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So far in my 29 years of life, I have resided in 3 states: Hawaii, California and now Texas. What a contrast, huh? Texas by far was the biggest change I have ever experienced.

Never having lived more than a few miles from the beach, I arrived in North Texas on July 10th, 2006. To say it was an adjustment for me is an understatement. After almost 2 years in the Lone Star State, I finally feel like I am getting a grasp on this whole Texan thing. I have received a whole new vocabulary, new experiences, and a fresh outlook on life. Here is a little perspective on Texas through the eyes of a California girl.

Things I had never seen or heard before I moved to Texas:

a true change of seasons
a major thunder and lightning storm
golf-ball sized hail
freezing rain
tornado warnings
temperature changes of 40 degrees in a matter of hours
fire ants
106 degree heat with 80% humidity
solar screens
radiant barrier
a “safe” place
Tom Thumb
Quick Trip
numerous restaurants
a state-wide obsession with Football at every age level
High School Football Stadiums that rival College and Pro stadiums
“yes ma’am”
Sweet Tea?
a smoker (for meat)
brisket (I always knew it as steak)
Queso in a crock-pot
BBQ Beef
fried okra
Frozen Custard
a “grill out” (Californians just call it a BBQ)
Homecoming Mums
soda for breakfast
“y’all” (I had heard this on TV, but did not realize people actually say it)
the term “fixin’ to”
punch served at social gatherings
vehicle inspections (instead of smog checks)
houses for 100K!!
rows and rows of all-brick houses
sugar gliders
freeways that go in circles
The “Texas Pledge”
$5.15 minimum wage
year-round tanning salons on every corner
Blue Bell Ice Cream

I am sure the list could go on, but as you can see, I have learned a whole lot! I have actually perfected 3 different accents, and can switch back and forth at will: Hawaiian “Pidgin”, Orange County laid back surfer speak, and now a Texas drawl (how many people can actually say that?)

I am truly embracing life in Texas. Every day I am thankful for the opportunity to own a home with a backyard in a quality public school system. I may have moved here kicking and screaming, but I think I am here to stay.

Don’t worry, Mom, I am not disowning my California heritage. I will always remember my 8th Generation Roots in the Golden State. And I will always love Fish Tacos.


  1. Aprel says

    Texas is quite a culture shock. When I moved here from Arizona ( a lot like CA), I remember my jaw droppping on more than one occasion. But once the shock wears off, it is a place to love.

    What about Frontage roads? I always knew them as access roads.

    What about 2 way frontage roads?

  2. HotMommy says

    It’s so funny that you talk about seeing the change in seasons for the first time. I moved to North Texas from North Georgia and I bemoan losing the change in seasons!

  3. John and Alisha Stults says

    Awww…your post made me a little homesick. I’m from Texas but have lived in California north of Santa Barbara for 7 years now. What would I be called…a Califexan??? I do miss some of those things, especially my family, but I have my husband and children here. Thanks for bringing a little bit of home to me. By the way, I love your blog!

  4. Ashley says

    Haha….this post makes me laugh. I am a born, raised, and probably life-long North Texan resident. This list is my daily life….is there any other way?? Btw, I love your site!

  5. says

    I grew up in Northern Minnesota. That is what I consider true change of seasons. Not been to Northern Texas so do not know what it is like there. Spent 3 years in Southern California ( San Diego area) . Fantastic weather , pricy living . Now in Texas for a little over a month. Hot really Hot and not summer yet, hear about people carry guns more. Not sure I care for that. Don’t care what gun people say still don’t like the idea. So far think people in California more courteous to pedestrians than I have seen in Minnesota or Texas. But here we are in Texas for now. Was born in Texas. Once a Texan always a Texan they say. Love your blog site.

    • Alyssa Francis says

      Some people tell me that Texas does not have a true change in seasons, but for me, after only living in California and Hawaii, I definitely feel the change! It is really hot here today, too. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, I appreciate it!

  6. says

    I just found your blog – its great! :)

    I am a Californian living in N Texas too :) Your list made me laugh – those were all new to me too! Actually in the first few days we lived here we looked out to see our neighbor across the street with a dead deer hung up from his garage rafters. apparently he’d been hunting. Major culture shock!!!! But we love TX :)

    • Alyssa Francis says

      Rachel- ha ha! I know what you mean. All the hunting here was new to me, too. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! Nice to “meet” a fellow Texafornian. ;)

  7. gwen says

    This is sooo true!!!! hahaha
    I live North of Houston now, but am from OHIO!!! And my goodness, Texas is like a whole different world!! ;o)
    I too have lived in many places VT, CO, ND and Guam!! But TX by far is one in a million!!! We have lived here for almost 3yrs, and everyday is drastically different from the last. And you are right, TX does not have “true” season changes….but after the SNOW yesterday i may challenge that one!!! Hahaha~

  8. Sharon says

    I just found your blog and I love it! I also just moved to Texas and was quite amused by your list as I have lived in 3 different states in the past year (MN, FL and now TX) and I have giggled over the differences in each place. I’m very excited to learn more about Texas! Thanks for sharing :)

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