Texas was not on the radar. In my book of travel dreams, Texas did not hit the register. Due to the power of “writing down your goals”, it’s no wonder we landed here. You see,
Woody had it on his Pillar List, a list that identified places he wanted to see on our adventure. This was about two years ago, I actually got mad at him, I didn’t believe he took it seriously. I mean, The Alamo?!
Then, on the other hand, it has always been our motto to follow the weather. You know, “going where the weather suits my clothes”? So, here I am, in Texas.
We tackled a few cities in this BIG state, Amarillo, Fredericksburg, San Antonio, and Austin. WAIT, and whatever town I am in right now. Weather App says: Mont Belvieu! We probably won’t be doing much exploring here, we landed here because
of a Texas sized blow out, throwing our hubcap, loosing tread, and radial wires shooting everywhere. It hindered our trek, and threw us into Houston traffic. Hey, they have Texas-size traffic too. 7:30 pm, bumper to bumper for 6 miles, and on a Federal Holiday, Veterans Day.
Here is my Texas takeaway: Texans love Texas. Their pride is reflected on fence posts, road signs, clothing, purses, boots, trucks, billboards, decals, blue jeans and any other venue possibly imaginable. Their love of state does not come across the same way Californians demonstrate their self-import. In Texas, it feels as though their pride runs through their veins, it’s not the superfluous kind I felt with the California-wannabes. Enough of that sort of opinionated bias.
I was surprised by the strong German influence in the parts of Texas we traveled, road names to architecture. Apparently, in the 1840’s there was a large German immigration, spurred on by a couple of transplants, touting the wonders of Texas. And, the story we heard, these immigrants are also credited for the introduction of the accordion to Zydeco music.
We spent a couple days in Fredericksburg. It offered a big dose of German culture, many tasting opportunities, from wine, wurst, to hot sauce, and an open-air museum demonstrating early settler life.
San Antonio was our next city. 7th largest city in our nation (not verified by me.) And then we had 3 nights in Austin. What a fun city, and dog friendly!
Even I have to admit, Austin is weird! Count me on board to accept Austin as Portland’s sister city. Obviously, I know Portland much better – but based on my surface observations, here are some comparisons: Portland is more walkable and mass-transit friendly. Uber is in both cities, but Austin has a vote coming up to determine if Uber’s future will live here. Portland has phenomenal dining options, however, Austin has the BBQ and Tex-Mex dining cornered. Both have countless coffee options, so I’m going to take a stab they’re comparable. Austin’s craft brewing scene seems to be on par with Portland, but personally, those hops from the fertile northwest, for glorious IPAs, are always going to be my personal favorite.