We just had another whirlwind 2 weeks at the house. We had 2 visits from different relatives from different states. For some reason we’ve had more people come visit us since we moved to Texas than when we were in NYC…even when the same people were less than 20 miles away from us at the time.

Today, folks will fly or drive to visit us and spend time in Texas. I hope it is partly because I have been telling a lot of them how our lives have been so different since we moved here.

I try to take our guests to a shooting range whenever I can. Most of them have never shot anything, usually they get pretty excited. I think I am going to make this into a tradition: if someone visits us here, they get to shoot. I have been taking them to a public shooting range in Garland-mainly because it is kind of cheap. Thinking about it now, on this last visit there it cost us $105-since it was $30 per first timer and $15 for me. That’s not really cheap for guests who come here to shoot for the 1st time. I may need to find some other venue to do this. The main reason I take them there is they can shoot skeet and I have not found any yet that is close enough to our location.

Here is their location:

Garland Public Shooting Range

It is $30 per head for your first visit. You come in and tell them it is your first time. They will have you watch a safety video in a room adjacent to the counter. It runs for about 5 mins. After the video you come back and fill out a small 5×8 sheet of paper with basic info and they give you a yellow card (your range card). Bring that next time you come to shoot and it costs $15 to shoot all you want. Bring ammo and your gear. It is almost always cheaper elsewhere than to get it at the range. We brought our clays which we got on sale at Walmart for about $5 for a box of 90. The folks are not always chatty, but stern and friendly.

I brought 3 folks and they all shot for the first time. The goal is always to make them feel safe and make it a positive experience. From there it depends on them if they have fun with it or not. At least they have tried it and have a better understanding and can make a more informed opinion about shooting. I do what I can to make them understand that there are definite rules that keep people safe-and yes it can be dangerous but when used properly these are tools that save lives everyday.

Other than time at the range, we also took our visitors to see Houston and the Gulf of Mexico. My aunt was quite captivated by it and loved being at the beach. She was quite verbal about how this was more reminiscent of her home than the beach they have on the East coast. We were only there for about 15 minutes, but with the nice warm low tide it was great

We also took them to Fort Worth to see the Stockyards. They had a blast taking photo ops with the bulls and bought cowboy hats. (I am wary of getting them just yet, but one day I will).fort-worth-stockyards

I think we’ve had enough visitors here we should have a written default itinerary for new visitors, and a running/updated list for new activities. The goal is to make visits diversed and help them see some of the great things that make Texas a great place. During the drive we usually talk about how there is no income tax, and how there’s just way more small businesses popping up everywhere because it is easier to start up something. I try to sell freedom where I can.

With all the visitors we get, it usually derails our housekeeping and budget. They come visit us planning to spend money but I don’t usually include their visits into our budget. It also screws up our schedule and errands. Still, I think it is worth spending time with them and making the most of it. I will have to figure out ways so that we are not so cash heavy on these activities though and have more flexibility on what we can do so we have options while they go watch the rodeo show that we’ve seen a bunch of times before.



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