoy a delicious catered lunch while overlooking the gardens.

rienziJust around the corner from Bayou Bend is Rienzi.  This elaborate home was formerly owned by philanthropists Carroll Sterling Masterson and Harris Masterson III.  Although I probably should not profess to having a “favorite excursion,” I do have to say that our visit to this stunning home was one of the most memorable activities from our visit.  I do believe this home is one of the most majestic places I’ve ever seen.

Guests are not allowed to take photos inside the home, but our guide, Heather White was kind enough to pose for a shot by the front door.  A visit to the museum website will give you a closer look inside.

Excursion attendees will be broken into four mini-groups, each guided by a highly experienced docent who has been prepped on the backgrounds of our FCS professionals.   During the time of our visit in June, we expect there to be a special Wedding Dress exhibit.  Ms. Masterson was kind enough to allow a few of her family members to use her wedding dress for their own nuptials.  This is set to be a very special exhibition indeed.

wholefoods cupcakes

When was the last time you learned something useful at your local grocery store?  As we toured the Whole Foods Market with our guide, Healthy Eating Specialist Gwen Marzano, I was sure I had stepped into a hands-on lab, full of samples to try, statistical information, and helpful hints on best practices in how to prepare nutritious meals.  The entire staff at Whole Foods Market works tirelessly to provide its customers not only with the best products but also information on how to shop in season, how to put together low-calorie meals and information on sustainable livestock farming.  This excursion is going to be so much fun – you’ll be sharing what you learned with friends and colleagues long after you leave Houston!  Trivia time:  Who can tell me what ingredients are used to make the colorful cupcake frosting?

hickoryhollowBoy Howdy!  It has been a whirlwind day!  My dogs is barkin’ and I’m hankerin’ to set down enjoy some good tunes and BBQ (well, maybe not BBQ – I’m a vegetarian).  But, I digress.  Be sure to join us for a night of fun, festivities and music at the Hickory Hollow Cafe (featured on the Food Network!)  Bring your appetite and conversation starters so you can get to know your fellow conference attendees!  While you are there, you will be entertained by the well-known Austin band Six Sons of a Gun.  To hear a tidbit of their sound click here.

Welp, that’s all for now!  Sara and I really enjoyed meeting with our vendors and artisans and sharing with them what our association is all about.  Everyone is so excited to meet you and collaborate together to create a fun learning experience you will never forget!  AAFCS staff is working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that this conference delivers on your highest expectations.

See you in Houston!

Daila Boufford
AAFCS Director of Professional Development and Market Research

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