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Why I love Texas: KPRC’s new anchor Lisa Hernandez shares her love for Houston’s sports, diversity and food

Lisa Hernandez and her family
Lisa Hernandez and her family (KPRC)

Why I Love Texas is a feature where Texans share why they love living here. If you want to submit your story, send a column to click2houston@kprc.com.

New KPRC 2 morning anchor Lisa Hernandez, who will start working at KPRC this week, wrote this column as a way for readers to get to know her.

Finding Houston was a blessing

If there’s one thing I’ve learned working in news, it’s that you have to embrace the nomadic life. Jumping from city to city is expected, even if many of us have an idea where we’ll ultimately end up.

To be honest, my plan did not include Texas. But what’s the line? If you wanna hear God laugh, tell Him your plans. In 2011, after seven years reporting and anchoring in Los Angeles, I was offered an opportunity to come out to Houston. While I have family in El Paso, I didn’t know a soul in H-Town.

I took a leap of faith — and thank goodness I did. It was here that I discovered the incredible diversity of Houston and the warmth and resilience of this great city. It was also the place where I met my husband and started a family. We now have two little girls we absolutely adore and we’re happy to be raising them in the Lone Star State.

So what do we love about Texas? Here’s a quick list, and, full disclosure, it’s mostly about Houston.

Diversity

This is by far my favorite thing about being here. I’m originally from Southern California and am grateful to have been raised in a diverse environment — I definitely want the same for my girls.

I remember in 2017 when the LA Times named Houston the most racially and ethnically diverse major metropolis in the country, and I was thrilled about it. It feels good to live in a city where so many find opportunity and feel welcome.

Sports

Who doesn’t love a baseball game on a summer night or having an NBA team in your backyard that competes for championships every year? And let’s not forget about major league soccer. If the gridiron’s more your thing, you’ve got Friday night lights, college gameday and the NFL to cap off your week in the fall.

We love going to games and it’s an added bonus that all of the venues are premiere facilities in their given league.

Volunteerism

Not to get too mushy on you, but I have to say — a lot of the people I’ve encountered in Texas have big hearts. So many are willing to get up and lend others a helping hand simply because it’s the right thing to do. I know there are good people — and bad — in every state, but since we’re on the topic of what I love here, I thought the people I’ve seen volunteer their tails off in Texas, has always inspired me.

From food drives to clothing drives, helping the homeless, providing outreach for families in need, animals in need, the good people of the Lone Star state will get it done. And the selflessness we all saw during Hurricane Harvey is possibly the best example of all. That was my first time witnessing anything like that and the stories that followed stayed with me.

Proximity to the coast

We don’t go as often as we should, but it sure is nice to know you can hop in the car and head to the Gulf Coast. We love Moody Gardens and stopping off at the Kemah Boardwalk. I can’t wait for both our girls to be old enough to enjoy all the coast has to offer.

Food

Whatever you have a craving for, you’re gonna find it in Texas and I think Houston deserves a special shoutout for its food. I’m especially impressed by the growing options for plant-based folks like myself. Thank you, vegan chefs/restaurants! Keep it coming!

More bang for your buck

Last but not least, it’s no surprise we have so many transplants in Texas — the cost of living here makes it hard to resist. We have kids and a bunch of rescue dogs, so we were happy to find a house with a yard that didn’t break the bank. We’re so grateful for the life we have here.

READ: 11 things to know about Lisa Hernandez