I was touched with a case of the homeless this past February with my two toddler daughters. I was strangely excited to be homeless, it shook up my routine and it was an opportunity to show my daughters the land I grew up in, Houston. The most important piece of this would be to take them to experience the Galleria, the mall I hold close to my heart through childhood and young adulthood.
1. Grab a Chai at the E-Bar
I always try to park in any garage that is not off of Westheimer; the garages on W. Alabama are the best spots. If you park near Nordstroms this will put you out near the E Bar which can be found on the ground level. I always grab a chai, they used to serve Big Train brand, but recently it seems that Nordstrom has either relabeled the brand or created their own? Either way it’s still thick and delicious! Though I prefer mine hot, this particular day I was already unconditioned to the warmer climate after spending the past two and a half years in the Tennessee Valley.
2. Check Out The WaterWall
Before the weather becomes too warm, and while you are on this side of the galleria head outside of Nordstrom to the Sidewalk and make the short one block walk to the Water Wall. The girls were not a big fan of the mist that rose from the base of this massive structure, though I found it quite refreshing. We spent most of our outside time in the green space that leads to the giant Williams Tower. Growing up this is where my cousin brought me to fly (or drag was more like it) my kite, the breeze came in such bursts that I regretted not bringing one for the girls.
3. Sit in A Tesla
Make your way around Williams Tower and cross back to the galleria and enter next to Banana Republic, this will put you back at the other end of the hall where you began. Just a few shops up to the left is the Tesla Showroom, I love to poke my head in to see what’s new. The employees there are always super kind and not pushy at all (particularly considering no sales can be made form the showroom). So relax, head on in, and enjoy the cars of the future.
4. Take in the Tex Mex
After taking in the time to lap the first and second stories of the Nordstrom wing to visit the more fast fashion and family budget friendly shops I make a stop at Ninfa’s for the best fajitas in town. One thing I really missed in Alabama was excellent Mexican Food, and so the girls and I munched on chips, salsa, and a fajita platter all around.
5. The Saks Wing
The new Saks wing is in development but will be soon filled with many new and hip upscale shops such as All Saints and Kate Spade. Just this year they completely renovated Saks, and I can say I’m thoroughly impressed! The visuals were stunning! Each fixture a work of art that sparked some unique wonder! When I first entered I was offered so many warm welcoming smiles, and I was wowed that they persona of the pompous shopgirls and boys was quickly being overwhelmed as the shopping experience was obviously becoming Saks’s first priority. But, sadly, of course when I made it upstairs to take this picture a more seasoned associate/manager confused taking a picture with a phone as shoplifting and had the girls and I followed by her entire team. Though I could tell they were thoroughly embarrassed in doing so I did not let it deter me from taking my time and capturing pictures. It did make it difficult to want to purchase anything, considering I was afraid to even touch any of the product.
6. Go Ice Skating
Considering Baby K is not quite yet even two years old the girls and I did not partake in the ice skating this trip, but I do highly recommend it. It’s a blast to feel the cold blast your face as you glide in circles at the base of the original three stories of busy shoppers and the brilliant Milan inspired barrel ceiling that shows out to the sky above. If you are shopping with smaller rugrats such as myself there is a great soft play area that is an exact replica of the galleria, complete with a Williams Tower tunnel & slide to allow the tots to run off that pint up energy.
7. Dine With The Elephants
In the food court just beside the ice skating rink is a Rainforest Cafe where you too can eat in the wild! One cool fact about Rainforest Cafe is that it is owned by Landry’s, inc. a Houston based company. As a Houstonian I am thankful or the efforts owner Fertitta has put into helping with the improvement of Houston since the 90’s, and a large additions he has made since Ike to attract tourists and build our local economy. From The Texans, to Pleasure Island, and Kemah there has been so much he has contributed to or created.