Friday, February 13, 2009

My First Impressions of Texas

This is my first ever visit to Texas. I have a cousin that moved near Dallas but never visited her. Here are some of my first impressions. I like it here. Right now it is much warmer than at home. They speak a lot more Spanish here than in Wisconsin. At least where I go in WI. They notice my Wisconsin "Accent" easily here. There are a lot of Long Horn Ranches all over from Austin to Lake Jackson. Everyone I have met so far is very friendly.

Paul and I drove this morning the 3 hours to stay here in Clute,TX for the Surfside Marathon tomorrow morning. When we got here, we drove to where the race starts to check out the beach. I was expecting something different. Every time I have ever gone to the coast, it seems like a resort area. Not here. No big hotels and the beach, no cool restaurants on the beach. But I can tell that this area was devastated pretty bad last year by Hurricane Ike. The beach was nice and we could drive on it so we drove down about 5 miles and turned around. I would estimate that about 90% of the houses where uninhabitable still. Some looked OK, but most were crooked, cracked, leaning, or just almost destroyed. This was pretty sad to see. Part of me wishes that they could have everything back to normal, but part of me hopes they do not come back and rebuild. It is in hurricane alley and this more than likely will happen again. In WI, this is like building a house in a known flood plain a living near a fault line and getting earthquakes. Mother Nature and more so, God, is very powerful and there is not much we as humans can do to prevent certain disasters.

Back to the race. The course seems like it will be fun. We run about 20 feet from the ocean almost the entire way. The sand is very firm and will give a slight cushion to help the muscles. There are some ocean/fish odors but nothing I think that will bother me though there are a few beached dolphins we saw. If the wind come the wrong direction, it could be a very hard race for half of it. But if the wind come off the ocean like today, it might be very refreshing a cool us off some.

Paul and I had a nice dinner at Giovanni's near here and we even met some people waiting that used to live in WI long ago and some that visit family there often. The recognized my accent right away. But it is fun to hear the Texas or southern accent. Lots of Y'alls and I guess I kind of like that.

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