5 Must-Visit Texas Places

5 Must-Visit Texas Places

Nothing tops spending time with your grandparents in Texas, am I right?
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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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A Letter To My Nana, The One Who Loved With A Full Heart

I know you are gone, but you will forever live in my heart.
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Dear Nana,

It hasn't been that long since you've been gone. I would say around a month, maybe even less. Needless to say, I miss you. You've made a huge impact on me.

You might be wondering how everything is, and it's as good as it usually is. My exams are coming soon, so school is stressful. I still play the flute, and I want to be a music teacher. It's not much, but I love it. I'll be going to college in a year, which is a lot to handle. It's hard to mentally prepare myself for all of this. The weather is still terrible here, but in India, it's not too cold, not too hot. It's quiet also. It's empty.

We have shared a lot of memories, regardless of how big or small they were. Do you remember when you would just let me and Maanav watch shows on the small television you had? We would turn it on while you would be sleeping, but you wouldn't care. Even if I offered to turn it off to let you sleep, you would still let us watch.

I remember you just sitting by your swing in front of the house. You never sat on the swing but always on the plastic chair next to it. Sometimes, Maanav and I would join you, but mostly it was Maanav.

You would let him buy ice cream from the shop in front of the society, and he wouldn't have to worry about paying. You wouldn't let anyone worry about how much money was spent on buying ice cream. It was something that I admired about you. You wouldn't let anyone worry too much about anything.

Along with that, you were able to put a smile on anyone's face. You had a natural humor that made anyone laugh. You were just so chill, no worries in the world. You didn't care if I laughed at you. When you came over to stay at my house, I would ask what you did all day. You would say that you sat on the chair, then watched cricket or the news and then continued sitting on the chair. The house would be empty, except for you and Nani.

I want to say "thank you."

You have given me so much, but I wasn't able to repay you back. I did small things for you, but it just wasn't enough. We may not have been close, but I'm still happy that you were in my life. You made me laugh and smile with the silly things you would say. You taught me so many things. They may not have been direct, but I still took them as lessons of their own.

You taught me to not worry so much about the little things. You taught me to keep smiling no matter what and that it's OK to be alone for hours.

Thank you for all the memories, laughs, smiles, conversations and much more. I want you to know that I miss you a lot, and I will continue to miss you. There's still a place for you in my heart, and it won't go away. Because of that, you will continue to live on in my memories and in my heart. I love you.

Your granddaughter,
Madhavi

Cover Image Credit: Madhavi Shingala

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I Had A Visitation Dream And It Gave Me The Closure I Needed

My dream felt as though it was reality, and waking up from it felt as though real life was actually a dream.
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For a while, I was skeptical about loved ones visiting you and sending you messages in your dreams. I am a fairly realistic person and that was one thing that just did not seem possible until it happened to me.

With the loss of my grandfather, it has been tough to adjust to life without him. I did not make it back to New Jersey in time to say my proper goodbyes to him and that has been something that I have been struggling with. I yearn for closure every day. I always think to myself how I should have flown home from school as soon as I found out he was in the hospital. Hindsight is definitely 20/20 because I was too late.

A few nights ago, I experienced a dream that was unlike any other. Normally, my dreams are from an outsider perspective looking in; however, in this dream, I was fully engaged and it was vivid and beyond realistic. My dream felt as though it was reality and waking up from it felt as though real life was actually a dream.

After experiencing this dream, I researched “visitation dreams” and upon reading what people had to say about these dreams, it occurred to me that there was a good chance that I had an experience with one.

In my dream, I was walking out of a restaurant, that happened to be my grandpa’s favorite spot. Upon exiting, my grandpa was sitting in the booth near the door. He looked so healthy, and he was breathing without oxygen. I sat next to him and said, “Hey, Pop, I miss you.” He didn’t say a word, he simply just nodded, sipped his beer, then pointed to an empty place setting next to me. I looked next to me and saw the place setting that had an empty beer glass. I then looked back at him. He stood up, finished his beer, placed the empty beer glass on the table in front of him, then said to me, “I am always by your side.” Then I woke up.

I woke up comforted and with more closure than I went to sleep with. I like to believe that these types of dreams are really your loved ones coming through to send you messages. What I do know for sure is my grandpa lives through the memories we have shared and the lessons he has taught me growing up. I know for sure that I was blessed to have him in my life for as long as I did. Even though my life is really just getting started, I know he will somehow be there for the rest of it, until we meet again.

Cover Image Credit: PIxabay

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