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Venice, Los Angeles

Venice is a beachfront neighborhood on the Westside of Los Angeles, California, United States. It is known for its canals, beaches and circus-like Ocean Front Walk, a two-and-a-half-mile pedestrian-only promenade...

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Where to Find Texas’ Best BBQ in Arlington

Barbecue? BBQ?
No matter how you spell it, the aroma and taste of anything smoked, rubbed and slathered in sweet and spicy sauce makes our mouths water—and nobody does barbecue better than Texas.
And when your travels take you to Arlington, or one of the nearby Dallas tourist attractions, you better come hungry (and with plenty of moist towelettes). From ribs to hot links and fried okra to banana pudding, here are the four Arlington restaurants that do Texas BBQ right.

Jambo’s Barbeque Shack 2502 Little Road
Open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (or until sold out)

[Source: Jambo’s Barbeque Shack Facebook]

At Jambo’s, you get the homey feel you expect from a Texas business claiming to offer true Southern hospitality. You also get generous portions and well-seasoned meats. The brisket is melt-in-your-mouth tender, as are the ribs that you can so effortlessly pull off the bone. But, what this barbecue joint is really known for is the Jambo Texan—a sandwich containing every piece of meat on the menu (brisket, bologna, pulled pork, sausage and ribs) piled sky high between pieces of Texas Toast. The Sadie and bacon wrapped stuffed jalapenos are other customer favorites, and make sure you save some room for homemade apple cobbler, or at least get it to go. If this location doesn’t work, there are two more in the area, another in Arlington and one in Rendon.

Cokers Bar-B-Q 2612 West Pioneer Parkway 
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

[Source: Cokers Barbecue Facebook]

Cokers is one local’s pick that doesn’t disappoint. For more than 17 years, it’s been serving finger-lickin’ goodness amidst all of its really cool and old Coca-Cola memorabilia. They slow smoke their brisket and ribs until they’re lusciously tender. For an extra kick, try their hot links or add their barbecue sauce with the pepper sauce to your meats, and dip your side of fried okra in it too! The pulled pork with Carolina sauce and stuffed baked potato are sure to leave you satisfied.

Eddie Deen Crossroads Smokehouse 1004 N. Collins St. 
Open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until sold out

[Source: Eddie Deen CrossRoads Facebook]

Eddie Deen’s offers lip-smackin’ good food for a great price, not to mention really down to earth service. There are so many good items on their menu, it’s hard to choose. But foods that always please the palate are the ribs with their honey-glazed finish, braised brisket tacos, collard greens, the spicy barracho beans and a slice of chocolate fudge pecan pie. Perhaps something small this smokehouse has done that is greatly appreciated by its customers is setting up a nice area inside the restaurant where you can help yourself to as many onions, peppers, pickles and the usual condiments you want.

Bodacious Bar-B-Q 1206 E. Division St. 
Open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

 [Source: Bodacious Bar-B-Q Facebook]

This family-owned, cafeteria-style service barbecue joint is the perfect fill-your-belly kind of place to go after seeing a Rangers or Cowboys game. At Bodacious Bar-B-Q, the sausage links are juicy and delicious, the brisket is full of flavor and the ribs are so good you don’t even need barbecue sauce—although their house-made Bodacious BBQ sauce has just the right amount of spice to it. Top your meal off with some tasty banana pudding or a fried pie.

Where to Stay

After treating yourself to Arlington’s best barcue, treat yourself to one of Arlington’s best hotels.

1721 Pleasant Place 817-784-8750

At this Holiday Inn Express, you can expect a comfortable, clean and pleasant night’s sleep. The hospitable staff, hotel amenities, complimentary breakfast and central location to area attractions make this hotel perfect for both single and family travelers.

117 S. Watson Road 817-633-4000

A stay in Arlington’s boutique hotel offers a wonderful experience. With coffee in the lobby 24/7, as well as a pool, gym, business center and onsite restaurant, this modern hotel was designed with business and leisure travelers in mind. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

5 Tips for Fighting Homesickness During Long-Term Travel

Whether you call it travel burn-out, lonely discouragement, or just plain homesickness, it strikes almost every long-term traveler at some time. Like all emotions, homesickness will fade away and disappear with time. That doesn't mean, though, that there aren't positive ways of combating it. if you’d like to face homesickness head-on while you’re traveling, here are some tried and true tips for getting through those down times.

1. Make human connections.

You don’t have to be fluent in the local language to connect with the people you’ll meet on a regular basis. The elderly lady working at the kiosk down the block will recognize you after you've stopped there a few times: give her a smile and a friendly greeting. Ditto the other travelers using that internet café you frequent. You don’t have to set up long-term relationships to make basic human contact with the people you’ll see more than once during your stay. Learn a few basic phrases in their language, greet them with courtesy, and you’ll be surprised how soon your homesickness will disappear.

2. Stay in sync with the world around you.

If you’re staying in a town or city for more than a day or two, find out what local events are going on and make a point of attending. Participating in local holidays and fetes, parades and festivals, national celebrations of all sorts can connect you, even temporarily, with the place you’re traveling through. Experiencing local events can give you an almost instant grounding, making it feel less foreign and strange.

3. Don’t let yourself get too tired.

Sometimes feelings of homesickness and loneliness arise from the sheer exhaustion of travel. Rushing to connect with transportation or stressing out over lost luggage can drain your physical energy quickly, leading to feelings of discouragement and a longing for home. Give yourself a break and get plenty of rest and regular meals. Develop a flexible routine for sleep, meals, laundry, and sightseeing. By doing so you’ll minimize homesick spells.

4. Get in touch with someone back home.

Whether you phone home or Skype, keeping in touch with what your friends and loved ones are doing can make a world of difference. Sometimes just hearing a familiar voice can wipe away feelings of loneliness and discouragement: they’re still there, they’re thinking about you, and they’ll be waiting for you when you come home.

5. Orient yourself.

“Stand in the place where you are,” R.E.M. sang, and when you’re traveling far from home, getting yourself fixed in one place, even though you’ll be staying there for just a little while, can work wonders for your sense of belonging and location. Where is your hostel located in terms of the city center? Where are the major avenues? Where are the closest metro stations? Imagine how you’ll get around the town or city where you’re staying if you return in five years.

In the end, accept homesickness as a part of the experience of long-term travel. Seasoned travelers know that, when you long most acutely for home, you’re actually integrating all that you've experienced during your trip into all that you've been before. You’ll emerge a person with a larger heart and soul, surely one of the greatest of the rewards you garner when you venture out of your comfort zone to experience the world beyond your door.

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Documents International LLC, a leading apostille service for individuals and businesses.

The flower carpet in Bruxelles, Belgium
The flower carpet in Bruxelles, Belgium