The Great Escapes of the Rich and Famous

Where Houston’s movers and shakers go to get away from it all.

May 31, 2015 Published in the June 2015 issue of Houstonia Magazine

David Leebron, Rice University president:

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THE PERFECT TRIP: “Renting a house for a couple weeks on the outskirts of a medieval French town where I can enjoy the countryside, culture and cuisine. And a really good croissant.”

BEST RECENT ESCAPE: “Taking our kids to see some of our spectacular national parks—especially Bryce Canyon, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon and Mesa Verde—was a thrill. It brought back memories of my own childhood travels with my parents. The beauty and wonder of our national parks are unsurpassed.” 

WHAT’S NEXT: “We’re looking forward to a Mediterranean trip including Rome (pictured), Pompeii and Sicily. I love connecting to 2,000 years of history, and the opportunity to draw connections between our current challenges and those of our forebears.”

Rosemary Schatzman, Philanthropist

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THE PERFECT TRIP: “Anywhere I can be with my husband and family enjoying time together—preferably outside, at the beach or in the mountains.”

BEST RECENT ESCAPE: “Went to the spectacular Cal-a-Vie Spa (outside of San Diego, owned by Houstonians Terri and John Havens) for a friend’s birthday. We spent time eating healthy meals, participating in group activities (I took my first Zumba class ever), and then just chilling. I came home very relaxed and refreshed!”

“Deer Valley, Utah (pictured)—one of my favorite places in the WORLD! Love it all year round, winter for the skiing, and summer for the hiking, biking and golfing. It’s my happy place!”

Marina Tristán, Arte Público Press

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THE PERFECT TRIP: “Cultural enrichment, R&R, and (goes without saying!) good food. I go to Puerto Rico frequently and enjoy visiting colonial-era and indigenous sites, reading on beautiful beaches and eating great seafood and comida criolla.”

BEST RECENT ESCAPE: “I loved finally getting to Barcelona. We stayed in the Gothic Quarter, where the narrow cobblestone streets are pedestrian-only, and wandered through the plazas, churches and, of course, up and down Las Ramblas. Lovely!”

“I went to Buenos Aires (pictured) several years ago, and plan to go back soon. Last time I went with a friend who’s a native, and she showed me lots of things that I wouldn’t have seen on my own, like a community north of the city called El Tigre where the people live on rivers, and boats serve as the principal means of transportation.” 

Hugo Ortega and Tracy Vaught, Restauranteurs

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THE PERFECT TRIP: “In Mexico, we love to go to Oaxaca City and Mérida—great markets, food, culture, rich history. Cabo is good if you want to ‘throw down’ and have a party. They also have incredible fishing and boating.”  

“Barcelona (pictured) was one of our best and favorite trips. It is such an amazing city with so much to do. Great restaurants, wonderful museums, great landscape, wonderful music and dancing. Can’t wait to return!” 

“I have always wanted to go to the Inn at Little Washington [in northern Virginia] and Blackberry Farm [in the Great Smoky Mountains], so maybe we can get there in the near future.”

Ceron, Houston hairstylist to the stars

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THE PERFECT TRIP: “Of course we love Italia: Capri, Portofino, Positano. But we also love my Mexico—Tulum (pictured) and San Miguel de Allende. In Capri, we love Villa Brunella, in Positano Le Sirenuse. Sit on that beautiful terrace, share a bottle of rosé and take in that awesome view!”

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