Deep in the heart of Texas

Texas is okay if you want to settle down and do your own thing quietly, but it’s not for outrageous people, and I was always outrageous.
-Janis Joplin

Practically anyone who knows me knows that I am not the biggest fan of Texas or Houston. It just doesn’t quite fit my personality, and I’ve practically had an identity crisis over being a Texas resident.

Ok, fast forward through all the dramatics. I figured I could muster up a post about some things I really will miss from Houston once we move. In all seriousness, after three years of living in a place, there are bound to be things you come to enjoy, or at least get used to. So here’s my list:

10. My hair stylist
This may be totally superficial, but the women in my life will understand. When I first moved to Texas, I completely underestimated how much time and effort it would take to find a talented hair stylist at a decent price. Chain beauty salons don’t exist, at least not in Houston, and I wasn’t about to spend hours sifting through Yelp reviews, so I tried a few places off hand (thanks, no thanks, Groupon – additional topic for another time). Finally, I got a great recommendation from a friend and found Krystal, whom I still drive 30 minutes to see after she moved locations last year. My hair will never be the same! Maybe I’ll just let J have a crack at my dead-ends when they start to appear. Ha!

A few friends on a NOLA vacation A very NOLA Thanksgiving
Left: a few friends on a NOLA vacation, right: a very NOLA Thanksgiving

9. Driving to New Orleans
So maybe this one is not directly about Houston, but being in proximity to a really vibrant city as well as close to my mom and her awesome house/pool/hot tub/free food has been really convenient for weekend getaways.

8. A halfway decent pro sports team
Seeing as Ohio never had one (not a good one) and Houston still struggles a bit *coughAstroscough*, it’s nice to finally feel connected to a sports team having the Texans in town. Also, have I mentioned my recent obsession with J.J. Watt? He’s a Big 10 alum, what can I say? Ok, let’s all admit that he’s the only reason I like them and may become a fairweather fan. Does that make my list only 9?


7. Our mini (and currently dilapidated) herb “garden”
I love being able to go and pick some basil or rosemary just before dinner, and tomatoes and peppers the few times I had some successful fruit. Apartment living is going to be tough on my budding green thumb.

A beach day with the fur kids in Freeport, TX

6. The weather
As much as all of my friends hate on Houston, the one thing I get to throw in your face every winter is wearing my lovely capris and shorts while you are suffering a miserable bout of not-quite-snow slush. Korea will definitely be a change. After living the last 7 years south of the Mason-Dixon line, I didn’t realize how lacking my wardrobe is in the “wintry-mix survival” area. I better stop typing and do some more online shopping. 😉

Murray after a muddy day at the dog park!
Murray after a muddy day at the dog park!

5. Dog parks
I know the biggest thing our pups will miss is the open space in Houston. Yes, you have to drive about 30 minutes to get practically anywhere, but Murray loves to swim in the bone-shaped pond out off of Highway 6, and even though Minnie pretends to be scared of other dogs, she loves a good run at the ball too.

4. Houston food
I’ll still claim my favorite thing about Houston is the plethora of amazing food options in town. Sure, all we do with our visitors is eat, but is there really anything else you’d rather be doing? A shout out to some of our favorites – Crave Cupcakes (chocolate coconut!), Rudy’s BBQ (pulled pork!), Kolache Factory (sausage egg and cheese!), Yogurtland (everything!!), the list goes on!

J enjoying a 'Dirty Sanchez' at Torchy's Tacos
J enjoying a “Dirty Sanchez” at Torchy’s Tacos.

3. While I’m at it – Torchy’s Tacos, Chipotle and any remotely Mexican-style food
This gets its own category because it’s THAT good. Nowhere else can you buy freshly made tortillas in every grocery store around town… and don’t even think you know the difference until you’ve tried them. If there is anything I’ll have physical withdrawal from, it might be Chipotle guacamole.

Yes, that's J in the yellow, bravely trying a Valentine's Day workout with me!
Yes, that’s J in the yellow, bravely trying a Valentine’s Day workout with me!

2. Pure Barre
I challenged myself to get it together physically this year, and I mustered up the courage to try a new workout on my own. This January, I started going to ballet barre-style workout classes. Almost ten months later, I’m blown away that I’m still going to class 4 times a week, I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been, and I still get so much from my workout – more energy, more confidence, motivation to sleep and eat better, and have even fulfilled secret personal goals I never really thought I’d do (hello, 2-second splits!). I have all the equipment I need to continue in Korea but without my amazing instructors, this one’s going to be seriously tough for me. C’mon people, gimme your good tips for keeping in shape on your own!

Some great friends at Luigi's for J's birthday this year
Some great friends at Luigi’s for J’s birthday this year.

1. Friends
It’s safe to say that we’re a “quality over quantity” couple. Neither of us have been part of an exceedingly large friends group, but there are certainly a few people in Houston we are going to dearly miss and hope will come visit! Some of our favorite memories are Bingo nights with Summer and Austin, pool parties and doggie dates at Sean and Beth’s, and just general debauchery with Eric and Erin. And Susan, you know I’ll miss all of our (productive) fun at the office! We are, however, looking forward to making lots of new Korean and expat friends, as well as reconnecting with some old friends who also live there now.

What would you miss if you had to move?

2 responses to “Deep in the heart of Texas”

  1. Kayla Bradford

    Is it safe to assume that the last (period-ending) sentence is referencing me?! I got a little homesick reading all of this. :-p I know Seoul is different than Ulsan and Busan, but I do have some SK knowledge if you need to know anything, especially while you’re getting packed, let me know.

    1. akbrown19

      Haha another thing I thought of that I will miss is all the holiday festivities, but maybe a fun Thanksgiving together will help! I’ll send you my two favorite questions!

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