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I got an email yesterday informing me that I will be returning to the Great State not once but TWICE next month and Pepper needs new shorts, Cotton. I was given the choice of business travel between DFW and Newark and thought to myself: “Do I want to go to a state where the governor will leave me stranded on a bridge or do I want to go to a state where the former Governor shot a fucking coyote with a laser-sighted pistol while out running with his dog?”
Hmmmm, I wonder which one I should pick? The Prodigal Son is returning.
As I sit here planning out both trips well over a month in advance, I thought I could do a hybrid mailbag of sorts to those of you emailing me asking what you should do on your upcoming Texas trips.
Hey Kiawah, I’ve been listening to JAB [Josh Abbott Band] lately and came across the song “My Texas.” How many of those things have you done and are there any you recommend in particular?
Fantastic song that actually does a good job showcasing all of the great things one can do within Texas. During my summer before senior year, I actually focused on trying to do everything in the song and got pretty close….I’ve done everything but hike through Big Bend as that is basically in Mexico. The great thing about this song is that a lot of the “events” are fairly close to one-another and you can knock off quite a few of them at once. You can hit San Antonio Rodeo, Hill Country sunset, Cooper’s in Llano, Enchanted Rock, the River Walk and drinking Shiner down in Luke all in a day or two. Try to find a Cory Morrow, Pat Green or Roger Creager, show and you’ll really knock some out. Congrats, though, on listening to Red Dirt Music.
Hey Kiawah, getting sent out towards the Texas Coast later this summer for a few months on a mini work relo (work in the energy sector), what’s there to do down in Houston?
I’m a huge Texas history nerd so I try to make it out to San Jacinto every time I am in Houston. SJ is the final battle of the Texas Revolution where a ragtag group of country boys beat the Mexican Army in a fight that lasted 18 minutes. They have an obnoxiously tall monument there that is one of the most Texas things ever. You can also check out NASA and the USS Texas, as well. As far as things to do at night, Firehouse Saloon is a good bet and so is White Oak Music Hall. If the timing is right, you should also check out Sam Houston Race Park as they host a concert series each summer out that way.
Gun to your head what is the one place in Texas that if you had to shit on, you would?
El Paso and I didn’t even think twice. They are the bastard stepchild of Texas (sorry to those who live there). I actually spent a month out at Fort Bliss in El Paso and the hotel I was staying in was like a mile from the border and had a few bullet holes in the side of it. Wish I was kidding. One random thing I noticed there? Everyone seems to drive a Ford Mustang and I have absolutely no idea why.
El Paso is also in a separate time zone as the rest of Texas and is closer to LA than it is to Houston. Cincinnati Street is a good time, I will give them that. They also had a really good and really random Tom Fazio golf course out that way. One super amazing thing about El Paso, though? They have Tony Llama and Lucchese (Lou-KC) outlets out there and you can get really nice boots hella cheap. I climbed one of the mountains out there on a weekend night and got to see a sunset from a mountain top which was pretty cool.
Are there any city rivalries within Texas like in California?
Oh yeah. But don’t get into it if you aren’t from there. It’s a lot like the military, the Army can shit on the Marine Corps all day, but if a non-Veteran shits on the Marine Corps to someone in the Army then the person in the Army might punch them in the face. There is definitely a sibling rivalry in play but we are also all family. I would say the biggest one is definitely between College Station and Austin. While the cities are only like 90 miles apart, the schools and cultures are so incredibly different it’s crazy. I’ve never really hated A&M despite being an Austin guy because I respect the school so much (and I love me some Dixie Chicken). You can’t say the same about OU, though. I should be thankful for Oklahoma, though, considering Texas would float away into the Gulf of Mexico if Oklahoma didn’t suck so hard.
I’m considering a relo for my company which is in the financial industry. Dallas and Houston are both options, what’s the SWOT on each?
I’ve already covered Houston up top so let’s dive in to DFW. I absolutely love Dallas and there is a metric shit-ton up there to do. I am a die-hard Texas Rangers fan and would literally go to every game if given the chance. If you like the NFL, obviously the Cowboys are there and that stadium will blow your mind. It is something you have to physically see to believe. Also have the Stars and the Mavericks and I think there is a soccer team there? Soccer isn’t really a thing for me. I would personally choose Dallas over Houston any day of the week. Dallas is super close to Fort Worth which has the Stockyards/Cowtown, Billy Bob’s (largest dancehall in the world) and a smaller city feel compared to Dallas which is just a giant ass city. Dallas itself has a really great aquarium, tons of museums, the Bush 43 Library and loads upon loads of open jobs.
My fiancé is considering going to (Texas) Tech to pursue his Masters in Engineering. Should we move to Lubbock/TTU?
Why did someone who probably has Texas Flag bed sheets ever leave Texas in the first place?
I don’t have those sheets but are they a thing? Asking for a friend.
I’ve spent about 6 years of my life (and counting) outside of Texas. Four for school, one in that shithole Oklahoma living about 45 miles North of the Red River and then a deployment to Afghanistan. As disappointing as it may be to my fellow Texans, I’m not always this obnoxious about my state pride. It 100% comes out any time I am away from Texas. I’m also not alone in this regard as there are literally hundreds of songs that talk about displaced Texans missing home. Texas is great…..you’ll see random stores named after Texas that you just don’t see anywhere else. I’m sure there is a place called “Lone Star Lobotomy” or something along those lines somewhere in this state. States like Missouri don’t have “Show Me Lobotomy” as it doesn’t have the same ring to it. One sounds smooth and flowing and the other sounds weird.
Texan-ness is just something that has been ingrained in us since day 1. We take two separate years of Texas History, one in 4th grade and then another in 7th. Our state means that much to us. For those of y’all who shit on Texans when we take pride in the fact that we were a country for nine years, you just don’t get it. Texas had to become a country before it could become a state. We were a territory of Mexico and we had to literally fight a war to win independence from that country (#RemembertheAlamo) before we could join the phenomenal one we are in now.
Do we take our pride too far? Yeah, absolutely. Any time I see a “Secede” bumper sticker I just role my eyes at how impractical that would be. I heard a while back that most Texans aren’t Americans but are instead “Super Americans.” I agree with this. Texans are very passionate about things including (at least for most of us) our pride for being Americans. I didn’t move up here because I wanted to live in Washington, I moved here because it best positioned me to help the largest amount of Veterans possible which is something I am very, very passionate about. This required me leaving my great state for a few years, sure, but it also allowed me to help so many of my brothers and sisters in uniform which means everything to me..
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