Tuesday, March 19, 2013

deep in the heart of texas

A little bit about me: I grew up in Indiana but moved with my family several times in high school.  We ended up in Houston, Texas during my sophomore year of high school - quite a shock to my little midwest self to see cowboy hats and pickup trucks everywhere!  But let me tell ya, Texas grows on you.  I remained in Houston through college where I was a proud attendee of this university (hint: I love owls!).  I came back up to Indy for law school (where I met Steve) and consider myself to be some sort of a Hoosier/Texan hybrid. 
I love Indiana.  Chances are that Steve and I will be here forever, and I'm okay with that (I think).  But every once in a while, I get a huge hankering for Texas.  It gets especially bad in March.  That's probably because March is, by far, Houston's best month.  While those in the midwest are attempting to thaw out from the bitter winter and battling ice/snow/rain/mush all month long, Houstonians are soaking in the 80 degree weather, throwing the biggest Rodeo in the world for 3 straight weeks and welcoming early summer.  It's hard to beat Houston in March.  (Now August, on the other hand, is a totally different story!)
So this month, I am really longing for the best that Texas has to offer in March: 
Cowboy hats. 
Country music. 
Driving with the windows down. 
The start of baseball season. 
Patios.  Especially at Chuy's (aka the best tex mex you'll ever eat, I promise). 
Steve's first trip to Chuy's (and Houston) - it was love at first sight.
complete with fried oreos,
ferris wheels,
all things rodeo,
and concerts galore. 
And of course, Rice's biggest event of the year, Beer Bike.  This event happens every March at Rice, and is a bigger deal than Homecoming or any other typical "college sporting event."  Rice is very unique in that it operates under the residential college system - when you come in as a freshman, you are assigned to a college instead of a dorm and that college is your family for your entire time at Rice.  I am, and always will be, a Bakerite (aka member of Baker College).  Here's me with my roommate of four years during our first Beer Bike, proudly sporting the Baker red.
On Beer Bike weekend, you celebrate the awesomeness of your residential college and compete against other colleges to see which one is the best.  Baker comes first, obviously :).
The Beer Bike race itself involves bikers and chuggers...it's complicated and I've never actually participated... but the best part of Beer Bike is cheering on your college, celebrating Rice, and everything it stands for.  It makes for great memories with great friends.
Alumni come from far and wide to attend Beer Bike each year.  We don't participate in the campus-wide water balloon fight anymore...
But we do enjoy seeing each other and appreciating all that makes Rice truly special and unique.

Beer Bike is happening this weekend.  And I'm so sad that I'm going to miss it.  But I am looking forward to visiting the Lone Star State in less than a month for the wedding of a good friend.  It will be so good to go back, even if just for a weekend.  After all, I am a Hoosier... I just have a little bit of Texan in me that needs her fill every once in a while too :)


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