HOW'S this for Super Bowl superiority? A $ 548,000 gridiron package that loads more experiences into seven days and seven nights than even Scheherazade could have imagined.
Houston-based Tours of Enchantment holds the key to the package that debuts on e-Bay early this week. The 12-person suite on the 35-yard line at Reliant Stadium on game day and entree to the hot Maxim party seem incidental to the luxuries. They're dubbing it the "Ultimate Super Bowl XXXVIII Experience."
This lifestyles-of-the-rich-and-famous adventure begins with travel to Houston and around the state on a private jet, a comfy Falcon 900. Accommodations in a 12,000-square-foot, multimillion-dollar swankienda in River Oaks. Private butler at your disposal. Daily massage treatments in the home. Personal shopping with the Gucci family. A "Taste of Texas" dining experience that travels the state. A gambling jaunt to Biloxi. Two celebrity golf tournaments. Local transport in a limo and a Rolls-Royce. And on and on.
Gregory Patrick, Tours of Enchantment prez, and crew have been working around the clock in recent weeks on less-extravagant Super Bowl packages. But this luxury baby has required months and months of preparation.
Members of B2K, the recently disbanded teen band, have expressed an interest. But no contracts as yet for this rock star Super Bowl experience.
Hold onto your jogging shoes. We hear on the street that there is a grass-roots movement to draft Truett Latimer, retired president of the Houston Museum of Natural Science, as new Parks and Recreation Department director. Not that Roksan Okan-Vick, in the job for 18 months, is anticipating a pink slip. It's all up to new Mayor Bill White, and we're not sure that that wind has blown his way before today.
Further fancy political footwork is expected by colorful Jordy Tollett, president of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, the man in city service through several administrations. Detractors are placing bets on how soon he is shown the door.
More Americans in Paris
Gracie and Bob Cavnar, Mission Resources CEO, just bounced back from two weeks in Paris where they revisited his 50th birthday with a moonlight cruise on the Seine. The original Paris bash, scheduled for last April, was canceled due to the Iraq invasion.
On board for dinner - Eileen and George Hricik, Phyllis Childress and Tony Abyad and Gracie's son Justin Hamilton.
Traveling with the Cavnars - their two toy French poodles, Max and Mimi. Gracie was compiling photos and copy for her book, which has the working title American Poodles in Paris. Yelp.
The pooches were photographed at the Louvre, Louis Vuitton and elsewhere.
Dr. Herb Fred, professor of internal medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center, celebrated his anointment as one of the nation's outstanding medical professors in Tony's wine cellar Saturday night. He was named to the elite list by the American College of Physicians.
Joining Herb and his wife, Judy, were physicians instrumental in the doctor's career from around the country. Houstonians on hand included Nancy and Dr. James Willerson, Drs. David and Janet Graham, and Susan and Dr. Major Bradshaw.
Stellar Awards gospel stars shown Friday at a reception honoring Yolanda Adams and hosted by City Councilman Michael Berry and his wife, Nandy. More than 800 guests filled the Hobby Center foyer, including former astronaut Bernard Harris, U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore, Carl Davis, and Mayor Bill White and wife Andrea.
Guests were treated to an impromptu concert by Kirk Franklin, Donnie McClurkin, Vickie Winans, V. Michael McKay, Dottie Peoples and Tonex.
-- SHELBY HODGE