It’s been quite a year at How Big Is Texas. I so appreciate all of you and hope you will continue to following along on my travels around the great state of Texas. I’m wrapping up some of my favorite moments of 2022. I hope you enjoy them.
10. Bringing in 2022 with a Texas Ball Drop and Cannon Fire at the Official World Headquarters
The Official World Headquarters of How Big Is Texas, located in my backyard she-shed in San Angelo, lit up the new year in January 2022, as my husband Dan and I continued our tradition of dropping a ball on New Year’s Eve. This year’s ball drop was even more impactful with Dan firing off some black powder from his homemade cannon. It was a great way to bring in the new year.
9. Starting a New How Big Is Texas Podcast
I’ve wanted to experiment with a podcast for years. I finally found the time to start the How Big Is Texas podcast with the help of my cell phone and an app. While it may not be the highest of quality, it is from the heart. Take a listen at the link highlighted above.
8. Adding a New Member to Our Texas Family
Since 2002, my husband and I have adopted black dogs from shelters. We learned they are the first put down when we visited a shelter in search of a dog years ago. Our first, Hannah, was a border collie mix. She passed away a few months after we moved to San Angelo in 2017 after 15 years of love and devotion.
This year, I was at the Texas Travel Alliance Travel Summit in Galveston. They had a puppy lounge sponsored by TripAdvisor with dogs available for adoption from the Galveston Island Humane Society. I saw a little black puppy and it was love at first site. She only weighed five pounds. Landry Star joined our family with her big sisters, Angel and Sadie. What a blessing all three of our girls are to us. If you’re ever looking to get a pet, please consider a shelter animal.
7. Eating in the Heart of Texas
I would put the restaurants across the state of Texas up against those in New York, California, Louisiana, or any other culinary state. Across Texas, you’re going to find great grub. This year, I had the good fortune to sample some amazing dishes, drinks, and snacks, including homemade cracklins from a mom and pop grocery store near the small town of De Kalb in northeast Texas, the largest beef rib I’ve ever seen from a famous joint in Pearland, and some of the hottest and most delicious ramen I’ve ever eaten from a market in Houston. Of course, enjoying a wine and nugget pairing from Buc-ee’s has to be one of the highlights of this year’s culinary collection.
6. Creating a How Big Is Texas BBQ Trail
One of my most popular blog posts of 2022 was my How Big Is Texas BBQ Trail that I created from suggestions by followers on my Facebook page. Since that post earlier this year, I already have to add a couple more to the list. I knew Texans were passionate about their barbecue, but I didn’t realize just how passionate until I left off several people’s favorites from my list. My answer to that is for them to create their own list like I did. Life’s too short to argue about BBQ. We should focus on eating it instead. Don’t you think?
5. Visiting the National Museum of Funeral History in Houston
I’ve visited a number of museums throughout my life and many have made an impression on me, but I don’t know that I’ve been as fascinated with any museum as much as I was when I walked into the National Museum of Funeral History in Houston. I had no expectations when I went through the doors, but from the gift store entrance on, this place drew me in and I could have spent hours there. Who knew funeral history was so intriguing? From hearses to horse-drawn carriages, the funeral museum invites you to learn about the funerals of the famous from Presidents to Popes. I hope to visit again so I can spend more time. Fascinating!
4. Capturing Sunrises and Sunsets in Texas
As an amateur photographer, I love capturing the beauty of the things around me, especially sunrises and sunsets. Here are a few of my favorites from various locations I visited this year.
3. Enjoying Our Texas Beaches
I’ve never seen myself actually living on a beach but I certainly enjoy visiting them. The calm sounds of the water hitting the shore, the coolness of the sand on your toes, and the incredible views from land to water truly provide a sense of peace and wonder for me. From sunrises and sunsets, some of which I shared above, to simple scenes from the water, visiting the beaches of Texas is a great way to unwind and relieve stress, at least it is for me.
2. Celebrating my 40 Year High School Graduation and Buc-ee’s 40th Year Anniversary with My BFF at ALL the Texas Buc-ee’s Locations
When I got the hair-brained idea to take a road trip to all the Texas Buc-ee’s locations this year, I contacted my best friend, Darla, to join me for the long weekend. She was my sidekick on a previous How Big Is Texas weekend when we visited some of the most mispronounced towns and cities in Texas.
On this journey, our rule was that we could only eat and drink food that came from Buc-ee’s. While we enjoyed the selection of culinary delights, I have to admit it was getting old after 30+ stops, not that we ate something from every store. We had pudding tastings, food pairings with wines, and we took our photos with Buc-ee Beaver at several of the stops. My favorite part of this trip was seeing so many of our friends along the way, who decided to meet us at various stores.
Right before I went on the Buc-ee’s trip with Darla, I started a How Big Is Texas TikTok account. I experimented with videos along the way, but my favorite of all times has been my Chariots of Fire themed Buc-ee’s Potty Time video. The girls in the video running with me were relatives of one of my friends, Barry. They met us in Fort Worth, their first visit to a Buc-ee’s, and agreed to join along with me in the video. Silly but fun!
1. Packing Up the Official World Headquarters for an East Texas Move
I will always appreciate the fact that the idea for How Big Is Texas started in San Angelo during the Covid 19 pandemic in 2020. When I got the idea to drive the perimeter of Texas for my first trip in June 2020, I never dreamed where it would lead. How Big Is Texas is not only a blog and a podcast, it’s also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and TikTok. My story has been shared on Texas Country Reporter and in several different magazines, including an upcoming issue of Texas Living Magazine.
It was bittersweet to pack up the Official World Headquarters, but I’ve accepted a job in east Texas, where I’ll be working at Visit Tyler starting in January. I’ll continue traveling and sharing stories of the great state of Texas, but my plan is to eventually have a new and improved she-shed with the help of my husband, who built the last one. It will be known as the Official INTERNATIONAL World Headquarters of How Big Is Texas in the future. After all, Tyler is surrounded by international names like Paris, Bogata, Naples, New London, Carthage, Geneva, Palestine, Trinidad, and Klondike. All in Texas, of course.
We’ve had a wonderful 2022. In another week, we’re east bound to Smith County, where my family members settled when they first came to Texas in the 1840’s. My time in San Angelo will always hold fond memories for me and now I look forward to the next chapter.
Until next time…from Texas…safe travels!