Home is where the heart is and as of last Wednesday that is Austin, Texas.
This isn’t our first time in the area, but after settling into our new digs, I can definitely say that we’re in love with the area. That being said, I’m fully aware that right now we are in the honeymoon phase of things.
Everything is more vibrant. Not only is the grass greener but the blues and purples are looking mighty fine. Even a bout of crappy weather seems better than what we dealt with in Florida.
Here’s some of my observations thus far:
- The traffic is bad, but the driver’s aren’t as terrible as I’m used to. I don’t mind sitting in traffic if it’s actually moving and for the most part, the traffic moves, even if at a slower clip than the speed limit.
- Hospitality and just being nice and decent towards one another is still bigger in Texas. The only exception to this was when we ventured to the IKEA in Round Rock. The IKEA sucks ass compared to the one in Tampa (the bathroom was one of the most disgusting bathrooms I’ve experienced in quite a while) and everybody that worked there as well as most of the patrons seemed like they didn’t want to be there. Us included, after the bathroom experience.
- As of last night, Prop 1 (requiring fingerprinting for rideshare drivers’ background checks) failed and both Uber and Lyft are suspending operations on Monday. I’m actually torn on the issue as I’m a huge fan of Uber and not a big fan of government involvement and unnecessary regulations. The flip side to that is that I am a husband and a father and safety of my clan is of the utmost importance. I’m unsure how I would have voted on the issue.
- Internet is cheap. Capitalism is fully at work in the area in regard to Internet service providers. I’m sad that gigabit fiber hasn’t made it to my area, but very pleased to have Internet speeds that are four times what I had in Tampa and am actually paying ten bucks less a month.
- Jury’s still out, but I think Texas may have more ridiculous creepy crawlies than Florida. In the last few days I’ve killed more spiders, mistakenly grabbed onto many weird stick/stink bug looking creatures and stood in awe at the size of the snails than I ever did in Florida. Florida still has mosquito’s on lock though. And no, that’s not a compliment.
- Not all barbeque in Texas is “the best barbeque I’ve ever had in my life, ZOMGWTFBBQ”. I knew the streak was going to come to an end eventually. Fortunately, the place (Bill Miller B-B-Q [yes, I know it’s a chain, but it’s hella close to the crib and I want to try everything]) had an amazing fried chicken sandwich. I’ll return, but wouldn’t touch the ‘cue.
- To the previous point, I’ve yet to have bad Mexican food. Some better than others, but nothing that would fall into the “0 of 5 stars, would not recommend to even my worst enemy” category.
- A lot of people from Florida that we know seem to be very negative about us moving. We’ve been told that we’ve yet to have “real Mexican because all they have in Texas is Tex-Mex” and I can count on at least a few hands the times I’ve been told “but I like it here” when mentioning that we were moving. It’s like folks in Florida are straight up offended that people would choose to live someplace else. Incidentally, everybody I know that have already escaped Florida have been the most encouraging about the move and the first ones to ask if we made it out okay.
I could probably go on a bit further about the nuances of how people drive or the fact that every store (except IKEA) I’ve been asked if I need any help and what not but I think I’ve said enough this week. Perhaps I’ll start doing a second post a week just to talk about our transition :)
To recap, we absolutely fucking love it here. South Austin is full of good people, good food, a ton of commerce and isn’t too far from downtown and it basically three miles away from anything else in south Austin.
I’m sure some faults will begin to emerge as the honeymoon period comes to an end. Notably the triple digit heat we’re soon to be entering this year. Until then, just going to keep on riding the wave. If nothing else, the area’s softened me up… it’s very hard to be a curmudgeon when everybody else is a happy camper with a smile on their face and willingness to lend a hand.