Everything’s…different? in Texas

I’ve very familiar with the phrase, “Everything’s Bigger in Texas.”  During my stay here, I haven’t noticed anything being much bigger (not even the steak I ordered Sunday night), but I have noticed some differences.  Here are some notable differences from Iowa:

-U-Turn lanes. Once off an interstate, Texas provides you a convienent opportunity to make an uninterrupted U-Turn.  I found this out when attempting to turn left on the first day here, and found myself going back the way I came.  See an example from my friend Wikipedia here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_U-turn

-Highway lines: While we’re talking about the highway system, lets talk about the lines on the highways.  In Iowa they’re painted on with reflective paint.  Here, the lines are painted, however they also have raised, reflective, round(or rectangle) markers on the painted lines.  These make a very interesting noise when driving over them.  I found myself doing this on occasion, just for fun.

Whataburger: I’m accustomed to Micky D’s (McDonald’s), Wendy’s, Burger King, Hardee’s (love their commercials. ex: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J73cdISF8wk)

BBQ – while on the topic of food (which I love), there are more BBQ restaurants here.  At these restaurants, it’s more of a buffet line than a regular order/sit-down restaurant.  This is kind of nice.  I ended up sitting with two older(I called them young) men who had waited in line for TCU tickets.  We had a great conversation about college football and a better lunch.  The sliced BBQ beef at Angelo’s was great(http://www.angelosbbq.com/)!

Gas stations: In Iowa we have gas stations like BP, Kum & Go, and Casey’s, but in TX they have Mobile 1, Valero, and Chevron.  Gas is gas, but nothing beats Casey’s donuts and pizza!  Haven’t had it? It’s a must-try!

Heat: It’s been Hot! for September?  I like the seasons of Iowa, and nothing screams football like the fall weather!  I made the mistake of renting a black car.  In Iowa, WI, and IL I can sit in my car and read if I make it to a high school early, but in TX?!  I’d have to leave the car running to keep cool.  I’m also a fan of the colors we have during the change in seasons.

All in all, I had a great time in TX.  I hope to return again. Until then, keep it cool (pun intended) Texas.