Today we took a day trip to San Antonio. My husband suggested that we do that so that the kids could see the Alamo and I was totally into that idea, since my early childhood was spent there and I tend to forget that my kids have sort of missed out on San Antonio things like the Alamo, the Riverwalk, and Pancho Claus.
My youngest (my son) was complaining about being forced to visit the Alamo until we told him the story and his dad pointed out that he'd be able to see actual bullet holes in the walls. Well. Enough said. He had no hesitation after that. As a matter of fact, I'd printed out some lesson plans about Texas history and read the story to the kids on the drive down while they colored pictures that went with the lesson. My daughter colored a lovely picture of a Tejana from the period while my son illustrated a blueprint-type picture of the Alamo grounds with bullets and dead bodies. (I kid you not.) At least it's educational...
The rest of the day was a sort of pursuit of my childhood memories. I insisted (although no one seemed to mind) that we eat at Casa Rio, where I remember eating as a child and devouring their corn tortillas with butter and salt. I did so at lunch today, while we watched the ducks swim by our table. (You can see the view from our table - after we devoured our food - above...)
After lunch, we took our kids to the children's museum because they are museum afficiados and then we allowed ourselves to be completely fleeced by paying $40 to go up to the top of the Tower of Americas. I do remember at least one very, very nice birthday dinner up in the restaurant and to me, as a kid - it was the ultimate elegant dining experience - so I didn't really mind taking the kids up there. I'm sure they'll remember it.
We were all a little tired and cranky by the time we stopped at Wendy's on the way home (ok, ok...it was mostly me that was tired and cranky...) but it was a good vacation day, even with the emergency work stuff I had to handle on my Blackberry while we were at the Alamo. [Ironically, I was on the phone with the company's outside counsel - who was in Switzerland on vacation...it was a transcontinental interruption of family vacations to handle work emergencies.]
At any rate - at the risk of sounding overly mushy (as if I could fool any of you into thinking I'm NOT mushy...) I must say that today reminded me of how proud I am to be a Texan and the fact that from the beginning, our state is one that was a confluence of so many cultures. When you look at the list of Alamo heroes, you see Irish, Scots, Americans, Germans, Mexicans and native Texans. All of them fighting together for freedom. It's darn inspiring. So - to those of you who might be reading this posting in another state...I know that when many people think of Texas, they aren't necessarily thinking of an open and inclusive society...but our cultural roots are as expansive as our sky and there are still plenty of us who know it and are determined to teach it to our children.