For those times when I’m feeling homesick for the smell of BBQ, the assumption that you want your tea sweet, the southern manners and yes ma’ams, the boots on game day, the obsession with all Texas sports teams, the love of queso, the unrealistically large portions, and general home-bodied nature of my friends in Texas… I have found a few coping mechanisms.

Besides a spur of the moment weekend trip to Austin, Texas and occasional care package from mom full of queso, Tostitos with a hint of jalapeño and other homemade goodies, I have also found ways to bring those Texas joys to LA. First off, I surround myself with country music. Whether its 105.1, 95.1, my iPod, Darius Rucker spotify, or Today’s Country Radio on Pandora (which has currently taken a backseat behind the Christmas station), there is always music on when I’m hanging out in my room, driving around or studying. In fact, my roommate, Sarah, has gotten so used to listening to country music that she actually prefers it now… so I treated her to her very first pair of boots for her birthday last weekend 🙂

Once I found a group of loyal country followers, I now had company to the concerts around LA. Surprisingly enough, for the lack of country music fans, there is still a pretty great country music scene in this area. Randy Rogers, Josh Turner, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Hunter Hayes, and Eric Church are some of the artists that I have gotten to see around here. Not to mention, Stagecoach, which is a three day country music festival featuring some of my favorite artists just a few hours away each year in May.

There is a crew of us (about 3 people) who wear our boots on a weekly basis (to class, not just for country themed parties) which makes it feel a little bit more like home. In addition, almost every Wednesday a big group of my friends goes to a country line dancing bar in Fullerton called In Cahoots. Though the $12 cover, $2 water, and 35 min drive each way can take a toll on my wallet, it is well worth every penny to be able to line dance and 2-step with some of my best friends. Plus, where else am I going to find a Wrangler wearin’, boot-scootin’, 2-steppin’, cowboy-hat-rockin’ country boy to marry?

Though I still haven’t had much luck finding quality Texas food or anything close to a Texas Rodeo, the country music, line-dancing, country-themed fraternity parties, Texas flag on my wall, score center updates, and care packages from home have been enough to get me by between breaks when I can get the real stuff. 🙂