Whether we’re away for just a short time due to traveling or we’re a Texas native who moved to another state, it’s always comforting to see little things that remind us of home. Here are 13 things that never fail to make us think about the Lone Star State.
The combination of chips, salsa, and way too much cheese than one should be legally allowed to consume in one sitting says "Texas" like nothing else. Bonus points if the salsa is extra spicy.
2. Hearing country music on the radio.
It's always a pleasant surprise to find GOOD country music on the radio in another state. One verse of George Strait, is enough to convince us we're back home.
3. A chicken-fried steak cooked just right.
It has to be crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Oh, and the cream-to-meat ratio has to be perfect. Picky eaters? Us? No way, we just know the proper way to make a classic.
4. Freeways as wide open as the West Texas desert.
Nothing reminds us of home quite like crossing eight lanes of traffic all at once. Sounds more like a scene from an action movie rather than real life, right? Well, that's Houston on a daily basis for ya.
4. Chili made the RIGHT way.
...AKA no beans. I can't tell you how many grocery stores I've perused in other states looking for a can of good ol' Wolf without beans. Never could find it - I just don't understand why out-of-staters insist on putting those little demons in their chili.
6. Bluebonnets lining the highway as far as the eye can see.
I don't care if it isn't customary anywhere else. If I see a field of bluebonnets on the side of the highway, you bet your bottom dollar I'm stopping to take some pictures.
7. Breakfast tacos.
I've actually managed to come across breakfast tacos in a handful of other states. Obviously they aren't as good as ours, but beggars can't be choosers.
8. Cowboy boots.
Us Texas gals and guys will instantly be reminded of our homeland if we see a pair of cowboy boots. They were made for walkin', and that's just what they'll do.
9. Blue Bell.
Fortunately, a handful of other states sell Blue Bell. Just remind me never to travel up North where they don't know good ice cream. Come hell or high water (or listeria), you can't take a Texan away from his/her Blue Bell.
10. Wide, open roads.
Anytime I'm driving out-of-state and go through a stretch of open road with no civilization in sight, I think of home. So much of Texas is truly uncharted territory because of the state's sheer size, and there's so much mystery in the emptiness.
11. Finger-lickin' barbecue.
Hear me out on this one, y'all. I KNOW that no barbecue will ever measure up to ours here in Texas, but some states come pretty close. As long as the sauce is served on the side and the meat is slow-smoked for at least 24 hours, I can pretend I'm back home...if I close my eyes and maybe hold my nostrils closed.
12. Really big trucks.
In Texas, you're in the minority if you don't own a truck big enough to take ownership of the streets and run anything and everything in your path off the road. It's almost a comforting feeling to travel elsewhere and see an army of 4x4's surrounding you.
Or "Southern hospitality" as we like to call it. I don't care what state I'm in, I expect doors to be held, "Ma'am" and "Sir" to be said, and general courtesies to be practiced. Nothing reminds you that you aren't in Texas anymore quite like a door to the face.