Don’t Mess With Texas

Nothing makes you reflect on your current living condition than a trip. I just flew back from Texas and boy, are my arms tired!

Hot and Humid

When I walked out of the safe (air conditioned) shelter of the airport, it felt like I walked into an oven! I didn’t break into a sweat, but it was a little unbearable. The temperature fluctuated in the mid 90’s. When I took the car out for lunch, I almost fried my hands on the steering wheel.

Open Road

LA is notorious for its freeways and traffic. Texas was the opposite with lots of open road and minimal traffic. However, they have freeways, highways, access roads, cross unders, and tons of toll roads. It was easy to make my way around, but it was interesting driving above someone, under someone, and parallel to someone, almost all the time. Many toll ways automatically charge you via a sticker on your car. So Texas is very efficient at taking your money. Wait a minute, you all have a George Bush Turnpike? Enough said!

Southern Spiritual Hospitality

Everyone I met was unbelievably nice. There was a warmth and genuine positive energy in each “Good Morning.”, “How are you?”, and “Howdy, Buddy!” This was consistent from my first welcome to my final goodbye. During breaks, I heard a few co-workers listen to choir music, which was very uplifting to the soul. During a break, I passed another co-worker who said, “Today is a blessed day.” I was compelled to reply, “It sure is!” Finally, I asked my Starbucks server for the best way back to the airport. She enthusiastically told me to avoid the 635 and jump on the 114. She saved me from the rare traffic jam that builds up there. I took her advice and was there in no time.

Should We Move?

I caught up with some old friends who escaped LA’s concrete jungle and have been living in Texas for a few years. They live in a 4 bedroom, 2 and a half bathroom mansion! They kept trying to convince me that their place was relatively small. I wasn’t buying it. I nearly fainted as my rent was almost double their mortgage! They have no state taxes, guess I shouldn’t complain too much about the tolls. They enjoy their lifestyle and put away savings for their adorable newborn son. To be fair, they do miss their mountains, oceans, and hiking trails. But since I’m not very outdoorsy, why haven’t I moved already?

Final Thoughts

It is still uncomfortably hot, but if you stay indoors with the air conditioner, you should be fine. However, last week hail struck and dinged some areas of my co-worker’s car. We all can’t forget the snow during the Super Bowl either. There’s some wacky weather out in those parts. The freeway system was easy to navigate, but there was some night work that rerouted me. Driving on an access road which parallels the freeway or toll way takes some getting used to, but the signs are pretty easy to understand. Look out for grass cutting machines along the freeway as my rental was bombarded by tons of flying shrapnel on my way to the airport. Let’s hope I don’t get dinged for the dings later!

There was a toll gate returning to the airport, but you can pass right through to get to the car rental return. Follow the signs and you’ll be there in no time. Take a shuttle bus to the main terminal by matching your flight terminal to your bus. Make sure you have enough time for the shuttle and a possible Skylink tram ride if your gate is farther from the middle of the terminal. Don’t lose touch with your friends who move to other states. It was a blast catching up and it’s always nice to see friendly faces in a foreign land. I did forget one important question. Do y’all just eat BBQ out there? If not, you may get a new resident real soon.

Stay Inspired!
Buck

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29 Responses

  1. MoneyCone says:

    I too found the people to be extremely nice and polite! Now don’t start comparing TX to CA!

  2. You should have told me you were coming to Dallas. I could have shown you the good places to eat, and maybe put you in my next music video! Let me know next time you come to town!

  3. krantcents says:

    I went to college next door in Louisiana. I enjoyed many of the niceties of the South, but I like large metropolitan areas like New York and Los Angeles. I like the diversity and entertainment choices of a large city. BTW, you can find many areas of the country that have lower cost housing and they usually have a lower salaries too.

  4. We will be going to Texas on a trip this summer. I don’t look forward to the heat. It can get hot here in Indiana, but it is about 10 degrees cooler. And dry heat means nothing. It is still hot.

  5. It’s nice to see different part of the country now and then isn’t it? The US is such a big country, there are so many things to see. My brother went to Texas A&M and he didn’t like it there. He likes CA more. 🙂

  6. We have family in TX & visit often. Our favorite place is Austin for a smaller city feel with a great live music scene. It’s close to the scenic hill country & has more of a CA feel than say Houston or Dallas. Camping/hiking is great at Big Bend Natl. Park and Guadaloupe Mts. Natl. Park. It’s easy to fly to CO for skiing. I don’t like the TX weather in the summer, but it’s great most of the rest of the year. Just think of the heat as the “winter” season when you are indoors more of the time & it’s alot easier to get around than in the snow. Austin has good job growth with tech industries to the point that it’s often compared to Silicon Valley. Housing prices are really good in TX too. There’s a lot to be said for the place!

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Thanks Maggie for your detailed comment on TX. Need to let my friends know about those parks you mentioned. Great points, you should work for the TX tourism department!

      • Yes, I should get paid! lol We’ve enjoyed some great bbq there (via Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives) as well as great Asian food. Love “Zen” in Austin. Some good Vietnamese food there too. We’re lucky to have grown kids there who know all the great places. For hiking there’s also Enchanted Rock. Then there are the Marfa lights for UFO fans. They have good artisan pizza in Marfa in an old gas station. I guess I should be on the TX tourism board! lol I should at least write a post about it on my blog. Thanks!

  7. I have heard that you can go into some buildings in Texas, sit down, and see everyone around you with a holstered gun on their hip. I wonder if that’s where some of the politeness comes from. 😛

    I haven’t been to Texas but it sounds like a place I’d want to visit sometime. A lot of people are migrating to Texas from more expensive states in spite of the hot & humid weather simply due to it being more affordable and with less taxes…

    • We’ve been to Texas 11 times for a week at a time in the past 10 years in many parts of the state & I have not seen one gun. I have seen very few cowboy hats, but some cowboy boots. I think the cowboy mystique is a bit overdone in the media. If you know somebody who has seen all those guns I wonder what type of places they go to! It’s a great place to visit in the cooler months, Oct. through April. In the summer, not so much unless you plan to be indoors a lot.

      • Buck Inspire says:

        You’re right, the cowboy mystique is overdone in the media. I kept thinking I would see Walker Texas Rangers all around me. Don’t think I saw any cowboy boots or hats.

    • Shoot, I was in a Texas Roadhouse steak restaurant in Indiana about a month ago and saw someone eating dinner with a sidearm. It doesn’t happen all that often but I have seen it before. I fully expect to see sidearms in Texas. I would be disappointed if I don’t.

      • Ha! I know some people who moved to TX who like the cowboy paraphenalia a lot. And I know someone who grew up in TX & still lives there. He says, “I ain’t no #@%& cowboy!” He lives in Dallas. I have seen a fair number of pick-up trucks in TX & it’s possible they had gun racks, but I didn’t notice.

        • Buck Inspire says:

          Texas is kind of special with the cowboy subculture. Do you know if other southern states have this?

          • I only know about the Nashville area which has a heavy culture of country music. You will see cowboy boots there sometimes and a big emphasis on everything “country.” That’s not to say there aren’t sophistocated people there–there are. But there is much celebration of the country music industry. We have family there too! We visit the Nashville area about once a month & usually stay for about a week. There are boot shops on “the strip,” the area around Broadway with the live music bars. Lots of fun there & we felt totally safe in the area. I haven’t seen any cowboy hats in TN. There are some very wealthy people there from the music industry who live in the area & shop at some of the expensive shops there. An interesting mix.

          • Buck Inspire says:

            That’s so cool. If we can’t go out of country, there’s so many awesome places to visit in the good ole USA!

      • Buck Inspire says:

        Now we know what part of town you hang out in. Haha!

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Haven’t seen any sidearms myself, but did see signs warning people no guns allowed!

  8. Little House says:

    I live in LA as well and sometimes I forget that in other parts of the country (and this state as well) there’s lots of open areas, not just cement and sprawl! As for Texas, my husband lived there for quite a few years before moving here, his biggest complaint was the weather. It was really unpredictable; not just from day to day, but from hour to hour. However, the cost of living is so much more reasonable!

    • Buck Inspire says:

      We really should explore more of our open spaces. All places have pros and cons. Pick which are important to you, line yourself up, and be a happy camper!

  9. Sounds a lot like Georgia. We get heat also, but we have state taxes :(. But not that many toll roads. I think it’s amazing how expensive it is to live in LA compared to everywhere else. Before our home prices were inflated by northerners driving up the prices, homes out here were going for about 80k for a 3bed, 2ba home with an attic and a basement and half an acre of land. That same home at the height would have been 250k.

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