During our three month stay in Texas, I've kept an eye out for big things. It wasn't intentional as much as an unavoidable result of the unforgettable slogan, "Everything is bigger in Texas". See something big in Texas? It must be because, "Everything is bigger in Texas". It almost gets annoying.
There are a number of tourists traps in Texas that capitalize on over-sized objects, but that's not just a Texas thing, ridiculously sized anythings exist in states all over the country. What is bigger in Texas that might have led to the creation of the saying, Everything's bigger in Texas", that wasn't merely a result of the saying? Besides, state-pride, I'm honestly not sure.
What's true about Texas is that it's expansive. The feeling comes not only from a large amount of flat land and the size of the state, but also the way its roads and cities are designed for expansion. This, coupled with a spirit of independence, confidence, and state-pride, makes Texas feel big. The attitude is great when it comes to passing an 85 mph speed limit increase law, but not so great when twisted into small-minded egotism. Besides that, what's actually bigger is a lot more boring than you'd think.
Highway Intersections: Within minutes of entering Texas from the east, I noticed the intersections or "highway stacks". Not only are many of them stamped with a Texas icon, but they're massive. I've seen plenty of these large "spaghetti intersections" in other cities, but in Texas they are everywhere. Many are in the middle of nowhere. Supposedly it's cheaper and less complicated to build these stacks than to regrade. Pictures don't do justice, but below is the High-Five Interchange outside of Dallas, the first of its kind ever built.
Dallas Airports: After research, I learned that the Denver Airport is larger than DFW, but having never been to Denver, DFW felt huge. After going through the toll-booth toenter the airport, one drives on a center road for a long time to get to terminals that are each, the size of a small-town airport. Like the highway stacks, bridges for cars, trains, and even planes cross this main road and connect the terminals. Note: They charge every car just for traveling to the airport! Note 2: Because DFW can no longer accommodate all the air traffic, terminals formerly closed at Love Field are being reopened this year.
Coffee Sizes: I vaguely remember seeing the "trenta" size somewhere besides Dallas, but it fit the "Everything is bigger" stereotype when I first saw it. For Texans reading this, they don't have the "trenta" in most places.
Speed Limits: The following picture is not Photoshopped.
Drink Sizes: New York may be limiting the size of soft drinks, but Texas practically invented them. 7-Eleven originated and is headquartered in Dallas. Direct from their site: "When the 32-ounce Big Gulp® drink was introduced in 1980, it was the biggest fountain soft drink on the market. Eight years later, 7-Eleven introduced the giant 64-ounce Double Gulp® beverage, at that time one of the biggest fountain soft drinks on the market." Another fun article: The 7-11 Double Big Gulp Holds 200% More Than the Average Adult Human’s Stomach
Mega-Churches: Want to worship like a teenage girl at a pop concert? Texas is the place. Lists about size are sketchy since so many different sources report differently and supposedly certain churches were excluded from recent lists as a result of ignoring questionnaires, but many lists of the top mega-churches in the country show Texas as having the top 2 with 3-4 churches in the top 10. Rock on, Osteen!
Want more? Here is another post on 55 things that are bigger in Texas. It's inaccurate, but fun.