So, I’m moving from the city where I’ve made my home the last eleven years, across the great stretches of Interstate-10, westward. I am leaving Houston to go to Phoenix. Well, the Dire Schnauzers, Anexandros, and myself.
Moving is hard, whether you’re moving ‘just across the hall,’ as I did a few times when I was in the military, down the street, or a few blocks away. Moving from one state to another? Nightmare.
But, as has happened in the past when I’ve moved from one state to another, there are things I already know I’m going to miss about my old hometown. So, here are the 5 things I’m going to miss about living in Houston/Texas. In no particular order, because they don’t really rank inside my head.
1. My family. I don’t just mean my mother-in-law, her husband, and his children. I’m talking about the friends and network I’ve built the last decade. The Houston Browncoats, for one. Our Gamer Group (though here lately we’ve expaned that to include people in other parts of the US gaming via Skype and Roll 20). Thankfully, I have Facebook and other social media to keep in contact with them, but I can imagine quite easily that without social media, these friends and family would soon become a memory. These people have helped Morgan and I through some dark times.
2. Texas Pride. I have been to a concert where this happened:
By the way, it was a Goth band playing, and still, everyone in the audience sang along. Oh, actually, no. It happened at a Blue Man group concert as well.
Texans, in general, are PROUD AS HECK of this place where they live/are from. There are people with “Texas-themed” décor: Decorations that are shaped like Texas. The American and Texas Flags fly EVERYWHERE. Plus, there’s this:
That’s what Texans seem to think.
I’m not even getting into the “Texas should secede from the Union” thing. That’s its own ball of wax.
3. HEB: This is a giant, texas-based grocery store that has amazing produce and generally has great shopping deals. For instance, they have ‘weekly meal deals’ where you buy one thing and get a WHOLE BUNCH OF OTHER STUFF Free. Last thanksgiving, I bought a ham and got a turkey. Or once, I bought a package of Tortellini and got a bag of salad, salad dressing, marinara sauce, garlic bread and a 2 liter coke for free. They’re really good at giving ‘smart’ type coupons. Buy x get y, when x and y blend together.
Plus, it is a very “buy Texas” thing.
4. Barbeque. I know, you’re thinking “You can get that anywhere.” No, man. Texans take barbeque to the extreme. And they always invite a crapton of people for a barbeque. It’s not just ‘grilling stuff out in the yard” it’s a long, drawn-out day long process for a meal. And there are just a boatload of barbeque restaurants around here.
5. Conventions. Houston has some 6-7 RPG/Game conventions a year, and most of them are gigantic affairs. I am going to do my best to return for some of them, but let’s be honest, I’ll have to pick and choose, maybe only do two Houston Conventions a year or something. In the last year, since I started writing here for Land of the Nerds, I’ve attended 4 conventions and passed on going to at least 3 others due to money/travel differences.
No, it’s not just that Houston has these conventions. It’s that we have the population in Houston/East Texas to support that many conventions. I know Phoenix has several conventions, and I’m looking forward to breaking myself into the Arizona convention cycle, but I will still miss being in this area for my ‘home conventions.’
6. Texas Renaissance Festival: Texas Renfest is huge. Every weekend in October and November, the fest is open from early in the morning until the sun sets. And I went almost every year I lived here in Houston. Except for the last two, when money was hard hit. I don’t camp out like many people do for the fest, I only have stamina and usually only finances to do one day a year (which usually happens around my birthday). I know Arizona has a Ren Fest, but… Texas’s event is huge.
There, six things I’ll miss about Houston. Why did I post this on Land of the Nerds? Perhaps because so much of that family/support system I listed in #1 read me here. Or perhaps it is because of the conventions.
I’m not breaking up with Houston. I plan to come back on occasion for visiting said friends/family/conventions.
But next blog…. What I’m looking forward to in my new home.