I am realizing how lucky I am to have friends and family all over the country! After breakfast on the base with Cynthia and Paul, we packed up and made our way to League City, Texas. Where my Uncle, Aunt, cousins, and my girlfriend Katie live!
It took about 8 hours for us to get to League City and we BOOKED it! My stud of a basketball player cousin, Nick, had a game at 7 pm and we made it about 15 min in after dropping off Bentley at their house, where my other cousin, Josh, gave up his room for us (he’s the best). So I haven’t seen my Texas family in over 10 years, which is insane to me. It’s so sad how busy everyone becomes and then with living so far away, I guess you just drift apart and lose track of time. I felt so bad after realizing that. Nick and Josh were like 6 and 5 the last time I saw them (I was also taller than them then). Now they’re 18 and 17 and HUGE!
We stayed up pretty late catching up and chit chatting about family trips we’d taken together in the past. One specific trip to Yosemite which I actually remember! After going to bed that night, Joey and I decided we wanted to spend more time catching up and hanging out with the boys. So we stayed another night at my aunts and were able to catch another one of Nick’s basketball games.
So Friday morning, with my cousins at school and my aunt and uncle at work; we met up with my girlfriend Katie for breakfast and she took us around town the whole day. Close to League City, is THE COOLEST boardwalk called the Kema Boardwalk. It’s pretty big, as tons of restaurants and shops, roller coasters, among other fair rides, and is located right on the water.
After walking around for a little bit, we drove over to what I can only explain as absolute madness. Have any of you been/heard of Bucee’s? It’s essentially a “gas station,” which is how Katie explained it to me. But I think it’s more like a smaller version of Costco. They have like 30 gas pumps and the store is HUGE and carries literally everything you could think of; every single type of snack (most of which are their very own brand). They carry sporting equipment, souvenirs, apparel, books, home décor, backyard equipment like hammocks and grills, jewelry, and games. We bought a road trip bingo game and it’s been really fun playing it during the drives!
After checking on Bentley and picking up my cousin Josh, we went to Nick’s game after picking up some Tacos at Torch’s Tacos. I had the BEST fried avocado taco, who even knew that was a thing? Katie came to the game with us and then after picking up her boyfriend, Patrick, we went back to my aunts to meet up and go to dinner. We all went for pizza and afterwards Katie, Patrick, Joey, and I went to a place called Main Event.
Main Event is like an arcade for adults. They have pool, shuffle board, bowling, mini golf, laser tag, and then the standard arcade games. We got bands for all you can play and they were only $20! We bowled two games, both of which I BLEW and was the only one to request bumpers. We were out till 2 am just playing around. Laser tag was probably the most fun and a pretty intense workout lol. The last time I saw Katie was in June, when she came out to Miami to visit. And again, we Facetime frequently but it just isn’t the same. I had the best time running around with her and seeing her new home town.
I about cried when we left my aunt’s the next morning and I swore to be better at keeping in touch with everyone. We left League City around 8 am to make our way to Dallas. JFK being my favorite president, I wanted to see the memorial and the book depository where Lee Harvey Oswald “allegedly” shot the President. I’ve watched tons of documentaries and read a lot of books about that day and have to say I’m a little on the fence either way. We saw the street and the “X’s” on the street marking where the shots hit President Kennedy, which was pretty breathtaking to see. I was taken aback by it, just being where such a big tragedy in American history took place.
Above the grassy knoll, they have a JFK quote cemented into the ground, what’s special and absolutely heart breaking about the quote is that it’s from the speech he was supposed to have given and the reason he was in Dallas, TX in the first place.
Of course I took pictures of the street, the “x’s”, and the book store window where the shots were “fired,” but what was so weird to me was that there were people running out into the street to take selfies above the “X” in the middle of the street. I mean, I guess it’s a tourist attraction now, but I was just kinda like, a man, the President of the United States, was assassinated here and you’re taking a gleeful selfie on top of it. I don’t know, it was just kinda like are you kidding me. But hey, it’s their prerogative.
Upon finishing up, I met up with another one of my cousins, who lives in Deep Ellum, TX, which is about 10 min away from Downtown Dallas. If you’ve never heard of Deep Ellum ( I hadn’t until Michelle moved there), you should google it and visit if you have the chance! It’s such a cute, artsy town! We were there around noon on Saturday and it was pretty busy, every street is filled with murals and fun, hipster coffee shops and restaurants. We sat at a coffee bar named Drugstore Cowboy and chit chat a little bit, making up for Joey and I not getting back for Thanksgiving, especially when Michelle made it back to California from Texas.
From there, we made our way to AT&T stadium, where the Dallas Cowboy’s play. Joey is an avid Cowboy fan and has been his whole life. So we had to visit the stadium. It was only a 20 min drive from Deep Ellum, which was nice. I am a Bronco fan and I was still going nuts being in front of the stadium. It was HUGE! Joey was like a little kid, he was so happy. We weren’t able to do a stadium tour because they had a high school state championship game happening but we were able to go to the Pro Shop and purchase some authentic Dallas Cowboy gear.
We finished our Texas adventure in Wichita Falls, TX. Which was a two and a half hour drive from Dallas. We got in pretty early, around 8 pm, so after setting Bentley up, we actually went down to the gym to do a little workout. Running on the treadmill felt amazing after 6 days of stagnant movement and car rides between 8-13 hours.
If anyone ever travels with pets, I recommend reserving rooms at La Quinta Inn’s! They’re super pet friendly. I read online that they don’t require pet deposits and are accepting of cats. A lot of places (I learned) will accept a dog but have specific regulations about cats. Luckily, we were able to sneak her in to our very first hotel, and then we knew we’d be staying with friends and family for the next couple stops. Now, we’ve been making sure we can get to a La Qinta within a reasonable hour while on the road.
We didn’t stay in a touristy area in Texas because we were able to stay with my family, but I’ll link some hotel deals for you guys here (click the town name to be redirected) :
Dallas, TX: I mean, go to a Cowboy game if you can! Maybe they’ll be playing your team!
Austin, TX: We really want to visit here eventually! Everyone said it’s just the coolest town.
San Antonio, TX: Anyone a Spurs fan?
Total drive time (leaving League City to Wichita Falls): 7 hours
Next up: Santa Fe, New Mexico!