Thursday, July 31, 2014

Texas 2014 was Awesome! Part One--Tourist

Mel and me at the Alamo
I'M BACK! I'm home from San Antonio, armed with new knowledge and new plans for my writing career. I had a great time meeting new friends and bonding with my friend Mel and her son. I have so much to tell you, I don't even know where to start. I guess the beginning is good enough...

We checked in to the hotel and promptly went shopping.You know what I like about shopping in the U.S.? Cheap clothes in bigger sizes and easy access to them. Plus sizes are available in most stores, and Macy's refers to them not as PLUS sizes, but as 'Women's' sizes. How politically correct of them! I love that. I'm also a size smaller there. TMI point of amusement: I actually tried on a bra that was too big. Trust me that never happens. I don't think that's EVER happened to me before.

We checked out the Riverwalk downtown. What a great place! It's lush with foliage with a natural AND partially man-made river winding through it. Of course we took the boat tour, and would you believe our pilot, Jake, has family in Alberta? He has dual citizenship and his aunt still lives in Taber, Alberta. Small world! Anyway, it was fun and he was hilarious while pointing out all the interesting sights along the way.
This is Jake, the funny guy with dual citizenship.

We ate there a few times, and I can recommend the following restaurants--Joe's Crab Shack, Landry's Seafood, Chili's, and Casa Rio.
Mai-Tai in a Tiki-Tiki glass I got to keep at Joe's Crab Shack

Casa Rio Deluxe Dinner
Mel chose the hotel, and I think she may have picked the best one in downtown San Antonio. It was decorated in my favorite color, emerald green, which made it already seem cooler temperature wise. I dream of bedrooms like this. Literally. It was a happy place for me. No orange and brown dated decor here! La Quinta is not only decently priced, but their staff are mostly awesome and efficient. Shout out to Rebecca G., who worked like a mule for us...literally. We had a lot of luggage that she willingly helped us lug upstairs, and she handled our shopping bags too. We did a LOT of shopping. She earned every dollar we gave her. Did I mention the free breakfast? I had waffles with strawberries, whipped cream, a side of sausage, plus coffee and orange juice almost every morning. And that was good coffee!

Next day, the Alamo, which was within walking distance. So beautiful. Swarms of people can't steal the quiet grace of this monument to sacrifice. The motto is, "Remember the Alamo" and I understand why now. At first I was disappointed to see huge gardens replacing the dirt and brush I had originally envisioned there. I couldn't picture the battle for myself. But now I see. The garden was constructed for the people who died there, to respect them and bring them peace. At least that's what it feels like.

I went to the substantial giftshop. I purchased coins and maps for my beloved troll, fridge magnets for my sister, a doll for Ashley, and shot glasses for my collection. But don't worry...I'll remember the Alamo too.

Part Two will be more about the convention itself, but I didn't think you'd want to read about the whole trip in one sitting. There's much more to say.

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