Effortless Texas

The 4 days I spent in Texas have been as effortless as the friendship that brought me there. The Fort Worth & Dallas area is home to my friend, Patty, who I met about one year ago. We first met when she visited my ASL cong in Chicago and I could readily discern just how down-to-earth she truly is. When I expressed interest in visiting Texas for the first time she was more than happy to host me. Thanks to Patty I made great memories, formed new friendships, and saw some cool sights.

 

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Visual representation of how I popped up in Patty’s life lol

 

Many of the great moments I experienced can be attributed to Patty’s animated, hilarious, and overwhelming kind family members I stayed with. I spent the first night in Texas at her parents’ house and truly felt like I was home. Her mom was incredibly sweet and made me feel so loved and her dad was absolutely hilarious. Patty warned me about how much her dad likes to joke around but I assured her I had no problems with that. From the moment I first met him, he had me laughing and reminded me so much of my stepfather who jokes a lot also. Eating dinner and conversing with everyone at the kitchen table made me feel like I was catching up with extended family I’ve known for years.

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(left to right) Patty, her mom, her niece, her dad, and her friend Priskila.

Another fun highlight was the night Patty organized a bonfire party at Brewed, which is a cute little coffee shop that has a backyard patio with fire pits. Being the coffee lover that I am, Brewed was the perfect place to take me. I adored the laid-back, easy atmosphere and my delicious Candy-Bar Latte. (A perfect blend of coffee, milk, vanilla, and caramel)

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Bonfire

 

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Candy-Bar Latte

 

 

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So much fun with these gals
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Later that night, I met a sweet sister named Sarah who has an infectiously fun personality. She climbed up on a Cane Rosso pig which made for such an unforgettable photo-op. Definitely won’t be forgetting Sarah any time soon!

 

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Yeehaw

 

(Totally made that photo her contact pic in my phone haha)

I also won’t forget the amazing Thai food I enjoyed at Spice. It’s a small, little Thai restaurant in Fort Worth that Patty and her friends took me to. The Thai iced tea, pad ginger, and sticky rice with mango brought back sweet memories of the authentic meals I had in Thailand back in 2015. Yum yum.

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Pad ginger w/tofu
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Mango w/ white and black sticky rice

 

The food wasn’t the only good thing in Texas. I spent time with good people as well. Patty was the best hostess I could ever ask for. She made sure I got a chance to see everything I wanted to see during my short visit and introduced me to her fun bunch of friends. Everyone I met made me feel like I had known them for years. Only in Jehovah’s organization can you feel that kind of love and unity among people who you literally just met.

Friday night we met up with some friends at a restaurant called BJ’s and I had a great time. I love people who aren’t afraid to laugh, be silly, and just be themselves therefore it didn’t take long to feel comfortable around everyone.

Saturday morning I met more awesome people while preaching. We did early morning at Starbucks where several friends & family  joined us for letter writing.

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Afterwards, we went to the meeting for service then drove to a nearby territory.  I was very nervous when we arrived because it has been such a long time since I’ve preached from door to door in English. I’ve grown accustomed to preaching in ASL on a regular basis so my confidence level was low. But of course Jehovah always strengthens His people and that proved to be true Saturday morning. I prayed for boldness and got a chance to read scriptures to 2 people about the resurrection promise found in the Bible. Patty and our service buddy, Marissa also got a chance to witness to a couple of people. It was a productive and encouraging morning!

Later that afternoon, I hung out with Patty and her niece, Alexis, at the Kimbel Art Museum. (which is an awesome free museum btw) Alexis is the coolest 15 year old I’ve ever met. I got a chance to spend a lot of time with her this weekend and we became really good friends. I learned a valuable lesson about how friendship is less about how close you are in age and more about how much you have in common. Lexi and I bonded over our love for alternative rock bands, our witty sense of humor, and the shared enjoyment of collecting pins which Patty also loves.

 

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Patty & Lexi

 

Lexi collects her pins on a backpack, Patty collects hers on a lanyard, and I collect mine on my jean jacket. How cool is that? See all of our pins below.

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Me & Patty

Hanging out with Lexi and Patty was so effortless. They are the kind of low maintenance friends who are content with your presence but don’t require your constant attention. Those are my favorite kind of people. I miss them already!

They were awesome enough to make sure I had the chance to visit the Fort Worth Water Gardens while I was in town. A group of friends took us to the outdoor attraction which features a pool with cascading water and steps leading down to the center. It’s a pretty nice sight and very relaxing to watch. Just be sure to wear some shoes with a nice grip and watch your step if you plan to actually walk down the steps towards the pool.

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There was a proposal taking place when we first arrived at the Water Gardens

 

Sunday we enjoyed the meeting at the Forest Hill congregation and afterwards Patty’s family threw a party at their house. The vibe was so chill yet fun.

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Met Alana @ the hall. Turns out we have the same glasses
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Lexi and I

Unfortunately, on Monday Patty had to work so she was unable to hang out with me. But being the awesome person that she is, she arranged for her friend, Jamon, her nephew, Alek, and Lexi to hang out with me.

 

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Lexi, Alek, & Jamon

 

That morning they took me to a spot called Our Place with delicious, country-style breakfast options. If you’re looking for something smothered in gravy for a great price be sure to stop here.

Later on, we drove about 45 minutes to meet up with another friend named Safyia in Dallas. All of us hung around the Deep Ellum area  which is as vibrant and unique as each of our personalities. Despite how different we all are, it was incredibly easy & fun to hang out together. That is the beauty of diversity.

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Welcome to Deep Ellum!

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Deep Ellum is covered in beautiful murals, eye-catching street art, and funky little coffee shops. The area has tons of personality and can awaken the artistic side of almost any individual.

 

It is the kind of neighborhood where you run across a random book shelf on the sidewalk offering free books…

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“Give a book. Take a book”

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Where you can see a 3-piece robotic sculpture known as the Traveling Man…

And eat at a brunch spot called Brain Dead Brewing with an eclectic menu and extensive beer selection.

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ABC
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Menu
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Vegetarian Chile Relleno burger w/ avocado & fried egg
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Outside of Brain Dead

There was no better way to spend a day in Dallas than with good people, good food, and great sights. My entire stay in Texas was truly a culmination of those 3 things and I could not have been more content. I have traveled to many places but Texas is by far the most relaxing, welcoming, and friendliest state I’ve been to. Everything and everyone was so effortless there.

Only amongst Jehovah’s people do you find the kind of love and friendship that I experienced this week. Sometimes you just click with people and it’s the best feeling in the world. I feel like I have known Patty, her family, and her friends for so many years. They welcomed me with open arms and I can’t wait to return again.

Until next time, Fort Worth!

B.P ❤️

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