Through the magical wonderland that is the May 2014 issue

First stop: 13 summer vacation getaways. Plan a trip for every weekend starting Memorial Day all the way to Labor Day, from horseback riding in the Panhandle to fishing in Baffin Bay (or, might I suggest a weekend in Rockport [sorry-not-sorry for the gratuitous self-promotion]). In all seriousness, floppy beach hats off to associate editor Francesca Mari and the Wanderer, a.k.a. Jordan Breal, for coordinating this beautiful service package and giving everyone an idea of how to get the most out of their summer vacations. Need a family-friendly trip? Dora ain’t got nothing on this explorer. A quick international getaway? Aqui tienes. Wanna ride the rails? We got “dat” covered. 

Or if you want to take a different kind of trip, explore H-town through the eyes of rapper Bun B. Senior editor Katy Vine talked to more than fifty people to get to know the “unofficial mayor of Houston,” who is a thoughtful, savvy, provocative “Man About Town.” 

In fact, Houston is well represented in the issue. You can miss an Astros game there; sit in some truly horrendous traffic there; use that time to ponder the state of the growing metro area’s urban development; and, once you’re good and frustrated, drink a frozen margarita or two there. 

Venture further south with senior editor Nate Blakeslee, who investigates the increasingly militarized zone along the Rio Grande, where there are more border patrol agents on the ground than ever before. In his piece, Nate looks for an answer to this very important question: who will watch the watchers

Since I have your attention (hopefully you haven’t consumed too many micheladas during the time it’s taken you to read this), I also wanted to applaud a couple of things on the digital side of things. 

  • Please slap your hands together for senior editor Michael Hall. The man’s keyboard, still warm from the time it took him to peck out his 25,000-word opus on the Lake Waco murders, barely had a break before he tackled another very sensitive subject: the death penalty. Mike talked at length with a man named Stephen Lich who wanted to share his story: “Witness to an Execution: Why I decided to watch my father’s killer die.” It’s a powerful piece, and Mike did an excellent job with it. No matter where you stand on this issue, Stephen’s story is an absolute must-read.
  • And a huge congrats to the social media team—senior editor Jason Cohen, associate editor Sonia Smith, and Francesca—for cresting the 100,000 followers mark on Twitter. They like us! They really like us! Nope, wait, sorry. Likes are Facebook. Well, we’re picking up fans there too—nearly 90K as of this writing.

So please, follow/Like us on all social media platforms (everyone else does, so c’mon, all the cool kids are doing it), and my sincere request that you please let me know if you see any problems with the site.