Hello, folks, sorry I’ve been absent. We went through another wifi dry spell, and doing a blog in a McDonalds parking lot didn’t seem appealing. I am currently in New Mexico, but have a LOT of retroactive talking to do.
We began our Texan excursion in the lovely San Antonio, which was by far one of our favorite spots, if small. The Alamo, of course, was the first destination. Anyone, American or foreign, with an interest in history will fall in love with the Alamo. Our first impression was, “Wow, this is smaller than I thought. And wow, there’s a garden.” It was beautiful, in an eerie way.
The whole area is free to explore and read about the history on your own, or you can pay for a guide or audio tour. I loved the atmosphere and how all of the spaces are clearly marked so you can do the tour on your own. There was facts around every corner. Even the monument in front of the Alamo on the street was beautiful, if a little graphic.
The other main attraction of San Antonio is, of course, the River Walk. I highly recommend doing the little boat tour (it’s not expensive and takes you about a half hour) so that you can see it all, learn about it all, and help you decide where to eat along the strip.
One caution, however: Beware of the ducks. They have full reign over the walk, and WILL land near your food if you don’t shoo them away. Don’t let that stop you trying to food; most of the restaurants have good deals, especially killer lunch and Happy Hour specials.
Alas, our time in San Antonio was short; we had places to be, people to see. One such person was Mr. Martin of Tumblr fame, in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The first impression of Dallas was unfortunately rough, just because of the horrible traffic. Truck drivers drive like maniacs here! However, the rest areas are beautiful and we felt extremely safe. Upon entering the Dallas area, Mike and I were planning on staying at the hostel (Wild Wild West), but felt a little uncomfortable as a couple. It was also late, and one of the regular residents had to let us in. I would recommend this hostel to lone travelers or groups, since it was affordable and had a huge amount of extra amenities, but not for couples traveling.
The first thing we did upon actually getting into the city was viewing the Nasher Art Sculpture garden. Anyone into are should visit this entire area of the city, where you can find almost ten art museums including the Sculpture Garden, Dallas Museum of Art, and the Crow Collection of Asian Art.
After bouncing around the art district, we met up with Martin and his wife Shelly outside of the city. We had a lovely time with them, lunch and long discussions about gun laws in Texas. I must admit, I am jealous. Guns are not easy to own in New York, and our laws are getting stricter by the minute. I just wish Texas was on my coastline and maybe less big. Either way, they showed Mike and I true southern hospitality, which made mid-Texas feel better than it had.
From Dallas, we were at a bit of a loss, since our next concrete destination was Santa Fe. So, we took out our trusty Atlas and looked up what was on the way, and found Amarillo.
Amarillo was such a trip. First, we quickly realized the road was part of the original Route 66, which was super cool. We finally felt like real American Road Trippers. Second, the first thing we found in Amarillo was the Big Texan, a bar with a food challenge that was featured on Man vs Food. While we did not eat the challenge of 72 oz steak, salad, baked potato, and shrimp cocktail, we did watch four men try it and fail while enjoying our own perfect steaks and on-site brewed beer.
The campsite we stayed at was wonderful and had a huge pool, and it was a wonderful first night of tent camping we’ve done on this trip.
The next wonderful surprise was Cadillac Ranch. I found this little roadside attraction referenced on a random road trip website, and it was damn hard to find. Located on the side of the road in Amarillo, this is a free private site for people to walk up to rusted Cadillacs and spray paint your mark on them. Can’t beat it!
I would say that driving through Amarillo was worth it just for this, no exaggeration. You’ll never see anything like it.
So long, farewell, Texas! It has been real. Next stop: New Mexico!