How Big is Texas Best of 2021

As we finish 2021 and prepare for a new, and hopefully, improved year, I’ve decided to think about the best parts of this year for How Big is Texas. I have created a list of 10 of my favorite events. Thanks for coming for the ride.

10. To be mentioned in San Angelo lifestyle and Abilene Living Magazines

In the fall of 2021, I had the double honor of having my story How Big Is Texas featured in San Angelo Lifestyles Magazine and Abilene Living Magazine. These wonderful publications focus on the stories of people in the region. I was incredibly blessed when I was asked to share my travels in Texas with my neighbors. Here is a link to the issue and story on page 28.

9. Visit to Western Colombia – The first capital of Texas

I’m listening to a fantastic podcast called Wise about Texas. Judge Ken Wise talks about the rich history of this great state and shares the story of West Colombia, which is the first capital of the Republic of Texas. As I explored the Texas Independence Trail Region for my four-day trip, I learned even more about this historic community and had to add it to my list of places to stop. Not only do they have a replica of the first capital of the Republic of Texas, they also have what was once the Carry Nation Hotel, the Rosenwald School, and a plaque marking the exact place of death of Stephen F. Austin. Since Austin was the father of Texas, I definitely didn’t want to miss the opportunity to visit and pay homage to this place.

8. You are going on an RV escape to Port Aransas

My last trip took me away with my husband Dan and our two rescue dogs, Sadie and Angel. We have a camper van and in 2016 we took a year off to travel and visit much of the Southwest as eccentric nomads. We’ve been together as a family on many trips, so ending year one on the beach was a great way to complete your trip to Texas in 2021 and enjoy quality time with your family.

7. Mini-Reunion with friends on the Bolivar Peninsula

Meeting with friends, especially after the pandemic, which allowed us to be together only through Zoom and social media, highlighted my list of the top 10. Darla, Jami, Mark and I graduated from Livingston High School in Livingston, Texas in 1982. We celebrated the 40th anniversary of our final year by meeting at Crystal Beach along the Bolivar Peninsula near Galveston. Next year, we hope to meet again in person and celebrate our 40th class meeting around the anniversary of our graduation. We enjoyed laughter and memories for a few days. Until we meet again, friends.

6. Traveling to the most mispronounced Texas cities and towns with a dear friend

Undoubtedly one of the most enjoyable trips I’ve taken was part of one of the most misguided trips to Texas cities and towns. It was even better when my friend Darla joined me. I mentioned her in the post above when we met other friends on the Gulf Coast. We were also roommates in college for a year at Tyler Junior College, so spending a few days catching up and learning how to pronounce some weird Texas names was a gift. When I first decided to take this trip, I had no idea that my Facebook followers would give me at least 50 more names to add to the list. Darla and I may set out again in 2022 to find out more pronunciations of misspelled Texas towns and villages.

5. Survival of a February freezing the size of Texas

The Texas-shaped wildflower garden I made of bricks was covered in snow.

On New Year’s Day 2021, we had ice and snow in San Angel, but it was nothing like snowmageddon, which hit the entire state of Texas in February of that year. While the snow was beautiful to look at, a power outage across the state was no fun. We survived, we intended a pun, and we learned many life lessons in the process. Neighbors helped neighbors. Texas may have been under snow for a while, but the heart of our Lone Star State family held together and rose above it.

4. Enjoy our New Year’s Eve ball in the national media

Even though this blog is about 2021, the ball we decided to hold at home, just the two of us, started on the evening of December 31, 2020. Jokingly, I told my boss at work that it would be epic! When I posted the 10-second video on Twitter, I had no idea I was getting a message from the NBC newsletter to see if they could share the video. Friends contacted me all over the state who saw it on New Year’s Eve. Stay tuned. It is impossible to say what we will do to end this year.

3. Washington-on-the-Brazos survey

A few years ago, I shared a post on Happy Texas Independence Day on Facebook. One of my tourism friends who works with Texas State Parks immediately noticed that I didn’t have any photos of Washington-on-the-Brazos, the place where the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed. It was an epic failure on my part, so I was determined to finally visit this historic site. I finally made it this year! For a Native Texasan who had been waiting to visit the site for more than 55 years, there might have been good reason to withdraw my birth certificate. I was so happy that my feet touched the land of our ancestors during my Texas Independence Trail Region tour. This list item is now complete.

2. Creation of the official world headquarters of How Big is Texas

The original purpose of our extension, which my husband built in 2018, was to store garden equipment. He thought of putting a porch on it to make it look more rustic. Little did we know that three years later we would buy a large store for him, he would build a smaller outbuilding (our warehouse shed), and I would transform the existing space into the official How Big is Texas headquarters in San Angel. Some refer to it as my shed and they wouldn’t be wrong about that either. I bought very little at headquarters because I had a LOT of Texas-themed items that I had collected over the years. Many of my friends, family, and colleagues throughout the state have also provided me with other items to decorate the interior and exterior. Future plans for the podcast and other activities at headquarters in 2022 and beyond are being prepared.

1. Searching for the Great State of Texas

What can I say? Without this beautiful state in which I live, the blog How Big is Texas would not exist, nor would I share my travels on social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. There are so many places to see on 268,597 square miles of this beautiful place I call home. And there is much more to see. Here is the ongoing search for an answer to the question of How Big is Texas.


At the beginning of 2021, I wrote a blog about the goals I wanted to achieve this year. Unfortunately, several blog entries did not take place. The pandemic affected several paths I wanted to take. I only managed to visit one other area of ​​the Texas Heritage Trail Region, the Texas Independence Trail. I visited the Texas Forts Trail, the Texas Lakes Trail and the Texas Mountain Trail. I hope that 2022 will give me the opportunity to visit the remaining six.

Another goal was to taste the great Southern food found in Texas. A few weeks after I wrote a blog about my goals for 2021, my husband and I caught Covid. He did not experience long-term challenges, but I lost my taste and smell. I have a few meals that I can taste and feel almost a year later, so until it comes back completely, I will live indirectly through searchers who join me on my travels to taste Texas cuisine.

My ultimate goal of photographing the great state of Texas has been met and will continue into 2022 and beyond, or that is my hope for next year.

In the meantime, I wish you many opportunities to explore Lone Star State. Safe travel!

Published diannbayes

I have been working in tourism for more than 20 years and I am known to have wandered my whole life. I lived in more than 20 cities and towns and had the opportunity to experience different people and places, introduced me to different cultures and allowed me to make friends along the way. I also studied English in college. I’m not saying I’m an excellent writer, proofreader or queen of grammar. I am an amateur photographer and I like to share the beauty of the places I visit and where I live.

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