Pleased to meet you!

Ten Things You Might Not Know About Me:

1. Not only am I married to an Episcopal priest, my dad, brother, and brother-in-law are all Episcopal priests, as was my late “adopted” grandfather.

2. My favorite holiday is Easter. I also love birthdays, and have a lot of fun making family birthdays special occasions.

3. I love to cook and bake, but I am not very crafty. My favorite thing to cook is probably roast chicken, because my whole family will eat it!

4. Our sons are Rowan, age 6, and Ben, age 3. I think these are my favorite ages so far, but I have said that about (no joke) every single age and stage. I adore my kids. We feel very fortunate that they also adore each other … most of the time.

5. Neil and I met through mutual friends, whose wedding he would be performing a few months later. At the time, Neil drove a “chick magnet” car – a black Ford Mustang. I drove an ancient Oldsmobile.

6. We are dog people! Our dog, Tippet, is a black lab mix who is almost 9 years old. She was born in Richmond, Virginia, and we adopted her when we were still living in Virginia.

7. I love reading and learning new things. If I were to take a class in something now, I think I would like to take a photography class, or a creative writing class. My favorite writers are Anne Lamott, Barbara Kingsolver, David Sedaris, and Gail Godwin. I love reading with our kids – everything from Mo Willems to C.S. Lewis, and everything in-between.

8. I am trained as a lawyer, but for the past seven years, I have worked as a contract attorney and piano teacher, and I’ve enjoyed the flexibility I’ve had to spend time with our kids. If you want to know more about piano lessons, click here.

9. When we got married, I told Neil that I would follow him wherever he wanted to go, with two exceptions: I didn’t want to live in Alaska (more for the darkness than for the cold, believe it or not), and I didn’t want to live anywhere where I had to do all of my grocery shopping at a convenience store. I think I gave him a fairly wide berth, and we’ve been really happy wherever we’ve landed.

10. If I could travel anywhere in the world, I would love to visit Paris. And Austria. And Egypt. And Norway. And Scotland. OK, I might have trouble narrowing that down. I love hearing about others’ travel stories, too.

Now, tell me about yourselves! What are your favorite things to do? I am looking forward to knowing you.

And … since so many of you have asked what you can do to help us settle in, please answer any or all of the questions below, in a comment to this post. I would love to hear your opinions! If you don’t feel comfortable sharing them in a public comment, please feel free to email me at carrie (dot) willard (at) gmail (dot) com. We are excited to settle in, and we are so grateful for your help and input. For reference, we will be living in West U.

What is your favorite thing to do with young kids in Houston?

What is the best kept secret in Houston?

What is the best place for a date night?

How have you found great babysitters?

What is the best day trip from Houston?

What is the best thing to do when it’s too hot/humid/rainy to be outside?

Where are the best 4th of July fireworks?

Please share the name of your favorite:

Pediatrician

Vet

General practitioner

Dermatologist

Dentist

Ophthalmologist

Emergency department/ Urgent Care

Hair salon (for men and women)

Kids’ haircut

Dog groomer

Tax accountant

Car repair shop

Dry cleaner

Swimming lessons

Toy store

Pizza delivery

Book store

Park (dog parks, too!)

Pool

Movie theater

Museum or attraction

Event or festival

Gift shop

Piano tuner

Bike trail

Place to see the stars

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “Pleased to meet you!

  1. Steven Vaughan

    What is your favorite thing to do with young kids in Houston?
    Fruit picking at Froberg Farms south of Houston (strawberries)
    What is the best kept secret in Houston?
    Not sure about this one.
    What is the best place for a date night?
    Jenn and I recently enjoyed dinner outside at Salento in Rice Village. However, you can have a great date night meal at any of the great restaurants in town.
    How have you found great babysitters?
    We like to use the high school age daugther of one of our neighbors. Definitely word of mouth…
    What is the best day trip from Houston?
    Hanging out on the West Beach in Galveston.
    What is the best thing to do when it’s too hot/humid/rainy to be outside?
    Any of the museums in the museum district. Jenn also likes going to Stomping grounds out in Sugarland.
    Where are the best 4th of July fireworks?
    Just got to find a view of downtown…
    Please share the name of your favorite:

    Pediatrician
    Lara Finila or any of the docs at Pediatric Medical Group (Kristin Koush, Mike Chapman, Stephanie Freeman) http://www.texaschildrenspediatrics.org/Pediatric-Medical-Group/
    Vet
    Jessica Reyna (http://www.southsideplaceanimalhospital.com/team/dr-reyna/
    General practitioner
    Not sure…
    Dermatologist
    Not sure…
    Dentist
    Me, of course!
    Ophthalmologist
    Jim Key
    Emergency department/ Urgent Care
    Not sure…
    Hair salon (for men and women)
    Not sure… I’m losing my hair.
    Kids’ haircut
    Not sure…
    Dog groomer
    Not sure….
    Tax accountant
    Not sure….
    Car repair shop
    Not sure…
    Dry cleaner
    I use TipTop Cleaners near my house.
    Swimming lessons
    Houston Swim Club is awesome!
    Toy store
    Not sure…
    Pizza delivery
    Pink’s Pizza is great. Star Pizza is great too. I’m a Pizza Hut sort of guy myself though.
    Book store
    I’m more of a digital format person…
    Park (dog parks, too!)
    Most neighborhoods have a great local park, and you will enjoy the park near the Rectory. Hermann Park and Discovery Green are quite fun as well.
    Pool
    West U has a great neighborhood pool — not sure what membership costs there.
    Movie theater
    Edwards Cinema is a good theater. Parking is a pain. For adults it is nice to go to Sundance Cinema downtown. Makes for part of a great deat night, and they validate your parking which means you park for free downtown.
    Museum or attraction
    Keemah Boardwalk is a lot of fun for the kids. Best to get there early.
    Event or festival
    Any of the plays or music that is offered at Miller Outdoor Theater in Hermann Park
    Gift shop
    Magpie Gifts in Bellaire is great!
    Piano tuner
    Let me know if you find someone great for this.
    Bike trail
    Not sure…
    Place to see the stars
    Gotta get out of the city for this. Brazos Bend STate Park is supposed to be nice, but watch out for the gators…

  2. Jennifer Macia

    What is your favorite thing to do with young kids in Houston?
    Zoo, parks

    What is the best kept secret in Houston?
    Japanese garden in Hermann park; Waugh street bat watching is also cool and I just discovered it recently

    What is the best place for a date night? We like the Alley Theater

    How have you found great babysitters?

    My kids can babysit! Also Olivia Wehrung

    What is the best day trip from Houston?

    Galveston; Brenham Bluebell ice cream factory; Brazos bend to see the alligators

    What is the best thing to do when it’s too hot/humid/rainy to be outside?
    Chldren’s museum; galleria ice skating; memorial city mall playground

    Where are the best 4th of July fireworks? Not sure- we’re usually in Galveston

    Please share the name of your favorite:

    Pediatrician
    Me 🙂
    Julie Schlegel is good if you’d like a non-Palmer- she’s at Texas Childrens’ Pediatrics on Bellaire

    Vet
    Dr Jordan- Animal Avian Hospital

    General practitioner

    Dermatologist

    Pedi derm- Sona Hanson

    Dentist
    Dr Rita Cammarata, Dr. Joel Vela- pedi dentists

    Ophthalmologist
    Dr Key; Dr

    Emergency department/ Urgent Care
    Texas Childrens Hospital/ Urgent Care for Kids

    Hair salon (for men and women)

    Kids’ haircut

    Dog groomer

    Tax accountant

    Car repair shop
    Joe’s (on Stella Link, across from the YMCA)- he’s great!

    Dry cleaner
    mine’s not close to you

    Swimming lessons
    Houston Swim Club

    Toy store
    Imagination Toys

    Pizza delivery
    Star Pizza

    Book store
    Barnes and Noble

    Park (dog parks, too!)
    Dog Park: at West Park and Newcastle
    Firetruck park in Southside Place
    Evergreen Park

    Pool
    West U has a nice pool

    Movie theater
    Edwards

    Museum or attraction
    Children’s museum; museum of natural science; health museum (Sarah used to call this one the Stomach Musuem b/c you can walk through the digestive track :))

    Event or festival
    Art car parade

    Gift shop
    Magpies in Bellaire; gift shop attached to Imagination Toys is also good

    Piano tuner

    Bike trail
    Terry Hershey Park; George Bush park; there are also trails along most of the bayous now. They are just finishing re-doing one along Buffalo bayou through downtown

    Place to see the stars
    Brazos Bend

  3. Tom Van Arsdel

    What is your favorite thing to do with young kids in Houston?

    Paddle boats in Hermann Park, and the Rodeo during March.

    What is the best kept secret in Houston?

    Great ethnic food on Long Point Blvd.

    What is the best place for a date night?

    Start at the James Turell Light Installation on the Rice campus and watch the sunset. The dinner at a great Indian place like Pondicheri. And then catch a concert at the Mucky Duck. All of these places are within 2 miles of West U.

    What is the best day trip from Houston?

    Brenham during Bluebonnet season. See the flowers, enjoy some Blue Bell ice cream, and see where the Hill Country begins.

    Where are the best 4th of July fireworks?

    Miller outdoor theater in Hermann park. Enjoy the Houston Symphony and then watch the show.

    Please share the name of your favorite:

    Pediatrician

    Dr. Boardman on Bellaire Blvd.

    Vet

    Amy Garrou goes to Palmer and is a great vet.

    General practitioner

    Dermatologist

    Dentist

    Rihl Buckley

    Hair salon (for men and women)

    Kids’ haircut

    Little Lords and Ladies near the Galleria

    Movie theater

    Studio Movie Grill in the west side of town is worth the drive.

    Museum or attraction

    MFA and the Menil Collection

    Event or festival

    Greek Fest in Montrose.

    Bike trail
    Memorial park has some great trails for all skill levels.

  4. Darrin

    What is the best kept secret in Houston?
    Restaurant- Casa D’ Cabillo
    Junk shopping-Cherey Auction in Spring

    What is the best place for a date night?
    Casa D’ Cabillo
    One of the amazing Theaters (Stages, Main St., ETC and a nice dinner)

    What is the best day trip from Houston?
    One of my favorites as a political junkie is to go to the Bush Library in College Station
    What is the best thing to do when it’s too hot/humid/rainy to be outside?
    Go to a Museum
    Brenham to Blue Bell Ice Cream

    Where are the best 4th of July fireworks?
    Best fireworks are downtown, though it is very crowded, the absolute best is in one of the clubs/restaurants high in the sky in a downtown skyscraper.

    Please share the name of your favorite:

    General practitioner
    Dr. Matthew S. Horsfield, head of family medicine and a professor at Baylor College of Medicine on Kirby.

    Dentist
    Floss on Elgin

    Hair salon (for men and women)
    Salon on Kirby (kirby at 59) Jessica is amazing, she has done Mario’s hair for EVER! Tell her Darrin and Mario sent you and she will take great care of you.

    Car repair shop
    It’s a little far, but in the last 10 years this place has been the most honest cheapest place to by far. When I had a minor issue with something leaking onto something else- Dealer was $1200, other shops were around $ 700 and Ash Automotive on HWY 3 in Clear lake was $300.

    Dry cleaner
    Hands down Prism on Westhiemer in River Oaks- way out of our way today, but hands down lowest price and best for stains, and not having chemical smells when done.

    Toy store
    Don’t know the name of it, but it is next door to IW Marks on Bellaire/Holcombe in the Bellaire part of town.

    Pizza delivery-
    Star is great if they deliver to you, but I suggest picking up, never seem to get my Pizza HOT From them-then of course a few minutes in an over can heat it right up, though who has the patience for that.

    Book store
    Half price books Montrose blvd.

    Movie theater
    The best is the Sundance downtown or the river oaks, but for all movies the Edwards Palace at Greenway Plaza is my usual.

    Museum or attraction
    The Museums here are amazing- I don’t think you can pick a favorite, though the MFAH has some pieces that I can get lost in.

    Event or festival
    I think you can’t miss seeing a few theatrical offerings. Don’t miss the Opera (Houston Grand Opera is one of the best in the world), As you are a Sedaris Fan you won’t want to miss the annual “Santaland Diaries”.

    Gift shop
    Don’t have a fav. gift shop, but you can’t miss the Blue Bird Circle or the Guild Shop. They are great places to find recycled furniture and nick knacks.

    Place to see the stars:
    away from Houston!

    A great place to take the kids for an overnight get away is a Fossil Rim Wildlife center near Dallas.
    You can rent a Safari Tent (breakfast included), the tents are airconditioned and have private baths.. but you can stay out with the wildlife running around. Then drive the safari park the next morning and see all the wild animals from giraffes that eat out of your hands in your car to caged big cats.

    Another Great place for kids is the Aquarium downtown, or Kemah.

  5. Hi, Carrie!

    What is your favorite thing to do with young kids in Houston?
    Zoo. Museum of Natural Science. Museum of Fine Arts.

    What is the best kept secret in Houston?
    The Houston Chamber Choir http://www.houstonchamberchoir.org
    The Houston Harry Potter Meetup Group http://www.houstonharrypotter.com
    The stained-glass windows of South Main Baptist Church http://www.smbc.org
    The Chapel of the Villa de Matel
    Annunciation Roman Catholic Church
    St. Basil’s Chapel, UST
    David Leebron’s speaking voice when he projects – Leebron is the President of Rice University
    Willy’s tomb at Rice University
    The Fondren Library at Rice

    How have you found great babysitters?
    There are a good number to be had from the ranks of Palmer, I think. Ross or Kaci might be able to help you out here.

    What is the best day trip from Houston?
    The Blue Bell Creamery in Brenham
    Galveston at a time other than summer – The Strand = boring save at Dickens-on-the-Strand time – Galveston has lots of antique homes and such – beaches exist, but are forgettable, especially right now with all the seaweed

    What is the best thing to do when it’s too hot/humid/rainy to be outside?
    Museums

    Please share the name of your favorite:
    Wedding singer: Jeff Ragsdale, a very good tenor!
    German food: Rudi Lechner’s http://www.rudilechners.com

    Tax accountant
    Viebig, McCommon, & Associates http://www.vmatax.com/
    Dick Viebig started the firm, and he and Eleanor, his wife, are Palmers.

    Book store
    Murder by the Book http://www.murderbooks.com
    Quarter (1/4) Price Books http://alturl.com/h74vf – yeah, the place has no website of its own, but I promise you, the 1942 edition of the sheet music of Irving Berlin’s ‘White Christmas’ as well as the Mary Martin-autographed book are real.
    River Oaks Bookstore http://www.riveroaksbookstore.com/ – my friend from St. John the Divine Episcopal, Grace Bunche, practically lives there.

    Event or festival
    You just missed Pride week.
    International Festival is always big
    The Theatre District does an open house every August
    American Guild of Organists Convention will be in Houston in 2016!!

  6. What is the best kept secret in Houston?
    One of very few American cities with world class symphony, ballet, opera (especially opera!), resident theatre company, and rodeo!

    What is the best place for a date night?
    Cafe Rabelais in the Village; Au Petit Paris

    What is the best day trip from Houston?
    Galveston, including Schlitterbahn, the beach, and seafood

    What is the best thing to do when it’s too hot/humid/rainy to be outside?
    Science Mueeum

    Please share the name of your favorite:

    Pediatrician
    James (Jim or “Dr. J.”) Allison

    Dentist
    Dr. Mark Hiller – close by, fast, reasonable, on time, and a good guy!

    Ophthalmologist
    Dr. Jim Key , of course, and his partner Dr. Amy Coburn

    Car repair shop
    Texas German Autouhaus for German cars; Demo’s in the Village

    Dry cleaner
    MW Cleaners

    Event or festival
    Luling Watermelon Thump

    Place to see the stars
    Science Museum Planetarium; our ranch in the Hill Country

  7. Len Wehrung

    From the Holy Spokes Facebook page:
    I heard you were looking for the best bike trail.
    Terry Hersey Park is the ultimate family bike trail. It officially goes from Beltway 8 (south of Memorial) out to Hwy 6, following Buffalo Bayou. It is paved with asphalt the entire way, does not cross traffic lanes, and has a park with picnic and playground facilities close to the middle of the trail near Eldridge Parkway. Some parts are steep, so you may want to keep little ones close to the park area. One can go beyond Hwy 6, West, along the Addicks Reservoir to a Constable substation near I-10, where you will find picnic benches, beach volleyball courts, restrooms and a small skateboard park.

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  9. Michele

    Hi, Carrie. I’m a former Palmer member with a bunch of now grown offspring. We used to take them to the McKee Street bridge and the Wabash Feed Store. The bridge is pretty cool and there were turtles and birds to see. The feed store had animals and garden plants, too. We’re also a huge fan of libraries both in the neighborhood and the central main one downtown.

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