Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I was born in Dallas, a long time ago. We moved to Salt Lake when I was one and, aside from layovers, I had never been back to my homeland until I went to Houston this last weekend to see my brother and his family. But Houston isn’t really Texas. It’s in Texas, but it’s not full of cowboy hats and steakhouses like I’ve always imagined Texas to be. I expected to at least hear some Texas accents and see some cowboy boots. All I saw was really nice neighborhoods and lots of traffic. Nobody said howdy or y’all. Nobody sang “the stars at night are big and bright deep in the heart of Texas”. In short, there was a general lack of cowboyness. My brother reassured me that you didn’t have to drive far to find the Texas I was looking for, but it wouldn’t be in the city.

We didn’t have time to leave the city limits, but I did see a hint of the Texas of my dreams at the Houston Rodeo. On our way in, the people checking our tickets were wearing cowboy hats and said “all y’all,” which made me pretty excited. The livestock show was first, highlights include: the booth with $2,000 cowboy boots, the tractors, and the birthing center (you read it right, the birthing center). The first two need no explanation, but the third was new to me. It’s basically a bunch of pregnant animals (cows, sheep, and pigs) in cages labeled with due dates. I found it entertaining but probably only because we weren’t “lucky” enough to actually see a heifer give birth. Even though I am going to be a doctor someday, I feel like watching an animal having babies in this setting would be scarring—especially for a little kid (and there were kids everywhere).

The rodeo was the best I’ve ever seen. I especially loved the “mutton riding,” which is five-year-olds holding on for dear life to the back of running sheep. After the rodeo, Tim McGraw played. While I’m not much of a country lover, I was impressed with this guy. During the first few songs he walked around the whole dirt arena and shook hands with the entire front row. I didn’t know very many songs, but I knew “live like you were dying” (maybe the most overplayed country song of all time behind “standing outside the fire”) and that was enough for me.

Other highlights of the trip include:

- Moving my brother and sister-in-law to a new house for 14 hours on Saturday.
- Running on a rainy Monday morning (you can run forever and never get tired in Houston).
- The Chocolate Bar where they sell chocolate things you never even thought possible (see pictures below).
- Hanging out with S, C, A, and R.
- My niece saying, “I’m going down the elevator at Nordstrom’s” while we were playing. She is my brother’s daughter.
- My nephew crashing his toy cars into everything.
- Izze soda (how I never heard of this stuff before is beyond me).

So, although Houston isn’t really very Texasy, it is still a rad city to visit in the Spring (not so much in the Summer, I hear). And while you’re there all y’all might just run into some real old-fashioned Texans.

The Rodeo

Tim McGraw

A small portion of what we moved.

The Chocolate Bar. That is chocolate covered CAP'N Crunch and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Just ignore that 'sugar free' sign--it's the only one in the entire store.

The Chocolate Bar--we need one of these in Salt Lake.


  1. Thanks for not thinking I am a complete freak to have somehow found your blog. Or perhaps you do, but you are just keeping that opinion to yourself.I am glad you find my blog entertaining, b/c really it is pretty lame.

    I am also glad you got to experience Texas. I have been to Houston and was also disappointed that no one busted out clapping and sang "Deep In The Heart of Texas" to me.. I felt like it should have been like going to a foreign country, but alas it was not.

  2. The chocolate bar is conspicuously full of women. That rodeo arena makes Oakley look like a neighborhood carnival.