I love Texas!
And if I get the opportunity to see the rest of the U.S. , I am sure I will love it equally, it is not an exageration to say that Texas is one of my favourite places. I have been to exotic locals all over the world, India, China, Nepal, South Africa and more. Yet Texas is as foreign in its culture, landscape and food, as any of these far flung places. The only thing we have in common, is english, and even then, to a limited degree.
We landed at Fort Worth airport after a 15 hour flight and jumped on a bus straight to the hire car area. From there it took about 20 minutes to be up and running in our left side drive automatic. I hadnt slept for about 30 hours and was feeling the effects of sleep deprivation, even without this, driving on the “wrong” side of the road would have been problematic. Add to that the strange road system, no idea where we should be going, the wrong directions on the hotel map, and 3 hours later we were still driving around looking for our hotel.
Luckily the people in Texas are extremely friendly, and a few stops in random places asking for directions meant we eventually found our roadside room. We dumped our bags, showered, and headed out for an American Feast! The restaurant we found was called “The Texas Steak House”, and it served according to them, legendary fall off the bone ribs, and I’ll be damned if they werent exactly that. Teamed up with the best customer service I have ever recieved and numerous side dishes, and 30 minutes later you could have rolled me out of the place.
Jet lag is a bitch, and the huge time difference took its toll. We found oursleves watching the infamous infomercials at about 2 in the morning, and were up-and-at-em at the crack of dawn looking for something to eat. American Mccers had to be done, and we dined on terrible coffee and hot cakes. And then it was off to explore.
It is safe to say that Sarah spent most of her time in the passenger seat terrified. I had developed a habit of drifting too far over into the lane on my right, and the off ramps came so randomly that I was trying to jump lanes every half a mile. Somehow though, we managed to make our way to the Stockyards, an authentic old school American area left over from cattle drive times. Too early for most, we wandered around the near deserted relic for a bit and then hopped in the car, heading North for a lake we had seen on the map, for no other reason than we wanted to see stuff, and this undoubtedly, was stuff. The lake was beautiful and peaceful, and brought to mind a thousand scenes straight out of Hollywood Movies. After hanging out and watching life unfold on the outskirts of Fortworth, we made our way to one of the highlights of Texas, Dallas.
Dallas, at least what we saw of the CBD, is a few streets of high rise glass and steel, I loved the old school style of architecture mixed with all the shiny surfaces, the streets seemed empty compared to what I have seen of other CBD’s, but this just added to the feel of the place. We stopped in a cafe for a chilli dog and enormous cokes, wandered a bit more, and then headed back onto the highway for Fortworth. We had planned to see the Grassy Knoll where Kennedy was shot, but my inability to navigate the road system meant we were out of Dallas before I had a chance to consider alternative routes. Nevermind, we were both knackered from the jetlag, and there was an NFL game on telly I wanted to watch, so home it would be.
For dinner we pulled into a “Sonics”, and placed our orders through an intercom, following which a girl brought our food out on roller skates, man this place is cool. Back home I tucked into a foot long chilli dog, chips and more coke, watched the Dallas Cowboys win, and passed out with food sweats for what ended up being only a few hours.
Unfortunately our 2 days were up, and it was back to the airport, check in, and on a plane to Mexico.
So, I loved Texas, it is hard to describe, but the place has such a great feel to it, like stepping onto a movie set, I kept waiting for something crazy/ridiculous/funny/dramatic to happen. Every time someone spoke it was all I could do not to grin a ridiculous grin. The food was amazing, although if I lived here I think my heart would give out in a month. There is a saying in Texas that everything is bigger, and I can quite easily believe that, I learned very early on never to order a large, and most of the time struggled to finish a small. It is also relatively cheap, not in comparison to say Thailand, but in comparison to Australia, the food is easily half the price, and twice as good.
The people are super friendly to foreigners, I couldn’t get over how good customer service is, and the landscape is huge and beautiful. We didn’t get out too far from the cities, but what we saw of it was amazing, I could quite easily see myself driving across this huge state, tasting the dishes, meeting the people, and more than likely, putting on 40 or 50 kilos.