Last week my family drove to San Antonio Texas to visit my son. Everyone I tell this to asks the same question. No, we did not go to see the River Walk, nor did we go to the Alamo. These were explored on our last visit to Texas and were quite frankly a disappointment.
The Alamo, while historically significant to Texans, is not even remotely interesting to me. They did however have the most obnoxious tourist gift shop known to man; I found this to be a welcome relief. I really like bad gift shops, so I found more to laugh at there than anywhere else in Texas. The river walk is another attraction that I could just as soon do without. The river is not so much a river as a mall lined irrigation ditch. It was pretty in parts, but the restaurant employees acting like carnival barkers got on my nerves. After a few laps around the food court I wanted to hold up a sign that says “Stop it! I do not want to try a damn thing”
This trip we went to the Witte Museum. Here is the museum’s mission statement: “The Witte Museum promotes lifelong learning through innovative exhibitions, programs, and collections in natural history, science and South Texas heritage.” In other words it was showcase of dead and stuffed wild life native to South Texas.
We saw a lot of wild life on the way to San Antonio, namely road kill, so it was nice to see what the animals look like when they were not flat. It was also cool to see all the insects of Texas with out the usual dance of swatting away these disturbingly large flying pests. We have a wonderful display mounted on our radiator grill.
As you can see I do not have a longing to go back to Texas. I am sure it is a wonderful state that has everything anyone could ask for. I just missed these spots while attempting to navigate a direct path from Windsor, Colorado to San Antonio, Texas. By the way, there is no direct path.
Visiting my Eldest son was great, we had a wonderful time and it was nice to see how he is progressing in his re-habilitation. We had lots of time to re-connect; we did a lot of driving, walking, and eating. Believe me, it’s a bigger deal than it sounds. Oh and the hotel was terrific. If you ever visit the San Antonio area I recommend the La Quinta inn. The air conditioning kicks serious ass, we had our room cool enough to condense water on the walls.
Besides the visit the highlight of our trip was the drive home. My youngest son brought some necessary equipment with him for this trip, namely a laptop, a FM transmitter and the entire first season of the Big Bang Theory. I did my part by bringing a 12-120v ac inverter. So for the first 600 miles he enjoyed watching the show while my lovely wife and I listed to it over our FM car stereo. Big Bang Theory is a really funny show on its own, but watching it after spending a week in Texas is almost surreal. It’s like going to Japan for a week then watching a slew of Clint Eastwood westerns.
About the time we ran out of episodes of the Big Bang theory we arrived at a Waffle House in Amarillo for breakfast. The Waffle House is almost exactly half way between Windsor and San Antonio. Compared to the people in the Waffle House I felt like Sheldon.
Waitress, “Do you want bacon or sausage with your Denver omelet?”
“Wouldn’t the bacon be kind of redundant since the Denver omelet comes with ham? Is the sausage pork or beef? Either way it seems to be overkill, I will change my order and have a Denver omelet with out the ham and a side of bacon”
I bought a Waffle House coffee mug.
The transition from Texas to Oklahoma to Colorado was almost biblical in nature. North Texas was Fogy, hot, humid and smelled like decaying insects. The road was not bad, but it seemed to have random bad spots in unlikely places. As soon as we hit Oklahoma the sky cleared like a photo on a Christian greeting card. The insects changed from oversized messengers of the apocalypse to friendly purveyors of pollen. The air was still hot and humid but somehow less oppressive, if was like the breath of fresh air when you exit a road side restroom. As we entered Colorado the temperature didn’t change but the heat went away. Something about the border of Colorado that sucks about 70% of the humidity out of the air. Aaaah comfort at last.
Why Colorado is better than Texas.
- Insects. Colorado has Insects, Texas has six legged predators.
- Weather. Now I understand the phrase “but it’s a dry heat…” I never want to get up at 6am and be greeted to an 80 degree 100% humidity sunrise again.
- People. Texans seem to be completely oblivious to everyone around them. They have mastered the look of “What?” when they walk through a door way and stop, blocking everyone’s path.
- People. With all the heat and humidity you would think people would be thinner. (Equipped to block paths)
- Freeways. The frontage road system seems to be designed to cause accidents, or at least an urge to drive like an asshole.
- H-E-B. All the grocery stores are named H-E-B. No other chains are allowed to exist, except Wal-Mart and Super Target. H-E-B is like a cross between a grocery store and a roadside carnival. H-E-B Makes Wal-Mart seem classy.
- Drivers. Texans drive Coloradoans. So I guess this one is a tie.
- Economy. San Antonio must have the largest percentage of “Other side of the tracks” stores in the country. On one street during a mile drive we drove by three pawn shops, two tattoo parlors, five easy check cashing stores, a dollar general, two liquor stores, three nail salons, two bail bondsmen, and three thrift stores.
- Traffic. According to our GPS everything we needed to go to was 4 miles away. And it took us an average of 30 minutes to get there.
I was also a bit disappointed with San Antonio and our drive back to Colorado. There were a lot of stereotypes missing. I was really looking forward to seeing big belt buckles and ten gallon hats. What happened to all the big haired women I kept hearing about? Where were all the Cadillacs with the big steer horn hood ornaments? Where were all the BIG, as in “everything is BIGGER in Texas” that Texans keep telling me about? Maybe the stereotypes I am looking for are in Dallas or Houston.
Someday when the taste of Texas wears off I may have to give it another try. Next time I will try to plan my trip in March or October when the weather is more (normal).
I can’t blame Texas for my distaste for its location, weather, people, or culture. I am spoiled living in Colorado. It was something I suspected for a while, but now I know for a fact.
Texas only sucks in contrast to Colorado.