Well, we’ve been Texas residents for about a month now. I have so much to learn but I’ve already noticed quite a few things that are different than the northwest.
The roads here have what are called “turnarounds.” You can’t always just cross a major road if you want to visit, say, a store on the opposite side of the street. No. You have to go up the road then into a median area where you “turn around” and go back on the other side to the place you wanted. It’s kind of a pain sometimes, but I’m starting to get the hang of it.
I had the choice of Fred Meyer, Winco, Walmart, Costco, or Albertson’s to shop for groceries. Here, you have Walmart and Costco. There is also a Target superstore. But the main grocery store? H.E.B. And H.E.B. alone. I’m trying to learn the layout of the store and also figure out what brands to buy, as they have brands I’ve never heard of! I’ve yet to find Gallo salami here in Texas and that’s the only kind my daughter likes.
Everyone kept telling me about the Texas bugs. I’m sure I’ve yet to dig into the whole “bug” thing. But so far, I’ve seen a big roach-like thing at the park, a black slug (we have brown slugs in the northwest) and experienced fire ants in a way I never want to again. (They came into our closet and were massively congregating on our clothes! It was horrid.
And mosquitos. I made the mistake one night of hanging out in my car while my daughter went to youth group. I had made a picnic dinner and was going to work on my computer. The windows were open and it was a nice warm night. I’ve often sat in the car in the Northwest with my car windows open. Big mistake in Texas. I know of at least 4-5 mosquitos that flew into my car. You guessed it. Within two days I had quite a few mosquito bites – one in particular that has itched so bad and grew to be about the size of a nickel! Something else in Texas quite likes to bite me as well. I’m not sure if it’s mosquitos or what – but every few days I find a little bite that itches like crazy. No fun.
The last three weekends it has stormed. Each on a Saturday night. I find that kind of ironic. But cool. I love thunderstorms and have never experienced anything quite like a Texas storm! The sky just booms and cracks and my whole room (at night) will light up when lightening strikes across the sky. It’s very powerful. And the rain comes down in such a fierce downpour that it’s all very captivating. No all day drizzles here! When it decides to rain – it pours and then it’s over.
Soooo friendly! I can’t even tell you. I don’t think I’ve run across one rude person yet. Everyone has been so friendly. I’ve had a “welcome wagon” lady come to my door with all sorts of brochures, magazines and info on the area. I’ve had two neighbors welcome us into the area. I’ve had people just, in general, be very kind. It’s refreshing.
The grass here is so different than the grass back in Idaho and Oregon. It’s thicker and courser. I will say the Northwest has the advantage of gentle, lush green grass to walk around barefoot on. Not to mention you don’t have to worry about fire ants in it!
These are my first impressions. I know I will have many more as I get out and expore the area more.
I’m always fascinated how one state can be so different than another.
I’m have a great time with each new discovery though.