The Places I’ve Been: Texas

Before this trip I had been to one city in Texas and that is Houston and I hated it. So when I realized we’d have to drive through and stop in Texas, since it’s so freaking huge, I wasn’t terribly excited.  Jordan has family in Texas so I thought it would be fun to see them, but other than that, I wasn’t too excited about this stop.

We left for Texas right after exploring the Carlsbad Caverns.  I was a bit tired from walking so long, so I’ll admit, I slept through most of West Texas.  Jordan kept himself entertained by listening to talk radio and attempting to take photos while he drove.  Apparently West Texas is the worst part of Texas to drive through. I woke up and began to prepare myself for the dull scenery of nothingness. I took over driving and Jordan promptly fell asleep. I looked around and while some of the scenery did leave something to be desired, there were parts of Texas that were quite woody and beautiful.  It was sort of fun to sit there and try to imagine what was coming around the corner, more flat nothing or a random wooded area, full of green.

I meant to trade driving duties with Jordan before we hit San Antonio so I wouldn’t have to drive in city traffic, but I got in a groove and suddenly we were in the city. We went through San Antonio to San Marcos where Jordan’s family lived.  We arrived at about 8pm so it wasn’t too bad of a drive.

We sat up with Jordan’s Aunt Michelle, and Uncle Mark for awhile talking about the drive and life in general (we hadn’t seen them since our wedding, oh around 4 years ago). A couple hours later we crawled into a nice warm, soft bed, a relief after two days of camping in New Mexico.

I have to say we did a lot of eating in Texas. I can chronicle the day by what we ate. We got up around 10am and headed out to breakfast at the Cracker Barrel. I’d never heard of it before, but after our first encounter in Texas we saw Cracker Barrel’s along the freeway quite a lot. Dolly Parton is their spokesperson and there’s a little gift shop attached to the restaurant. Every choice on the menu is huge.  Most breakfasts came with grits and biscuits in addition to whatever was featured. Jordan and I probably could have shared, but we chose poorly.  We each had our own breakfast meal and I tried grits for the first time in my life. I probably won’t eat them again.

After our huge breakfast we went to the Alamo, which is in the middle of San Antonio.  For some reason I thought the Alamo was in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by that nothingness I talked about earlier.  After I got over the fact that this fortress I’d heard so much about was in fact in the middle of the city and fairly small, compared to what I had in my head, we rented a couple audio tours and did the tourist thing for awhile.  The funniest thing about the Alamo is there are signs here and there asking people to be quite and respectful of this sacred place, but it was one of the loudest places we’d been on our trip.  It was like the signs weren’t even there. I’m not talking a dull murmur; there were kids running around, people shouting across the room, it was loud.

But no matter! We walked around listening to our audio tours which were so chock full of information I don’t think I remember a thing I heard on it. But I’m glad I went, learned about the Alamo and attempted to retain something, even if I didn’t.

After we returned our audio tours we walked along the Riverwalk. Riverwalk is basically shops and tons of restaurants lining a natural river.  It was nice and cool in there and I was just starting to relax when Mark announced it was time for lunch.  I knew by the clock it was time for lunch, but I was still stuffed from breakfast.  We picked a BBQ joint and this time Jordan and I shared a meal. We still had a ton of leftovers. After lunch, we walked through the lobby of the Menger Hotel which opened sometime in the 1800’s. It had a few display cases full of little artifacts and pictures.

We walked back to the car and headed back to Michelle and Marks for a couple hours. I swear we were only home for perhaps an hour and a half when it was time to leave again and go get dinner with Mark’s kids. Jordan and I glanced at each other before we left wondering where we were going to put this meal. I thought maybe since we were driving quite a long ways to meet them and were told it was a fairly popular restaurant we’d be a little bit hungry by the time we ordered.  I was wrong. It was perhaps another hour before we ate, but I probably could have gone to bed that night and not eaten again.

For some reason Jordan and I got separate meals again and ate only a little of each. Everything at this place was deep fried. Including all the veggies, everything was deep fried. After dinner everyone insisted we get dessert as well so Jordan and I shared that. We left and took a tour of the water park Schittlerbahn, which is a very popular attraction in the summer, but now was totally deserted. We headed home after that, Jordan and I wondering if we’d ever be hungry again.  That was the first time I’ve ever gone out to eat for every meal.

The next morning we were heading out to New Orleans, but before we left Mark and Michelle made us a big breakfast. Surprise, I was still not very hungry after my day of eating out, but I had some of the breakfast they made. Then we drove to Molton, Texas where Jordan’s great great great grandpa Jackson Crouch is buried.  We found Jackson, his wife Sara, and 7 year old Orin. There was also Lydia Moore – Crouch, and one other daughter. We hung around the cemetery for a good while. Jordan and Mark found a separate cemetery where they think the slaves were buried. The headstones were much simpler and most of the time not made of stone. It was a neat old cemetery in a tiny little town.

All in all, I’m glad I went to Texas again. It’s such a big place to say you don’t like it because of one city is a pretty ignorant thing to say. I’d be interested to go back and visit Austin. Mark and Michelle said Austin is really eccelectic, lots of weird people there, so it might be fun to check out. It’s too bad that Jordan gets asthmatic whenever he goes to Texas. While we were in Texas, for two days, he started to cough a lot and got really wheezy. It’s really strange, once we got to Louisanna, after a day Jordan was fit as fiddle again. My hubby’s allergic to Texas.

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One response to “The Places I’ve Been: Texas

  1. Yea, I live in Texas and was disappointed with the Alamo too. I mean, it’s across from a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not and there’s a mall behind it. That’s just sad. I pictured a big open field too. Also, I like Cracker Barrel. I had no idea Dolly Parton was a spokesperson for them though. They do have huge servings. When I go, I get chicken and a ton of veggies. My family and I don’t eat there very often, but their food is tasty. I’m really glad you said that if someone let one town in Texas ruin their view of Texas they were ignorant. I totally agree with that. I love Texas. There are so many beautiful areas. I love the Texas hill country and the coast. Texas is gorgeous in the Spring and in the Fall. Glen Rose is a nice place to visit, Fredricksburg is also great. And I just love the coast. Corpus Christi is the best! If you go, go late Winter when the beaches aren’t full. Being Texas it’s usually pretty warm there then. We also have some pretty nice state parks all over Texas.

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