Howdy Ya'll - First Thoughts on Texas

Trip Start Jan 01, 2010
Trip End May 14, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Sunday, January 3, 2010

We are in Texas.  We heard a lot of things from people before we got here, some good, some bad.  We had some ideas of what we'd see, but not a clear picture.  Now we're here. 

As I sit in the van driving literally across the state, I'd thought I'd write down some first thoughts we've had so far.  I wanted to write down our first impressions and see how they develop over our several months here.

1.  It's big.  We all know this by looking at a map.  However, it feels big.  There's so much open space between buildings, towns, houses.  There's so much space.  This is especially a shock having come from the East Coast where so many people are trying to fit into so littler space.  But out here - space is not limited.

2.  On the same note - Cars are big.  It is a noticable difference in vehicle size from the east and even from the midwest.  Sure, everyone says "everybody has a truck in Texas" but it's actually true.  There are no "compact car only" parking spaces.  They don't need to conserve parking space, because Texas is Big.  Their cars are only filling up the space that's here.  Our van is now on the small end of vehicles on the road.

3.  Another pitch to the same note - Churches are big.  They have huge signs with electronic scrolling message boards and they are big.  You can't miss 'em from the highway.  And a lot of them are Baptist as opposed to the majority of Presbeterian and Catholic churches in the East.

4.  It's not as flat as expected.  Flat - it is - however, not AS flat as we thought.  The road flows with a natural roll to the landscape.

5.  There is a Wal-Mart at every major exit.

6.  It's sunny!!!!  January third and I walked from the car to the restaurant after church with NO COAT!   Sure it's chilly.  But we forgive that because it is Janurary after all.  It is notably warmer, though, than the Michigan winter we just left and the sun makes everything feel warmer.

7.  There are a lot of cows.  And there are cows in weird places.

8.  People are different.  Now, I promise not to make generalizations for all Texans off this one dude, but I must tell this story.  We stayed in Texarkana, TX last night, right over the boarder from Arkansas.  So it's our first footstep into the Lonestar state and the first Texans we meet are in the hotel.  We walk into the lobby and there is a tall man with tight jeans, unshaved face, cammo shirt, and trucker hat talking to the girl at the counter.  She was distracted from his drunk buddies continually calling the front desk to bug her.  He's talking, in a THICK drawl (made worse by his less than sober state of mind) about how he "ain't gonna go mess with them guys.  I had three with 'em before I left for the bar an' they kept drinkin' so I ain't goin back to the room til' they all pass out."
    This is our first introuction to "The Texan."

9.  More road kill.

10.  NO TOLLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!  YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

11.  It's very brown.  We don't know if this is a winter coloring or if it's always brown.  But for now, it's brown.

12.  Chili's Restaurants are more common than Applebees.  And On the Boarder Restaurants make more sense here than in Ohio.

13.  We haven't seen a Taco Bell - but we have seen Taco Bueno.  I wonder it the tacos are good?  (hehe)

14.  Things are decorated with stars.  Houses, cars, bridges, roadsigns, restaurants.  The state seems proud of that "Lonestar,"  however, putting it everywhere negates it's very name...

15.  Sun rises and sunsets (well, the one of each that we've seen) are very pretty.
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