9 Things to Know About Texas
You’ve made the move to settle in the Lone Star State. What are the absolute must-knows about your new home?
Texas culture will wash over you soon enough, like the sounds of a country song played acoustic on a balmy summer night. “Y’all” is a short way of saying “you all,” and we are mighty proud of our Tex-Mex cuisine. This is your simple guide of what to know when moving to Texas.
1. Texans are friendly.
When a Texan tells you to “have a nice day,” they really mean it. Rest assured that folks down here are typically down to earth and friendly for the most part. If a neighbor says to call out for help, then take it literally!
2. Texans love their sports teams.
Moving to Texas doesn’t mean you have to abandon your home team. But be aware that Texans are passionate about their football, baseball and basketball, and they’ll let you know where their allegiance lies.
Wear your favorite team’s jersey to the Sunday tailgate barbecue, regardless of who’s playing. While they may not side with you, folks will honor your decision to cheer for your team and will respect your hometown pride.
3. A Texas toll tag will get you far.
The highway system snakes across our state like organized spaghetti. What you’ll notice right out the gate is that many of our well-built highways are tollways.
To start with, keep lots of quarters in your car. Veer to the righthand lane if you want to slow down, stop and pay each toll individually. But there’s a better way to manage your transportation, economize on gas and curb the frustration of being stuck in toll traffic.
If you’re in the Houston area, an EZTag is used on all Harris County toll roads and covers 103 miles of highway. Around Austin and central Texas, the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority offers TxTags to make your driving on toll roads easier. The NTTA in north Texas issues their TollTags to make commuting and transportation easier. When you sign up for one, find out whether it’s a pay-per-use or a pre-pay system. In addition to making your trip faster and easier, you’ll pay less money in tolls with a toll tag. All Texas toll tags work on all Texas highways.
4. Tacos apply to every meal.
Stacks of tortillas are to Texans what loaves of bread are to residents of other states: We’ve turned them into a means of delivering food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Don’t be surprised by the number of tacos and other tortilla-wrapped foods you may begin to consume once you’re settled in Texas. Breakfast tacos are a fast way to grab a morning meal loaded with protein, various types of tacos make great meals at lunch hour and of course, tortillas are a Tex-Mex staple at dinner time. We use them for in quesadillas, fajitas, fish tacos, enchiladas, taquitos and more. Just be warned, Mexican food really will become a part of your daily life, and we think that’s a wonderful thing.
5. Friday night is for football.
The fall semester in Texas high schools is all about Friday night football. Whether you’ve got teenagers in high school or little ones in elementary school, know that Friday nights are often reserved for supporting our local teams. It’s a way to meet new folks and support the younger generation of players.
6. Universities are bigger here.
Texas is home to some major universities, and Texans are steadfast in support of their alma maters.
Many folks attend the same university their grandparents attended, and this tradition carries on down through the generations. College football games are a real spectacle here in Texas, so if the opportunity arises to attend one, go for it!
7. Crawfish are the centers of celebrations.
Carried over from our neighbors to the east, crawfish boils have become a thing in Texas over the last 20 years, with pounds of crawfish, potatoes, corn and mushrooms boiled in a vat of spicy broth and water.
You’ll find that during the spring time crawfish boils pop up all over the place, and festivals and parties are thrown in honor of these spicy mud bugs. Buy them by the pound and don’t forget to keep some extra paper towels on hand. Peeling crawfish can be a messy affair.
8. Our state flower paints the state blue.
Bluebonnets paint the hillsides and roadways blue in the springtime, and you’ll find that folks around you might take the weekend just to go see these ephemeral fields of blooms that last only a few short weeks.
Embrace your first spring here in the Lone Star state and do the same. It’s a flower we’re mighty proud of, and we think you’ll grow to love them, too.
9. Local pools cool the communities.
No matter where you live in Texas, we guarantee you’ll need an oasis to cool off in when the mercury rises in the summer. High humidity also makes temperatures feel even hotter. If your neighborhood doesn’t have a community pool, look to join a local YMCA or health club, even if just for the summer.