Welcome to Texas

“With a little help from our friends” (Dave, Leslie, Nick – thanks!) we got on our way to Texas. A stop over in Chicago proved that “everything is big in Texas” does not apply to bathroom stall doors. Chicago has them beaten there. At nearly 9 feet tall with a very unhelpful gap of about 2 inches near the floor (you’d have to have your ear to the floor to determine if someone occupied the stall), you could easily hide a horse behind one. I’m sure a shrieking whinny would alert you though…

After some overpriced beers and greasy airport food, I had no problem falling asleep for the flight to Texas. With a warm overnight stay at a cousin Tina & Steve’s in Austin, we took our time driving down to Rockport.
We spent 4 hours in search of the elusive Texas Longhorn. Many sheep, horses, donkeys, unusual cows

and lovely pastures later, we’d only spotted what we believed were Longhorns in the distance. Warren, in his best wildlife documentary voice, explained, “a shy and timid creature, the Longhorn remains at a distance, fearful of the fences which might trap his mighty horns”.

Steve suggested we follow the famous Texas BBQ trail, so in Lockhart (location of oldest library in TX and most photographed Courthouse) we stopped at Blacks BBQ – family owned for 100 years. Following bright yellow signs with a large black finger-pointing hand, we arrived a bit early for the lunch hour crowd. Under the “Open 8 days a week” sign, we entered the deserted establishment. “So what are you famous for?” I asked, to which the shower-capped matron replied “Our sausage and our brisket”. (Huh?)

Finally, arriving in Rockport, the first order of business was to find a recycling place. I telephoned the “Community Recycling Center” and asked what and where we can recycle. “Well…” and I think he paused to spit chewing tobacco, “we recycle cans and plastic bottles – but we don’t pay ya for ’em”. Smiling, I replied that we just wanted to find a place to recycle and we mainly had bottles. “Nope, we don’t recycle bottles or newspapers.” Warren’s answer was, “Welcome to Texas where our landfills are big enough for your bottles too”.

After relaxing with relatives in a very comfortable (but windy) bay-front home, we did some final shopping for our trip to Mexico. Two items of note – I dyed my hair brown (much to Warren’s dismay) and bought a programmable padlock. The lock allowed for a 4 letter combo (no digits), so as we were trying to think of one, my 7-year-old niece pipes up “I know!” and points at her uncle Warren, “It’s what he likes the most!”. Puzzled, I said “love”? Hands on hips, he shouts, “NO! BEER!”. …I’m an idiot!

To see more pictures from this story, check out the Texas gallery

7 Replies to “Welcome to Texas”

  1. That is cruel to say you dyed your hair and not show us a picture! Hopefully the banditos that read your blog will have babelfished it and try to enter “cerveza” to open your padlock…hee hee. Looking forward to the next update.

  2. Sausage and brisket??? Bizarre! Hey, try to find someplace that will make you a prickly pear cactus – when I visited Brownsville, TX, I heard that if you burn off the spines and cook ’em up a particular way, that prickly pear cactus is fairly tasty. Didn’t get to try it, but it seems like one of those “Texas” things to try!

  3. So how was the barbecue??? Brisket I can understand, but sausage? I keep picturing a big ol’ ring of Gianelli’s on the smoker. Apparently BBQed sausage is popular down there, though, as I’ve seen all kinds of messages on some BBQ boards about it. Should have asked if they had armadillo.

    How can they not recycle bottles??? Makes no sense. There must be a big hole in the ground out there filled to the brim with old Lone Star longnecks.

    Keep having fun!!!

  4. p.s Re “Monster Cow”: Looks like he stole the horns off the sorceror in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” Or vice versa.

    “There are some who call me… Tim…?”

  5. My extensive experience as a travel blogger has told me that it angers the audience when you tell stories with obvious visuals, but don’t included any pictures. Therefore, we need photos of:

    1) The nine-foot toilet stall
    2) The new hair

    If you don’t post them, we’ll be forced to assume these stories were fabricated in a pathetic attempt to increase/retain your readership.


  6. LOL Bakes! That is SOOOO true – Tim. Too funny!
    And, as for the stall pix, they don’t higher bathroom cleaning ladies for their IQ, so what I got was one without me in it (i.e. no height reference). And taking pictures in a bathroom, is, well, less than appropriate, so I thought I’d leave the image up to your imagination.
    And, OK, YES you will see PLENTY of pix of me with my new look 🙂
    We’ll write more from the hostel in Monterrey…

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