So as we drove closer to the great country of Texas, Tim and I started dreaming of all the things we had missed the last 13 months.  When you don’t think you’re going to live there again, you try not to think about all the things you’re missed, but now that we were returning, we started to think about the greatness of Texas than non-Texans just don’t understand.  But DON’T GET ME WRONG….. we absolutely LOVED Southern California and wanted to stay.  It was the hardest decisions of our lives to pull the plug and come back to Texas.  We felt like we mourned a loss, we had a death of a dream….. so to help ease the blow of packing it ALL back up again, here is what I truly did miss about Texas.

1. the People

When I hear someone say y’all, I just know. They are Texans, they get me, I get them.  Instant BFFs.  I honestly thought Californians were amazing people, but there is something about that Southern hospitality that really is true.

2. QUESO

What the what?!?!  Why didn’t people tell me Californians don’t believe in a fat-laden cheese dip you put on chips?  That was honestly shocking, but better for my body.  The only thing that made up for it was that avocados were plentiful and cheaper than in Texas.  Guacamole is a close second for me, so THAT IS THE ONLY REASON I was able to survive without queso for so long.

3. Whataburger

Let’s be honest here people, In-N-Out should be banned from our great state.  If anyone likes it, it’s because they were told you had to. Those odd styrofoam fries and your tiny burger and your stupid secret menu.  Ugh.  I’m getting hangry just thinking about my love for Whataburger.  But honestly P. Terry’s in Austin is the best.

4. Patios

Yes California has the BEST weather ever and Texas weather is the WORST!!!!  But I love a nice, sweaty meal on a patio any day and yet Southern California lacks them tremendously.  It never ceased to BLOW my mind.  Like EVERY SINGLE RESTAURANT in Dallas has a patio.  Period.  Which in other words, Cricket is able to come with us everywhere.  Double bonus!

5. Brunch

Yet another staple in my life.  It’s becoming quite obvious that food plays a major role in my life.  Can’t stop, won’t stop. But for real….. brunch is not a thing in Southern California like it was in Texas.  Every Saturday, Tim and I would work out, then go to brunch.  I didn’t know what to do with my Saturdays, except go to the beach, so that was cool.

6.  Warm Water

Speaking of cool, the ocean is FREAKING FREEZING and I still screamed like a little lady baby every time the water touched me.  And with the ocean breeze, I couldn’t ever get hot enough to fathom the freezing water being worth getting into.  I guess I was born and raised on a lake.  Disgusting to some people, amazing to me.

7. Breakfast Tacos

Yikes, so mostly Texas, I missed your food I guess…. but seriously, they don’t do breakfast tacos.  I know…. WHAT?  It still is mind blowing to me too…… But it’s been a solid 13 months since I’ve had one and the minute we land in Austin….. it’s BREAKFAST TACO TIME.

8. Warm Summer Nights

I remember when we first moved there, I thought it was so amazing that it got so cool in the evening…. but then July and August rolled around and you wanted to wear that cute strappy

dress out….. outfit ruined, because now you’re wearing a winter coat in August. On one hand it was amazing, never sweating, but there was just something missing. I missed sitting out on a porch in the Summer.

9. One Dollar a Gallon Less Gas

We are already going through sticker shock, but in a good way driving back to Texas.  It’s almost a dollar cheaper.  Yea….. that is exciting.  I do drive a Prius, so gas to me isn’t a HUGE part of our budget, but it just made my angry every time I filled up.  I have no idea why it was so much more expensive, but it is.

10. Barbeque

I guess I had to finish out the list with food…. duh.  I can’t even say I like barbecue that much, but we still had it occasionally.  But geez, I really do think I love it now.  You go without for a while and you realize there just is no comparison or a place to even get it in Southern California. I can’t wait to get some good barbecue.

And when I think about what I’ll miss about California, I have a long list. We were incredibly blessed to live there for those 13 months and thankfully, we feel we took full advantage.  It’s amazing to get to live that close to the beach, the weather, oh the weather! And to be so close to LA, San Diego, Santa Monica, Disneyland, Hollywood, Malibu, Palm Springs…… we felt like we had the world at our fingertips.  It must have been a God thing that we did so much and really hit the ground running.  There were only a few things that I wanted to do that we didn’t get the opportunity to do and that was a road trip up Pacific Coast Highway to the San Fran, a weekend in Catalina and a whale watching tour.  But funny enough, the Saturday before we left, we saw whales from the beach for about thirty minutes. It was amazing.

I’m excited about the new chapter of our adventure in Austin and hope you’ll follow along on my blog and check out laurensewalt.com for more info about Tim and I’s new series called Salt & Light. It will be an online video series about living in California, the lessons we learned while there, how our marriage went from the brink of divorce to the strongest it’s ever been and more.  I hope you’ll join us for that.

Lauren