Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Texas: Lessons Learned

My husband thinks he's so clever. 

Our trip to Texas had been a surprise Christmas gift from my husband and my in-laws. I've always wanted to visit the Lone Star state for many reasons. The top three being, Cowboys, Cowboy Boots, and Food. I was under the impression that these were the reasons my husband surprised me with this Texas vacation. Au Contraire my dear readers, au contraire. I found out a day into our vacation as we sat in our secluded cabin, off an old dirt road, in the middle of nowhere, trying to figure out what to do next because there is no tv, no internet, and nothing within miles, that this vacation was, in actuality, a lesson, an eye opener, a dream crusher of the sorts. 

See I'm a dreamer. I collect ideas I've seen in movies, magazines, things I've read in books and create a dream of a place in my head. An ideal location if you may, compiled of stereotypes and clichés and I sometimes (ok all the time) obsess about wanting to be there, live there, have that. My husband is my complete opposite and for that I love him. He is level headed; he looks at all the wonderful things around us and thinks to himself that what we have is great, and he can be content. He keeps me sane and on the same plane of earth as the rest of the world. So this was his scheme the whole time. He wanted me to get a taste of life in the country. Without the modern conveniences, and the food store half a mile away, and another living soul around for miles and miles (other then cows and a cat that wanted nothing but to be cuddled). He wanted to show me that it wasn't all cowboys, cowboy boots, and food. Ok there was a lot of food but thats besides the point. 

So here is my compiling of the lessons I learned in Texas (in no particular order):

1. You can take the girl out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the girl. I know we've heard this saying many times, but believe it. I didn't until this weekend. Convenience becomes a hot commodity to a city girl and out in the country it's a limited resource, thats hard to sacrifice. I'm learning to compromise and I've adjusted my dream of living in the country to living right outside a city, with at least a dirt driveway, with a house set back from the road and our neighbors, but near enough that we actually have neighbors. 

2. Everything is BIGGER in Texas. Food portions are enormous.

3. It's the land of cows. No joking. Cows are everywhere. You turn your head there are cows, you turn the other way there are cows. Cows as far as the eye can see. But boy do they have some good steak in Texas. 

4. I could be a cow. All they do all day is eat, eat, eat, sleep, and eat some more. Well thats all I wish I did everyday. On vacation thats pretty much all that we do do (I know I said do do). We pretty much plan our vacations around food. I search the food out before we go, I arrange all our dining options before we leave, then when we are actually there all we do is discuss the next place we will eat. It's sickening really. At breakfast we say, where will we eat for lunch? At lunch we say, where will we eat for dinner? At dinner we say, do we really think we have room for dessert? No wonder I feel like garbage today. In need of a serious week of salads. 

5. There are NOT studdly, strapping cowboys everywhere. This is still hard for me to believe. I just figured they would be all over the state in there sexy boots, hats, and stir ups. At the food store, walking down the road, riding on their horses, just everywhere. 

6. Cowboys are still darn sexy, when you can find one.  I wasn't wrong about that. Sorry hubby, I couldn't not add this to my list. 

7. NOT everyone speaks with a strong southern twang. This was disappointing. I know many northerns can't stand a deep southern twang, they may even thinks it's hard to understand. But I tend to like the sound of it. I would say about 30% of the people we came in to contact with had a twang, the rest spoke like me with the occasional "Ya'll" thrown in. 

8. EVERYONE drives a Pick up Truck. No really, everyone. 

9. Fried Chicken and Waffles are a perfect marriage of flavors. As soon as we landed we made our way to The Breakfast Klub in downtown Houston. It had the best reviews on Yelp for it's Wings and Waffles and I wanted me some of that. It was my first time sampling this combination and boy oh boy was it out of this world good. The salty, crunch of the batter on the chicken complimented the sweet, softness of the waffle. I was in HEAVEN! You must go to The Breakfast Klub if you ever find yourself in the Houston area. Oh and the greeter is a peach. She gave my husband and I both a hug after we told her we came all the way to Houston for some wings and waffles. 

10. That being out in the country can be both restful and restless. I'm pretty positive this is my city talking, but after a while of doing nothing but staring out at a pasture dotted with black cows, that almost look like those fake silhouettes of animals people stick out in their yard to deter other animals from visiting their yard, that you can get pretty restless. I realize we were on vacation, and people that live out in the country probably are praying for a moments break from all the work they have to do, but as a woman, I doubt there would be as much work for me out in the fields. I'd be idling my day away baking, reading, staring out at the men working in the fields. Hold up this isn't sounding so bad after all. Ah who am I kidding, I don't want to drive an hour to the food store if I run at of flour for my cake. 

11. Riding a horse hurts the bottom and by bottom I mean butt. I know it's because this was the first time I had been on a horse since the age of say 8, but I could hardly sit for days afterwards. I was literally bruised. Bruised! But it was so worth it. An hour long guided tour through acres of fields and paths winding in and out of the woods was just breathtaking! 

12. Fishing is easy when your fishing in a stocked pond and your using a Gary Yamamoto Lure. Between my husband and I we caught 10 fish in 2 days (I caught the largest fish, of course). I have fished many times before but thanks to a friend at work who gave me some of his Yamamoto Lures that look like a real worm when flicked through the water, we were a sure thing.

13. "This land is flat as it is mean, a man can see for a hundred miles". Dierks says it best, but it's true. Texas is as flat as a pancake. Similar to what I imagine Kansas to look like. The highways are as straight as a needle and all you see for hundreds of miles around are COWS. 

14. Dirt roads are far less dirt, then they are pebbles and rocks. I'm not sure if it's because we were in a standard size rental car and not an oversized pick up truck, but we felt and heard ever ping ping ping of the rocks hitting the undercarriage of our vehicle and it wasn't as pleasant as the songs make it sound driving down an old dirt road, where the black top ends. 

15. Tex Mex is better in Texas. Even commercialized joints in Texas make their own tortillas, which if you've never had a homemade tortillas, are to die for. We ate at a joint that was featured on Diner's, Drive-Ins and Dives as having the best homemade tortillas in America and they weren't far off. The restaurant is appropriately named Taco Taco Cafe and it resides in the residential area of San Antonio. The breakfast taco's were outstanding! 

16. NOT everyone wears cowboy boots. Another huge bummer for me. I was mislead and I want justice. I find cowboy boots to be one of the most comfortable shoes I own and I would like to where them everywhere and not stand out like a sore thumb and I thought Texas was just the place to do this. Well no siree. They look at you a little funny there too. Not so much in the country, but in the city's they do. 

17. There is no city like New York City. I'm learning this truth every time we visit a new city. I always picture a city to be a walking city, a place where you can get anywhere by foot if you wanted to. This is not always the case as I learned in Houston. I also feel that they should be full of things to do: shopping, eating, museums, historical sites. This I have learned in many cities thus far is not always the case and San Antonio was no different. Two days tops is all you need to see just about EVERYTHING the city has to offer. (You could spend a month in NYC and not even scratch the surface.) 

18. That the movie Julie and Julia is an inspiration to all bloggers. If you are a blogger yourself and have never seen this movie, go rent it, buy it, find it on the internet and watch it. I watched it for the first time on the plane ride home from Texas. I laughed, I cried, and I realized that my silly little blog could be something one day if I put my heart and soul into it and don't give up! 

19. A good BBQ joint can be smelt from a mile down the road and remembered days after it's eaten.  

Although I'm sure I could go on and on, I won't, but I have one last and final lesson that Texas has cleared my eyes to see. 

20. That the love for a man is boundary less just like the vast, open fields of the countryside. That waking up next to the man you love everyday, no matter where you are is the best and most wonderful, crazy, perfect dream you can want to have, that you should want to have. Sitting quietly together reading a book, or laughing about nothing, or unknowingly stirring a fire in the other one's soul with only a look, is exactly what I love about my husband. He is a wonderful man that helps ME teach MYSELF the lessons necessary in life to succeed in happiness. And isn't that all we really want out of life, to be happy?