Monday, June 2, 2014

Texas is Special

For those of you who have heard that Texas is different - it's true.  In many ways, it's special.  It's mostly a good special, not the cynical, sarcastic "special".
Texas is so special that Ford has a pickup truck labeled "Texas Edition".   Seriously.  I imagine that it's only sold here, but who knows, maybe someone can order it in Alaska or some other place.  There's another pickup labeled Lone Star Edition made by Ram.   Chevy probably has one, but maybe I haven't seen it.  I even saw some travel trailers in one of the parks that were labeled "Texan". 
San Antonio is special because it's got the Tower of the Americas (shown above), which was constructed for the 1968 World Fair.  There are 3 elevators that will take you to the top in just over 2 minutes - it's 750' tall and you can get a great 360 degree view of the area.  If you wanted to walk up to the top, there's only 952 steps.   Guess who didn't do that? 
San Antonio also has the Alamo, right in the middle of downtown.  Throughout the years, the city just built around it.  It's special because of the history, but I was surprised that it was quite small, but then, it did start it's life as a mission.  There are other missions also, with larger buildings and more history. 
In one part of San Antonio, El Mercado (Spanish for The Market) was delightful, with crafts and goods both relating to Texas and Mexico.  There was almost more imports from Mexico than local items.  There were onyx items, sombreros next to cowboy hats, Mexican pottery with wonderfully bright colors, cowboy boots and embroidered Mexican style clothing. 

Texas has the USS Lexington, a WWII aircraft carrier that has been turned into a museum.  It's massive, took me 3 hours to go through it and I didn't read everything.  Definitely worth a visit.
I've only been through part of east Texas, and I'm sure that there's more special things I'll see.  So far, I've found one thing I'm not thrilled with (besides the bumpy roads and lots of traffic).  Since Texas is famous for BBQ, I tried that today.  This restaurant was highly recommended and is a local chain.  I got a pulled pork sandwich and found that there was only two kinds of BBQ sauce - warm and warmer.   Is it only Florida that has the sweet BBQ sauce?  I guess I'll stick with the Mexican food unless they can guarantee me sweet BBQ sauce.   For any Texans reading this - sorry, I guess it's a personal taste thing.
Tomorrow, I'm looking forward to touring some caverns, where it's going to be a chilly 70 degrees inside, compared to the 90's we've been having.  It doesn't feel like 90's in Florida though - not yet.


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