Of the people I’ve come to know since moving halfway across the country to Pittsburgh, a good chunk of them are also transplants from elsewhere. Some friends come from the other side of Pennsylvania, some are from across state lines in Ohio, West Virginia, or New York, and at least 7 of us came up north from different parts of Texas.
Although we hail from vastly different part of Texas, from the hill country to the bigger cities to the small beach towns, I can speak for all of when I say we miss it. We miss Whataburger. We miss HEB. We miss the “hi, y’alls” and the “yes ma’ams”. For those born and raised there, the pride of being a Texan runs deep. I’m kind of obsessed with being from Texas, but I definitely knew I’d leave my home state eventually. I distinctly remember being 7 or 8 years old when my dad was talking to me about one day opening a bank account at a San Antonio based bank which only had branches statewide, and in that moment thinking that wouldn’t work for me because I wouldn’t live in Texas when I grew up…
Fast forward however many years and I’ve been away from my home town long enough to miss it dearly. I miss going to the grocery store down the street from my childhood home. I miss seeing the local weatherman waiting in line for Chinese food at Firebowl. I miss the rope swing at my grandparents’ house. I miss my weirdo mom and dad. But even though there’s a lot to miss, the feeling of “going home again” can’t be beat!
In everyday life, going to the grocery store isn’t my least favorite thing to do, but it’s still a chore. Going to grocery stores in all of the different cities I’ve traveled to, however, is nothing short of fascinating! People watching at grocery stores is awesome. Finding local treats is even better! At H-E-B (arguably the greatest grocery chain of all time), I like to dawdle in the ice cream aisle and gawk at the rainbow assortment of Blue Bell Ice Cream flavors, even though I hail from a strictly Creamy Creations family. I remember being at HEB with my mom and sister last summer and inspecting every avocado in the produce section and they were all perfect. You just don’t get that amount of quality avocado up here because Pittsburgh’s simply too far from Mexico.
There are some fast food chains in SA that I always gotta go to: Taco Cabana (to get a dozen flour tortillas and a large order of queso) and Whataburger. You don’t realize how great these places are until you’re very far away from them. Joel and I joke about franchising a Whataburger (which is open 24 hours) up here by the University of Pittsburgh because we’d make a killing selling delicious food to drunk college kids. I think it’d only cost us 3 or so million, so we’ll need to start saving, like, yesterday.
Another thing I love about going home to San Antonio, once or twice a year, is getting to see how much its changed. Sure some of the old favorites are still around (like creepy AF Kiddie Park– where I found a live possum in a trash can once!), but there’s so much new new new. Even the old Witte Museum has undergone a massive facelift. The hipsters have settled into San Antonio quite nicely, making the old Pearl Brewery the place to be. I haven’t actually eaten at Taco Land, but have stopped to pay tribute to their I Love Tacos So Much mural a couple of times, naturally.
Look at this beautiful modern home in the heart of Terrell Hills! We definitely did a u-turn to get a closer look (& take some photos) of it. I wonder if the owners have any idea that they’re building a home in both Tommy Lee Jones’ and Armie Hammer’s neighborhood….
Sometimes, exploring all that is new in San Antonio and the surrounding areas can be overwhelming, which is why I love having an all inclusive tour guide (hey, dad!). After my little brother’s wedding in Seguin, TX, my dad took us to this amazing biergarten in New Braunfels (Germantown!), Krause’s. Idk if it was the beer talking or what, but Joel and I felt like we were back in Germany. We loved having the whole place to ourselves before they closed up for the night!
And what would a trip home (a trip anywhere for that matter) be without finding beautiful walls to stand in front of and have my picture taken?! San Antonio’s wall game is strong. If I still lived there, I’d never run out of blogger gal background material. Of course, the buildings surrounding my old stomping ground, Southwest School of Art, are some of the best I’ve seen anywhere! My dad, being the great tour guide that he is, spent 10 minutes on the phone telling me about all of the new murals he’d encountered before our trip. It’s street art heaven for sure.
I love going back to Texas and that we’re always so welcomed home with open arms. It’s true that I was never a “small town” girl living in a lonely world, but taking the midnight train going anywhere (to Pittsburgh, PA it turns out) was for the best. Not saying we’ll never reside permanently where the stars at night are big and bright, but periodically going back deep into the heart of Texas is my favorite thing to do.
Until next time, y’all! Opposite of “howdy” to ya!