Lone Star

May 17, 2011

When I first moved to Texas, I was torn between once again leaving my native California and the possibility of new opportunities that seemed to be waiting for me in Dallas. New friends, a new job and my first house were all very exciting prospects…though there were still a few haters (“yeah, but when you leave your house, you’re in TEXAS”).

After five years of living here, I am still torn…and excited. It’s hard to be away from my family and miss many of those landmark-life events that families are designed to share.

But I have discovered my own family (cult?) of friends in Dallas. And the opportunities that exist for me here seem exclusive to the unique character of this city: easily accessible metropolitan offerings on a manageable scale.  

And to those who might rest on the post-card worthy laurels of a certain state with a generous distribution of beaches, rolling hills, vineyards and fault lines…I would argue that Texas can hold its own (sans the fault lines).

Last weekend, Knox and I took our first road trip to College Station, Texas. This town is best known as the home of Texas A&M University…an iconic, Texas institution. It’s also home to my good friends Zulema (who I’ve known since high school) and her husband Andrew.

It takes almost 4 hours to get to College Station from Dallas, which would seem like a chore. But the distance did not deter Knox and I.  We just packed some extra grass-fed-beef jerky, some bottled water and opened up the sunroof to enjoy the ride.

And it was FUN.

Most of the trip to CS is on a two-lane highway through rolling hills and small towns. Although this part of Texas is currently experiencing drought conditions, there had recently been some rain and everything along the road was green and thriving.

We stopped occasionally in different towns along the way to stretch our legs and take care of some dog biznass. These towns were like movie sets…old buildings with rusted awnings…the kind of patina that you would pay big money (or a lot of DIY effort) to achieve.

Meanwhile in College Station, Zulema was celebrating her tenure at TAMU and Andrew was celebrating a birthday…and the party was ON by the time that Knox and I pulled into their driveway.

 Although Knox knows how to cheese it up for pictures, he is actually a shy guy…so all of the excitement, kids, dogs, music and splashing in the swimming pool was little much for him. He was a good sport about it though and we managed to enjoy ourselves and meet a whole lot of cool people.

Overall, it was a great weekend. Much thanks goes to Andrew, Zulema and their dog JoJo for putting us up at their beautiful house for the night. Hopefully this will be just the first of many Texas-road trips to come.

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