In 37 years on this planet, I’ve laid eyes and set foot on all but about 6 of the states in America. Somehow, that didn’t include the largest state between Canada and Mexico.
So as we left the eerie calm and worn out town of New Mexico, I was eager to enter the Lone Star State. Our first stop was Amarillo and Route 66.
It was COLD! As a southern girl, I suppose I was somehow expecting that entering a southern state equaled soaring temperatures. It was 27° at noon. I actually like the cold weather. But I was surprised! We stopped at an antique store in Amarillo and the sales lady quickly encouraged us to also bring in our dogs, which we were walking. I think it was partly that southern hospitality thing but also partly that the store already smelled like a pack of dogs lived there. Either way, we appreciated the warmth!
As we left Amarillo, we left I-40 and headed towards Dallas on a highway. I expected the 75 mph speed limit to be a thing of the past, but aside from through the tiny towns along the way, we had the same 75 mph speed limit all the way to Dallas!
Along the highway our well trained eyes spotted a wine tasting room ahead. And in Childress, TX we stopped at the 501 winery, just one block away from the highway, to check it out. While it was still cold there, they had wine and heat, which is really all these Georgia girls need.
It was when we saw that the “specials” were all fried items that it dawned on us… “We’re home! We’re back in the south!” Something about crossing that border felt like home. Suddenly we were warmly familiar with the pace of life, the smiling faces, the southern food and the accents.
What surprised me about Texas was that it was more flat than any of the other states we had driven. There were windmills for days. And even though I didn’t see any, you had this sense that somewhere across those wide open spaces were modern day cowboys hard at work.
Would I go back? Maybe. I just know it was good to feel home.