Hi friends! This week’s blog is all about a blast from the past and my quick trip to Dallas!
Let’s jump right in!
For this blog, I think I have to share a picture so that you can see the full impact of this blast from the past…so I may start adding pictures to my blogs, let me know if you like this so that I can continue!
Now, let’s talk about this blast from the past. I think you all need a little background information before I continue, as a young kid I LOVED to read. I almost always had a book in my hands, and I still love to read now as an adult, but as a kid it was a little out of hand haha. I read EVERYWHERE. In the car, on the bus, in my bed, at school, just everywhere. So, naturally I became very good at spelling just because I was constantly reading. I also happened to read in English and Spanish, so I was very good at spelling in both languages. Anyway, growing up I was always competing in spelling bees just because I liked spelling and reading, and I won a couple of ribbons and trophies for getting either 1st or 2nd place (I’ve always been a little nerd lol). This particular blast from the past comes from way back in February of 2003 when I was 11 years old. I went to a Spanish Spelling Bee for either the regional or state level (I don’t remember). Anyway, I ended up winning and was really excited because winning meant that I would get the chance to meet and take a picture with the host. The host that year was Mary Rabago,Univision news anchor that I would see every day on TV at 5pm to hear the news with my parents. So I met Mary, and to this day I still remember how very friendly she was.
She congratulated me and wished me luck in future endeavors, and told me to continue to dream big and to set out to achieve my goals. Now, lets flash forward to December 2015 (the present). As most of you know already I am very involved with the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) and I am constantly out in my community talking to kids about college and just being an active part of my community. I’m all about outreach, I just love it. Anyway, due to my involvement with SHPE Phoenix, I was invited to attend the NSHMBA (National Society of Hispanic MBAs) End of Year Gala. I show up to the gala, and guess who is the event host!! None other than Univision news anchor Mary Rabago, who is now CEO of her own company! She was a great host, and kept mentioning how important it was to stay active in the community. She just really embodied everything that I strive to be as a person. She is a major example of what I strive to be: someone who after so many years still continues to help out in her community. Mary, eres el ejemplo de una Latina apoyando a la comunidad Hispana! I decided to catch her at the end of the gala, and right away she gave me a huge hug. She is still just as friendly as I remembered! I told her that I had met her a few years ago at a spelling bee that I had won, and right away she said ‘in Tolleson?!’ I still can’t believe she remembered me, maybe I was just really star struck back then so maybe I made an impression haha. But anyway, I ran into her again and it was just crazy to reminisce and think about all the time that has passed! In that time that passed, I graduated high school and college, became an engineer, and I’ve started to really make an impact in my community which is a really great feeling.
(Speaking of making an impact, check out this awesome article written and published by the PIN Bureau). If you don’t have time to read the article, I would strongly encourage just checking out the audio recording of our answers to the question ‘What would you say to someone thinking about engineering or currently struggling in engineering school?’. I think many people would benefit from hearing the audio recordings, even if you are not in engineering…I think the advice my colleagues and I give can be used across the board for any discipline.
Now, to completely switch gears…let’s talk about Dallas!
My Dallas trip started bright and early Saturday morning, we flew out of Phoenix pretty early (which is always a challenge for me). We landed, got picked up by my tia (who I had never met before) but she was amazing and hilarious. And so was my uncle and my baby cousin (who is 15 lol). I learned that my aunt gives my uncle 12 tacos every day for his lunch, and that was when I really realized what true love was lol. I wish someone would give me 12 tacos for my lunch lol.
Anyway, we hung out a bit at their house and then my mom started telling them that when I travel, I like to go out and explore and eat good food. When my mom mentioned good food, my uncle cut her off and said ‘LET ME TAKE YOU TO THE BEST TACOS AND GORDITAS IN DALLAS’. And so off we went lol to a place that was a carniceria (meat market), fruteria (fruit market), and panaderia (bakery) all in one called La Guadalupana. And my uncle was not wrong, those tacos were DELICIOUS. I got the tacos con deshebrada (shredded pork) and that meat was some of the juiciest and most flavorful I’ve ever had. So, of course I had to add that restaurant to the food LBL, thanks uncle! It was so good, we went back there for dinner haha. After lunch, I took off with my little cousin and his girlfriend (yes I was a 3rd wheel lol) to go off and explore Downtown Dallas!
Our first stop was Reunion Tower (another bucket list item, I basically have all the observation decks in the world on my bucket list because I love the views, the height, and the way the wind feels). Fun fact about Reunion Tower, it is the 15th tallest building in Dallas and it has an awesome view of the city! Also, their instagram account is super cute. They commented on my picture ‘you look so great on my GeO-Deck’ lol. After Reunion Tower, we explored a little more and saw some pretty cool buildings (Old Red Museum of Dallas). We then headed over to Dealey Plaza, which is where President JFK was assassinated. We walked to the grassy knoll and looked out to the street where it happened. There is a big white ‘X’ marking the very spot where President JFK was when he was shot. It was very surreal to see it in person and really understand that someone so consequential as the President of the US had died there. It was a very powerful moment and I encourage you all to go check it out for yourself, if you ever get the chance. After walking through Dealey Plaza, we went to my favorite part of my trip in Dallas: Sixth Floor Museum.
The Sixth Floor Museum is the building where Lee Harvey Oswald was in when he fired the shots that killed President JFK. The floor that he was on (6th floor) has been converted into a museum and the building itself has been classified as a historic place. I wasn’t sure quite what to expect from reading the reviews on google but I just kept seeing over and over ‘just go, very emotional’ so I decided to give it a shot. There are no pictures allowed in the museum and when you walk in, they give you headphones and an audio player that guides you throughout the museum. The museum had a lot of pictures and videos of JFK’s life, his legacy as president, the assassination, and what happened after. It was a very emotional and powerful experience because you feel very connected to the history and as you walk through, the air is very tense. I learned a lot about President JFK, such as the fact that he started the Peace Corps, was a huge factor in the Space Race, and was the youngest president elected at the time. President JFK was also very ahead of his time and it’s a shame that he was taken the way he was taken, by someone as inconsequential as Lee Harvey Oswald. I highly recommend this museum to anyone who is ever in the Dallas area. Set aside at least 2 hours to get the full experience. I walked out feeling very very sad, but it was a very touching experience. I bought some souveniers and my favorite souvenier was a dish that had one of my favorite President JFK quotes on it: ‘One person can make a difference, and everyone should try’.
After the museum, we decided that it was dinner time. We had been using Uber and Lyft the whole time so when we left the museum it was a little dark and I wanted to walk somewhere where it would be easy for the Uber/Lyft person to pick us up. I guided my cousin and his girlfriend for a couple of minutes and we ended up walking through a very sketchy area downtown and I felt really bad lol. My cousin and his girlfriend looked terrified, and I was also a little scared haha. We finally made it to a Chipotle (probably the fanciest Chipotle I’ve ever seen in my life) and got picked up there lol.
Also, you know how they say that everything is bigger in Texas? Well that is very true. Everything IS bigger in Texas, including the huge pigeons that attacked us while we were walking in that super sketchy area, it was horrific lol. One of the worst experiences of my life with animals lol.
We made it back to my uncle’s house and decided to head over to La Guadalupana again. Dinner was fantastic lol.Then another aunt and cousin came over and we decided that we were going to go out and party in Dallas. But then, the movie ‘La Misma Luna’ came on and we decided to watch it and it made us really sad and ruined our party mood so we just stayed in lol, great movie though!
The next day, I woke up early to go for a run around my aunt’s beautiful neighborhood with so many beautiful trees with all kinds of different colors. It was a great run! I then went out to go and do more exploring. My little cousin and I made it to the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum which was awesome and just full of fun facts, which are my favorite kinds of facts! We also made it toLouis Tussaud’s Palace of Wax which was super cool! We then went to go cross off another bucket list item, which was to go check out the Eyeball Sculpture downtown which was really HUGE and pretty cool looking! We then went to go check out theMargaret Hunt Hill Bridge which was really interesting! The weather was perfect the whole time we were there!
We then grabbed some quick lunch and headed home. I was exhausted and took a nap and apparently drooled and snored, which only happens when I’m really tired lol. I slept for about an hour and then woke up, got ready, and left to Club DaDa to go toJoJo’s concert! The concert is one of the main reasons for this trip to Dallas, I won’t lie lol. JoJo was huge in 2003, got into some problems with her record label, sued them, and finally won the lawsuit 11 years later. So I’ve literally been waiting 11 years for her to come back and the wait was SO WORTH IT. She was AMAZING. She is killing the game vocally, and she will soon take over the whole industry, mark my words. The concert was fantastic, one of the best I’ve been to because I knew basically ever song, the venue was very intimate and she was hilarious. At one point, she was talking about a song that she wrote when she was 12 and she said ‘I wrote this song when I was 12 when I knew everything about love’ lol. I also learned that my favorite song is also her favorite song from her most current EP. 🙂
After the concert, I walked across the street to Serious Pizza, and had an amazing, very large slice of pizza! HIghly recommend this place! I ordered a medium pizza to take home to my family and their medium was ridiculous. It was basically an extra extra large from a normal pizza place lol. The Lyft driver looked at me weird when I got in with this huge box of pizza lol. And then I got a ride home and then woke up 3 hours later to go to the airport and that’s how my trip ended! It was such a fun time, super quick but totally worth it. Can’t wait to go back and explore some more, and this time I will definitely try some famous BBQ and chicken fried steak (which was invented in Dallas, fun fact!).
Thanks for reading 🙂
You can read more blogs on ‘Trips’ here!