R Squared | Confessions of a Frumpy Mommy
So glad you could join me for another Style Me Bloggers Link-Up. I had so much fun preparing for today’s post. Our theme is taking a tour of our hometown. And I have loved the city I call home from the first day in November 1988 when I arrived in El Paso.
I am not a native El Pasoan or even a native Texan but have lived here longer than any other place so I call this HOME. My parents no longer live in the home or even the city or state where I lived most of my childhood so when I visit them, I don’t really call that going home.
Home is where I hang my hat. Where my heart is. Home is my castle.
“Home is any four walls that enclose the right person”(s).
For me that is my Prince Charming and two scraggly kitties.
And home is El Paso.
I asked some of my Facebook friends what their favorite places are, where they like to take out-of-town company to give them the El Paso experience. I received so many great suggestions. Some I had thought of myself but others I hadn’t. So, today I am going to take you on a little tour of some of our combined favorite places around our hometown.
Good Coffee Restaurant: We’ll start our morning with some breakfast burritos and coffee at Good Coffee Restaurant.
I like my coffee hot and black and my burritos spicy. How do you take yours?
Hope you packed your hiking boots and walking shoes because your tootsies are going to get a work out today.
El Paso Mission Trail: We could start our sightseeing at the Ysleta, Socorro and San Elizario missions. Ysleta, built by the Tigua Indians in 1682, is the first and oldest mission in Texas, and the second oldest continually active parish in the country. You can read more here and even download the Mission Trail iPhone app here before you come for a visit.
Ft. Bliss Military Installation: From the Mission Trail we could head to Ft. Bliss. First established on the Rio Grande river in 1854, it is now the second largest military installation of the U.S. Army. And it is also PC’s place of employment and where he retired after serving 23 years in the United States Army. (Love my man in a uniform!) PC and I visited the site of the original fort over Memorial Day weekend to snap some pictures for today’s post. We were saddened to see three, almost-abandoned (with the exception of dozens of feral but adorable kitties) buildings. They are apparently privately owned with little identifying them as the original Ft. Bliss.
I took the picture below as we drove away from Old Ft. Bliss. I wanted you to see how closes it is to the Texas-Mexico border. The reddish color fence runs along-side the Rio Grande and the buildings you can see beyond the fence are in El Paso’s Mexican sister city Ciudad Juarez.
I wish my pictures of today’s Ft. Bliss were better. It is a pretty military base. The buildings below are on Officers’ Row and date before World War I. Some of the lower enlisted housing was built during World War II, and is in a bungalow style with the cutest red tile roofs.
There is a Ft. Bliss Replica Museum that I have never been to before…need to remedy that this summer. It is a popular field trip destination but somehow none of the schools where I worked went there when I was invited to chaperone. You and I can both learn more here.
Touring the Mission Trail and wandering around old and new Ft. Bliss would make me quite hungry, how bout you? El Paso is the pinnacle, the mecca for authentic Mexican food, so no matter what part of town we are in we are in comida corrida country. The only problem is which restaurant do we patronize first?
Casita Linda’s Restaurant: When Brennyn and Lauren are in town, we ALWAYS go to our favorite mom-n-pop place, Casita Linda’s in northeast El Paso.
One Christmas, I even gave the girls hot pink Casita Linda tee shirts to sleep in. We love us some Casita Linda. In fact, we love Mexican food period.
Chico’s Tacos is another restaurant we have to hit when the girls are in town.
But Chico’s is an acquired taste.
You almost have to be a native-born El Pasoan to ‘get it’. Most people order the rolled tacos or taquitos and fries aka a Chico’s and a single. The taquitos are served in a watery red sauce and smothered in grated cheese?…I hope. The fries are especially good when dipped in ketchup and this green Chico’s concoction. Check it out!
I could truly do an entire post just on the great Mexican restaurants in El Paso. Did you know that President Bush, Dub-ya, visits El Paso’s Little Diner when he comes to town? It’s a fact.
Franklin Mountain State Park: When our tummies are full, we could head out for a hike in the Franklin Mountain State Park.
The Franklins are the southern most tip of the Rocky Mountains. The park encompasses 26,627 acres, covering approximately 37 square miles, all within the El Paso city limits, making it the largest urban park in the United States. [source] Paul and I often walk up the McKelligon Canyon Road, which is part of the park, on Sundays. For more information on the park, click here.
McKelligon Canyon Amphitheater and Viva! El Paso: After our hike, we could enjoy a BBQ dinner and the two hour live dance/musical show, Viva! El Paso: Four Centuries, Four Cultures, One City at the McKelligon Canyon Amphitheater. The outdoor amphitheater is a lovely venue tucked into the mountainside canyon. The program, in its 34th year, celebrates the history of our region and our mestizo population. Please take just a minute to visit the Viva! El Paso webpage here.
At the end of this full day, we could soak in our hot tub under the beautiful El Paso evening sky before climbing into bed.
La Madeleine Country French Cafe: To shake things up a bit, we’ll start our day with crepes from La Madeleine.
We could walk around the shops at the Fountains at Farah after breakfast. That’s where the Loft I frequent can be found. But we have lots of other things to do while you are here and you can always shop when you get back home!
Wyler Aerial Tramway: We could see all of El Paso spread before us by day from the Wyler Aerial Tramway. The Swiss-made gondolas will take us up to Ranger Peak, 5,632 feet above sea level. From here we can view of 7,000 square miles encompassing three states, – New Mexico, Texas and Chihuahua and two nations – U.S. and Mexico. [source]
Southwest University Park: After our tram ride, we should be able to get downtown just in time for the first pitch of the afternoon Chihuahua’s baseball game. (Another great thing about E.P. is there is very little traffic compared to other cities our size…you can get from one end of town to the other in about 20 minutes) This is just the second season for our Triple A ball club but much of the season is already sold out. We are the feeder club to the San Diego Padres. Our beautiful stadium is helping to revitalize downtown El Paso.
Chihuahuita or the Segundo Barrio: After the game, another big win for the Chihuahuas, we would probably do a quick tour of the downtown area. When I moved to El Paso, the second poorest zip code in the country was 79901, the Chihuahuita neighborhood in downtown. The area is the site of the old Santa Fe bridge, which was the largest crossing for illegal immigrants along the U.S.-Mexico border until 1993. [source] In 2011, the annual median household income in Chihuahuita was $16,204, compared to $40, 702 for the rest of El Paso. [source]
Mustard Seed Cafe: While we are in the ‘hood, we could run into the Mustard Seed Community Cafe for lunch. I have volunteered there a few times and hope to be able to volunteer more regularly this summer. Even got my food handler’s card! You can read more about the Mustard Seed here and here.
University of Texas El Paso, UTEP: Thought we would just run by the UTEP campus real quick this afternoon. Brennyn graduated from UTEP with a degree in nursing and Lauren graduated with a degree in biology. The architectural influence of the buildings is Bhutanese. It is a beautiful campus as you can see for yourself. Go Miners!
Each year around New Year’s Day the Sun Bowl college football tournament is played at UTEP. Maybe you can come back for a game?
Scenic Drive, Rim Road: Before we’d head to the airport for your return trip home, I would take you up to Rim Road as kind of way to see everything wonderful about El Paso from one place. From Rim Road Park, you can see all of El Paso and Juarez, from east to west, north to south. From Rim Road, the city looks like the gem it is. Sparkling, beautiful, quietly impressive.
Hope you will come back for another weekend visit. Until you can get back this way, stop by Visit El Paso, here to see what else there is to do in my fair city. There’s so much more to see. So. Much. More.
Please be sure to stop by the blogs of my Style Me Blogger girlfriends for a tour around their hometowns. And please leave me a comment below to tell me about the town you call home.
Hugs and kisses,