I grew up in the Lone Star State. Even though I’ve somewhat acclimated to the frigid temps and never-ending blizzards of living up north, I still consider Texas my home. It’s about this time of year–when we’re entering the 5th or 6th month of a Minnesota winter–that I miss it most. Here’s why…
A real swirl margarita is made with the perfect balance of sweet frozen sangria and tart frozen margarita. The few places I’ve managed to order something similar around here, they typically dump some frozen margarita in a glass and mix in some wine. Not even close! My favorite Texas Swirls are served in a glass about as big as a fishbowl and will leave you feeling much happier than you were when you started. Enjoy at your own risk!
There’s something about barreling down the open road with the wind whipping through your hair, singing at the top of your lungs to the radio that’s cranked up all the way. I don’t see many convertibles in Minnesota. And driving around in my minivan with the windows down when it warms all the way up to 45 degrees isn’t quite the same.
Some of the most desolate roads I’ve ever traveled have been in the Lone Star State. But some of the most beautiful stretches have been there also. There’s nothing like basking in the beauty of a field of Texas bluebonnets in full bloom. Nothing. So don’t even try to come up with a comp on this one, okay?
Friday Night Lights – A lot of people love football. But I’ve never been anywhere else where people celebrate football like they do in Texas. I spent many a Friday night under the bright lights of a high school stadium. The excitement is contagious. Anticipation crackles in the air. From the first snap to the last huddle, some sort of inexplicable magic descends.
Growing up in Texas, everyone either had a swimming pool, lived next to someone who had a swimming pool, or knew where the best place was to catch a few rays and take a dip in a genuine swimming hole. Bonus points if there was a frayed rope hanging off a random tree limb that you could use to swing out over the water. Sometimes I’m amazed I survived.
There’s always someone playing something somewhere close by. From big bands that fill up the stadiums to singer/songwriters who perform solo, there’s a constant and wide variety of music available. And people in Texas aren’t afraid to get up and dance. Whether it’s two-stepping around a tiny dance floor or stomping boots across a honky tonk floor, they know how to have a good time.
I hate that I can’t go into a restaurant and order chicken fried steak any more. People don’t understand that chicken fried steak isn’t actually chicken. I’m sure my arteries are grateful, but there’s nothing like a huge plate of mashed potatoes, fresh baked biscuits, country-fried steak and homestyle gravy. And don’t even get me started on the Mexican food. I miss real Tex-Mex. Tamales and chile rellenos and enchiladas and fajitas and burritos and… gosh, I’m hungry. I usually gain about 10lbs when I go home to visit. And that’s just over a long weekend with multiple visits to Taco Bueno.
People joke around about it all the time… “Sure, everything’s bigger in Texas…” wink wink. But honestly, everything IS bigger in Texas. And I don’t just mean the stuff you can see like Big Tex. State pride is bigger, open spaces are wider, hearts are bigger, the sky goes on and on… yep, everything’s bigger in Texas!
So while the snow continues to fall outside I’ll sit here and reminisce fondly about the warmer days behind me. Until I go home to visit in August and sweat starts dripping off me before I even deplane. Maybe then I’ll write a post about my love of sledding and ice skating and hot cocoa…