It’s hard to believe I moved Austin, Texas six months ago. There’s been a myriad of ups and downs as my family learned to navigate our new city. Six months into it, I can proudly say that I am home. I love living here, and just typing that makes me excited, relieved, happy and hopeful.
In honor of this milestone, here are the top ten things I have learned about Austin in six short months:
- Austinites are beyond nice: At first, I was worried I wouldn’t fit in and was searching for pockets of sarcasm and attitude. Yeah, I’ve found that… but I just love how people say hello when they meet each other on the sidewalk or offer a friendly wave when driving down the road. It’s refreshing and kind, very much a sense of community.
- Food in Austin is delicious: Yeah, I gained about 10 pounds the first three months we lived here. We lived in a small apartment, and most of my cooking gear was still in California, so we ate out a lot. A. Lot. We’re talking Tex-Mex, Comfort Food, BBQ and fried catfish. I stuffed my face with fried fish tacos, chips and queso, smoked brisket and Mexican Margaritas. Mmmmmm. (Note: I’m back on track and lost the added pounds!)
- College sports rule: This is one of my favorite differences from the Bay Area. Granted, Austin is Longhorns country… but I proudly wear my Iowa State gear on game-days. The icing on the cake is access to the ESPN Big 12 channel! (Of course, I must mention that this also is Cowboys country, so my husband is in blue-and-silver Heaven.)
- Austinites exercise… a lot: This actually is pretty cool. A day never goes by when I don’t see someone running, cycling, walking, playing tennis, etc. What’s really cool is that moms and kids often ride their bikes to and from school, which is awesome in my book.
- Austin has a more casual dress code than Silicon Valley: Believe it or not, I see more flip flops in Austin than I saw in Silicon Valley. Okay, I’ll beat you to the punch: there are plenty of cowboy boots on the streets too.
- There are churches everywhere: Luckily, you see all kinds of denominations around town. It seems to me that most people in Austin are members of a congregation, whether it’s a super-conservative or a surprisingly liberal church.
- Austin really is the live music capital of the world: Honestly, I questioned this claim before I moved here. But, live music really the backbone of Austin’s culture and community. It’s not just on 6th Street either. It’s on 4th street and 2nd Street. It’s on South Congress and it’s in the mall. You find it in a neighborhood church and on a raft floating on Lake Travis 20 miles away from downtown!
- Tex-Mex food is awesome: Coming from California, I was accustomed to what Austinite’s refer to as “interior Mexican” and have grown to love the Tex-Mex fare. And, on that note, you don’t eat breakfast burritos here, you eat breakfast tacos. And they are awesome!
- It is flipping hot here in the summer: We moved here in August when it was a whopping 105 degrees. We lived on the third floor apartment… no elevator, just lots of sweat. And ice-cold margaritas.
- (Most) everything is bigger in Texas: I say this tongue in cheek, but there are things noticeably bigger in Texas: parking spots, grocery stores, number of children in each family, food portions at restaurants, and pick-up trucks. There is just more space to spread your proverbial wings.
If in town to check out my new city, please drop me a line. Thanks, y’all!
- LTV Mom
Photo Credit: The Austin Dude