El Paso, TX
I’ve been to El Paso a bunch of times. However, it was always as I drove back and forth between California and Texas. Let me tell you, it’s not an exciting drive as the entirety of the road trip consists of desert landscape sprinkled with cacti and thoughts of “didn’t I just see that tumble weed?”. El Paso on the map was my halfway point to get from point A to point B.
This summer my husband is working in El Paso and it’s given me the opportunity to get acquainted with this town in a deeper way during my extended visit. A city that I only ever knew from the side of a highway as I stopped at a Red Roof Inn to get sleep before making the next half of my journey. I’m beginning to see there is so much more to this dry heat city than meets the eye, especially from the highway.
We arrived to our Airbnb on the west side of El Paso which is where The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is located. We were only familiar with the east side as it is where the army base, Fort Bliss, is there. I’m pleasantly surprised with what the city has to offer. I really showed up with no expectations. However, the non-existent bar has been surpassed. There’s a beautiful vista blocks from where we’re staying so my husband and I take the dog to walk there each evening. Also, there’s a hiking trail in the opposite direction that we checked out last weekend. It was an excellent 2 mile loop - just the perfect distance to feel like we did something active that day. There’s major stores, like Whole Foods and Target, which I really enjoy frequenting. Unfortunately one of the retailers that I always look for, Trader Joe’s, is not here, but I’ll survive. We found a gym, Backstreet Gym, that’s a quick drive nearby and provides more than ample square footage and equipment. Also, the city revamped their retro electric trolleys and they’re running free of charge all summer. How cool is that? We actually got to ride one downtown and back last Saturday and I was very impressed; it had air conditioning and wifi fitted into a 50’s era vehicle.
Overall, El Paso has shown me that there is so much more here than meets the eye. I look forward to exploring this desert city more as we finish out the summer here.