6's & 7'S
and all things crazy
I recently visited the fabulous city of San Antonio, Texas. The occasion was to watch my youngest son graduate from Air Force Basic Military Training. We had the pleasure of spending five days in what is truly one of my favorite cities in the United States. The people are wonderful, the food is amazing and the weather is a little humid, but not unbearable. Of course, anywhere you go there is the good, the bad and the awesome.
And in San Antonio, there is also the Alamo.
The Good- If you are a smoker, you can still pretty much smoke outside without risk of being tarred and feathered.
The Bad- Okay, I lied. It was the end of September, the humidity was unbearable, I was sweating like a bologna sandwich dancing to the oldies.
The Awesome- Cowboys and Airmen. Everywhere.
The Good- Military discount. Basically, with a soldier, four free entries-once per season. That rocks, Sea World. Really rocks.
The Bad- If you are not in the military, you should consider whether you want to have groceries for the next month. The price of admission for a family of four is $220 and that does not include parking or any of the teasers your kids will be screaming for once inside the pearly gates. For 220 bucks, I want to free Willy.
The Awesome- I got to see a Walrus. Kookookachoo.
The Good- After ten weeks, I finally got to see my baby boy again.
The Bad- You have to leave.
The Awesome- Getting to watch your son or daughter get the Airman’s Coin. A true proud Mom moment.
The Good- Go down one flight of stairs and leave the city behind. A beautiful network of walkways along the San Antonio River that winds around eclectic shops, museums and cafes. It’s like entering a different world. The Enchanted Forest of San Antonio.
The Bad- I was pulled from my mystical Riverwalk dream when I noticed the outline of a gun on the hip of another visitor. That’s when I remembered, I was in Texas, and everyone was packing– except me.
The Awesome- The margaritas. Everything’s bigger in Texas!
And then there was the Alamo…
First let me say I have been booted from a few places in my day. It’s not that I am a troublemaker, but more that I am…often misunderstood. But I was determined to be on my best behavior. Determined.
I am a history junkie. I have studied the Alamo and am pretty confident in my knowledge. And I had an audience—my two sons, one girlfriend and my husband, so I was talking the minute we walked in the doors.
“Shhh. Keep your voices down!” Was the first thing I hear from the snarky guide who, incidentally, yelled that bit from a microphone.
“Geez,” I said under my voice. “You’d think this place was a shrine or something.”
I shook it off, and continued to give my own tour to my family, albeit whispering, all the while, getting ‘that look’ from the keeper of the Alamo, Guardzilla.
Then I sinned. I took out my camera and snapped a shot.
“You cannot take pictures in here!” Her voiced boomed through the PA system, echoing off the walls.
“Oh, sorry. No one told me.” I was trying. Really trying.
“It’s right on the sign when you enter!” She was pushing. Really pushing.
“Sign? I didn’t see a sign.”
Hands on her hips. “Well, it’s right next to the one that says this place is a shrine!”
Okay, at this point, I did have to laugh, which wasn’t helping. I looked at my family, and they were bored, so I didn’t see the point in going much farther with the tour anyway. But I did want one more picture….
I understand that the big concern with picture taking involves the flash, so as a considerate tourist, I turned mine off. I also knew, for a fact, that the Alamo belongs to the state of Texas, which means the citizens of the state of Texas. Guardzilla was one of those citizens. I had two in my party. That, my friends, is called a two-thirds majority of the present voting population.
And she did. Using her superhuman hearing, she picked up on that tiny sound of my finger depressing the camera button. Flames shot from her eyes, and I could have sworn I saw a serpent slither from her ear. In a voice that would give Linda Blair nightmares, she screamed. “SECURITY!”
“Don’t bother,” I said. “We’re leaving.”
As I got to the door I couldn’t help but turn one last time to my new friend. With my index finger to my lips, I whispered,
“Shhh. Remember. The Alamo.”
So contrary to the rumors, I did not get kicked out of the Alamo. I left on my own.
And okay, maybe I am a little bit of a troublemaker.
This post originally appeared on "Like a Bump on a Blog" travel blog in 2011.
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