Storms, Family and Our Waistlines – Everything’s Bigger in Texas

We just wrapped up our last 2 weeks in the United States. All of which was spent in the Lone Star State – the oh so glorious and giant mini-country of Texas. Kile and I spent our last precious days cramming in as much family time and American food as possible. We completely succeeded on our mission.

The main reason we ended up in Dallas (Rockwall to be specific) was to watch my little sister graduate high school. We’re beyond proud of her. She’s by far one of the most unique, hilarious, beautiful and talented girls I know – I couldn’t be more excited to see what the future holds for her! We wished my brothers Randy and Ian could have been there but my other brother Justin was able to make it down. It was so great to spend time with the siblings (half of them at least) before we left.

My step-mom Les, the graduate Alyssa and Dad!
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Justin, Alyssa, Me

Some people tend to be anti-Texas and others are all about it – for us? Although we could never picture ourselves ever living there, we truly have nothing but love for the place. Dallas is a cool city with lots to offer and Rockwall, where my dad lives, has beautiful sprawling farm fields with some absolutely insane sunsets and even more insane thunderstorms. It was pretty awesome to witness.

One of the many beautiful sunsets we were able to catch
Look at those thunderheads! 

Another perk of staying at my dad’s house? The dogs! He has two super dopey but super cute Golden Retrievers named Scooter and Jackson. There’s nothing better than having dogs around – at least I think so. They are the type of overly friendly dogs that are constantly up in your grill but…ridiculously cute so you can’t help but let them.

Dad had to leave town for work for a couple days unfortunately. But fortunately for us there was a giant concert at the local harbor/park – with special guests? A Journey cover band! We’re not giant Journey fans or anything but you can’t help but know all of their songs. So we went down and goobered out for a bit while we had some great people watching. The park was PACKED with people. It was a beautiful night and it gave us some quality time with my step-mom before we left. Super grateful for that. We had a blast.

SO many people!
Me and Les – JOURNEY TIME!

As mentioned earlier – another goal we had was to eat as much stereotypical American food as possible. We knew it would be a while until we’d have it again. Luckily – another thing about Texas is that they have every chain and fast food restaurant known to man. Literally. Every. Single. One.

Of course we had to have In N Out a couple times (duh – by far the best of all time) but my dad let us in on a little Rockwall secret. It’s not a chain at all. In fact, it couldn’t be further from one. It’s a place called Bootsburgers and it’s located in a residential area because they are legit selling burgers out of the garage of their house. I have no idea how that works as far as zoning goes but hey – I’m not complaining one bit because these burgers were RIDICULOUSLY good. They’ve definitely got a good thing going – I’m sure I’ll be craving this burger hard once we’ve been in Asia for a couple months.

One thing’s for certain – all the weight we dropped while in Mexico is definitely back. The clothes just aren’t fitting quite right anymore. But our taste buds are happy!


YES PLEASE. Boots is killin’ it.

Another major task we had to complete while we were in Texas/the U.S. was selling my car. It was a bit difficult because I still owed quite a bit of money on the car so selling to a private party wasn’t so much of an option – we just didn’t have enough time to pursue that option. So we ended up having to opt for selling it to a dealership. Unfortunately, after 3 appraisals – we couldn’t find an offer that covered the loan of the car, so we had to eat quite a bit of money. Totally sucked. But it was cheaper than keeping the car and paying the payments/insurance for the year that we’ll be gone. We loved that car but it had to go.

The good news? We’re officially 100% debt free. ZERO bills. Couldn’t be more of a relief and such an amazing feeling!

You will be missed!

Spending time with family is always so good. We’re a passionate family so there were some heated discussions and some disagreements but there was mostly just a huge outpouring of love and support. Saying goodbye was emotional and some tears were definitely shed – I’m going to miss them so very much over the next year. They just mean the absolute world to me.

And we’re off! Just like that! Going to miss my pops SO so much.

The very last night we were in Texas there happened to be a gigantic and ominous thunderstorm that rolled through. We hadn’t ever seen anything quite like it. It was such a beautiful send off and reminder to us that the world is beautiful – we’re so excited to explore it!


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