10 Things You Miss When You Leave Texas
Why anyone would ever leave our beloved state of Texas is a mystery to me. Maybe a job in another state calls your name or you want to get far, far away from your ex (queue George Strait). Whatever the reason, there are many things you're gonna miss when you're gone, like the bathrooms at Buc-ee's, and dance halls that are older than your great grandmother. What else?
Texas has restaurants that we crave. Something happens in our taste buds when we eat at these places and we end up addicted, and we start thinking we need a Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit from Whataburger while we're visiting relatives in Topeka and there's not one to be found. In fact, many things about Texas become part of us, and we have withdrawals when we leave.
Based on my informal surveys of fine Texans like yourself and a little inspiration from Buzzfeed and ABC13 in Houston, these are some of the top things that you're likely to miss if you have the misfortune of leaving Texas.
10 Things You Will Miss If You Leave Texas
1. Whataburger. This place could be the official restaurant of Texas partially for it's food, but also because of its tweets. The people of Whataburger seem to enjoy their jobs and they have just enough spice in the food and on social media to keep things interesting. Oh, and the Taquitos at 3am are something you just can't find in Poughkeepsie.
2. Sunsets. We're further south than some states, and it feels like we're closer to the sun so the sunsets look warmer and cozier here. It's true. We don't need an eclipse-type event to cheer for the sun like it's a championship football team. We clap every night because it's pretty.
3. Open roads. Texas has plenty of congestion and construction and frustration on the roads, but it's also got some great wide open spaces that make us feel like we're in a scene from Thelma and Louise. There's freedom on our highways, and we turn up the radio and go, til it's time to stop for a kolache.
4. Dance Halls. Gruene Hall comes to mind in Central Texas. We've got plenty of old dance halls in Texas that have creaky wood floors and sometimes smell like spilled beer. And other times the beer stains are so old the wood floors smell like wood again. The acoustics are fantastic in these older places, and it's something that can't be re-created.
5. Locally produced wine and beer. Sure the Shiner ships and you can probably find it in Dubuque, but it tastes better if you drink it here. Shiner Bock is one of the biggest beer claims to fame that Texas has, but there are other amazing craft breweries that crank out great stuff too. Fredonia Brewery in Nacogdoches and East Texas Brewing Company in Tyler come to mind.
6. Bathrooms and the rest of Buc-ee's too. You've stumbled upon greatness if you become known for your bathrooms. These are a thing at Buc-ee's travel stops because they're clean and huge. And then we browse through the pralines and pastries and clothes and tools, and the next thing we know four hours have passed. The shopping rivals small department stores. Texas has the best gas stations in America, and it starts with Buc-ee's.
7. Barbecue. We might have one barbecue restaurant for every two people in Texas, and it's quite all right with us. We wear the smoker smell for perfume quite proudly, and we don't try to be fancy with the presentation. Slap that brisket and sausage on the plate and throw on a piece of plain white bread and some pickles, and horrify some Californians. It's okay.
8. Tacos. It can be chicken, beef, fish, chorizo, or mystery meat and it doesn't really matter. It's all good, and we're going to hose that baby down with some creamy hot sauce and put an avocado on top and wolf down three or four in a row because we call them "street tacos" and they're smaller so we don't feel guilty. Tacos can happen at fancy gourmet restaurants or straight out of a food trucks, and it has no effect on the quality. They'll be good because they were created by a Texan.
9. Haunted places. Like Jefferson and the ghost walk tours. Or Stagecoach Road in Marshall. Or the Driskill Hotel in Austin. We've made friends with our ghosts, and these spots can be fun as much as they are scary. And Texans are always up for the adventure.
10. Your money. Texas has no state income tax, and if you move away you might be a little lighter in the wallet because you're paying more in taxes. And things like houses and groceries can be more expensive in other states. So stay put and you'll be rich...er.
We've got a good thing going here, so why ruin it by thinking you need to be somewhere else.
Oh, and we've probably got enough people here already, so the folks that want to move here should probably stay where they are. Unless they're bringing some barbecue or tacos and a couple of ghosts. Then it's totally cool.