Before you lose your accent
And forget all about the Lone Star state
There's a seat for you at the rodeo and I've got every slow dance saved
Besides the Mexican food sucks north of here anyway.
Who knew that Bowling for Soup would have a song that would ring true in the Five O household. Now that we are back, a few observations. We were very blessed to live in California and Hawaii for the last six years. Whether home was Oahu, Maui, Kauai or Orange County, CA, the scenery was awe inspiring. Simply, if you have not been to visit Orange County, stop debating about your next vacation and search for airfare and hotels in Laguna Beach, CA. I'm happy to help steer you in the right direction if need be. It is by far our favorite coastal location in the entire country and that includes all of Hawaii's beach towns.
The above photo highlights South Laguna Beach and the Montage resort. It is the priciest hotel in the area. There is no other place I'd rather be than anywhere along that coastline. But, here in the Houston area, we have Galveston. Hey, it is no Laguna, but it is the ocean and there is something magical about the sound of the shore. Since we left the land of utopian weather and In-N-Out burgerville, upon returning to Texas I noticed a few things I would like to hit on.
First up: driving. Did Texans forget how to drive over the past six years? Any time I am on the freeway, what I see is the moronic pursuit of trying to be "first" and a plethora of cars zig zagging from lane to lane being driven by what one can only assume is the leader of the narcissistic douche canoes. The preceding term can also be applied to the Stanford band if need be. Trust me, it need be. Anyhow, I digress. It was not this pathetic when we departed in 2006. We are not in a race. You are not saving time by pretending you are Jeff Gordon. See you up the road at the next light.
Second up: shoulders. I've never understood this. We have immense traffic problems in and around the Houston area. Yet, nearly everywhere, there is at least two lanes wasted by some painted guideline denoting a shoulder in case your vehicle breaks down or you are in an accident. Rest assured, if you do pull over on the shoulder, everyone driving will slow down to gawk at why you have pulled over on the shoulder, thereby voiding the very reason for the creation of the shoulder to begin with: to keep traffic moving. Follow me here. If that was a lane with moving vehicles, the flow would be better across the board and if it became blocked, the same result would occur. OK, I am going to run for mayor now.
Third up: HOV lanes. Can you tell I have an issue with Houston traffic infrastructure? Say, when the HOV lanes were created in the 1980's, was the goal to make them impenetrable for a period of 25 miles or so? Hey, let's set up concrete barriers as walls and entomb the occupants on this one lane, one direction roadway depending upon the time of day. Um, did Houston ever think to look to Los Angeles for guidance here? The "carpool" lanes in LA are located in the, wait for it, "shoulder" portion of the roadway. And guess what? You can enter and exit these lanes at literally any point as there are no concrete barriers prohibiting usage. How nice was it for the civil engineers to take into account those people that do not enter the freeway from the depths of suburbia. Why this has not been corrected here is beyond me. It makes no sense at all. What a waste of space, dollars and resources.
Fourth up: texting and driving. I don't even know where to begin here. On more than one occasion, I have seen both hands on the wheel, holding the phone at the 12 noon position and the driver is either reading or actively texting. Just why is this necessary? What is so freaking important that one must try to type out a text while navigating either the local roadways or the interstate? Is responding to that text so important that you must do it while you are in charge of a 4000 lb. pile of metal moving at a high rate of speed? It is time Texas catch up with the rest of the country and ban hand held phones while driving. Must be hands free all the damn time. Do you need to wait for a body count? Seriously, just what are the lawmakers doing over in Austin? Apparently nothing. And if you text and drive, trust me, you are not "better at it" than the next guy. You are just as distracted and your response time is as poor as one who is hammered drunk behind the wheel. If you must text in the car, do it from the passenger seat. Don't endanger the lives of those with you.
Look, I love my home state. It is just very slow about some things and many of them happen to be related to traffic in and around our beloved city. Rest assured, we are very excited to return home to the land of Tex-Mex. I just simply cannot enjoy it nearly as often as I did in the past. Gotta keep that ticker healthy. Great to see you Houston. Completely unrelated and in closing, here is your Fun Fact of the Day: there are 192 days until the start of the Texas High School Football season.