A new water park is coming to the Houston area; we’ve got details

There’s no better way to spend a 100-degree July or August day than at a water park, where you can slip, slide and splash your heat-related cares away. Frequent visitors to Houston, here’s some good news — another water park option is on its way.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Grand Texas Theme Park in New Caney, which is about 30 miles north of Houston, will start construction on its Big Rivers Waterpark in August. It is expected to open in summer 2018.

Rendering of the Grand Texas, which expects to open a new water park in summer 2018. Contributed by Grand Texas


RELATED: 6 water parks to visit across Texas before summer ends

Big Rivers Waterpark, which is inspired by Texas rivers, will include more than 40 acres of water play, including body slides, wave pools and lazy rivers, according to grandtx.com. Construction of the Grand Texas Theme Park, which will feature roller coasters, thrill rides, a riverboat adventure, a stage coach and an authentic narrow-gauge railroad, will start once the water park is complete, according to the Houston Chronicle.

The Grand Texas website also details plans for an outlet mall, a sports complex and a Gator Bayou Adventure Park that will include live alligators. The Grand Texas RV Resort  and the Speedsportz Racing Park are already open.

Read the Houston Chronicle story here.

Travel+Leisure names Austin-area spa-resort among best in the world

Planning to book a spa staycation in the near future? Here’s some just-announced information you need to know.

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Evening view of the spa at Lake Austin Spa Resort. Contributed by Lake Austin Spa Resort

Travel+Leisure today named Lake Austin Spa Resort the No. 5 destination spa in the United States, moving it up three spots from its No. 8 ranking last year. Lake Austin Spa Resort, which has been a fixture on the Travel+Leisure World’s Best list of destination spas for the past 10 years, was the only Texas property to snag a spot this year.

Yoga on Lake Austin
The yoga deck at Lake Austin Spa Resort is a peaceful place to spend time. Contributed by Lake Austin Spa Resort

Austin was also ranked No. 8 on the magazine’s list of the Top 15 cities in the U.S., and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport landed at spot No. 5 on the magazine’s ranking of domestic airports. View all of the Travel+Leisure’s just-announced World’s Best lists here.

Corpus Christi in your travel plans? Don’t miss this new waterfront place to play

If you’ve been craving the ocean breezes and palm-tree-lined landscape of Corpus Christi, you’re about to have one more attraction to add to your itinerary.

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Corpus Christi’s Water’s Edge park, located along Ocean Drive, is almost complete. Kristin Finan/American-Statesman

The Corpus Christi Caller-Times reports that a new bayfront park on Ocean Drive that’s being called Water’s Edge is nearing completion. A playground and fitness area are already operational, and a new dog park and restroom facilities are nearly finished. City officials expect the park, which is located near downtown along Corpus Christi’s bay, to be fully complete within the next couple of months, according to the Caller-Times.

Another day, another United debacle: A tip sheet for what to do if it happens to you

United Airlines is making headlines again. And once again, it’s not good.

This time, the airline forced a mom flying with her 2-year-old son — both of whom were ticketed passengers with seats — to give up her son’s seat to another passenger and make the flight from Houston to Boston with her son in her lap. The mom, Shirley Yamauchi, said she paid $969 for the June 29 flight, according to the Houston Chronicle.

“Not a single airline employee on that flight asked me why I had a large child on my lap,” Yamauchi of Kapolei, Hawaii, told the Houston Chronicle. “I didn’t feel safe or comfortable, but I really didn’t have a choice.”

A United Airlines plane takes off from San Francisco International Airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration recommends against parents traveling with lap children because “your arms aren’t capable of holding your child securely, especially during unexpected turbulence,” according to its website. United’s own policy on traveling with children states that “once infants turn 2 years old, they are required to have a purchased ticket and occupy a seat.”

These are not the first headlines United has made this year. In April, a man made international news after he was forcibly removed from a United flight after not voluntarily giving up his seat. The month before, the airline sparked outrage after barring a couple of teens from flying because they were wearing leggings.

With outrageous news about the airlines making waves so frequently, what should you do if you believe your rights are being violated before or during a flight?

  1. Document everything. If you’re going to go up against the airline, you’re going to want a paper trail. Save every email, transcribe every call, take down every name of every person you talk to, and, if it gets really bad, shoot video. You want as much information, and evidence, as possible to make your case.
  2. Make social media your best friend. Post about the infraction on social media, and be sure to tag the airline. The louder you are, the better chance you have of catching the attention of someone who can help.
  3. Know your rights. The sad truth is that airline passengers have very few rights, but it doesn’t hurt to get familiar with the airlines’ individual “contracts of carriage,” which are filed with the government and outline each airline’s rules and regulations. Check out the United Airlines contract of carriage here.  
  4. Call customer service. Even if you’re at the airport, calling customer service — especially once you’ve read the contract of carriage and know your rights — can offer a quicker solution than standing in line after line of disgruntled fellow passengers. Call center reps sometimes have more information, and more ability to make change, than gate agents. You may also want to file a complaint with the Department of Transportation.
  5. If it’s really bad, reach out to local news outlets. Ever notice how every time local news starts covering an airline story, the airline seems to take swift action? Nobody wants a PR nightmare on their hands. Getting media coverage can be a quick way to get attention, and a solution.