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When I drove 1,200 miles to San Antonio, I knew that I had found the perfect place to raise my daughter and begin a new life. We arrived in July 2015 as my daughter was just entering middle school and settled in Oak Haven Heights on the beautiful Northeast Side of the city where we were welcomed with open arms.

One of the reasons I picked this area is because North East Independent School District was one of the top school districts in San Antonio and one of the most diverse districts in Texas. I asked my daughter what was one of the best things about living in San Antonio — besides the breakfast tacos, of course — and she simply said, “the people.” She is so right. Whether we are eating at one of our favorite local restaurants or visiting the beautiful parks located off of Thousand Oaks Drive, it’s the people that make this city the perfect home.

The local and family-owned restaurants are some of our favorite places to visit. I love the selection of food establishments in our area from Mexican, Italian, Greek, and Chinese. We have so many choices. Eddie’s Taco House is located right on Thousand Oaks and their weekly specials are always delicious and such a great deal. We also love to pick up breakfast tacos from Camila’s Mexican Restaurant which has a convenient drive-up window to pick up your order.

Pizza Italia is a wonderful family-owned business that has delicious hand-tossed pizza and a great selection of beer. We have celebrated many special family moments, from my daughter’s sacrament of confirmation to her recent graduation from MacArthur High School. Another great family-owned business is our favorite Chinese place called Tang Street. It’s owned by a beautiful family, and they know my order whenever I call. The service there is amazing.

If you’re ever looking for something different, stop by Chicago Hot Dogs located on Jones Maltsberger Road. They have the best variety of gourmet hot dogs and the most delicious chili. For date night or family fun time, we like to visit Hops & Hounds, a fun spot with a walk-up bar, outdoor seating, and a dog park for our little Daisy. You have to try the wings, but everything on their menu is delicious. The people at all of these businesses welcome us like we are family every time we visit. Just like my daughter said, the people make San Antonio a beautiful place to live. 

Marisa Hernandez and her daughter, Mariya Cuevas, watch as the family dog, Daisy, explores the dog park at Hops and Hounds on Friday.
Marisa Hernandez and her daughter, Mariya Cuevas, watch as the family dog, Daisy, explores the dog park at Hops and Hounds on Friday. Credit: Nick Wagner / San Antonio Report

The Northeast Side of San Antonio has so many beautiful parks. Phil Hardberger Park is the perfect spot for family picnics, and McAllister Park and Comanche Lookout Park have the best trails to get lost in and enjoy the scenery. We also like to catch a movie at the Regal Northwoods Theater or visit the Ice and Golf Center at Northwoods for some mini-golf or ice skating.

When I settled in San Antonio I was inspired to start my blog MexiMoments and podcast Girl Talk y Más. These platforms helped me connect with so many wonderful people, businesses and brands in San Antonio and all around Texas. Living in San Antonio has inspired me to celebrate my Mexican American culture and being able to share that with my community has been such a gift. Community and supporting local businesses truly mean a lot to me, so I recently came together with two of my fellow San Antonio influencers and good friends, Angel Santiago and Natasha Gonzales to create The Good Vibe Tribe. We work to help small businesses grow and thrive in our community by highlighting their work, spreading the word, and hosting events.

San Antonio is an amazing place to call home and by living here I found my true love and calling in life. I look forward to having more family moments and milestones in the Alamo City.