Back in January, Texas Monthly’s esteemed advice columnist the Texanist responded to a thought-provoking letter from a native Texan soldier stationed in Afghanistan. The soldier asked: “What would be your top five things to do, see, eat, and drink the moment I step foot back on Texas soil? Besides giving mama a big hug, of course?” The question (and the Texanist’s answers) sparked a passionate discussion among our readers.
When we asked what you would do first if you were to return home after leaving Texas for an extended period of time, you came back with great ideas. Chowing down on Tex-Mex and Whataburger were understandably common responses, and some readers showed appreciation for our state’s most simple pleasures, like watching a Texas sunset and then gazing at the gorgeous night sky. This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive Texas bucket list like the one we published in 2010 that prompted lots of great reader feedback—we were just blown away by the spirit and humor in your responses and wanted to showcase some of them here. Check out our favorites below.
I moved to Chicago for 25 years. The first place I took my kids was to Enchanted Rock. Yes kids that is what it is . . . a real big rock. Real big. —@oakberrystudios on Instagram
Just give me an H-E-B and I’d die happy. —@denekascott on Instagram
The sky. There is no sky like ours. When I’m away, especially in a place where buildings or trees or fog or whatever get in my way, I want my horizon to horizon beautiful blue sky. —@sallykittles on Instagram
BIG RED & BBQ, BABY! —Velma Figueroa on Facebook
Do 85 on the interstate without worrying about a ticket. —@Chandersaur on Twitter
Swim in a giant vat of queso and only emerge when I’d had my fill. — @_jburd_ on Instagram
Whataburger with a Dr Pepper followed by Shiner at the closest dance hall. — Candace Davis on Facebook
Hopefully wake up from that terrible nightmare cause I’d never leave Texas for more than a few days. —Blanks Land & Cattle Co. on Facebook
Dive into a gallon of Blue Bell. —Richard Sepulvado on Facebook
If you’re returning in December, tamales need to be on that list. —@DMikkaylaC on Twitter
Drive up over the Caprock—drive till I couldn’t see another person house or pick up—the bar ditch was deep and the sand loose—stop and walk into the mesquite and cry for joy. —Terry Roy on Facebook
Catch a red snapper in Port Aransas, enjoy the chicken enchiladas at Mi Tierra with a draft Dos Equis, go swimming in Balmorhea, drink coffee on the porch at 7F Lodge just outside of College Station while it rains, and attend a late summer Texas Rangers game. —Justin Mayes on Facebook
There are few things more reassuringly exciting driving into Texas from out of the state than the first Whataburger sighting across the state line! And then the inevitable “wait—what time is it? Can we get breakfast?!” —@TCDP_4179 on Twitter
Dr Pepper, beef BBQ, Central Market, queso and sour cream chicken enchiladas, drive on the 70+ MPH speed limit roads, say “y’all,” “fixin’ to” and “supper” as much as possible without being stared at, and fill up my car with gas that’s $1.91 (today). —@britt_whit on Twitter
If you missed out on the action when everyone was sharing their Texas bucket list items, it’s not too late to join in on the fun! Drop us a line at [email protected] or share on social media with the hashtag #TexasHomecoming.