Los Angeles. Houston. Austin. Somewhere in the middle of Texas that nobody knows about. Four cities. One summer. Hey everyone! I hope everyone’s summer has been relaxing, enjoyable, and not ending as fast as I think it is! I know I’ve had a great summer thus far exploring four different cities.
I stayed in LA for a week after school ended. In that week, I met my idol: Beyoncé. Well, I didn’t personally meet her, but I saw her at the Formation World Tour concert she held at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. Oh, you know, it was only the absolute most soulful, touching, and relatable experience I’ve ever had in my entire 19 years of existence. No biggie. DJ Khaled opened up for her. Major key. He brought out a ton of artists, including Trey Songz, Ty Dolla $ign, and the West Coast legendary, Snoop Dogg. As much as I was excited and having a good time with DJ Khaled as her opening performance, I could not wait for her to come out. Then it finally happened. She came out looking flawless and fierce. I was ecstatic. I was screaming all the lyrics to every single song. You know how artists sound slightly different in person than they do through your speaker or headphones? Well, she doesn’t. She sounds exactly as she does when I play her music through my iPhone. And yes, she dances with such ease and grace in person as she does in her music videos. She gave the best performance I have ever seen.
Apart from the Beyoncé concert, I also went to the La Brea Tar Pits Museum, which is conveniently located next to LACMA. The La Brea Tar Pits Museum is a museum dedicated to the extinct animals that are found in this tar pit in the middle of Los Angeles. It was interesting to learn about giant ground sloths, mammoths, dire wolves, and saber-tooth tigers. I highly recommend visiting this museum because unlike a lot of typical science museums, this one is very interactive. You can physically see the actual tar pit, experience a 4D movie, and see a robotic saber-tooth tiger come to life.
As soon as I got home, I went to see my favorite team play. I saw the Astros beat the Baltimore Orioles! I definitely missed the Astros spirit and the ball game experience. I loved singing along to the traditional songs like “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” Another really fun thing I did in Houston was bike-riding along Buffalo Bayou from downtown to the Heights and back. The views are incredible and the skyline looks amazing. After bike-riding through the city, I went to the aquarium, which surprisingly enough, I had never been to! It was a very fun experience, especially because they have a white tiger. I know, a white tiger in an aquarium; who would’ve thought.
For 4th of July weekend, I took a little road trip to Austin. Austin has been a city I have wanted to visit recently. I have been to Austin before, but I had yet to experience Franklin’s Barbeque, Barton Springs and a lot of other nature-y things. Barton Springs is a natural spring, so the water is really cold! However, it was very beautiful and I had a ton of fun swimming around on a hot day. The next day, I went to the infamous Franklin’s Barbeque, where you have to wait in line starting at 5 am so you can get food. Unfortunately, I got there at 10:30 am and by then the line had wrapped around the block, and the restaurant was not even open yet! So, as the millennial that I am, I googled “best barbeque places near me” and Micklethwait’s showed up. I waited in line for an hour there, but it was totally worth it! The barbeque was amazing. My mouth waters just thinking about it. The next day was the 4th of July and I headed to Lady Bird Lake to watch the fireworks. After the beautiful fireworks show, my weekend officially ended.
The last city (more like town) I visited was Ringgold, Texas, which is about 10 minutes from the Oklahoma border. We took a road trip up to North Texas as a family to take my sister to her college orientation in Sherman, Texas. After her orientation ended, we drove for an hour and a half to Ringgold where we have family. Since they live in a huge ranch, we rode around in ATVs following cattle, goats, and cows. We turned on the grill and started barbequing. When night hit, all that I could focus on was the beautiful starry sky. You can only get that breath-taking view somewhere far from the big city lights.Meet Nayely