Wednesday, June 01, 2011

San Antonio: I Didn't Really Get It

It's June, and there is still snow on the mountains here. I'm so over the Utah winter, so for Memorial Day weekend my roommate Tiff and I decided to take a trip somewhere hot and sunny. We ended up going somewhere sweltering, sticky, and confusing to me: San Antonio.

Neither of us had ever been there, and we were excited to see the Alamo, the Riverwalk, and of course, the sun. I know I run the risk of pissing off a lot of Texans by saying this, but I was really looking forward to gaining a better understanding of why the Alamo was such a big deal - I totally didn't get it, because the Mexicans won, but the Alamo is "a symbol of Texas liberty". More on that to come.

Let's start with the things that didn't confuse me.

The Riverwalk

The San Fernando Cathedral


Optical illusions

Another optical illusion.

Beyond that, San Antonio kinda lost me. I spent most of my time there with a puzzled look on my face, asking, "Huh?". Actually, I spent most of my time sweating, chafing, and trying to breathe with my mouth closed so Tiff wouldn't realize how out of shape I was. I'm pretty sure I walked more last weekend than I have in the last five years combined.

These tourism posters were all over the place.

Hello, my name is "I don't really get your slogan."

Who wouldn't want a free sniffing of Bone swass after a day of sweaty thigh chafing?

These cryptic messages confused me. At first, I thought the Mexicans were just really bad at writing a haiku, but they still didn't make sense. Tiff was smart enough to figure it out: it's all about the river. I never would've gotten that on my own.

Alamo City Ghost Tours. We had a couple different tours to choose from, so we went with the group that had the most confusing website. We knew we were in for a real adventure when we read one of the testimonials: "I feel as if I have been transported into the 1980's movie Ghostbusters." Plus they promised that everyone gets ghost hunting equipment! I was fully expecting a proton pack, and fully planned on shouting, "Don't cross the streams!" at least a dozen times. However, the equipment we got was not quite Ghostbuster-caliber.
Tiff demonstrating how to use the "ghost hunting equipment": point, shoot, get temperature. Her laser temperature gauge confirms it: my butt is hot.
The scariest thing I saw on the ghost tour: a dead bird. Even scarier was when a competely oblivious lady stepped on the dead bird and I heard it crack. It creeped me out worse than anything else on the tour.

Which brings me back to the Alamo.I was excited to go inside and find out what all the hoopla was about. I thought there would be people dressed as Davy Crockett, whooping it up and firing pistoleros into the air; and I was hoping that one of them would be able to explain why this place was such an integral part of Texas freedom if the Mexicans won...

My hopes of seeing Davy Crockett were quickly dashed as soon as we went inside. It was made clear that there are no shenanigans or tom foolery at the Alamo. The Alamo is very serious, as you can see. Which gave me that much more reason to be pro-tom foolery and anti-seriousness. I still don't fully understand why it was such a critical point in the war, but here's what I did learn:The walls are only like eight feet tall. Which confused me even more! Why did it take 2,000 Mexican soldiers almost two weeks to get over these walls and take the Alamo? I'm neither Mexican nor a soldier, but I'm pretty sure I could clear this wall pretty quickly. I didn't say I could do it gracefully; there would be a fair amount of huffing and puffing involved, but still.
There are many rules at the Alamo. Like no stepping on the grass. And no touching the walls. And no photography inside.

And especially no photography inside whilst touching the walls.

Surprisingly, there were no rules about where you were allowed to sit during the tour guide's presentation. I think people thought I was part of the presentation and kept waiting for me to get up and do something, but I just sat there, politely listening and making the guide feel weird.

At the end of the weekend, I came home with a sunburn and a whole new appreciation for dry heat. Try as they may have, the Tejanos just couldn't instill any culture in me; but at least I blended in with the natives.


Brooke said...

I need to go on a vacation with you as soon as possible. I am laughing so hard at the whole post but especially the last picture. Love it!

Rosey said...

seriously cracked me up. i love it. i think they need to swell bone swass as a fragrance.

Johanna said...

OMG, i am CRYING laughing, and my coworkers are annoyed with me for it. Success!

PS, I wish I was as clever and daring as you. You know what I think? I think your finger residue will take the alamo faster than any Mexican.

chococatania said...

maybe you would have understood the alamo more if you had gone to its basement...;)

em said...

First, I'm wondering if Catania is serious :) I'll have to ask her. Second, that last picture killed me. I was laughing the whole time and O kept asking to "see the funny picture" (at which point I would show him and he and E would courtesy laugh. They didn't really get it, either.) but the last one made my sides hurt.

Sorry you're still confused. You should probably blame it on the lack of sleeping in and the over abundance of protein shaking.

Bone Junior said...

Catania, I'm so glad you said that. I wanted SO BAD to make a Pee Wee reference, but I was afraid no one would get it...I should've known better.

G said...

Just when I thought this post couldn't get any better, it kept getting better all with a great finale. Nicely done Bone.

And I believe the reason the Alamo has such strict rules is due to the time Ozzy Osbourne used it as a urinal and was forever banned from San Antonio. Did they mention THAT in your tour?

em said...

Thanks for explaining the joke to me, Sash...because I'm cinematically challenged and it confused me :)

SarahsSmile said...

Hilarious. Especially the last picture. My co-workers are also annoyed at all the laughing coming from my cubible, but I'm pretty sure "swass" is on the top 10 google search list now!

SarahsSmile said...

"swass" just made the top 10 list on google search.

Josh and Gloriana said...

ok so I read this last night in bed- under the covers so the light would not wake up josh and trying not to laugh also to not wake him up. My body was shaking from trying to hold in the laughter. I always say your latest post is your best post ever- but this one really is. that last picture near killed me. I can't wait to see you!

em said...

I keep checking the comments, waiting for Andi to pop up with a history lesson that clears it all up for you (I love you, Andi!!) but where is she?!?

mY dEwDrOpS said...

Oh bone always make me laugh with your shinnanigans! Next time, skip the whole Texas thing, that place does nothing but disappoint. (no offense texans) ;) come to az where you won't see snow and you won't find an ounce of humidity. And there's none of that history foolary here, just pools and lakes. All the swimming you can handle!

lindsey said...

You my dear are one funny girl! And like Brooke said, I want to go on vacation with you!! Thanks for making me laugh so hard again!