National Museum of Funeral History

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Yes, you read the title right. There is a National Museum of Funeral History in Houston. I visited there yesterday to write an article for work. The museum is celebrating its 25th anniversary this fall.

The museum truly lives up to the “history” part of the title. I interviewed the president of the museum, and I told her that there were similar items in the Smithsonian museums in Washington D.C.

Someone might say, who the heck wants to go to a funeral museum, but it really was fascinating. There are many different exhibits, all focusing on a different aspect.

For instance, there was an extensive collection of hearses and coffins, and some of them were really ornate like a white children’s hearse from the 1800s.

There was also a section dedicated to famous people who have passed on, a Day of the Dead altar and a section about presidential funerals. I loved seeing more artifacts from Abraham Lincoln’s funeral! They even have the hearse that carried Presidents Regan and Ford!

Visitors to the museum can also learn about the history of embalming, starting with the Egyptians and then during the Civil War.

The biggest area of the museum was an exhibit on the death and funeral of Pope John Paul II, and a look at Popes in general. This was a collaboration with the Vatican itself, so a lot of the items were authentic.

I was surprised in a good way by what I found, and learned, at the museum. If you are looking for something to do in Houston that is different, look no further.

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la Madeleine

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Have you ever passed something hundreds of times without giving it a thought, and then finally discovered it, to realize that you had missed out?

This happened to us with la Madeleine French Bakery and Cafe. It is located a few miles from our apartment, in a big shopping plaza that we go to often.

We have already been three times in short amount of time; once for lunch, for dessert, and the most recent time for breakfast. The menu is expansive. For breakfast I had quiche Florentine and Derek had french toast. For lunch I had french onion soup and a pasta salad and Derek had a ham and Swiss baguette. For dessert I had a lemon tart and Derek had a creme brulee cheesecake. We also bought a baguette to take home for dinner.

While we arrived early in the morning for breakfast when it was still quiet, the two times we went in the middle of the day the cafe was packed – a good sign.

While the food is great, I love the atmosphere the best. When stepping inside, it felt like we were in Belle’s village in Beauty and the Beast. la Madeleine truly lives up to the French name.

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