5 Must-Visit Texas Places

5 Must-Visit Texas Places

Nothing tops spending time with your grandparents in Texas, am I right?

So, actually, this article came about as a request from my grandpa. My grandparents came down to Fort Worth to pick me up for fall break and take me on a Texas adventure. It was so much fun and I got to see so many things that I had never seen before. Here are just 5 of the amazing experiences I had.

1. Smitty's BBQ

This was the very first experience we had and let me tell you, it was strange, to say the least. I knew it would be great once I walked through the door and almost fell into a fire pit. It was smoky, hot, and smelled very strongly of meat. I was ready to dig into my brisket when I realized…. There were no forks. None. Not a single fork in the whole restaurant. So, I ate with my hands. Now that is something I will not forget anytime soon.

2. El Mercado Market

The market was one of my favorite stops on the trip because of the culture. There were people singing, dancing, and selling cool trinkets. I actually was able to buy a sterling silver cross ring at one of the pop-up shops they had set up. We ate some seriously impressive Mexican food and listened to live music. I would highly recommend a trip here if you are ever in the San Antonio area.

3. The River Walk

This experience is actually a very famous one and I was super excited to see it in person. The ambiance was incredible and I was able to see the river and all of the restaurants that lined it. Being able to walk up and down such a famous river was a really neat experience, even though it was ridiculously hot.

4. Shake Shack

Okay, yes, I’ve never been to Shake Shack. So, needless to say, I was thrilled at the idea of trying this fantastic fast food. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint. The chocolate shake might have been one of the best shakes I’ve ever had in my life.

5. Homestead Café

Now, this experience was one that I was skeptical about. Fortunately, it turned out to be one of the best experiences on this trip. It was a Mennonite area and they had opened up their own café to the public. The banana pancakes were excellent and the scenery was stunning. I am very glad that I opened up to try the place and did not regret it.

Well, there it is. My favorite experiences from fall break, yet the best part was way above anything else. Spending time with my grandparents is one of my favorite things to do and I wouldn’t trade that time for anything. They are always supportive of me and they have changed my life and who I am in so many ways. Thanks for the trip, Grandma & Grandpa! I’ll see y’all in a few weeks for Thanksgiving!

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay.com

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An Open Letter To The Friend Who Became My Sister

Love is thicker than blood.


There are friends. Then, there are best friends.

According to "Grey’s Anatomy’s" Meredith Grey and Cristina Yang, they're your person. The one who, “if I murdered someone, I’d call you to help me drag the corpse across the living room floor.” You’re so much more to me than any of those titles can express.

As I’ve matured throughout the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that good friends with good hearts serve an incredibly important purpose in our lives, going above and beyond what we give them credit and appreciation for.

The family we choose. You’re one of those.

The day we met, I knew that you were going to play an important role in my life. What I had no idea of was that you would join the cast of my life with a starring role.

First, I need to say thank you. Thank you for always coming to my locker to check in before class during high school. Thank you for letting me control the music on road trips. Thank you for sharing your family with me, and addressing my family as if you were born into it.

Thank you for patiently listening to the physical embodiment of a broken record when I complain about the same boy I’ve loved since senior year. Thank you for tagging along on every doctor’s appointment, grocery run, and trip to the post office, just because you know that I hate doing things alone.

Thank you for not thinking twice before dialing when I text you “please call me.” Thank you for never saying no to a coffee date. Thank you for never giving up on me. Thank you for being my better half.

We don't share the same genetic makeup, but after all the sleepovers, heart-to-heart conversations, shopping until our bank accounts cry, and swapping clothes so often that we don’t know what belongs to whom, how could I not consider you family? We have shared some my fondest memories together, and I wouldn’t want them to feature anyone but you.

You’ve been with me on my best days, and loved me on my worst. You know how to make me laugh when all I want to do is crawl into a hole and die.

Picturing sitting in my car with you in the passenger seat makes me long for summer, where we spend three months together doing all of our favorite things. You’ve seen me naked, done my makeup, and warned me before making a poor decision. Being away from you for extended periods of time makes me feel incomplete.

You are a piece of me that I am not quite whole without. You taught me that blood doesn’t make a family; love does.

You know me better than I know myself, which is both amazing and terrifying. You make me realize I’m enough for this world, and that means more to me than I know how to express in the limited words that make up the English language.

You remind me that I am more than my mistakes, and you keep me grounded when I spiral out of control. You’ve helped me carry my burdens along with your own, even when the universe comes down on you full force, way harder than you deserve.

You’re the one I come to for the truth if I think my new dress makes me look fat, and I know you’ll be honest. I trust you with my whole heart. You know the gory details about every boy I’ve ever crushed on, every professor who was an absolute jerk, and every fight I’ve had with my mom.

I wouldn’t make it in this life without someone who already understands and listens to every thought going through my head and each thing I seriously over think, even when you know, though you don’t say, it won’t matter in a week.

With all these affectionate things being said, don’t forget our fights. The few we’ve had were very real. We still don’t see eye to eye on some events of the past, but I never told my mom about it because there was no need to make her choose a side between me and her “second daughter.

We have learned to move forward, because the love we have for each other overwhelmingly outweighs any disagreement we’ve had, and always will.

Through all the tears and laughs, I don’t think that anything the world has to offer could seriously come between us. You go to a different school than me now, and college has rudely gotten in the way of our routine of spending every waking moment together.

Since we met, we’ve grown separately without growing apart. Neither of us are the same person we used to be all those years ago. Even so, we’ve pushed each other to our limits and you’ve given me the courage to keep going and do things that make me happy.

We lean on each other when it’s been a bad day and all we want to do is to snuggle and indulge in whichever show the other is currently watching unceasingly and unabashedly for comfort (it’s the little things). Having you as my co-pilot on this crazy ride called life has been frustrating, exciting, slightly concerning, absolutely insane, and something I don’t know how I would live without, and I don’t intend to find out.

I’ll conclude this letter with a quote from every basic, white girl’s favorite musical, “I don’t know if I’ve been changed for the better, but because I knew you, I have been changed for good.”

Love you forever,

Your sis

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To The Grandma Who Took Me In As Her Own

Thank you for everything.

Thank you for all the time you put into me. I know I can be a handful, but you’ve never once complained. You’ve been my best friend through everything and I don’t know what will happen to me once you’re gone.

Thank you for taking me in when I didn’t have a place to go. For a year or two, I basically moved in. You gave me a place to sleep, food to eat and overall, treated me like I was your own. You raised all of your kids and never hesitated to raise me too. You were my only option at the time and I never took any of this for granted. You have made me a huge part of your everyday life. Don’t hesitate to come to me if you ever need anything. You’ll always have a huge place in my heart.

Throughout these last five years, you’ve become my biggest supporter. You always take me to my appointments even if you have to cancel one of yours. You check on me periodically if I have a “brave” day, that way I know I’m safe. If I can’t do something, you don’t make me feel bad about it, you say “maybe next time”. I know you don’t understand what I’m going through, neither do I, but thank you for always trying to motivate me.

Throughout these last five years, you also became my best friend. I know I can always cry, laugh, fight, anything because you’ll be there. If I get too weak to fight, I know you’ll fight for me. When I was little, I never imagined us getting as close as we are. We’ve spent so much time together just because I’m “sick” and that’s one of the ways I got lucky. If my anxiety never would’ve gotten worse, these last five years would’ve never happened. I’m so fortunate to have this time with you.

We have had some of the wildest moments, whether we’re on train tracks or just cruisin’ the ave. We never have a dull moment, that’s for sure! We constantly are talking about two opposite things and we don’t even realize it until the conversation is almost over. It’s insane how many times we’ve caught ourselves doing that. We are two morons, that aren’t capable of doing many things the right way. That’s what makes our bond that much more special.

From our late nights at the auction, our trips to the store (that take an hour more than what they should’ve), our trips to Thelma’s for game day or our normal midday naps, we have so many memories. I wish a lot of these were recorded so I could watch how stupid the two of us are when we’re together. At least you know you’ll never have to be alone if you don’t want to be. I’m always up for spending more time with you. I don’t think there could ever be a time where we’d have too much time together, we have too much fun!

Cover Image Credit: Alexus Ruckle

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