Monday, January 3, 2011

Learning Texas History upclose and personal

Our trip to San Antonio was planned when the assignment of the edible Alamo was received.
It seemed a shame to try to help my girls build an Alamo when they have never seen it!

The weather here in Texas has not been good for road trips and instead of the snow, like the rest of the country, or the sun, like we are used to, we have had too many days of cold and rain.

You just can't get motivated for a 5 hour drive to arrive somewhere that will also be cold and wet and then come back.

So I watched the weather forecasts and when I saw the break in the weather for two days straight, I firmed up our plans to go.

In the meantime, my sister Lisa, and my nieces, Gillian and Darcey were also here so they decided it would be great fun for all of us to go together!

Travelling with six women is unique, especially since we all are sure we need everything from a posh frock to bicycling apparel for an overnight trip, so each of us packed our usual steamer trunks for the trip. I'm just kidding, but there are a lot of suitcases and other essential bags to ensure everyone has their clothes as well as entertainment! Mine is always the smallest as I tend to forget essentials like toiletries, lately!

In trying to make the hotel reservation I was surprised to find so many of the hotels were sold out and those that weren't, the cost was considerably higher on the day we were to be there.

When we reached San Antonio, we soon found ourselves in a sea of orange, not just any orange, but Oklahoma State University orange. I tried to see if it has a particular title, but their web page just calls it orange!

OSU was playing Arizona in the Alamo Bowl and everyone in Oklahoma had travelled to San Antonio for the game, or at least it felt like it!

We quickly checked into our hotel and were glad to have Lisa, the tour guide, direct us through the streets to the Alamo.

ONLY along the way the people who happened to be hanging out on the street corners looked like several from America's Most Wanted. The girls were scared to death. I have to admit I had not seen quite so many tattoos, piercings, and overall scary looking people in one place, especially while trying to corral four pre-teens/teens through the mobs, and hoping that no one said or did the wrong thing, as I would hate to have to fight them, but I would have!

We made it to the Alamo and if you are not familiar with Texas history, this was an important battle in the fight for independence from Mexico. One of the guards told me they normally have 8,000 to 10,000 visitors each day. That day they had closer to 13,000. If you have never been to the Alamo, it is a fairly small space and in order to keep the line moving, you kind of have to run through it. But close to two hours later, we decided we had a pretty good idea of that part of Texas history and ventured back through America's Most Wanted to the hotel.

If you are planning to go to San Antonio, I cannot say enough good things about the Drury Hotel. I had had problems with their website and without realizing it, had actually made our reservations for the night before at a unbelievably low rate. While they did not have to honor it, they did, and gave me a credit for the no show the night before.

PLUS they provide "snacks" in the evening, and we made our dinner from it, as well as breakfast the next morning.

After our full day of travels and sightseeing, it was decided we would see the rest of the missions the next day.

The four girls had a discussion and voted they would prefer just to leave San Antonio rather than run into any more of the scary people, so we packed and headed to Austin the next day instead.

Outside the state capitol
Lisa's husband is a state trooper whose current assignment is the state capitol. Between he and our tour guide, Lisa, we had a great time exploring parts of the building most people miss.

Lunch with a trooper is much safer than America's Most Wanted!

So the trip was a success and if you read my last post though, you will know the Alamo is still under construction!

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