I loved our family trips more than anyone else. The older I get the more they mean to me still. I think I love them even more now because I understand just how important they were to my development as an individual and an adult. On those long road trips across the border and into Mexico I grew up so much, somehow managing to discover myself in the midst of all the chaos of traveling with eight other people – my parents and six siblings.
Houston is nothing if not delicious. You cannot visit the city without becoming at least a little jealous of our prowess when it comes to the culinary arts. So, if you’re hungry, get here soon!
Louisiana is always the life of the party. Our neighbor to the north is also always an easy getaway for us Texans when we’re seeking just a little more color in our days. At just a few hours of distance from Houston, for me, it is a travel destination of choice for long weekends or even same day road trips. It’s the perfect place to travel with friends or just your significant other.
Whether it’s the charm of the hill country, Dallas during the Texas State Fair, or Austin during SXSW, there’s never a shortage of things to do and discover when you’re in the Lone Star State. And that’s not even including the dozens of small towns you’ll visit along the way when you’re driving from one major city to another. In Texas, we drive. That’s just our way of life.
It took me three years to make it to Denver to visit my brother and the first thought to cross my mind after boarding my return flight back to Houston was, “why did it take me so long?” Besides having an incredible time just reconnecting with my kid brother – he’s two years my junior and the youngest man in the family – the city of Denver did kind of charm me and my son Edgar into wanting to visit again soon. This was our first solo trip as father and son, and it was definitely a memorable one.
Unless you’ve been to Bentonville, it’s hard to put into perspective the experience of visiting Arkansas’s fastest-growing metro area. Located in the foothills of the Ozarks and bustling with business and entrepreneurship, this once sleepy little town with a population of no more than 30, today still feels like a modern-day version of the movie Pleasantville, with its white picket fences and pristine neighborhoods surrounding the heart of Bentonville’s community – its historical Downtown Square. In the 1880s the square served as a watering place for livestock. In 1901 Bentonville shipped one-half million bushels of apples from it bounty of apple trees, which according to the U.S. Census Bureau at that time accounted for the largest number of bearing apple trees of any county in the United States. Eventually the city of Bentonville expanded around its Downtown Square and today more than 45,000 call this community in Northwest Arkansas home.
There’s history in Orange Beach. We could tell as soon as we drove into this surprisingly unexpected corner of the Gulf Coast. Its location is right at the point where Alabama and Florida connect. If you’re not careful you could end up crossing state lines without even noticing. We did and for a moment it felt like we were driving right back into Florida after having bid farewell to the Sunshine State just a few minutes earlier. If you have ever driven the entire length of the Sunshine State, you will appreciate why the thought of being back in Florida after having just exited the state would be more than a little nerve-wrecking. Luckily for us, we were in fact in Alabama.
It’s been my home for the past 18 years. Houston, for me, is the place where I feel most comfortable. It is the city that took in a family of immigrants and opened doors for us, far beyond our wildest imaginations. It is the city where I met my wife, started a family, and eventually a business. For all intents and purposes, I guess you could say, it is my compass in the universe. The place I naturally gravitate towards no matter how far away I venture. To understand Houston, however, takes serious dedication. The burgeoning metropolis nestled amid bustling highways, byways and tollways, as well as incorporated and unincorporated annexes from the Gulf Coast to the hill country, is home to some six million residents from all over the world. The city was recently recognized as the most diverse in the United States and is well on its way to surpass Chicago as the third-largest in the country by population.