Day 10, 11, 12 & 13: Big Ol' Texas

Trip Start Jul 01, 2008
Trip End Sep 27, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Monday, July 14, 2008

We made it and we love it! Yes, Texas is big, but it's oddly familiar terrain. After the dry dusty desert landscape of eastern California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico, it was a pleasant surprise to hit the state line of Texas and find much greener (and heavily dotted oil drilling) pastures. We were welcomed to The Lone Star State by George, not personally, he just lets everyone know it's his home by plastering it across the Welcome to Texas border sign, which undoubtedly provides reassurance to some.
We followed the GPS all the way into our campground, but if it weren't for our complete confidence that it knows what it's doing, we may have stopped short of the entrance a few miles back. Once we made it inside our campground compound we felt nothing other than secure, but following the Hosts directions to catch the local bus into downtown San Antonio proved to be a colourful experience.
We didn't find much to do in San Antonio other than the river cruise and a visit to The Alamo, followed by lunch on the river walk, and it was so stinking hot that we decided the kids could probably cope with the Imax film of the Alamo. Tom fell asleep within minutes so the battle scenes weren't a problem for him, and A&D thought nothing of a bit of biffo but had no clue who won or why, although Matt and I finally pieced together the fragments of history we had been reading on the outdoor museum billboards in betweeen toilet stops and water refills. Remember the Alamo and Davey Crockett now have meaning.
We took a day trip yesterday to Austin and would have loved to have had time to spend just wandering around the quirky shops and live music bars, but that will have to be a city we put on the list of places to revisit without the kids. We spent a while trying to find a playground and in the end had to settle for one without a swing, which apparently didn't make it a real park. Matt used the time wisely and ran laps around the baseball field (in 100 degree heat) while Dan, Tom & I hit balls on/in? the diamond. Sweaty work, but it had to be done. On the way back to San Antonio we detoured to Kreuz Market - home of the Texan barbeque, which was a meaty experience and we shocked ourselves by eating all that we had ordered, minus one ring of spicy sausages. We now have a good understanding of brisket - and being the carnivores we are, will be ordering more before we leave Texas.
Today was another day spent on the riverwalk in San Antonio - eating, buying a big cowgirl hat (for Aviva, she has been desperate for one ever since she noticed that everyone else seemed to wearing one except us), and wandering. Then it was straight back to the campground to the pool - and the laundry.
After four consecutive nights in the tent here in San Antonio we are feeling quite at home, but tomorrow it's off to Houston (hotel) before we start along the Gulf Coast toward Lousianna & Florida. Bugs and humidity we've been told - so often we are starting to believe it, but we think we are ready!
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