We are singing ourselves through America; every little town we go through has a song written about it.
San Antonio is only one hour drive from Austin. Considering the size of the cities, for us Australians that would be like Brisbane and Melbourne being only 110 kms apart.
After a little detour (because of a petulant GPS), we arrive safely at our Hotel The Valencia. It’s ultra-modern at the front and party time at the back; beautiful and only one block from the river walk.
Straight into tourist mode we head for the Alimo. What I know about the Alimo comes mainly from the TV show F Troupe. Remember that old guy who was constantly asleep and would cry “remember the Alimo” every time he woke? Or maybe that’s just me.
So the Alimo was a mission station, most of which remains intact. A walled fort that contained the church, soldiers, a hospital, gardens and all manner of village life. Early in the 1830’s, Mexico wanted this part of Texas back so they launched a raid on the mission. The Mexicans had over 2000 men and the Americans had only 300. After days and days of fighting, the Mexicans were victorious. And so the legend began.
What I didn’t realise was that the Alimo was where Davy Crocket died. Yep, the same one who “killed him a bar’ when he was only 3”. (Anyone else remember the song or am I showing my age?). Also Bowie, as in the knife, was killed there too.
In the middle of San Antone is a natural/man made canal that weaves its way around the city. Either side of the canal are restaurants and bars and little tourist boats that cruise about. Very family friendly and, I don’t mind saying, it’s quite romantic wandering the banks.
Lots of the restaurants are “chains”. You’ve got your Mamas Pizza, Papas Chicken, Uncle Bens whatever, Nanas pies….what’s with naming your places after your relatives, I wonder. Most of these places seat a minimum of 3 or 400 people. Intimate it ain’t.
I love eating crab. Ray, not so much. It’s not the taste so much as the fact he has to forage for the food. He also loathes eating food without a knife and fork. So we go for crab.
Joes Crab Hut is pumping, but we manage to get a table…or should I say, a bench. The crab is served by the bucket; literally. Stainless steel buckets, 3 sizes – regular, large, and ‘bet you can’t lift it’. We pop on our bibs (I know). Ray asks for a finger bowl, but the request gets a little lost in translation. “We get a lot of requests” the waiter says, “but we ain’t never had anyone ask for a bowl to wash ‘der fingers’’. Anyway it is delicious. Snow, queen and king crab. What we didn’t need was the 3 kilo of chips that also came with it.
That night I realise that I may have over done it with the rich food. Feeling a tad delicate in the nether regions, I decide to spend the next morning close to home and fill my time in doing one of my favourite things – watching the ads on TV. You can tell a lot about a people by watching what is considered necessary and what is deemed luxury. And it does depend on what channel you watch. Fox news is the best for medicinal ads. My favourite is an ad that comes on the half hour. Discrete catheters, for men or women….delivered straight to your door……fts snuggly into your purse too…..now you can have the confidence to socialise with your friends, comfortable in the knowledge you have your trusty catheter with you. (Cut to shot of John and Betty playing cards with mates, looking confident …cut to discrete shot of catheter in Betty’s bag.). Have any of these people ever had a catheter?! I really don’t think it’s something you whip in and out willy nilly.
I have never met such warm and friendly people in all my travels. In fact, I would say we haven’t met one person I wouldn’t have as a guest in our own home.
So goodbye San Antonio. We now fly to Oklahoma City. I’ll write about that tomorrow. I have been trying to take photos but it is one of the many skills I don’t poses. I’m also having trouble with my portable keyboard, the number lock is on and I have tried Mr Google and he can’t help so I am using the Hotel computer and now have a long line of people behind me tapping their feet and sighing very loudly.