Tips Here and There

There are a few things that I wish people had told me before each PCS we've made. Things like: rain is not a seasonal event confined to the months between December and March in most places, so plan outdoor events accordingly. Or things like: salad bars as a one course restaurant do not exist in great quantity outside California.

I can't tell you how long I've been craving Fresh Choice or Sweet Tomatoes here, people. It's becoming an obsession.

I'd love to see the collective power of SpouseBUZZ at work on this. In the comments section, let us know what lessons you've learned about new places in the course of your PCSing. It's all good – you never know who is getting ready to move where you already know the scoop. You may be able to answer the question someone else doesn't even know they need to ask!

I'll get this started:

FACT: In Texas, all soft drinks are referred to generically as "coke". If someone asks, "Would you like a coke?" they are not referring to only one product. Your "yes" answer will most likely be followed up with, "What kind?"

FACT: If you go searching for Carl's Jr and can't find one, it's probably because in the new place Carl's Jr is Hardees.

About the Author


airforcewife started her military journey as an Army National Guard wife, but upon experiencing base housing decided to aim high and made the switch to the Air Force. That's worked pretty well for Air Force Family so far, even though airforcewife holds the spouse world record for Come to Jesus talks with various members of the command.

Air Force Family has four children, two pit bulls, and a Mother-in-Law who lost her mind eight years ago. Despite the reputation of pit bulls, airforcewife would like to assure you that her Mother-in-Law is truly the most dangerous of the group, and is banned in more places than the dogs.

airforcewife gets through Air Force Guy's frequent deployments and TDY's by frequently attending her boxing gym, after the chance discovery last deployment that hitting things really does make life better. She also volunteers as the Ambassador for Sew Much Comfort to Bethesda National Naval Medical Center and in a variety of other causes throughout the year.

airforcewife has no idea what the future holds, but decided five years ago that she wants to be Andi when she grows up.

23 Comments on "Tips Here and There"

  1. Kroger in the south and east is the same as Dillon's in the midwest. As a matter of fact, they stock much of the Kroger brand items (Kroger is the parent company).

  2. When I lived in Germany I had to learn the hard way that parking garages close at night. There is no one to call if you arrive after closing to pick up your car, so watch the time if you're out sightseeing!

  3. Surprisingly, more than half of restaurants in Texas do not serve sweet tea (commonly known as "tea" in NC where I'm from).
    One interesting cultural phenomenon in Texas is the existence of the "donut/breakfast taco/kolache" store. I didn't know what a kolache was before I came here and I still don't understand why they sell all three of those at one place.
    There are little pockets of Germans all over Texas and you can find excellent German bakeries scattered around, as well as whole German towns.
    And although Carl's Jr and Hardee's are the same chain, they do not always have the same menu.

  4. After moving from TX to CA I found that most homes in CA do NOT have airconditioning, a fact I still find hard to get over.
    You also beat me to the kolache comment. No one knows what they are in CA.

  5. Ann - AF spouse | April 2, 2009 at 1:54 pm |

    Helmanns mayonaise has a different name in CA. I can't remember what it was (20 years ago!), but the label design and the advertising jingle were the same.
    FLA residents can get a season pass to Disney parks cheaper than a 4 day park hopper pass.

  6. FACT: As soon as you take the Overseas Driving Test, be prepared to watch everyone throw the information out the window.
    Seriously, I've been in Germany for a month and have yet to see people following most of the 'rules' they worked so hard to memorize.

  7. She of the Sea | April 2, 2009 at 4:29 pm |

    If you move to Virginia, put your car's title in the name of the service member. That way you won't have to pay property taxes on it.
    If you order a breakfast sandwich at a local shop in Hawaii, it will probably have mayonnaise on it unless you ask for no mayo.
    There are no Jack in the Boxes on the East Coast (darn it!)

  8. What we called hot sauce in Texas growing up is what other places call salsa. I realized that when I asked for hot sauce while eating out and they put chili pepper sauce on my food. I told them I asked for hot sauce not this. When we got it straight she asked why I didn't just say salsa to begin with. I guess I just assumed. And yes growing up all drinks we called cokes so that was a habit that took me a while to break once I left Texas. And to everyone from the north we people from Texas like a little bit of tea in our cup of sugar:)

  9. There are no Whataburgers outside Texas. I have yet to find a taquito that competes with Whataburger.
    Hardees, known for fried chicken, will sometimes be out of it for 2 days! How does that happen?
    You can find good mexican food in Utah! Cafe Rio can compete with most mexican restuarants in Texas.

  10. AFW – I believe we grew up in the same state, so I am a little surprised about the coke comment. We called it all coke, too.
    Whataburger is located outside of Texas.
    There are Jack in the Boxes in NC and SC.
    Hellman's is Best Foods on the West Coast.
    Five Guys Burgers need to be taken advantage of when they are near where you live. You can always spend an extra 2 hours working out each day to burn off those calories.

  11. airforcewife | April 3, 2009 at 3:08 am |

    Butterfly Wife – we called it all soda! NOT pop! Never pop! It was "soda."

  12. 5 Guys French Fries – worth the walk up the Capitol Mall and back – 15 xs… absolutely.
    FACT- in the Midwest it's POP, in the South, it can be SodaPop, in Rhode Island, it's a soda, in TX – it's a coke, in Alabama – it's a cokecola (all one word) – I think I'll stick with water.

  13. While we're on the topic of Five Guys:
    1. The term "little" in the titles of their burgers? Don't believe it. Instead of being "little cheeseburger" and "cheeseburger", they should really be named "cheeseburger" and "huge cheeseburger".
    2. When you're ordering fries, be warned; they're going to dump an extra bunch of fries in your bag. If you're eating with a friend, a regular will likely be enough to share. If not, you're taking some home.
    The day I first walked into a 5G and ordered a "cheeseburger" and "regular fries" for myself, I seriously thought I was going to die. So, so good though.
    I went through Jack-in-the-Box withdrawal when I left Ft. Campbell, and I know I'm going to go through Five Guys withdrawal when we get our next set of orders.

  14. It is the south that soda is coke. Northeast that it is soda and Ohio and west it is pop.
    VA-yes that would be smart, we thought about it, but God forbid, if anything happens to my husband, the car would have to go through probate. Not worth it in my book. Plus unless you live "claim" a tax free state you still have to pay some sort of taxes anyway.
    Miss NY pizza!! Still looking for good pizza in the NOVA area. Help!!

  15. what kind of good pizza? There's Edgardo's in Alexandria – wood oven – very Neapolitan. NY pizza – there's Johnny's, on Beulah in the Shoppers shopping center

  16. In Korea, the traffic laws seem to be taken as merely suggestions that everyone ignores.

  17. In far west TX they use Swamp Coolers instead of Air Conditioners…and no matter what ANYONE tells you they do not work "just as well". They only cool the air outside by 20 degrees–so when it's 110 outside it's 90 degrees inside.

  18. We had swamp coolers when in the desert in CA, too. They were okay as long as there was no humidity. But humidity cancels out the swamp coolers, so in August when it was the rainy season in the high desert, hence humid, they did squat.

  19. In Naples – red lights are suggestions, the sidewalk is another traffic lane, and playing chicken is the national sport on the Autostrada.

  20. I experienced 5Guys for the first time here in SC and have to say I LOVE it. One large fry will feed our family, and my son, at 5, CAN handle a "little" burger…and I barely can!
    Oh – a quick Germany tip. If you're counting on your hands in Germany and want 2, don't hold up a "peace sign" or you'll get 3…the thumb is number one there.

  21. aggie af wife | April 4, 2009 at 5:52 pm |

    wow! being born,raised, and still live in Tx.. and married to my hubby 5 yrs now.. (we haven't had a single PCS, yet) .. I find this all really interesting!! thanks for the blog, Y'all!

  22. shopping carts are called carts in missouri, buggies in North Carolina, Trolleys in England and haven't figured out what they are called in Oklahoma yet..and even though we speak the same english language in as the English do..dont' expect any of the words to mean the same things. The soda and ketchup taste different in all of Europe because corn syrup isn't legal to put in foodstuffs in the EU. Oh and if you plan to get pregnant while in England get a job on the economy first! No matter how long you have worked at your job if you stay until you are 30ish weeks pregnant you can stop working and you will get 36 weeks paid maternity leave and if you don't want to go back to work you don't have to.

  23. Does anyone have any info on Fort Huachuca, AZ? That's where we are headed next. I will glad trade info on Fort Polk, LA :)

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