Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I'm the Reason Texas Can't Have Nice Things

Crazed Fan Weekend Hop


I have been to Texas two times in my life.


The first trip I made to Texas was during a college J-term trip.  For those of you who do not know what a J-Term is, I shall explain.  It occurs in January, directly between the two main semesters, where you take an intense look at a specific subject.  That's probably how they would write it up in the brochures.  College students think of it as the time after Christmas break when you wear pajamas, play video games and drink constantly.  Oh, and you skip go to a 4 hour class. Rinse and repeat daily for 4 weeks. 


I'm not that bright.  So instead of staying on campus and lazing about in the drunken stupor to which I had become accustomed, I always opted to take a J-term trip.  This didn't just magically happen, I worked very hard during the summers doing jobs so horrifying at times that they will take up entire posts themselves, just to afford these trips.  Sometimes I look back on how much I paid for the trips, and the incidents that ensued, and think I am truly a sucker.


J-term provided many travel options, both stateside and abroad.  For my sophomore year, I decided to go on a backpacking trip through Big Bend National Park in Texas.


This made a lot of sense, because I had rarely camped, never hiked, hated not showering, and I loved my bed.  But, somehow I was drawn to this particular adventure.  So off I went and bought tons of gear in a giant sports store called "Dick's Sporting Goods", where I proceeded to giggle every time I saw the name and super hard when I had to write out the check.


I did have some moments of hesitation.  I mean, I had been kicked out of the girl scouts (we'll chat about that another day).  When I had to buy water purifying tabs for the times we would not be near a base camp for awhile, I thought "What the hell are you thinking, stupid?".  When I bought everything off the list and purchased a back pack the size of three people to store it in, I thought, "What the hell are you thinking, stupid?".  When I found out that we had to dig a hole with a shovel in order to go to the bathroom, I thought, "Can I get my deposit back on this trip?".  Sadly, the answer was no.  So off I went to dig some holes and climb some mountains.


Surprisingly, the trip ended up being one of the absolute best times of my life.  True...now I would be more likely to live in the Flavor of Love House than to ever camp again for 3 weeks.
Flavor of Love tv show photo
Klassy!


But I look back on the trip fondly.  Not only was it good for the soul and body, THERE WERE SO MANY CUTE BOYS!   (Whatever honey, you can't get mad.  I saw you when we watched Katy Perry on How I Met Your Mother this week.  I thought I needed to staple your tongue to your forehead.)


The trip was a welcome challenge, but it was COLD.  Bone chilling cold from record low temps.  Yes, I am from the midwest, however you may find it interesting to know that we do not live outside in igloos.  This was tent camping and while the days were warmish, the desert cooled down considerably at night and it was freezing.


At first I thought, no problem, because I had a sleeping bag from Dick's (hee!) that stated if it was a gillionty degrees below zero I would be totally fine, because it was such a superb sleeping bag.  Let me tell you, Dick is a liar and is not to be trusted. 


I wore everything I had smashed into that hiking pack, including a ski cap and gloves and I still shook from the freezing cold all freaking night.  I didn't want to cry, lest my face freeze to my pillow, but that is the only reason I did not. 


It really did wonders for my hair, which at its best is huge and curly, but when not washed and smashed into a ski cap all night I learned that I could create dread locks in a very short amount of time.  Not what you really want with all the cute boys around.  


Although, I'm not sure if my hair had been perfect that it would have mattered.  Have you ever picked up a shovel to go dig a bathroom hole in front of cute boys?  It makes you feel pretty.  Plus, one time I fell down the side of a sand dune on a hike.  I'm pretty sure that didn't do much for me either.  


Luckily, I survived and did not become an Amanda-cicle.  I was happy to leave frigid Texas and get back to the balmy midwest.


My second trip to Texas was a few weeks ago.  You may remember the Super Bowl?  Yes, Texas was an absolute mess.  We left two feet of snow in Wisconsin and woke up in Texas to six inches of snow and sheets of ice on their roads.  Everything shut down- I'm talking right down to Starbucks, people.  Everyone kept saying, "This never happens!"  And I kept quiet, because I knew it was my fault.  Texas only falls apart when I visit.  This time, I nearly took out a freaking Super Bowl with my powers.


Why do I bring this up?  Because two things need to brace themselves immediately:


1.)  My pasty white Irish skin.
2.)  The state of Texas


I hate to tell you Texans....we are relocating to your beloved state.  


Here's my advice to you:
Get to Dick's as soon as you can and stock up on cold weather gear.  But skip the cold weather sleeping bag, because that's total crap.  


Also, buy duct tape, a 3 day supply of water and plastic sheets as the Department of Homeland Security suggests, because once I get there you will be living in high alert at all times.

I'd just like to add that I'm sorry, ahead of time, for whatever weather calamities arise.

22 comments:

Christa said...

This might be beside the point, but I was kicked out of the Brownies.

Amanda said...

It must have been all the cool kids. My troop leader didn't really care for my antics. I was so annoyed, I thought Brownies was so fun and then Girl Scouts we did all this make up and hair stuff. I wanted to go back to camping and playing like we had in Brownies. Although, that's funny given the post I just wrote.

Maybe I'll get lucky. Maybe my daughters will also flunk out of Girl Scouts.

Cassie said...

All Dicks are liars and cant' be trusted.... Happy Trails to you. Have fun in Texas. I'm not sure they are ready for you but I am TOTALLY ready for the craziness we are all sure to hear about.

Shelley said...

Following from the blog hop. Hope you can follow back.
God Bless,
Shelley
< a href="http://www.mylifeadventurebyme.blogspot.com//">Finding My Life in Faith< /a>

Christine said...

This made me laugh so hard! I'm from Texas and live in Dallas. The snow and ice thing actually does happen every February. But, we'll brace ourselves for more with your relocation! I have also had the wear every item you own of clothing while camping because your sleeping bag isn't worth a darn experience...but, I think mine was from Target.

Good luck on your move! Stopping by from Great Moms Think Alike Wednesday.

Sherry said...

I will begin the prep now. Maybe I'll just get my hurricane supplies ready a little early. That should cover everything, right? Good luck on your move!

Kirby said...

Texas is a big hot state my cousin Missy is near Dallas and she's a sweetie... if you'll be near her maybe could talk - she has 3 boys under 9 and 20 weeks preg - last hope for the soft and frilly sweet sort....

Design It Chic said...

This is plain darn hilarious:):) Thanks for the good laugh! I am now following you thanks to Welcome Wednesday and it would be so nice if you could share the love back on my blog:)
And don't forget to check our new Blog Tutorial to learn a few easy tricks to make your blog fabulous. See you there! Happy Thursday!

Annie @ astonesthrowfrominsanity said...

"Dick is a liar." HA!!!!

As a former girl scout drop out to another, I loved this post. I MUST start following.:)

Justine said...

"all dicks are liars....." best. line. ever. (and so true!)

this is why i only go camping at campgrounds. with power. and where my car can park. cots and space heaters, my friend. they make all the difference! =)

good luck in texas!

julie gardner said...

Okay, now I know I can say this out loud (type? whatever).

When our local Chick's sporting goods store was bought out by Dick's, I giggled like a twelve-year-old boy at the headline:

chicks with dicks.

Not proud. Just honest.

And seriously? Duct tape and plastic wrap must accompany me everywhere I go in case of disaster.

Yesterday? I rammed my too-tall truck (with ski racks) into a parking garage that (apparently) had a sign warning me of the six-foot clearance.

After the racks had completely snapped off, I wrapped duct tape around them (so my husband wouldn't leave me for katy perry) and texted him a very long apology.

He says he forgives me, but I may be moving to Texas, too.

Amanda said...

You guys are cracking me up with your Dick's comments.

Thanks all you Texas people for coming out! I'm pretty excited to live where there is some sunshine. but I'm telling you, get yourself some Dick's to prepare!

Julie: That was SO funny. We are in the process of buying a house and my husband wanted to separate the two car garage instead of having one huge opening. Something about how he's scared of me crashing my car into his and having two cars smashed up. Sadly, it's a legitimate fear.

Thankfully, I also have a forgiving husband.

Tales of a Hockey Wife said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and the nice comment. I lived in Texas, and I grew to love it and the weather!

We have Dick's where we live in Summer....hahaha

Ms.Wasteland said...

My bestie lives in Texas. I'll be sure to warn her. :)

Megs said...

You got kicked out of girl scouts? Who does that? I can't imagine any girls getting kicked out of girl scouts. What kind of friends did you hang out with? JK, obviously (I was involved in the girl scout escapades and thought our fun mischief was always worth being kicked out of/asked to leave things).
Texas is so lucky to be getting Team Regas! I agree that your comment on Dicks being liars is classic. Please make sure it is nice and warm when I visit.

~Erin~ said...

Saw you on the SITS board....read this post and laughed! Following you now :-)

http://mrsmcentire.blogspot.com/

Kim@Chubby Cheeks Thinks said...

Thanks so much for stopping by! I'm following you back! :)

well-to-do said...

This is hilarious. I'm a new follower from Maine (cold as hell). It's a beautiful state a few weeks out of the year, though, ha.

New follower from the hop!

Cheers,
Suz

http://welltodoyou.blogspot.com/

Mika said...

Too funny!
I'm following from the blog hop. I'd love a follow back at www.mikaspantry.blogspot.com
Thanks!
Mika

April said...

hi dear!

i found you through the crazed fan weekend bloghop -- i'd love if you could stop by my blog and follow back :]

april
www.marineparents-blog.com

Anonymous said...

Amanda-

You were SUCH the trooper on that TX j-term trip! I was your overconfident tool of a partner! I'm so sorry - how you suffered from my lack of preparation. What a learning experience indeed.

It was so good to read your post and remember... that WAS an awesome trip. I don't think I've ever laughed that hard in my life... I'm sure I've never been that cold. In fact my digits can't handle even the slightest cold since that trip; it's amazing they didn't fall off. I've never been so happy to sit by a dryer in a public laundromat ever before... the candy helped too (was it swedish fish?).

Do you remember the BEAR... breathing heavily outside our tent at the bottom of the chisos mts? I was certain we'd die. Or my brilliant idea of soaking beans in water all day while hiking and anticipating they'd hydrate into succulent heavenly goodness only to remain hard little pebbles from hell? The LAST thing you want to eat after hiking 20 miles.

How about hot springs and locals drinking from bleach bottles?

Remember when we went to the grocery store and saw a REAL cowboy with spurs and everything scrape his boots off on a video rack?

That's the first time I've had chicken fried steak... (and you'll be able to eat it daily!! - when do you move??)

I wonder if I have those tiny tapes from our tent recording sessions. Hilarious.

Do you recall the coup attempt?

I'm certain that there's no way I would've had such a great time if you weren't my travel buddy. Your humor kept us all afloat and probably kept you from killing me.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane. :)

-jen

Ash said...

Oh my word! Thanks for the link - hilarious. Since I'm an ambassador for the State of Texas, been here since '87 (holy Dick's!) I won't blame you for the heat, I'll just apologize.

I promise it won't be this bad next Summer. It can't. Or I'm moving. To Canada.

Can't wait to get to know you better and laugh even more.