Yep, it's the one place I said I would never live and the place I have twice called home, Texas, The Lone Star State. Driving through Texas as a child I could never imagine why anyone would want to live here, it was stinky, nothing anywhere worth seeing and just one more piece of road to endure before getting to grandma's house in Oklahoma. Looking at Texas through grown up eyes never really changed my perception of the state, when Vijay said he was taking a job there I rolled my eyes and sighed. My mother has a saying "Bloom where you are planted" meaning make the best of wherever you are, and so I did. I made friends, went to school, we bought a house and then as I suspected would happen, We moved. I can't say I was sad about it, closing the book on Texas, I embraced Chicago. Chicago was not hard for me to love, but this is a story about Texas. A few years later, post Chicago, but still in Illinois we reconsider Texas. Our house is still there, lower cost of living, good schools. Yes, this time I wanted to go to Texas. All things old are new again.
Here are a few fun facts about Texas:
- Texas or Tejas is an Indian word meaning friend or ally. The states motto is friendship.
- The term "Six Flags Over Texas" refers to the six countries that have ruled over Texas, Spain, France, Mexico, The Republic of Texas, The Confederate States of America and the United States. The theme park "Six Flags" was founded in Texas and continued to use this name as they built their company.
- Dr Pepper was invented in Dublin, Texas.
- Texas is the second most populated state in the United States, with California being the first and New York the third.
- People here drive fast! Texas has the highest speed limit in the nation, 85 mph on some of the rural stretches. I don't believe too many people here pay much attention to the posted limits anyway :) But to be fair, it is a long drive from east Texas to west Texas, a higher speed limit seems justified.
- Texas is one of the central states that make up "Tornado Alley" and reports more tornadoes yearly than any other state.
- Texans are proud of their state and rightly so. Texas is the only state in the United States that was at one time it's own republic.
- The phrase "Don't Mess with Texas" began as an advertising campaign with the TDOT to reduce litter. Signs baring this slogan can be seen throughout Texas on the roadways.
- Big hair is always in style.
- Sweet tea is the state drink.
- Most anything can be forgiven or ignored by adding the words... well bless your heart.
- Every sentence will have a Y 'all in it somewhere.
- Your friend swears they saw the chupacabra in their backyard last week, then you see it reported on the 6:00 news.
- You alternate between heat and air conditioning in December.
- Tex-Mex is just called Mexican food in Texas.
- You've never seen a live armadillo.
- A field of blue bonnets is awe inspiring.