Strolling through Houston, Texas

From Poolside to Buffalo Bayou Bliss

Our first trip to Houston was years ago about cheering on our son at his swim meet. The only sights we saw were concrete and the inside of the swimming pool. This time, however, we returned with a tourist’s curiosity, eager to explore the metropolis.
Our adventure began at the downtown visitor center, where friendly staff supplied us with maps and insider tips. Our first destination? The Buffalo Bayou. We strolled five miles of the 17-mile paved trail that winds through the green city’s heart following this fascinating, slow-moving river.
So, here we were in the middle of nature, in a green refuge where nature prospers. However, the bridges revealing breathtaking panoramas of the downtown skyline showed we were walking in a city with 2.3 million inhabitants. It was quite the contrast from the scenery I remembered.  Houston, TX, pleasantly revealed itself as a city that embraces its natural beauty within its urban landscape.

Houston's Waterwall, A Dizzying Delight

We also checked out Houston’s famous Waterwall, short for the Gerald D. Hines Waterwall, a well-known Houston landmark for Instagrammers. While it was crowded, and I couldn’t capture the perfect photo, our brief visit was still enjoyable.

The water wall was impressive. It is 64 feet tall and recirculating 11,000 gallons of water per minute, creating a cascading effect on both sides. The entrance looks like an ancient Roman amphitheater.

Standing in the middle, I was surrounded by cascading water. However, the visual effect of the combination of the curved wall, fast-falling water, and mist was disorienting. After a few moments, I started feeling a bit dizzy, so I quickly took pictures and left the center of this unique waterfall.

Exploring The Menil Collection's Art and Architecture

We spent a beautiful afternoon at the Menil Collection. This isn’t just a museum; it’s a 30-acre campus with modern architectural buildings and calming green spaces. This collection is the heritage of John and Dominique de Menil, a passionate couple who dedicated their lives to collecting art. They believed that art should be accessible to all; consequently, the entrance to their 19,000-work art collection is free.

We started at the Richmond Hall. This former grocery store and nightclub shows Dan Flavin’s light installation; his signature art style was creating art with colorful, fluorescent lights. He passed away just a few days after making his artwork in 1969.
We then walked to the Menil Drawing Institute, a building dedicated to regular drawing exhibitions. I was only allowed to take pictures in the hallway. Here, Swiss artist Marc Bauer created the thought-provoking 36-foot-wide charcoal and pastel mural, Resilience, Drawing the Line, 2023.
The main building exhibits permanent collections from prehistoric times to the present day. This building is an artwork and precisely what Dominique de Menil expected: a museum that seems small on the outside but large inside, with natural light used in the galleries.
Our last stop was at the famous Rothko Chapel. This chapel features large-scale black paintings by Mark Rothko and is a place for reflection. The meaning of “Broken Obelisk,” the sculpture outside the Rothko Chapel in a reflective pool, is open to interpretation.


Saturday, April 20, 2024
Sunday, April 21, 2024


On average 3 miles

Moving Time

On average 1.1 hours


81 °F, gentle breeze, cloudy
59 °F, moderate breeze, cloudy