Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Natives Are Restless

After 3 months of a social life that was centered around my weekly date with doctor/doctors and pushing a tray through the buffet line at Luby's...I was getting more than just a little stir crazy.  Now rather than dye my hair blue, I told C.D. we needed a trip...desperately.  Not a long one mind you and not a "working" one. Just a little romp to remember life is supposed to be fun too.  All work and no play makes a grumpy Trash and I was getting grumpier and grumpier with each passing second. I wanted to climb in the poodle seat, guns gems a'blazin' and hit the road running.

(Roaring Rivers MO...1961. That's the Trash on the right...with the skinny legs and fierce-some face!)
I felt we needed to reconnect and recharge.  It seemed to me the whole year had been composed of nothing but work and hospitals.  That's never a good thing for any relationship...even one that is nigh on 40 years.

Just as every adventurer before us had done, we packed the wagon with provisions and lit out to San Antonio.

I personally believe every warm blooded Texan (native or transplant) should make at least one pilgrimage to the Alamo.  Texas has a glorious past and while the Alamo is just one part of alone is the stuff legends are made of.  There is no way one can stand on that piece of hallowed ground, touching the stones that comprise this simple mission, picturing what transpired there in the early morning hours of March 1836 and not be moved...possibly to tears.  In it's humble beauty, it leaves one humbled. If y'all ever wonder why Texans tend to brag so much...this is it. And for the record...we don't consider it bragging...just fact.

I can't begin to tell y'all how much I love this city.  The way the past is weaved with the present is stunning.  Spanish architecture dating from the early 1700's melding with modernization is not an easy task to accomplish, but this city does it flawlessly.  No where in Texas is the German, Spanish and the South's influence more prevalent than in San Antonio. It is a city unique unto itself. 

But hey...that's just this woman's opinion 'cause I am kinda partial to it.


When our kids were growing up, they thought there was only three places to visit in the world.

1. Arkansas/Roaring Rivers
2.  Galveston
3.  San Antonio

Those were the places we visited every stinkin' summer.

(Photo courtesy of Give Me Props. Taken on the boardwalk of Galveston)

With our limited budget, we knew where to go for the kids and us to have the most fun family style and not break the bank.

A trip to San Antonio always...always...included an exit off the highway to Aquarena Springs.  Now you tell me, where else on earth could one, while submerged in a submarine theater, behold beautiful mermaids swigging Dr Pepper? Where else could one play tic tac toe with a live chicken...and call it arcade games?  AND to top it all off, watch as Ralph, the diving pig, swan dived from a volcano?

Only in Texas y'all!

The kids were great troopers on the road.  They loved to travel as much as we did...still do.  We didn't have I-Pads, WI-FI, TVs or anything like that for traveling entertainment back then.  We were the entertainment committee. We entertained each other by seeing who could sing the loudest, play the best air guitar or steering wheel drums, and talk the most.  Yeah...imagine that?  We talked...about anything and everything!  They got riddles, history lessons and genealogy stories. In return, we got knock knock jokes, school stories and dream sharing.

Forget American Express and MasterCard folks.

I tell you what's priceless...memories.

~Don't leave home without it?~
I never came home without them.

Fact it, they're still packed in the suitcase of my mind.

We'd start the day with a big breakfast. (Remember y' McDonald's on every corner.)  I'd pack sandwiches for the first day, but after that lunch was snacks. Dinner was a real Gaido's in Galveston.  The first time we ate there and the waitress brought out finger bowls at the end of our meal?  Well let's just say the looks on the kids and Cat Daddy's faces staring at a little slice of floating lemon was priceless as well!

(This wasn't the time OMH wrote Nerd with Zinka on the Bella Mama's back!)
 With two kids who would try anything once, meals on the road were a snap.  I swear up and down...y'all haven't lived 'til you've dined on rat cheese, Town House crackers and hang-down.  But the real piece de resitance...dashboard nachos.  Mmm alive...that was some kinda good eatin'.  Makes me hungry just a'thinkin' about it!

(Photo courtesy of Give Me Props...and just so you know...this has nothing to do with this post. I used it for two, I refuse to show my beautiful 11 year old Grayzilla in a bathing suit...and two, just to prove my squirrel power!)

Okay...I'm back from my trip to the fridge down memory lane, although I don't promise I won't do a u-turn at some point again.

The last time we visited San Antonio was Memorial Day weekend 1988.  We were there for the grand opening of Sea World and when I say grand opening I mean it wasn't even complete.

The trees were sticks, no shade (absolutely zero), and I won't even go into the lack of ventilation in the highly hyped penguin exhibit.


But at least it was colder than a polar bear's foot in there and the penguins were comical characters in their tuxedos!  But as hot as it was and as darn cute as they were, it wasn't enough to lure me back into that odoriferous edifice!

The ski show was spectacular, but all I can say about Shamu is tsk tsk and shame shame!  Due to her...ahem...amorous advances to the trainer, Jenn needed a quick course in the facts of life.  Thanks a heap hussy!

(Photo courtesy of Give Me Props. Speaking of hussies...the Bella Baby modeling the St. Tropez look! Not to repeat myself...but I won't show her in a bathing suit either.)
U-Turn alert...

Can I take a minute and say how strongly I object to animals being kept in captivity for our entertainment and then have the audacity to be shocked when they behave naturally?  There is just something so inherently wrong with this concept.
Whew!  Thank y'all for letting me vent.  I needed to get that bad taste out of my mouth.

If you do the math, it had been 25 years since visiting San Antonio.  I expected changes and maybe it was because we picked the worst possible weekend to visit (July 4th), but the changes I saw were not what I had in mind.

(Photo courtesy of the Robster. Jenn and Brandon deep sea fishing on the Gulf of Mexico. Where else, but on a charter boat from Galveston of course!)

Oh law y'all!

This is running way longer than I anticipated...even for me!

I still have a lot of talking to get to, but I think I'll end this here for now and with your kind permission, continue it in a part II...

if that's ok with y'all?

My fingers...and brain...are starting to get cramps!



Pam @ Frippery said...

Oh Magenta, I sure hope you aren't going to dis San Antonio. I love that place. We have been there twice in the past few years and stayed on the river walk. Loved it! My mom and dad lived there early in their marriage when my dad was in the Airforce too.
But I must say I cannot wait to hear you tell your tale. Good or bad it will be sure to entertain.
I would love to head on back to Texas some day soon.
LYttH, Pammie

Debra Oliver said...

oh gosh, we went to Sea World probably 89 or 90. and it was so dang hot I thought we would die. Looks like you all had such a great vacay. The girlies are adorable!!

Faded Charm said...

I love looking down memory lane at family vacations. They are priceless!

What I remember most about our family vaca's was my Dad never stopping to eat out...somehow my Mom always had sandwiches hiding somewhere. Back then I always wanted to eat out, but now homemade is what is priceless!

Can't wait to here Part 2.


holli said...

Oh my gosh, I was just telling Toddd about my trip to see Ralph the swimming pig back when i was a kid. They had the boat with clear floor that you could see into the water.
Family trips are the best and i have many fond memories of our family Griswold moments.
I cant wait for part 2!

Dewena Callis said...

I bet these memories are priceless to your kids too! I loved reading every bit of this memory lanes of Texas post. Husband is a proud Texan but I've only been in books and the movies. Would love to visit. Does it get cooler in November, say? Can't wait to read Part II and hope that even if there were disappointments that it was still a good change of routine. The best part of a trip anyway is coming home again.

Bliss said...

Rarely when I decide to read a book, do I pick it up and take forever to read it. No I read it all at one time even if I have to read straight for all the waking hours in a couple days. So this is killing me, you quit in the middle of a chapter.

Jill said...

Looking forward to part 2, and I'm happy you are so much better!!

The Domestic Fringe said...

I love the way you write. You could've kept going. For real.

Garden Antqs Vintage said...

I love reading your short novels, I feel like I was actually there. And the swimming pool pic, priceless... happy Sunday friend!

donna baker said...

Glad you're feeling well enough to go on holiday. I'm turning British. No, that was Japanese. OH, well, I guess I'll just stay here on the farm and read others' blogs about their travels.

Sisters Treasures said...

I loved reading of your vacations through the years. Our family of five kids only allowed one long vacation when I was 4 and after that, it was just short stints, mainly to see relatives.
I'm hoping your visit to my neck of the woods (San Antonio) wasn't all bad! Can't wait to read Part 2.

Denise said...

Work and hospitals?! Not a good combo for sure! Thanks for stopping by my blog. One of these days we're bound to cross paths in junk land somewhere. We'll by in amarillo with junk hippy this fall??

WhisperWood Cottage said...

Miss me some San Anton!

Kristi Lynne said...

I am hoping chapter 2 will explain how I didn't get to see you AT ALL but somehow my mother did! Ha! Miss you so...

Hayley said...

Hi Debbie! How delightful to see the photo of baby you at my hometown's sweet Roaring River! I don't remember if I ever told you that I grew up in Cassville. My parents just moved back there from Arkansas this past December and it is total deja vu when I visit. I cleaned cabins at Roaring River when I was a teenager and we still go camping there with our college friends about once a year. I'd like to see the Alamo and the canals in San Antonio, too...glad you all had a good trip and I loved reading about your vow renewal. Congratulations and best wishes for 40 more...