Last year around this time, Eric and I started writing a "Houston List" of all the things/places we want to experience in Houston that we've never done. We rarely find ourselves with an unplanned Saturday afternoon, but this weekend we did so we finally made it to Rienzi.

The Rienzi center for European Decorative Arts has belonged to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston for ten years. It's a gorgeous mansion built in the 1950s in River Oaks on 4 plus acres of manicured grounds filled with the previous owners' extensive art collection. Our tour was led by a docent who has volunteered every Saturday for ten years and obviously loves the place. It's a glimpse into Houston high society and the life of some very generous philanthropists that contributed a great deal to the city.

My imagination always runs wild in places like this, wondering what it was like to live there. We imagined ourselves on the back porch sipping wine whilst overlooking the bayou. We envisioned throwing a killer party in the "ooh, ah" room, but I'm not sure I would have let anyone touch anything because it's all essentially priceless. I also wonder what it's like to be so rich you don't have a job, just hobbies, as the Mastersons did.

All in all it's worth the trip. The tour is an hour and it's cheap to get in, then you can walk around the grounds. Another Houston gem!

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