|in La Villita|
|The Mill Stone from the Canary Islands|
"The enemy in large force are in sight. We want men and provisions. Send them to us. We have 150 men and are determined to defend the Alamo to the last."
Additional soldiers never came, and the Mexicans overpowered the Texans and slaughtered any survivors (including Davy Crockett) once the fighting was over. All of the bodies were burned. It is dramatic and heartbreaking when you take the time to learn about it.
|The Alamo, sideways|
"You're going to love the River Walk!" I heard that more than once, and I did love it. Each evening after the conference, I'd take the hotel elevator down to the very bottom floor and wander out to this abbondanza of restaurants. I ate Tex-Mex the first night, then Barbeque the second, then Italian, and then finished with Tex-Mex again. The River Walk restaurants were fun, festive, and casual. I took every meal al fresco beside the river, watching the resident ducks and the tourists on river tour-barges. My weird anxiety evaporated by the second day because this evening eating experience was consistently comfortable, not like going solo in some crowded family emporium or stuffy date-night restaurant.
|Carol Burnett was born here.|
"Would you like to be serenaded?" asked the Mexican musician with the enormous guitar. Certainly I would. He asked if there was a song I'd like his trio to play. They knew no Bruce Springsteen material, so I told them to choose something. These guys who had elluded my camera for days now stood around me and my beef burrito performing "More" (the theme from Mondo Cane) from 1962. (I remember this tune from junior high school band.) I shot them repeatedly...with my camera...and tipped them heavily for the privilege. It was a thrill to be sure, and I loved that they chose a 1960s instrumental. In the evenings after dinner, I had worked on an essay about 1960s music in my hotel room. It was a perfect farewell to Texas.
I made no progress in figuring out why I experience that strange travel anxiety, or pre-homesickness. But I am happy to report that I enjoyed San Antonio once I got there and experienced Texan hospitality. On my last day, the travel day when both of my planes departed late, I experienced a strange and wonderful phenomenon. Both at breakfast in the hotel and at lunch in the SAT airport, I was offered a to-go cup of my beverage of choice (no charge!) by my server. This small gesture of warmth meant so much to my sense of well-being and relaxation. I sipped on my to-go soda with my book on my lap as I waited (and waited) (and waited some more) for my plane to arrive reflecting on the fine time I enjoyed in Texas. When can I go again?