Author: Juan Alanis
Mexico Travel Stories
It’s a little unusual traveling to a country that feels like home and having to register as a foreign national. That’s the first thought that crossed my mind when I was told I would need to fill out the proper paperwork to be allowed into Mexico for a few days. This would be my first time visiting Mexico City. There would be many other instances on this trip in which the fact that I was not born and raised in this country would become painfully obvious. The word “painfully” is used here on purpose because when people ask where I am from I like to say “I am Mexican.”Read more
My Childhood Adventures on the Road Inspired my Love for Travel
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.Read more
Blogging is like wearing an old pair of tennis shoes.
No matter how many times you tuck them away in the back of your closet, underneath all the newer pairs of shoes you’ve accumulated over the years, there’s just something that nudges at you to pull them out and put them on every once in a while.Read more
Let’s be honest. The truth is closer than you think.
A lot of times the things that make us who we are have been there all along.
We tend to spend so much time trying to discover ourselves, or trying to define who we are. But often it is the case that when you achieve that pivotal moment where you understand who you truly are, you realize that deep inside you knew it all along.
We are constantly in search of ourselves, and we seldomly ask ourselves this question: Do I really need to look that far?Read more
Hot Spots to Wine and Dine in Houston
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!Read more
The Creole State is an adventure waiting to happen
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.Read more
When in the Lone Star State, Oh the Things You Will See
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.Read more
Guy time at our house is movie time
It’s a brand new day for Anjelica in our home these days. Her little boy who once used to revel at any opportunity to cuddle next to her and talk about his day – and seemingly his every thought – is now almost a young man. Or as he would have us believe, a man (albeit a very young one at that). These days I’m his confidant in our family unit.Read more
Denver Colorado is an Outdoor Adventure Waiting to Happen
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.Read more
The journey is only the beginning
As you might be aware, we’ve been holding workshop sessions for the last few months. Anjelica and I decided it was time to put our “money where our mouths had been” and try to do something to help others in our community to get more proactive online. We decided to start our Blogging Workshop Series where we are basically trying to teach people how to start and grow their own successful blogs. It’s been an eye opening experience to say the least, and to be quite honest, it’s also proving to be a huge learning opportunity for the two of us. Not only because we are evaluating and kind of figuring things out for our own online brands all over again – we never did anything like this when we started out. But also because this is the first time we have held a teaching role for such an extended period of time. Let me tell you, I have a new found respect for educators at all levels.Read more
Becoming Bentonvillians in Arkansas
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.Read more
An Understated Oasis, Orange Beach in Alabama
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.Read more
The ‘Pachucos y Sirenas’ Exhibition at Museo de las Americas
We were in Denver recently visiting my brother. Edgar and I were. It was the first time we had both been in that city since my brother moved there a couple of years ago. I’ll tell you more about that trip in another blog post, but one of the places I definitely wanted to check out while in Denver was the Museo de las Americas. Mainly because for years now the museum has been sending me email updates about its exhibitions and events. They always sounded so interesting, and since it’s usually Latin American art it’s right up my alley. We were surprised that the museum itself was pretty small, especially because we had heard the Latino art scene in Denver was pretty huge. However, what it lacked in size it more than made up for in its punch. The exhibition we got to explore, which was closing a day or two after our visit, was Pachucos y Sirenas.Read more
Taking the brand new Chevy Silverado High Country for a test drive
There’s something about driving a pickup truck that just makes you feel like a Texan. People look at you differently. It says something about you, and there’s a certain sense of pride that comes attached with the keys when they are in your hands. Don’t believe me? Try it and tell me I’m wrong. I have always been a sucker for big trucks with a lot of power so it was only natural that the brand new 2018 Chevrolet Silverado High Country would win my heart over as soon as it arrived at my driveway a few weeks ago. All of five minutes later ya yo estaba en ¡MI TROCA! Notice how I claimed it as mine immediately. Two seconds after that I was cruising down my neighborhood all pumped up about how nice the interior of the truck was as well. I mean, it came equipped with the works. You remember how you used to drive around in your very first car hoping to run into people you knew so they could see you in your new car? Well yeah, that was basically me the whole time the truck was here. It was very, very nice.Read more
The new look and feel at Juan of Words
So it’s official. We have kind of undergone a major facelift over at Juan of Words. I know it might have been a while since your last visit, which is why I thought I’d let you know. After years of using a very basic template to house all our content (for the past eight years), we felt it was time to give our home online a refresh. When we first started the website it was only a blog. Even though we have added much more to our plate since that first initial post, we just never got around to giving it much thought. Mucho menos the attention it needed to really do something a bit more contemporary. So our new home, you will notice, still includes all of the 800+ blog posts we have written over time, but it also now houses some of the newest things we are doing as well. For one thing, you can get a lot more up to date information and images from Anjelica and I on our new images section. You can also watch our latest videos from wherever we published them originally, right here in one single place.Read more
Family means nobody gets left behind
One of the things we’ve always known about each other is that family comes first. I mean we met at my sister’s going away party when she was leaving Houston for D.C., all of 15 years ago now. From that moment on we have spent a lot of our time together around our extended family. Who would have imagined that what started as an awkward conversation in the dining hall of a Mexican restaurant, fueled by liquid courage in the form of margaritas, would have us here today, that many years wiser and more experienced. We were in our twenties when we first met so you can imagine the changes each of us has made over the past 15 years. But let’s be real, we’re still the same crazy pair of metiches we have always been. If anything, now we are much more crafty about our shenanigans.Read more
So, you like trap music. Welcome to the club.
I’m not sure how or why this new genre of music has caught my attention the way it has, but something about the rawness of it makes me want to listen more closely. To be honest, I didn’t even know this style of music existed until Cardi B. That probably tells you everything you want to know about my perspective in this discussion. But if you still want to continue reading anyway I sure do appreciate it very much. The other trap artist that’s on my playlist right now is Bad Bunny. Funny enough, both musicians are the “it” collaborators on so many different tracks – from JLO to Bruno Mars, Karol G, and so many others, in English and Spanish. You can hardly find a playlist or radio station on the air that’s not playing at least a small piece of something by either artist.Read more