Monday, March 03, 2008

That's Right, [We're] Not From Texas

So we just got back from a whirlwind, 1000-mile tour of the eastern half of Texas: Dallas -> Houston -> Galveston -> San Antonio -> Austin -> Fort Worth. A friend of mine warned me it would be terrible (practically a Thelma-and-Louise "You know how I feel about Texas"), but I had a great time. Linked to Lyle Lovett above, in case you're wondering.

Some notes about Texas:
  • Whoever paves their roads needs a good lynchin'. Loudest interstate highways in the world, they make a ton of noise driving over them. I'm not talking potholes or anything, just the pavement
  • Eat great barbecue in Lockhart, Luling or Elgin; don't believe anyone that the Salt Lick in Driftwood comes close (actually, their smoked sausage rocked my world, but their brisket is just merely very good)
  • Texas sure isn't all desert and cactus -- most of where we were it looked like Wisconsin: bare-leafed trees, rolling hills and the occasional cow.
  • They've got their primary in a week, and I only saw campaigning for Obama and Paul. Not a McCain sign in sight, and the only Hillary sign was being carried by someone in DFW airport.
  • If you're going to Austin for the music, don't do it two weeks before SXSW -- they're saving up the good stuff for then. Heard a lot of Hendrix-by-way-of-Stevie-Ray-Vaughan (Little Wing, Voodoo Child, etc.). And the bars with no cover serve very inexpensive soft drinks, surprisingly ($1 Coca Cola? unheard of! I'm no teetotaler, just don't like beer, and won't risk my life ordering wine or fruit+rum or tequila drinks in a Texas bar)
  • See the "Lucy" exhibit in Houston, or when it comes to your town. Nice history of Ethiopia, and seeing 3 million year old hominid bones is extremely cool. The staff was extremely knowledgable and enthusiastic, especially the guy carrying a well-thumbed National Geographic of the dig.

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