Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hotter than %$!! in Texas

It is a mite warm here in Texas - supposedly only 98F today, but considerably more humid than we are used to in Arizona. Yesterday we left Dallas, and the comfortable confines of sister-in-law Susan's house. We had a great time with her and nephew Brian, mostly hanging out, enjoying some great meals, going to the movies, but mostly stayed inside where it was cool. Brian is taking a break from all the summer camps he has done this Summer, but his brother Rhett and Dad Bill were on a camping trip in New Mexico, so didn't get to see them. Here is a shot of Susan and Brian before we departed for San Antonio.

The trip down was uneventful, but traffic was bad both getting out of Dallas and passing through Austin at the peak of rush hour. Almost easy to predict, but what can you do? We got in about 6:30 - just in time to jump back in the car and head out to a local steakhouse for dinner.

This is our first trip to San Antonio and my sister Sheri was carefully planning our every hour to get a taste of the place. First stop this morning (after a breakfast of fresh-and-hot coffee cake!) was a stop at the Alamo. It is smaller than you expect - at least the mission shrine is quite small. Interestingly, no fee was charged for any part of the visit, though the gift shop (with some exhibit space) is larger than the mission. And of course, the downtown development has built up skyscrapers across the street, so I guess we are lucky any of the Alamo still exists at all! Sheri's husband Tim is off on a family trip to Indiana, so we don't get to see him. In the photos are their 14-year-old Brittany, and 7 year-old Colton.

Our visit downtown seemed mostly to consist of ducking into buildings to get out of the oppressive heat. After the Alamo visit, we headed west a block or two to the Buckhorn Saloon and the "Hall of Horns". Rated a "Must-See" by Susan, we did lunch at the Saloon and paid the premium price for the museum which really was a very entertaining 90 minutes and well worth it. On display over the dining area was every sort of stuffed horned or antlered animal and many that didn't have horns. In the museum were also displays of African interests, finned creatures (mostly fish), unusual displays of all sorts of natural and historical interests.

We spent the hottest part of the day there, and left for the famed "Riverwalk" area - really a subterranean man made river that goes for seemingly miles. It exists under street level, connecting bars, restaurants and other shopping areas - almost like a pedestrian mall under street level, with trees, gardens, and river with guided boat excursions! I'm not sure if the trees and water made it seem cooler or if there was a real effect, but the return to street level seemed to increase the misery again.

As we headed for home, while we stopped for a DVD to watch, the dark clouds that had formed dumped, and the view out the window reminded us of the hurricane coverage from the Gulf of Mexico with sheets of horizontal rain. But the storm did cool things off dramatically and the evening was pretty pleasant, though we mostly stayed inside and enjoyed "The Coneheads" (remember - family friendly) brought to mind from the hall of mirrors at the Buckhorn Saloon.

After an all-too-brief visit, the plan is to hit the road again tomorrow, heading west towards Alpine, Texas. It will be a longer day driving, but shouldn't have any problem making it...

1 comment:

Shannon and Alex said...

That's why, when Susan asked me about coming the same week as you, I said,"Um, I'd rather come in the fall when it's not so hot in Dallas." Suffering!!