I know I told y’all about this when I went. But I enjoyed it so much I wanted to make a video about it too. So here it is!
I know I told y’all about this when I went. But I enjoyed it so much I wanted to make a video about it too. So here it is!
I’ve said for awhile that I want to go to a literary festival AT SOME POINT. I still haven’t.
I’ve been reading about this year’s festival and it makes me want to go even more. I didn’t know it was on the USC campus and I didn’t know how ginormous it is.
Have you been to any type of literary festival? Or nah?
My new video for this week was about being okay when you’re not reading. And now I’ve gotta be true to that. I read one book at the beginning of March and haven’t read anything since.
I took two books with me on my trip, but I take books on every trip and I’ve never once read a single page. 😂 So I’m not going to stress about it. I’m now behind on my reading challenge, but WHO ISN’T? How are you doing with your reading?
It can be easy to get mad at yourself and to question things when you aren’t reading, but it’s okay not to read! This is coming from someone who read one book in March and y’all already know about my terrible reading in recent years. Now watch, please!
I’ve written about the importance of traveling on here before, but it was years ago. After the conclusion of my most recent trip I’m writing about it again.
Since April 2016 I’ve gone on five separate trips. The shortest of which was two calendar days and the longest was eight. I’ve enjoyed every minute of every one. But this isn’t a recap of any of them. This is about why I’m always planning my next trip and why I’m taking them more frequently.
What I do when I visit a new place depends entirely on where I’m going. I’ve walked the National Mall in DC and I’ve spent two days in the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. I’ve hiked through Valley of Fire outside Vegas and visited four different presidential libraries. Every place on the map has something different to offer. Which is why the number of destinations I have in mind is endless.
What happens when we visit a new place? We experience a different culture, a different way of life, and probably learn things we wouldn’t if we stayed home. It’s my single goal to learn all I can during the time I have. I’m 27. If I continue to broaden my horizon for years and decades to come, then once my time is up I’ll have experienced so much of what earth and its inhabitants have to offer. I cannot think of anything more fulfilling.
During the course of life priorities will always change. For example, right now I’m thinking of buying my first house. But I believe it’s extremely important to step away from the monotony of our day-to-day as much as we can and to use that time to learn and explore. Traveling takes a lot of planning, a lot of time, and often a lot of money. I most often go places for a week, but there’s no rule. If you have to save for a year for that trip of a lifetime you’ve always wanted to take, then do it. Or if you’d rather drive an hour outside your city to visit some place you’ve never been, it’s no different from visiting a city on the other side of the world.
Travel. As much as you possibly can. Because there’s an entire world out there for every one of us to see.
In yesterday’s post I told y’all my trip was over. And it is. I’m back home sleeping in my own bed for the first time in a week. But I have more I want to say about it.
This trip was exactly what I needed. I returned to work the first week of December and hadn’t taken any time off since. Every weekend feels like a mini trip for me, though I’m mostly lying in bed sleeping. No exaggeration.
It was nice to get out of my routine. I know everyone probably feels this way after taking time off work, but I really needed to focus on myself. I don’t think I have been. Not for a long time. This allowed me to do that. But I know myself. It won’t last. I tend to focus on the wrong people and things in my life. For example, ask me who I’m more likely to respond to in this scenario: a text message from someone who has made it clear they don’t really want me in their life in any capacity and someone who has made the opposite clear. Except it isn’t only texting. It’s hanging out. It’s wanting to do stuff. It’s talking. It’s asking for help. It’s everything. And it isn’t just one or two people.
This last week showed me that it’s okay to just think of myself. That I’m perfectly fine eliminating what should have been eliminated from my life a long time ago. That I can focus on the right people and doing what I love without needing anything from anyone who doesn’t want to be active in my life. It seems so simple when I type it out. But it isn’t. Not for me and probably not for most. In the hours since I’ve been home I’ve already realized how different it is when I’m here. I’ll fail in keeping my promise to myself. But I know now what it’s like not to. And for me, that’s something.
I decided to go back to Fort Worth for a second day since I’d only spent a short time there the first time.
I began by going to the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. Two minor, but real issues. The second floor is not currently open for viewing. And they have a photography collection of amazing photos, but only a few are actually on display. I know I’m not very good at photography, but seeing really great photos in person strikes me just the same as seeing any other great piece of art.
This was probably my favorite piece in the museum. Because even though it was done over a hundred years ago, the message I took away from it is something we know is still prevalent today. But I’ll let you decide what you think of it.
Immediately after leaving the Amon Carter I went to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. This absolute beauty awaits you just as you walk into the galleries. It was done by an artist who continuously uses books as subjects in his art.
I said in one of the previous posts that I wanted more modern art. This museum was great for it. All works were done after WWII. Many of them by American artists.
I feel like I’m starting to have something of an artsy eye. I saw this and thought to myself “that looks like a Picasso”, and it is!
What I enjoy about modern art is that it isn’t only one medium. It isn’t only paintings or sculptures or photos, it’s whatever we can come up with.
Like this. From the picture it likely looks like any other oil on canvas painting. But it isn’t. It’s actually a photo. But it also isn’t just any photo. It’s the backyard of one of the Tsarnaev brothers at his Cambridge, MA home. Still more. This was created using a widely circulated photo of his wife leaving the home after the Boston Marathon bombings. The artist removed her from the photo and built a replica himself just for this picture. How incredible is that?
I finished the day at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. Something that isn’t clear online (at least for me) is it is 100% for kids. The entire first floor has no real galleries, only interactive exhibits for kids. The second floor includes the Cattle Raisers Museum, which had some cool stuff, but I wasn’t there for that.
I still made my way through it, but in total I spent maybe 45 minutes there before leaving. It was my first three museum day, and ultimately the last day of my trip. I have more to do, but I’m going home. This has been a great weeklong getaway. Now I still have this weekend to prepare for normalcy on Monday.
Another late start for me. Not because I wanted more sleep, although that’ll always be the case, but because I had to pack up all my things before leaving for the day. It was my last day in my Airbnb. Since I decided to lengthen my time in Dallas I’m staying the rest of my trip with my brother.
So because of that, because I also decided to get breakfast beforehand, and I had a 45 minute drive to get to Fort Worth I only visited one museum. The Kimbell Art Museum, which has the only Michelangelo painting in any American museum! Seen above.
I had limited expectations because I thought a museum created by a wealthy couple may struggle to keep pace with other museums. Wrong.
I can’t speak for the size of their permanent collection, but everything they had on display was rather amazing. Many of the sculptures on display were thousands of years old. And some of the paintings were more than 500 years old!
I was a little disappointed not to visit any other places, but I’ve gone to quite a few so far.
After I left the museum I had to burn a little time. I went to the Half Price Books Flagship store! Oh my. I didn’t take pictures because I didn’t want anyone to be like “what’s he doing?”, but y’all! I’ve been to 6 different locations in Houston. The flagship store might be bigger than all of them combined! By far the biggest bookstore I’ve ever been inside. They have tons of everything. A coffee shop. An events room because they have real author events. An entrance specifically for selling your books. An information desk when you get lost in the maze of everything. And lots of places to sit down.
I decided against buying any new books, but I did find a nice replacement copy for a book I’ve had a long time in really bad condition.
I spent the day at the Dallas Zoo. It’s only the third zoo I’ve ever visited! And it’s also the largest in Texas.
I spent more than three hours exploring the zoo. By the time I finished I was pretty tired. I was lucky it didn’t get too hot during the day.
They let you feed the giraffes! I imagine this may be fairly common in zoos, but this guy was getting ALL the treats! The others were fine eating off the trees or the grass.
They also have seven Galapagos Tortoises! But I’m a little disappointed because a child threw a plastic wrapper into their enclosure and then one of them ate it immediately. Like, that’s unacceptable.
I was there fairly early after the zoo opened, and many of the animals were sleeping. 😂 I also just want to sleep out in the cool morning sun. There were a ton of snakes and reptiles.
These two did not budge for anything. Just another day relaxing in the water.
After the zoo my brother decided to join me for the Astros-Rangers game. I’m a little flabbergasted by the team getting a new stadium. This one was only my third MLB stadium, and I thought it was quite nice. Though we were freezing as there were strong wind gusts the entire game.
The Astros lost. But the beauty of baseball is they play again today.
After the day I decided for sure to just stay here in Dallas for the remainder of my trip. My initial plan was to go to San Antonio on Wednesday (today) but I’ll hold off because the things I want to do in San Antonio can be done in a three day weekend whenever I want to.
I didn’t have a late start today! Or did I? Anyway, I began the day by visiting the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the SMU Campus here in Dallas. Fun fact: my initial plan was to do this Saturday. But, sleep.
The museum itself was extremely well done. This is probably my second favorite of the four I’ve now visited. It’s a good size and had a nice exhibit on presidential retreats I really enjoyed.
But I feel like I have to be fully transparent. There’s quite a bit on 9/11 and the War on Terror. Most of it is quality material. There’s a 9/11 memorial inside the museum. This part of the museum stands out among everything else. But when I visited the LBJ library in Austin I remember walking out thinking I’d learned quite a bit about the man, but also that the museum didn’t sugar coat anything. He left office because everything he was doing up to the 1968 election was being heavily criticized and there was a solid chance he’d lose, anyway. So he walked away.
But in the Bush 43 library there was nothing on the financial crisis. At the very end of the museum there’s a wall called Crisis Management and issues were simplified down to a sentence or two.
How can the stock market crash of 2008 and the subsequent recession it kicked off get no attention whatsoever? There was VERY little on Iraq. And of course there was no mention of the fact that he was leaving office with no political capital left. I don’t expect the museum to tear him down. But there was a lot going on during those 8 years and I think a presidential library administered by the National Archives and Records Administration should present the reality.
After leaving there I went to the Perot Museum of Science and Nature.
I had lofty expectations because it is so well reviewed online. It’s a brand new, modern museum. It’s interactive. And the entry fee is on the high side. But it seemed to be geared toward children way more than I was expecting. There’s an entire floor of games and robot stuff for kids.
They do have the largest T Rex in the world on display, so that was nice. But I made it through an entire science museum in half the time as the presidential library. That should be switched.
One thing I did like was the benches had these different fun little facts on them.
Tomorrow will be a long day, but only because I’m going to an Astros game here in Dallas!