Texas: Things you should know

Texas Travel Blog

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Now, I live in Texas, and I have been here for over 7 years, so you think I would have learned how to travel in this state by now...but there is always something that catches me by surprise.

Roadside Attractions:  Armadillos: I have yet to see a live one, but there are plenty of dead ones in the middle of the road.  You won't see them as much in the cities, but if you are driving on the outskirts of the cities, be on the lookout for these creatures.  Vultures:  Yes, I have run into a few vultures in my travels through Texas.  And, they look just like they do on cartoons - enormous black birds that pirch on fences!  You really don't want to hit one of them...they will probably dent your car.  Llamas: these are funny-looking creatures that appear to be a cross between a camel and a horse.  And, watch out, because they bite (most likely from the camel side)!  Tumble weeds:  These really do exist!  The best places to find them are along fences, where they get stuck.

Alcohol:  Texas is famous for it's Blue Laws, which were created back in the colonial days and have yet to be abolished.  This basically means that you cannot buy alcohol on Sundays before noon, and then you are restricted to only buying wine and beer (restaurants and bars are exempt from this law).  If you are buying alcohol at a store and you look like you are 21, then you had better have a Texas driver's license.  Any other form of ID is not acceptable because 1) it's not from Texas and 2) it's probably fake.  I even tried using my passport once and walked out empty-handed...yep, it gives me access to other countries, but won't allow me purchase alcohol in Texas.  If you are going to have a drink with your meal, be prepared to be asked for your "membership card".  If you don't have one, then you can buy one for about $2 or sometimes they are free, depending on the restaurant.  But, not all counties are "dry", so you can never be sure which restaurants will require them!

Driving:  If you need to change lanes, DO NOT SIGNAL UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE!!  This indicates that you want to move over and most Texans will speed up to block you in - and, remember, everything is bigger in Texas...especially the vehicles!  The best way to do this is to find an opening that you can squeeze into, put on your blinker, and move over quickly, more or less cutting off the other vehicle.  Also, when venturing outside of the major cities, be sure to have everything in order for your vehicle.  I decided to drive from Dallas to Lubbock one day and about half-way there I was pulled over because I didn't have a license plate in the front (not a big concern in the city).  Now, the worst place to be pulled over is in-the-middle-of-nowhere Texas because the cops there are really bored.  I was asked about where I was going, where I was coming from, if I was going to school, if I had family in Lubbock, etc.  When I told him that I was heading out there to go sightseeing and hiking, this made him suspicious.  He then proceeded to ask me if I had drugs, guns, bombs, or anything illegal in the car (most likely since I was coming from a big city and couldn't possibly have any interest in Lubbock).  So, whatever you do, try to avoid getting pulled over in those towns...especially if there isn't a Dairy Queen, because that means they don't even have 1000 people living there.

So, there are a few pointers for you to make your trip through Texas a little more enjoyable.  There are definitely many places to choose, from the beaches to the hill country to wineries to canyons.  And, no matter where you go, there is always plenty of food!  Enjoy!

zAdventure says:
Great tips! You described everything perfectly, especially using blinkers when changing lanes :)
Posted on: Mar 10, 2008
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