road trip

Road Rules

Remember that show on MTV years ago?! So good! Well dudes and dudettes its been a couple weeks now that Ive been back in Austin since my road trip, before  i left i did  a little research about roadtripping  but not so much because i  knew that i would learn more than i could ever be prepared for and i prefer it that way anyway. Here’s a few things I’ll remember for my next journey on the open road.

1. Take Advantage of Places

Realize that you may never come to this place again so take as many pictures and do whatever you have the urge to do, i lost count for how many times  i pulled over or drove back to something i thought was cool because i will  probably never see it again. Take your headphones out of your ears when walking around a new place and truly be there, hear and feel the place you’re at. Albuquerque was the biggest city i went to and although it is far from a bustling metropolis i was happy to be around so much civilization. I got my car looked at, went to the post office, and gave my car a much needed break by walking a lot and using public transportation.

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2. Don’t Hesitate to Get Gas

Most of my trip was driving on beautiful back roads which i love BUT they can be very very long. At one point i had only half a tank of gas and could only see mountains and desert even in the far distance, i started to freak out a little but after 30 mins i found a major highway and got off on an exit to get gas. I cant imagine breaking down in the middle of nowhere especially for something so minor and being alone and it getting dark outside, i always did like the damsel in distress  scenario but who would hear me sigh?

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This view is woe

3. Small Towns

I went through so many amazingly quaint small towns/villages that were so full of character. Mora, NM and especially Madrid, NM which isn’t far from Santa Fe is so cute and adorable i had to get out and take a few pictures, it was one of the few times on my trip that i wish i had a partner in crime to share the experience with. Tinkertown was another stop  i loved! Perfect places to stretch your legs and roam!

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4. Always Take the Scenic Route

I chuckled every time i saw a sign for a scenic route because for this east coast girl every route out west is a scenic route, i would gasp on my way to the grocery store if i lived out here. Alas there are some designated routes and look out spots specifically for you and your main squeeze to pull over and make googly eyes at each other.

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5. Don’t Sleep Anywhere You’re Not Comfortable At

I slept in a lot of different places on my trip and most of them were fine, my favorite was of course the Hacienda Nicholas Bed and Breakfast in Santa Fe but i loved the White Sands Motel in Alamangordo as well. The night i slept in my car near Four Corners National Monument wasn’t the best but it was far more comfortable than the place i almost stayed in Albuquerque, it was called the Downtown Inn and i could tell by the looks of things it wasn’t the fanciest but neither am i and i had driven almost 6  hrs straight and just wanted to pee and take a shower but i couldn’t because there was a dead roach next to the toilet…..and in the main room. I live in the south, i see enormous National Geographic sized roaches far more than what i would like to so i know what a freshly killed roach looks like, these things had definitely been laying there dead for some time and i decided that i didn’t want to stay there and more importantly that i didn’t have to. I got in an argument with the lady at the front desk because she refused to give a refund even though i had only been in the room for 30 mins, long enough to haul my stuff in ( a girl on the road has a lot of stuff) but its not about the money, i told her the place is gross and went to a nice regular hotel that was pest free. Feeling comfortable where you lay your head is far more important than traveling on a discount rate.

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6. Eat Hearty

Okay I’m not going to lie most of the time i did have Popeyes and Chic-fil-a on deck  because its quick and easy (and mouthwatering) but whenever i reached whatever destination i was heading that day i treated myself to a real meal, my favorite by far was this wonderful blueberry waffle and granola at the Hacienda Nicholas Bed and Breakfast in Santa Fe!

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7. Don’t Rely on Technology

I just got a new phone less than 2 weeks before i peeled out and the GPS on it is far better than the one i had before, i cant imagine using that old phone to get to all the places i went but one thing i didn’t imagine either was not being able to use this great awesome new phone. For a long time i had no service at all and had to use an actual map, its  a  big piece of paper with a bunch of squiggly lines on it and some words. If it wasn’t for said map i wouldn’t of made it to Monument Valley or Taos. *Mentally patting myself on the back* I have a brain and i use it sometimes woo hoo!

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8. Learn Something About Yourself

One of the main purposes for taking a long journey is reflection. Spending so much time away from everything and everyone familiar allows you to think about so much more than the grocery list. There is  no way to come back from a road trip and not realize something you either had no idea of or weren’t sure of before, for me i realized that i really love Austin. I actually just got all warm and fuzzy inside writing this because i do! Its obvious i mean i decided to move here away from everything i know. I often doubt my decisions so to know that i love where i live, at least for now, is an awesome feeling and makes me feel even more confident in myself as if i didn’t already driving across states and such. I’m in a Lone Star State of mind.

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Heart on the Highway

Its been a few days, i drove a few hundred miles, and Ive somewhat been able to clean the dirt off my feet. The last few nights of my trip i didn’t post because well i had to sleep in my car one night and the other 2 nights i was too exhausted to even ask for the wifi password. The night that i had to sleep in my car i was completely terrified. I thought that if i was going to have to sleep in my car I’d pull into a gas station parking lot or something and curl up in a ball and wait for daylight but on these desert mountain roads you’re lucky to see any sign of civilization. When i realized there wasn’t anything  around me i simply pulled over and listened to my heart beat out of my chest (i also peed in my tupperware because i was too afraid to get out of the car). All i wanted was daylight but it was so far from it, the way it looked and felt you would’ve thought  it was 3:00 am but it was only 10:30pm! I was in and out of sleep throughout the night  because my mind wouldn’t relax also the zoom of Mack trucks slightly pushing my car was king of disturbing. A knock on my window at 7:27 am by a police officer woke me up, he had seen my car the night before and was wondering if i was okay, he was nice and looked more like a park ranger because he had a beige uniform on and one of those big safari hats. Even though my slumber was interrupted seeing daylight totally raised my morale and i was off to Four Corners National Monument!

Farting in 4 states at once!! #bucketlist jk jk

Farting in 4 states at once!! #bucketlist jk jk

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The night that i had to sleep in my car was the first time i ever tried to use Siri, i asked her to find me a hotel and she replied “Sorry i cannot help you” because my phone had absolutely no service  so the next day when trying to make it from Four Corners to my next destination i had to rely on a good ol’ fashion map! Yes ladies and gentleman, the map i brought along with me just to give me a visual was my saving grace and made me even more proud of myself! Once again proving that technology can literally only take us so far.

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

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Of course the day after sleeping in my car 6 French photographers decide to ask  if i could model for them right here in this spot, it was like paparazzi! I told them i wanted to take them with me everywhere i go…… they couldn’t understand me!

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I did a tour that takes you down through the trails and to some amazingly beautiful natural arches!

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petroglyphs

petroglyphs

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I have this tapestry on my wall of Monument Valley so to see it in person is beyond breathtaking, there are no words….but a girl can try.

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My last stop was in my now home state of Texas, although it was still very far from where i live (because this state is freaking HUGE) i still had to make the trip. 2 years ago when i was working as a flight attendant i would watch random shows because i was always in different places and the channels were different and i came across a show called Fast and Loud about an auto body shop in Dallas that restores old cars. Hot rods are cool and all but the owner of the shop is pretty hot so i watched a whole marathon. In one episode the hot owner went to a place in Amarillo, TX called Cadillac Ranch where there’s 11 different Cadillacs sticking out of the ground covered in graffiti, i thought that was so cool and never forgot about it and told myself that if i ever went on a road trip id have to visit! And so…..

I did!

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well looky here #roamifshewantsto splats again

well looky here #roamifshewantsto splats again

It feels incredibly satisfying to know that i did this, even though i knew i could it just reassures me that i can do anything. Initially i didn’t want to take this journey alone, i asked someone to go because “who goes on a road trip by themselves?” i wondered, but when i realized i was going to it was in the afternoon a few weeks before the trip, i had my face mask on and was about to rinse it off and as i leaned over the sink i thought to myself “am i really going to cry about this?”. I was upset and nervous and terrified but it was what my heart was telling me to do. If someone asked me what it was that i thought about everyday it was getting in my car and driving to the desert, so why not do what i want? I reminded myself that i named this blog “Roam if she wants to” not them or her or him, its me, I’m the only one who is responsible for doing what i want  to do and making myself happy. If i had taken this trip with anyone else its almost a guarantee that i wouldn’t of been able to see all the places i wanted to and have such a unique experience. As much as i wanted to share this experience doing my own this is something i do well. So cheers to solidarity and being alone with yourself and being independent, there’s no telling what you might find and see. I, personally  cant believe i only saw 4 dead armadillos on the side of the road. #heartonthehighway

 

 

 

She’s so high

Serene. Peaceful. Relaxed. That is exactly how i feel right now, i haven’t truly relaxed in a long time, life on the road is fun but  its so hard on your body. The heel on my right foot, my lower back and also my neck were hurting so badly that i had no choice but to book a spa day at the Santa Fe Nirvana Spa, i mean what else is a girl to do?!IMG_5652

This morning i packed my things and headed out of Albuquerque to the Sandia Peak Tramway. Although i am a little afraid of heights i still wanted to check out the amazing view from the top, its like a cable car that goes up the side of the Cibola National Forest.

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There’s plenty of observation decks at the top and many trails for all those hot bearded wilderness guys that like to hike and stuff.

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i love this, let everything be

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Walking along the side of a mountain ahhh!!

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‘She who sees from up high smiles and surely sings’

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looks like 2 elephants

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After getting high on the tram i made my way to Santa Fe, a much anticipated destination on my trip. As soon as i arrived at the bed and breakfast i unloaded my bags and headed over to the spa across the street.

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The Hacienda Nicholas

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my massage table

my massage table

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rose petal bath

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Why don’t i do this more often?!

The spa was obviously luxuriating and amazing but i absolutely  loved the woman who treated me! She was so genuine and soothing and we had such a good conversation about how important it is to be free and happy, talking with her was definitely a highlight of the trip, she even packaged the rose petals for me to take home!

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After being so zen and one with the universe i headed out to roam around cause i  want to!

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imageA friend told me not long ago that she was in Santa Fe and it reminded her of me and that i should retire there, as i was walking through this beautiful town i couldn’t help but to think how right she was. Santa Fe is so peaceful and lovely, quaint and quiet. It ‘s a timeless haven for people that need to be surrounded by beauty and inspired even if its just by watching the clouds move. I dont want to leave but alas….#heartonthehighway

 

Albuquirky

Believe it or not i put more miles on my feet than my car today, i decided to spend the whole day in Albuquerque, partly because i got a bad first impression of it last night but mostly because me and Myra (my car) needed a rest! I took advantage of the free hot breakfast at the hotel and took a walk around, there really isn’t much to see downtown so i ventured off to the Rio Grande Botanical Gardens. I love botanical gardens, if i ever visit a city that has botanical gardens i have to visit because fresh flowers immediately raise my morale.

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The gardens are beautiful and sprawling, there is a butterfly conservatory,  Japanese gardens, and an apple orchard.

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A frog actually sitting on a lily pad!!! when does that ever happen?!! often i guess!

A frog sitting on a lily pad!!! #thatactuallyhappens

Old school farming

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Japanese Gardens

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fish being coy

fish being coy

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After the Botanical Gardens i walked over to quaint Old Town Albuquerque and loved it so.

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This area is exactly how i expected and wanted Albuquerque to look, the beige southwestern old look is so simple and takes you to another time, simpler times, sigh.

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Kokopelli!!!

Kokopelli!!!

After gathering souvenirs i dined at the Rt. 66 Diner, corny and cliche called and i just had to answer.

Don't get the chicken cordon bleu but the sundaes look amazing!

Don’t get the chicken cordon bleu but the sundaes looked amazing!

I walked a good 2 miles or so up to Nob Hill,  a cool area with lots of funky stores, restaurants aaaaand street art! Albuquerque you really want me to like you don’t you!

woe-is-me too girl i feel you

woe-is-me too girl i feel you

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True and simple

 

Spray Fresh

Spray Fresh

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Hey looky there!

Hey looky there!

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accuracy

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I realized a few things about Albuquerque today, first  there are grasshoppers everywhere, second that a girl simply cannot walk 2 feet without getting creeped on (GROSS!), and also the radio stations are the best!! Honestly ABQ, i know its random but i cliterally could not find a bad song on any station and for that reason Albuquerque i guess you’re not so bad after all. #heartonthehighway

Butt sweat

Yes that is what my day consists most of. It is now day 4 of my life on the road and this was a long one, I got up fairly early again and although the wifi at the White Sands Motel sucked it truly is such a cute, comfortable place and the lady at the front desk was so nice i highly recommend staying there. I ate a standard continental breakfast and loaded up the car to head to White Sands National Monument. I was really anticipating this part of the trip because i have never seen dunes before, let alone white ones in the middle of the desert and mountains. They were magical, so bright i could barely see.

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I enjoy long walks on the dunes

I enjoy long walks on the dunes

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I was debating to go to El Malpais National Monument, its a little over 5 hrs from Alamongordo, NM where the  white sands are. I knew that it was such a far stretch but hey I’m on a road trip,  the first few hours crept by but the scenery was amazing. I went through the Valley of Fire and i quickly realized how this area got its name. The rocks are black and look just like charcoal.

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I also went past this charming house with an adorable front yard!

Yarn bomb!

Yarn bomb!

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theres something like this in my home state of DE that i was just thinking about recently, creeeepy

there’s something like this in my home state of DE that i was just thinking about recently, creeeepy

dont mind if i do! maybe this will be motivation for me to actually read a book

don’t mind if i do! maybe this will be motivation for me to actually read a book

Meanwhile back on the road….

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Such a beautiful sky!

The roads are long, lonely, and terrifying but the scenery cannot be matched.

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I never made it to El Malpais National Monument, the visitors center was closed. It was about 2 hours out of the way but it wasn’t time wasted at all. I got well acquainted with miles of natural beauty that i used to only dream about.

Downtown Albuquerque

Downtown Albuquerque

So im spending the night in Albuquerque, i have been anticipating this town but honestly so far its been a disappointment, but i have say its not you Albuquerque its me. Ive been in my car for a lot longer than id like to come to terms with today and i thought i peed myself my butt was sweating so much, hey maybe i did. #heartonthehighway

Aliens, Caves, Graffiti and Trees ; all this wanderlust girl needs

 

Saw some awesome stalagmites, hung out with aliens and took an amazingly beautiful drive through the Lincoln National Forest. Feast those eye balls.

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the french man who took this picture kept referring to me as ‘madamoiselle’. I love him.

Stalagmites unite!

Stalagmites party!

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Next stop Roswell, bring on the probing!

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I come in peace!

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my attempt at that alien finger thingy

II was so giddy over how corny Roswell is! I love how they play up that alien shit.

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Cant even land an alien guy, get it….land an alien, cause theyre up in the sky on other planets and stuff..okay nevermind moving on!

 

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My next journey was equally as satisfying! Lincoln National Forest!

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sprawling and beautiful

I noticed a  dilapidated gas station with graffiti….

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and i decided to leave my mark image

Another day on the road, another night in a motel with shitty wifi.

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#heartonthehighway

Marfa Madness

So yesterday i started out on my southwestern road trip, i told  myself that i would post everyday but i was so incredibly delirious last night after driving over 7 hrs from Austin, TX to Marfa, TX that i could barely brush my teeth. The ride although long was beautiful. One of the first places i stopped to stretch my legs was in Alpine, TX right next to Big Bend National Park.

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I truly believe that every place in the world has character but i got the strangest unsatisfying feeling pretty much as soon as i drove into Marfa. I love small towns almost as much as bustling metropolis’. Texas is full of them, from Johnson City to Fredericksburg, but Marfa …..have you seen “The Hills Have Eyes”? honestly? There are countless boarded up houses and business’, stray dogs and cats, NOWHERE TO EAT and no people! What in the marfa fuck is going on? I read that a lot of places are only open on the weekend which is weird to me. It does have character though, just an eerie, strange, ghost town like energy about it that isnt very inviting.

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Random fake Prada store in the middle of the desert

#tuxedomouse in Marfa

#tuxedomouse in Marfa

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the only faces i saw while in Marfa

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On the way out of town i drove through another equally creepy small town even smaller than Marfa. Ladies and gentleman, Valentine, TX!

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Such a good photo op!

Such a good photo op!

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Sandstorm!

Sandstorm!

When the horses start mean mugging its time to leave, im out!

When the horses start mean mugging its time to leave, im out!

So yeah im missing Austin right now but its okay. I took a beautiful drive through the Guadalupe Mountains and im spending the night in Carlsbad, NM. The 4th motel i went to had a vacancy so i took a shower and here i am. The road is life. #Heartonthehighway

 

Lone Star State of Mind Part 1

In the year or so that I’ve lived in Austin Ive had so much fun and done so many things that i never have before because there is SO much fun to be had here but i keep hearing about all these cool places outside of Austin that are not only fun but also really beautiful. A few weeks ago me and my friend Lauren aka Lo went on a little road trip to the Hill Country to see what really is deep in the heart of Texas.

1st rule of road tripping is to rock down to Electric Ave

1st stop on a road trip is always rocking down to Electric Ave

 

Bluebonnets are the Texas State Flower and just like everything else about this state Texans are very proud of them and on our little trip i saw them for the very first time!

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Driving, gossiping, and exploring can sure make a girl hungry so where else do we decide to dine but the Grand Central Cafe otherwise known as the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre house! Yes ladies and gentleman, you too can wine and dine in the very same house that Leatherface and his family once called home, how cozy is that?!

This place isn't anywhere near as cheesy as i wanted it to be but it does come equipped with a cute waiter and good southern comfort food!

This place isn’t anywhere near as cheesy as i wanted it to be but it does come equipped with a cute waiter and good southern comfort food!

 

The neighborhood behind the Massacre House (i don’t care about the real name of the restuarant is it’ll always be the Massacre House anytime i refer to it) was so serene and beautiful that we had to take a walk on what i’m pretty sure is private property

was there once a tree house up there? so cute!

was there once a tree house up there? so cute!

 

anyone remember that cartoon where the baby duck keeps repeating "water do gown the hooole"?? oh im the only one, okay nevermind moving along....literally

anyone remember that cartoon where the baby duck keeps repeating “water do gown the hooole”?? oh im the only one, okay nevermind moving along….

not quite a much of a dendrophiliac as Denise Fleming but i do love and appreciate the beauty of nature

not quite a much of a dendrophiliac as Denise Fleming but i do love and appreciate the beauty of nature

 

Me and Lauren stumbled upon even more natural beauty at Longhorn Cavern State Park, not to sound so much like the 80’s valley girl that i totally am but it was really cool you guys!

 

the cavern stays around 68 degrees so in other words this is the cool place to be in the summer in TX

the cavern stays around 68 degrees so in other words this literally is the coolest place to be in the summer in TX

 

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On our way back to Austin i could not help but pull over multiple time because there is so much beauty and character when you’re driving not on an interstate but on a road and in this case a  Farm to Market or Ranch Road.

I've only seen these kind of signs in the southern states, i dig them

I’ve only seen these kind of signs in the southern states, i dig them

 

.....and this little gem! Such a cute building? house? brothel? whatever it is used for i appreciate it!

…..and this little gem! Such a cute building? house? brothel? whatever it is i appreciate it!

 

I hope Texans don’t take this the wrong way but i almost forgot i was in Texas, this truly is a big beautiful state  full of so many things that surprise me all the time, BUT don’t let the southern hospitality fool you, they are always quick to remind you…..

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