It wasn’t coincidental that I heard Patsy Cline crooning these words last week before our day trip to San Antonio:
“Deep within my heart lies a melody,
A song of old San Antone.
Where in dreams I live with a memory,
Beneath the stars, all alone.
Well it was there I found, beside the Alamo,
Enchantments strange as the blue up above.
For that moonlit pass, that only he would know,
Still hears my broken song of love.”
What sweet lyrics to get you in the mood for a historical trip! We got up, grabbed some breakfast tacos (our regular weekend b-fast now), and headed down I-35 to San Antonio for a day with an agenda. First, we toured the Alamo (duh!). It was pretty amazing. I love visiting places rich in history. It reminds you of how much bigger, deeper, the world is around you. We’re only one part of it all. Before I walk down hippie lane, let’s talk about this small but impressive fort. I’d forgotten what this structure meant to Texas and our history. Basically, these brave men from a slew of different states (including SC & NC, holla!) held their ground for days just to prove that they weren’t willing to give up their ground. William B. Travis, a young man from South Carolina, was the Texas commander stationed at the Alamo. He studied law and acquired land from Stephen F. Austin here. The battle royale all went down on March 6, 1936–old. It’s pretty neat seeing how one of the states I call home (SC) had a hand in this Texas business. Believe it or not, I came out of that tour feeling more connected and comfortable to this new land that I hang my hat… err, purse.
After we remembered the Alamo, we began our stroll downtown. As we walked, we passed the tourist traps i.e. Ripley’s Believe-it-or-Not, et al. Immediately, I thought Myrtle Beach land. But, it’s definitely not. We found the River Walk. Gasp! It was not what I expected it to be, and it was even better! We did the loop to scope out our lunch options and to explore. San Antonio is what I’d equate as a mini-Venice or something. The river taxis were my favorite, and I waved to every. single. one. Because of Erik’s trap, we ended up in Rainforest Cafe. Yes, that ultra-commercial place that’s about the “customer experience” and wayyy over-priced. That one. I wasn’t too happy about it. But, I ordered a oversized Mai Tai and a small grilled chicken caesar salad and became content with it all. I actually enjoyed the “rainstorm” that occurred every 20 minutes and the robotic pandas that fake-chomped on fake-grass in the corner behind our table. Whatevs.
Time to get out of this place. Next, I made the executive decision to find the Spanish Governor’s House and the Market Center where the Museum of Art is located. The Spanish Governor’s House reminded me of Charleston, except without the humidity. The building is small but quaint. Workers were busying themselves with cleaning after a day wedding and prepping for an evening one. I did think about staying and pretending to be a guest. I’ll admit that to you all.
The Museum of Art was free on this particular Saturday! (Win!) This museum is a Smithsonian affiliate and displays beautiful pieces of Spanish art. My favorite galleries included the Day of the Dead and Revolucion! works. Hm… so time for another snack and drink, right? Sure! We found La Margarita (a Mexican restaurant that had too many people of staff–we kept a count because it was so ridiculous). The chalkboard sign seduced us with “Oysters on the 1/2 Shell.” Done. Oh, and lovely margaritas, too? Double-done. The oysters were tasty with the tart margarita.
We sauntered into the square, meandering our way through the vendor tents and stages. At the end of the market square, we found the farmer’s market, which was NOT the typical farmer’s market, but, basically, an indoor merchant market. We enjoyed browsing the goods from Mexico (and, I guess, America?). Fun Day of the Dead things. Fun leather bags. Fun traditional wear. Fun everything. There was even a kids’ folklorico dance troupe putting on a show for the public (or their parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles). Entertainment, yes! We went outside the building to listen to some mariachi-style music, and I rode a child’s mechanical bull. They had a height limit, but it was cool with those guys if it was cool with me, so I gave it a go. I’ll post a link to the video feed later. I’m as graceful as a swan!
It was around this time that we realized that we had a lengthy walk back to our parking space, so we decided to start heading out. The sights, sounds, and overall culture of people has a completely different feel from Austin but was really intriguing! We shall visit again soon! (It’s only about an hour and a half away from us.) Enjoy the photos!
I will post about more new places that we’ve visited, including good ol’ Mason, TX, a beautiful small town in the middle of hill country where we stayed at a friend’s parent’s house on the Llano River. Be ready!
I am winding down classwork before the much-needed long Thanksgiving holiday. My students did pretty well on their CBA (Curriculum-Based Assessment) so I’m on Cloud 9 right now. Girls’ basketball has also started up, and we had our first home game tonight. The girls lost 6-12. There’s middle school for ya. Bless their hearts! I hope that you are enjoying your life–seizing the day and accepting everything that is offered to you. Words, sounds, actions–all of it is so good when it comes to living it.