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.
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?
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.