Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Texas: Trip Recap #1

Yeah!! After being on the "road" (mostly runways, terminals, and hotel rooms) since January 5, and one short (less than 24 hours) jaunt back in good ol' SLC, I am home!!

Well, for a week.

I've been a lot of places, done a ton of interviews, and have gone from discouraged, to excited, to plain worn out.

I can't share all of my trip locales in one post. It would be photo and information over-load. So, I'm going to cover one state at a time.

Today, we will start with Texas.
I was in Texas for most of last week (four days.) My first time in Texas.

The first part of my trip was spent in San Antonio. It is blissfully warm there. After my interview, I decided that I wasn't going to fly all the way to San Antonio, TX and not see any sites. So I took an extremely expensive taxi ride to downtown.

First, obviously, to see was the Alamo. Very cool. I wandered through the grounds, read all the plaques, took a tour, and in general marveled. Not only is the history surrounding the area amazing, but it is a cultural icon. It stands for sacrifice and loyalty. For dying in what you believe.

Classic picture of the Alamo.
Beautiful building, fantastic architecture.
(No pictures of the amazing rooms inside, since photography is not allowed)

I loved all the old stone work.

Fantastic huge tree on the Alamo grounds.

Next, I strolled the entire length of the River Walk. Of all the luck. I was there the only week of the year that they drain the river walk for cleaning. Great. But still, all the buildings, bridges, restaurants were very beautiful. San Antonio is definitely a city that appealed to my artistic side.

The entire River Walk is full of beautiful vignettes like this.
It was all I could do to not take pictures off every tree,
piece of tile, bridge, and fountain.

View down the River Walk.
Lovely arched bridges and curving sidewalks.
(Fact: the River Walk was initially developed for
flood control for the city of San Antonio. A beautiful solution for a
practical problem.)

Designs in the paths

White stucco building with ivy covered bridge
(Like I said, very artistic area.
I took way too many pictures.)

After three days in San Antonio, I went for a day and a half to Dallas.
I didn't really get out and do anything in Dallas. But I did go to a fantastic Tex-Mex restaurant. And stayed in the most gorgeous hotel so far. Yeah.

Downtown Dallas skyline:
View from my hotel room
(Working on a better, panoramic image)

So, now that you have seen my trip, I have a couple of comments about Texas in general. I know that these are stereotypes, and there are nice people everywhere. But these were some general, biased, (and I'll admit, un-charitable) observations about Texans...

People from Texas are weird. So, a long time ago, Texas was it's own country. Seems like a lot of people (both in and out) think it still should be. Texans are bizarrely proud of being from Texas. Stars and flags on every building, house, street corner, and some places, shirt. Really, we know we're in Texas. I don't think we'll forget. You don't need to have Texas-shaped waffles at the hotel.

Symbol of Texas: side of building downtown San Antonio
It's everywhere!

And then, being from Utah, I've gotten to be quite the outdoorsy person. I love the mountains, the streams, the parks, etc. When I asked people what they did, the universal response. "Oh, we go out to eat!." Each city is very proud of their restaurants. There is some weird competition about which city has the best restaurants. And yes, they do have great restaurants, much better than the Wasatch Front. But, honestly, I need something else to do.

That's why you're one of the fattest states, Texas.

Anyways, if you are from Texas, I'm sorry. I'm sure you're very nice. But I don't think I'm going to be changing nationalities anytime soon.

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