VIEW FROM THE TOP: 49 Floors up at The Houston ClubSaturday, January 14, 2017
Last month I attended my friend Michelle Hundley's Annual Ornament Gift Exchange event. Every year she picks a new place for us to gather, re-connect, network, and exchange ornaments. This year we were invited to dine at the prestigious Houston Club. The Houston Club is a private members-only social club that was established in 1894 and started off as a men's only club. The Houston Club boasts members from very influential circles including past Presidents of the United States. The Club was located at a high-rise at 811 Rusk Street in the 1940s, but in 2013 the club relocated to the 49th floor of One Shell Plaza. To be honest, I didn't even know The Houston Club existed. It's definitely a club that does not fit within my current budget! One of the ladies in the ornament gift exchange is a member and booked a private room in the club.
Arriving at One Shell Plaza was pretty funny. I wasn't sure where to park so I swung around to talk to the security guard that was manning the impenetrable gate to the parking garage. I told him I was going to the Houston Club, and if this was the right way to go. He said yep, and opened the gate for me. I think drove into the parking lot and had to go through another set of garage doors. Then I told another attendent that I needed to go to the Houston Club. I was directed to several elevators and then had to switch elevators on the 47th floor. I felt like I was going to a speak easy and needed a password! It was kind of fun pretending that I was being let into a place for a "secret" meeting.
I of course had to document the entire evening, including photos around The Houston Club. It was this visit that first inspired my desire to move back into the city and live in a high rise (more on that in a later blog post). The very first thing I noticed when I exited the elevators was the Houston skyline mural. I love skylines! Another reason I want to move into the city to have daily views of the skyline! I was led to the private room where all of the ladies were meeting. I was running a bit late due to a dental appointment, so almost every one was there when I walked in. I love having communities and networks of people to talk to. I have a great blogger network, but it's important to have a network with my day job as well. I first met Michelle working together at my old company Air Products. Michelle is known by a lot of women in the industry and gets all of us together once a year for this party. Some of us are regulars of over 8+ years, and others are attending for their 1st or 2nd time. I love meeting new ladies at the event and catching up with the regulars. The woman are from all different jobs, from working at the economic alliance to be self-employed. It's a great network of women.
After cocktail hour, we all sat down and went around the room to introduce ourselves. We shook things up this year by doing the ornament exchanger prior to dinner. We didn't do white elephant gift exchange this year. Instead everyone started off with one gift in their hand. Michelle then read a Christmas-themed story that had the words left and right strewn throughout. Everytime she said left or right, you had to pass the gift to the person next to you respectively. At the end of the story you are left with whatever gift is right in front of you. I thought this method was super creative! I loved it. After all of us opened up our ornaments, dinner arrive. I ordered the chicken and it was amazing. After dinner we were offered a tour of the rest of the Houston Club. The location on the 49th floor is epic. Every space has amazing views of the city! Check out my photos from the party and The Houston Club below: