Well if you don't know I came to Austin, TX to start my new job and find an apartment the week of 8/20 to 8/25. I had previously not been to Austin or Texas for that matter. Here is a list of stuff I learned so you'll know if you ever come this way. My education is just beginning...
Trees - I know it may sound dumb but I didn't expect to see so much lush greenery around here. I guess I had this pegged as a cactus and palm tree situation... turns out Texas has more "regular trees" than I thought. It was one of the first things I noticed as we flew in.
Breakfast Tacos - I was informed I'll meet my new co-workers on Tuesday morning as we will get some tacos... wait tacos for breakfast? Yup. They do it here and it's common place. Makes sense... tacos are delicious so why not throw egg and bacon in there and eat it for breakfast?
Rosas is a chain - I was late to the breakfast tacos because I went to the Rosas that popped up on my phone and it was the next town over... My bad, lesson learned.
Texans hate California - The massive amount of people moving to Texas from California has turned in to a feud as Texans hate the "California-ing" of the area. I have never been to Cali either and didn't have a dog in this fight until I landed and learned this. Now I'm with 'em. Piss off Cali!
H-E-B - It's not pronounced "Heb" as the letters suggest rather as each initial H E B. Either way its a bad ass grocery store that occasionally pops up with a Plus version that has some Target-esque stuff too. It's also the name on the arena the Texas Stars play in across the highway from The Crossover. It stands for a man's name Howard E. Butt... and honestly as I googled it to fact check what I'd heard I did a lot of giggling... imagine it had stayed Butt Groceries? The arena would be called the Butt Center... ok enough sophomoric stuff.. for now
The Oasis - Overlooking Lake Travis this literal Oasis sits on a higher peak than I thought Texas had. It has incredible views of Lake Travis and all kinds of bars, restaurants, and weird stuff to take pictures with. Its a cool slice of Austin and my new apt is less than 10 minutes from here. So come visit and we'll go.
It's Hot - like 100 degrees hot.. yet it doesn't feel so aggressive. It's more of a "dry heat" which people from the south always used to tell me before but now I totally get what they mean.
Vermont Fact - It's the only open carry state in the union? The folks here knew that one about my home state which was news to me... but then I hit them with the "only state capital without a McDonald's" fact and changed the landscape of the convo.
Castle laws in affect - Didn't know what they were but now I do and it means you can defend your own shit without worry of being sued because someone broke in to your home, or car, and you defended yourself. 'Merica!
Apartment Rentals - Used to paying first, last, and security deposit for a 3 banger of money sucking fun? Not here. I had one place tell me the deposit was $350 on an apartment that was $925/month, and since I had no pets I only had to pay the application fee and registration cost meaning I could have had the apartment in that moment for only $450 on the spot... I mean WHAAAAA? The apartment I got I only paid a total of $350 to nab and then owe first months rent upon moving in... did I mention cable is included? I asked 3 times to make sure it was real while they scoffed at how I'd been hurt by ridiculous cost-of-livings in New England but I was safe now in their Texas arms...
They have everything - I feel like every chain of everything is here, and bunch I didn't know too. Shopping centers and plazas every time you turn around. If you can't find somewhere to get stuff you're doing it wrong! It's overwhelming in a good way... right now I'm hitting burger joints like Whataburger and In and Out Burger for the first time ever. I then learned that while Whataburger hails from Texas that In and Out Burger is "California trash" I had them both and even I admit that while Whataburger failed to give me napkins it had the better burger. But for the price In and Out was still solid.
And I just checked and learned it's officially In "N" Out Burger... my bad. And then later visited a "P. Terry's" which overtook the other two burger chains I already mentioned due in large part to better fries. As I joked on Instagram already though... McDonald's and Burger King? You're now dead to me. Too many other better options.
Baseball - As the guy at Lids put it... everyone used to like the Rangers more but then the Astros won the World Series and everyone flipped... probably also helped in the Austin area by the Astros AAA affiliate Round Rock Express being here too. (Side fun fact: Dude working at Lids was from Massachusetts and told me he tells everyone he's from Boston when he was from Springfield and we all know that's not Boston and is in fact western Mass.)
Anyway I hope the Astros fans are cool with a Nats guy in town... I mean they should have heard the bangs on the trash can and then they would have known I was coming. Too soon? Anyway if I survived the Canadiens/Bruins rivalry I think I'll be fine with this.
Midwest vibes - People kind of remind me of midwesterners of Wisconsin and Ohio... friendly, laid back. less stressed and high-strung. I dig that. So far strangers who have even overheard me mention I'm new here are wishing me welcome and I know its not just because I'm not from California *winky face emoji
The Live Music Capital of the World - Is Austin's moniker of choice. I mean I think I knew that before but maybe I thought that was Nashville... I don't know... either way Austin City Limits and several other festivals make this place a tourist haven... assuming people traveled and had unmasked times.... like back in good ol 2019...
Bats? - I'm told there's a display of bats somewhere. I'll keep searching for more on this. I do know there was an old hockey team here called the Austin Ice Bats and now that makes a little more since to me.
Keeping it weird - Yes we've all heard they want to keep Austin weird. So far I see it to be about as weird as Burlington, VT depending on where you go. But of course as the moniker reads, everything is bigger here so the quirky parts are like... extra quirky.
Tolls aplenty - While you can get around without using toll roads it will take much longer than hopping on some highways to cut off time but beware! They come at a cost.
I'm sure there is much more for me to learn in the coming days, months, and years... but that was some of what I learned in my first week in Texas.