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Houston, TX. It’s where I currently reside, and at least for a little bit. But everyone here knows how I feel about Houston, but it’s possible that it’s making its way into my heart. Maybe.

My birth certificate says that I was born in this city, but if you asked me about it- I wouldn’t know much. I don’t know what 59 or 288 leads to, where you can get good breakfast tacos, or what East Downtown is. But slowly and surely, I’m learning these things. And I guess it’s part of this whole process of transition and finding community around where you live. Right? I’ve been toying around with this blog post for a couple of months, because I felt like I was going through some sort of identity crisis. Where am I from? Where do I call home? Am I a Houstonian now? How long does it take for a person to feel comfortable in their city? And what do you do if you don’t feel community and find your place?

Nonetheless, however long I’m here, I’ll be searching my way into good, local coffee shops, stores with cool things, places to share a craft beer with friends*, and places that can match Pieous or Counter Cafe. We’ll see. It’s a new adventure (of sorts). Give me your recommendations!

*Fortunately, I’ve found that this is not hard. #bless Recently visited and recommend: 8th Wonder Brewery, Karbach Brewing Co., Hay Merchant, Cottonwood, and Petrol Station. If there’s something that Houston is doing right I’ve learned, it’s probably providing craft beer. Probably. But can you get some Austin Beerworks and Live Oak?

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The food here is delicious /// Cottonwood

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James Terrell vibes in ATX

James Turrell Skyspace vibes in ATX

So I haven’t been writing, and I have a very good reason (that is actually a terrible reason): I’ve been working. And while it hasn’t been that long since I’ve started working, I’ve felt creatively exhausted and so I haven’t felt compelled to blog. Again, excuses. But don’t you feel this way sometimes? I get all of the articles that have “X Ways To Stay Creative.” I get it now.

Anyway, it was brought to my attention that I’m the hippie dippie girl at work and recently, someone told me that I was brainwashed in Austin.

“HMMMMMMMM,” I thought to myself.

I didn’t think very long, because it’s true. Austin, Texas brainwashed me, and even though I no longer live there, the Austin state of mind has stayed.

  • Is it bike-able?
  • Music (aka SXSW) is ingrained in my music search.
  • Coffee should obvious be roasted by Cuveé. I have coffee issues.
  • Food should be local. “Where’s the closest farmers market to me?” is a question/mission I’ve given myself to answer.
  • It’s been a hard adjustment to the “no sneaker” rule. Woof.
  • Beer? Bring it on, but is it Austin Beer Works? Live Oak?
  • In football, there’s only one team: the longhorns. And no matter how they do, I will still root for my team.
  • Last, but not least: will I ever find anything comparable to Town Lake? (My answer is no.)

So frequently, my coworker friend calls me a “weirdo,” and while it’s a part of her “Name Repertoire,” I’ve been notoriously called “weird” before I knew what that word meant. It must be a sign that since the dawn of “being called weird,” I have been drinking the Kool-Aid that Austin, Texas stirs and serves. You know what? I’m completely okay with it.

We love you Pieous.

We love you Pieous.

I remember the first time I heard about Pieous. It was from my friend Jaime, and I feel like she told me that:
1) They make their own pastrami and 2) They import their water from Brooklyn.

I’m 100% sure about the former, less sure about the latter. Regardless, there’s something in that dough that makes it’s so, so good. It’s the best pizza I’ve ever had in Austin, and maybe ever.

My brother and I went there together and waited for about 30 minutes in line. The staff are like a family, and some of them are! It’s husband- and wife-owned, they’re precious. Their kids are there too, I spotted one hiding behind the t-shirt counter. This made me reminiscent of my own experience as a child of small business owner, and made me love Pieous even more.

Even though you might have to wait, they will take your drink order while you’re in line. You can have a beer while you’re making your decision about which pie to get. Savory OR sweet- they’re both homemade.

What To Get At Pieous:

  • If there’s something that even remotely sounds good, get it. You can never go wrong.
  • Don’t forget about the plate-sized chocolate chip cookies.
  • Salads here are delicious.
  • Did I mention they make their own pastrami?

One time I went and there were just dudes with beards drinking beer and eating pizza.
There’s nothing wrong with that, I just find it hilarious and worth mentioning.
Pizza + beer + homelike atmosphere = the best. Don’t you think?

*Click this to look at more proof of Pieous love.

TT_pieous

Brussels & Jam 'za is...my JAM. It's really good.

Brussels & Jam ‘za is…my JAM. It’s really good.

Writing about food is probably the most consistent thing I’ve ever done. I’m the girl who has a Yelp! account. Read allllll of my reviews here.
& If you have a suggestion, leave one below and I’ll check it out asap! 

Day 6: Big Bend > Balmorhea > Austin > College Station > Houston
Mileage: A lot.
Time: The # of hours I drove exceeded the # of hours I slept.

This is wayyy overdue. I wouldn’t post about the last day because our trip was cut short, but I had some post-camp thoughts that I wrote down.

The night in Big Bend was one for the books in an…unforgettable way. To say that it was windy would be an understatement. One of the tent poles broke. Luckily, it didn’t completely break, but when we broke down our campsite, we discovered that loud snap in the midst of our anxiety party. It got to the point where Hannah and I were both delusional, laughing and freaking out at everything. The next morning Hannah told me her vivid dreams about us getting swept away, eaten by black bears, and making newspaper headlines.

Here is my delusional windy tent picture.

Here is a picture of our tent that I took while feeling very delusional.

The next morning, we were serenaded by our classical guitarist while we sipped our coffee and ate our breakfast. Our next destination? As far away from Big Bend as possible. I think if our tent wasn’t so close to collapsing, I would be okay with staying a little longer. Since that wasn’t the case, we were headed to Balmorhea.

Here’s a huge PROTip: Don’t go to Balmorhea on a weekend. Ever. Unless you go really, really early. When we arrived, it was around noon-time? There was a 20-car line to get inside. I’m not sure how big the pool actually is because we gave up and headed to Austin. Bless you Austin and P. Terry- that’s where I headed first. Blah blah blah I miss Austin a lot, what else is new?

The loveliest sight after 100 hours of driving.

Post-Camp Thoughts:

  • I miss it already and a lot.
  • Never take showers for granted.
  • Early bedtimes are alright at camp. We slept at 8 or 9 PM every day.
  • The first night after camp- I slept like a rock. It was amazing.
  • Buy pull-tab cans or bring a can opener next time.

thu texas blog newsYou could all say it started with Friday Night Lights, but even before that [life-changing] TV show, I’ve always been a Texas girl.

I was born in Texas, I go to Texas (the University of Texas), and I love Texas.
There are buckets of reasons why I love this state, but it’s mostly the city that I have been privileged to call home for the past four years: Austin, TX.

My previous blog name was a mouthful and I knew ushering into the new year, I needed a change. Thus began the brainstorming for the last several months. Branding/rebranding/naming is hard. I don’t know how companies come up with their names with the incredible stories behind it; it is truly astounding. I have been stumped and fickle when it has come to my blog name. The blog itself does not narrow with niche topics, and I think I know why. I’m no expert in one or three topics, but I am a lifelong learner with a curiosity that runs as deep as a well.

With all of this in mind, I first thought to rebranding my blog as “Red, White, & Thu.” That name lingered for a while. My name has always been something that people remembered and so including my name was a mandatory. If you have met me in person, I think you can agree.

Again, I thought this was a mouthful. I don’t know why I’m so caught up with these long, three-worded titles. At the same time, I think to myself, “How are people limiting themselves to just two words?” Back to the drawing board…or I guess in my story, to church.

Yes, I came up with “thu, tx” in church, when I probably should have been thinking about how I am a sinner, etc etc etc. I have heard that when people attend church, their minds become more clear. Well, my mind was clear…and then an idea popped in my brain and “Thu, Texas” was born.

Thu, Texas is an ode to the Lone Star state and a window into how I want live my life: local and weird.

Welcome to Thu, Texas. Population: Me.

And after you read allllll of this, you can read the short version here.

As I’m writing this, I’m listening to Explosions in the Sky’s ‘First Breath After Coma‘, it will all make sense in a minute (or two). I love Texas. There are buckets of reasons why I can’t leave this place. The first being Central Market scones, the second being tacos (my family somewhere between those two). Anyway, that’s not why I’m writing this post, I am definitely devoting a whole post to reasons why I can’t leave Texas.

This post is devoted to an age-old tradition that I don’t see people doing much of anymore: road trips. Or maybe my head is in the clouds and people actually take road trips all of the time and I’m just not aware. Whatever the case my be, the road is calling me, I must pick it up, and go.

So this August, Hannah and I are going on a “Texas Forever Tour” (with hashtag included below):

photo

We love Texas so much, we’re going to travel inside of it and call it a road trip (because it totally is, Texas is large). Sidebar: We also really love FNL. Also, Hannah and I didn’t have much time to go on a cross-country tour before school starts…we’re saving that one for the wintertime.

We’re traveling up the panhandle and trickling back down to our hometown. We’re going to Balmorhea, we’re going to Amarillo, we’re going to Marfa (I know, I know) we’re going places, y’all. Please, if you have suggestions as to where to eat, grab a coffee or a brew, leave me a reply!

Clear eyes, full hearts…

Well, I just signed myself up for two internships and a Spanish 3 course…summer has officially started?

It really has been a relaxing summer though. For the past 3 weeks, all I’ve done is eat, nap, read, and cruise around on my bike. I’ve gone back home, I’ve gone to a wedding, and I’ve celebrated the best friend holiday. Now I’m back in Austin gearing myself up (mentally and physically) for what I am imagining to be one of the hardest summers of my college career.

If anyone has advice on how to juggle two internships, please feel free and comment away. If you would like to give me mental support, it’s greatly appreciated. I think I’ll survive. That’s what I keep telling myself anyway.

yougotthislong

This is my desktop as a reminder

Special note about one of my internships: I will be managing social media for a wonderful non-profit organization called Texas 4000 for Cancer. Basically: UT students ride 4,000+ miles from Austin to Alaska…on their bicycles, to raise money for cancer research. Cool, right? This year marks their 10th year, it’s pretty special.
Please check out the website, read some of the stories (they will make you weep), donate, share our story. Our riders leave June 1st and I am proud to call some of those riders my friends.

If you’re interested in supporting us, join the Atlas ride on June 1st. Ride with them, volunteer, or join us at the finish line to celebrate their first day of riding. Also, follow us on Twitter. All this shameless plugging… sorry not sorry.

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