Featured Article – Dec 04, 2013
This recipe from Executive Chef John Brazie marries the classic holiday flavors of peppery gingerbread with creamy cheesecake.Read More/Comment
Posted in: Travel Tips,
Date: October 31, 2013
For those seeking out a good scare, the Houston area is the perfect place to visit. Believers and nonbelievers alike will want to check out some of these local haunts identified by the Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau and Haunted Places:
National Museum of Funeral History - 415 Barren Springs Drive, Houston
Arguably Houston's most direct line to the afterlife, the museum has the country's largest collection of funeral service artifacts, from hearses through the ages to an extensive collection of memorabilia from U.S. presidents' funerals.
Wunsche Brothers Cafe and Saloon - 103 Midway St, Old Town Spring
Visit a ghost while enjoying a hamburger at this cafe in Spring, Texas. The ghost is believed to be the original owner Charlie Wunsche. Although the ghost appears more inclined to mischievous pranks – holding doors closed, hiding items and messing with electronics- he has been sighted by employees on occasion. Those who work there believe that Charlie is still looking out for his investment and his staff.
Puffabelly's Old Depot Restaurant – 100 Main Street, Old Town Spring
This 1900-era train depot building was moved to 100 Main Street in Old Town Spring from its original location in Lovelady, Texas in 1985. Shortly after it was constructed in 1902, a railroad yard switchman was involved in a tragic accident as he was attempting to flag down an engineer whose train was headed down the wrong tracks. As the switchman ran toward the oncoming train, waving his lantern and yelling frantically, he suddenly tripped on the rails and fell underneath the train. For years, people in Lovelady reported strange apparitions near the terminal. Several said they could make out a headless man waving a lantern and moving up
Jefferson Davis Hospital - 1101 Elder St., Houston
Named after the President of the Confederacy, the hospital was erected in 1924 atop what was once a Confederate cemetery and before that, a burial site for plague victims. Several human bones were uncovered during excavation. Throughout its history, the building served as a hospital, a psychiatric ward, juvenile detention center and food stamp distribution venue. The hospital sat abandoned for decades. Screams and howls throughout the building have been reported and shadowy figures and unusual sightings have been caught on film. The building has since been renovated into The Elder Street Artists Lofts.
Julia Ideson Building - 500 McKinney St., Houston
In the early 1900s, library caretaker Jacob Frank Cramer used to roam the premises of the Julia Ideson Building, now across from downtown Houston's Main Branch Library. He spent his leisure time strolling through the halls, playing violin and playing with his dog. In 1936, he died alone in his room, located in the basement. The ghosts of Cramer and his dog, Petey, are said to haunt the library to this day. Employees report eerie strains of violin music, especially on gloomy days, and the clicking of Petey's toenails on the marble floors heard throughout the halls.
Things you will need:
• 1 bar of semi-sweet baking chocolate
• 1 tablespoon of vegetable shortening (Crisco)
• Microwave-safe bowl
• Metal cookie sheet
• Flat spatula
• Sharp-edged spatula
1. Place three squares of chocolate and one tablespoon of shortening into a microwave-safe bowl.
2. Place the bowl into the microwave and heat on high 30 to 45 seconds, or until the shortening is melted.
3. Remove from the microwave and stir with a fork until the chocolate and shortening are thoroughly combined.
4. Take your metal cookie sheet and turn it upside down. Pour your melted chocolate on top.
5. Using a flat spatula, spread the chocolate out on the sheet in an extremely thin layer.
6. Place the chocolate-covered cookie sheet in the freezer and let set for about two minutes. You know it’s ready when you press on it with your finger and it leaves a slight fingermark, but not a depression.
7. Use a sharp-edged spatula and begin to scrape the chocolate from the bottom of the pan. When the chocolate is just the right temperature, it will curl instead of break. If it’s too hard, let it set out a minute to soften/warmup.
8. Throughout the scraping process, if the chocolate gets too hard, give it a minute, and then try again. If it gets too soft, stick it back in the freezer for a minute.
And voila! You’ll have a bunch of fancy little chocolate curls!
Note: Transfer the curls to a cold pan or plate as son as possible and stick them in the freezer to harden. You can prepare these ahead of time too and store them in the freezer in a plastic bag until you need them.
The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center has been recognized by ConventionSouth Magazine as one of the “South’s Top 18 Golf Retreats For Groups.”
ConventionSouth’s editorial team researched golf retreats throughout the South and selected 18 of the best sites for golfing and meetings based on golf course accolades and golf club amenities for groups, affordability, accessibility, and the amount of on-site or neighboring meeting venues and accommodations for groups. The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center was one of only two resorts recognized in Texas.
“As the only Houston-area resort and conference center with two on-property golf courses, we are proud to be listed among some of the greatest golf resorts in the nation,” said Greg Parsons, General Manager and Vice President of Hospitality at the Woodlands Resort & Conference Center. “Meeting planners love that they can provide their attendees with a championship golf experience in addition to a host of other amenities at the resort. Once our $60-million expansion and renovation of the property is complete, we will have even more to offer including a new guest room wing, a 1,000-foot lazy river and a high-end Texas steakhouse restaurant. The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center provides a world-class luxury experience for golf enthusiasts, whether they are here for business or leisure.”
ConventionSouth Magazine will feature the South’s Top 18 Golf Retreats For Groups in its November 2013 issue.
Posted in: Travel Tips,
Date: October 15, 2013
You’re a highly-experienced business traveler. You have your security screening prep down to an exact science. You know insider secrets, like the best place to get a beer or relax during a layover. But no matter how many miles you’ve logged, you’re always looking for ways to maximize your travel time. Here are some apps to help.
Find low airfares, pick your ideal seat on the plane, and get real-time flight alerts with the free SeatGuru® app. Read seat comfort reviews from other travelers and view photos. Each seat is color-coded, with green being a "good seat", red being a "poor seat", and yellow being a "be aware" seat, meaning that there is some information that you should know about the seat (less legroom, etc.).
A door-to-door solution for a traveler on their day-of travel. The app keeps you posted in real-time on any updates to your itinerary such as security wait times, flight delays, gate changes or layover time adjustments. It also provides gate-by-gate listings of restaurants, bookstores, ATMs and other services at 120 airports worldwide.
Book a taxi to your location in three taps of your mobile device. Use the app to track a nearby cab as it arrives. Register a credit card and pay for the ride straight from your phone - a receipt will be emailed once the ride is over.
Convert 180+ currencies on-the-go with the XE Currency App. It features up-to-the-minute exchange rates, historical charts, and even stores the last updated rates, so it works offline.
Take a picture with the app and a business card is converted to a contact automatically. You can also connect to your new contact via LinkedIn with just one tap.
Expensify makes capturing receipts, tracking time or mileage, business travel and creating expense reports quick and easy. Use Expensify to take a picture of your receipt. Select which report that expense goes on. The apps SmartScan technology reads the receipt and creates the expense, eliminating any manual entry and saving you precious time and energy.
Posted in: Travel Tips,
Date: October 08, 2013
You’ve spent months and months planning the perfect family vacation and then it happens. Rain. Unfortunately, you can’t control Mother Nature, but you can control whether or not your family vacation is a fun time or a flop.
Visit a Museum
Museums provide a great indoor option that helps focus young minds on something other than the rain. In The Woodlands, we have a fabulous Children’s Museum that encourages learning through fun activities like hands-on science experiments and Mad Hatter tea parties. The resort is also only a short 30-minute drive to one of the most diverse cultural centers in the nation, Houston’s Museum District.
Family Game Time
Believe it or not, rain does not mean you are forced to stay in your room. Many hotel front desks have board games you can borrow. And why not play your games in one of the hotel libraries, lounge areas or lobby? At the Woodlands Resort we have a game room complete with Foosball table. Take advantage of the rain to spend some fun quality family time together.
Go to the Theater
Movies are a good way to pass the time when it rains, but think about asking the hotel about live performances in the area as well. You may be surprised about the entertainment offerings available to your family. Class Act Productions and Stage Right Productions offer year-round entertainment for The Woodlands and surrounding areas.
Play In the Rain
If you can’t beat them, join them. Obviously, if there is lightning or severe weather conditions this one’s out. But if not, go have some fun. Gear up. Splash around. Explore. There is nothing more fun for a kid then having permission to get messy. So, let your inner child out and go enjoy the rain!
Posted in: Travel Tips,
Date: October 01, 2013
The majority of us tend to equate summer with vacation and fall as back to business. But why should the end of summer mean the end of your travel adventures? Let us offer a few reasons to reconsider this line of thinking.
The travel world, like most businesses, runs on supply and demand. Fall sits between the peak summer season and the busier winter seasons. This means many airlines; hotels and attractions charge lower prices or offer special packages in an effort to attract business. Take advantage of the savings.
With school back in session, Fall means a relief from the summer crowds. Lines are shorter at attractions and won’t be overcrowded. Airplanes are not oversold, so you may have access to better seats. In short, you more than likely will experience a more relaxed vacation experience in the Fall.
Fall Festivals have become a major drawing power in many places around the world. The cooler weather and harvest customs offer the perfect reason to celebrate. Oktoberfest. Apple Celebrations. Pumpkin Chunking. The list of fun and unusual happenings is limitless – there is something from everyone. Here is a link to a list of festivals throughout the state of Texas.
Here in Texas Fall means one very important thing – relief from the summer heat. Just because the calendar says autumn doesn't mean the weather automatically turns frosty. Warm, sunny weather lasts well beyond the end of September for many parts of the Northern Hemisphere. It makes you want to get out and travel.