Did you know that Texas has a plethora of cities named after European cities? I have known about Paris, Texas since I was a young girl. I’ve toured most of Europe since we lived in Germany most of my childhood. We spent many a holiday visiting the UK, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Italy, and more. As a young adult, I traveled to Greece.
Now that we’re living in Texas, a lot has changed. We’ve aged and don’t really feel the urge to travel great distances like we once did. But on a whim, I took the kids on a road trip to Paris, Texas during Spring break a few years ago. It was fun. They have an Eiffel Tower there….but with a gigantic cowboy hat on the top of it. Next to that, there is a veterans memorial dedicated to all of the veterans from that area as far back as the mid-1800’s.
After that trip, I decided that we’re going to check out every European city within our great state of Texas. The next place we visited was Dublin, Texas. It’s hands down our favorite so far. We got to tour the Ben Hogan Museum there. It was great. Ben Hogan was such an amazing contributor to the game of golf. He deserves his own little museum. We also toured the Dr. Pepper Museum while we were there. That place is so cool. They’ve got DP stuff that goes back over 100 years. We also had some sandwiches at the little sandwich shop that runs the DP museum and purchased a case of sodas bottled by the Dublin soda factory that still runs today. I’d like to go back there one day when the antique shops are open.
We had a very sweaty trip to Athens, Texas. Unfortunately for us, we got a late start on a Sunday, and by the time we arrived almost the whole town was closed. We did go on a self-guided tour of the Arboretum there and it was extremely pleasant, albeit hotter than a $12 stereo. The best part was a huge gazebo with a massive fan in the ceiling (it wasn’t on) and a stage. No one was around, so I stood on that stage and sang my fool head off. The acoustics were awesome.
This past Spring break, we attempted to see the sites of Rhome. (No, that’s not a typo. It’s just a Texan spelling of Rome, I guess.) The tiny little veterans memorial there was nice. But that’s pretty much all it had to offer. We got a little spooked by the muscle car full of rednecks that kept driving up and down the road while we were at the memorial. The occupants kept staring at us like we were Martians. Probably they’d never seen such good-looking people before. Of course, it may have been the hijabs the girls and I were wearing. Anyway, we decided 15 minutes was long enough and piled back in the van and went home.
Today, we decided to try a city whose twin used to be behind the Iron Curtain: WARSAW. Warsaw’s history is pretty sparse. It was established back in 1847 and had a post office until 1858. I think the largest population it had was 65 back in the 1990s, until recently when there was a huge population growth and now the town numbers 300. They have a community center now. And. Nothing. Else. The trip was a 114-mile U-turn in someone’s driveway. It’s a couple-hundred horse town….but no stop lights. We didn’t even get out of the car. We just drove back home and made ice cream sundaes and watched the rain fall for a while. But that’s okay. It was one more town checked off our list and family time of sandwiches in the car, one stop at a gas station to pee, and another story of “family togetherness torture” for the kids to complain about to their therapists when they’re older.