Friday, June 10, 2011

Texas Trip - Day Four (Part 1 of 3)

Final day in Texas....(sorry for the delay on this post but I wanted to clean up some photos to upload for this one...)

Day Four, as with every other day, saw me getting up early.

We had a lot to try and tackle today and didn't want to miss a minute of it. As it was, I was awake long after Richard left (hey, I just got engaged... it would have been a complete miracle for me to have fallen asleep quickly!) Found out that Richard had a fairly sleepless night as well.

Richard showed up with a container of raspberries to munch on (I'd been teasing him for awhile since I'd learned he'd never tried raspberries before and how I definitely had to pick some up on this trip to share with him). We shared them while I finished tossing everything into my bags (note... he now likes raspberries). I was wearing the sundress I'd originally planned to wear at dinner with his parents.... so I looked nice. Richard, on the other hand, was sporting a new t-shirt that proudly proclaimed he was a Ghostbuster...complete with VENKMAN name badge.

Men and their taste in clothes....

He offered to wear his dress shirt again since I'd hoped for a picture of the two of us together, and ran back down to the car to fetch it.... a bit rumpled now, but a moment or two with the iron had that taken care of. Wish I would have known at the start of the trip that hotel rooms come with irons and hair dryers... there's two large items I wouldn't have had to haul across state lines with me!

While he was in the bathroom changing, I did a last couple of laps around the room to be sure I hadn't forgotten anything. Once we were both ready he once again lugged my bag down to the car and drove me around front to the manager's office where I checked out of my room for the final time. Its sad to say, but I am going to miss that place....

We decided once again on Cracker Barrel for breakfast and spent a nice hour or so just chatting.... no rush, no itinerary pressing down on us (though we really did have one)... and no mentioning that I would be flying home later that day. Once again I had the thought of how wonderful it would be to see this man sitting across the dinner table from me for the rest of our lives... how wonderful now to know that this thought will soon become reality.

After breakfast we drove downtown and visited the Alamo.

I took a lot of pictures...some of Richard, but mostly of the site. Sadly, I forgot to hand my camera over to some other tourist to get our picture together.

We wandered the grounds, hand-in-hand, as the heat rose and we both began to bake. Richard especially, since he was sporting a very bright sunburn from the drive back north the day before. As we prepared to enter the Alamo itself, a large sign proclaimed the site to still be dedicated as Holy Ground by the Catholic Church and that no pictures within were allowed. An employee of the Alamo told us to turn and smile for the camera before thrusting a card into our hands and ushering us inside.

Not exactly a way to prepare yourself for something so profound... being essentially peddled by the tourist trade on your way in the doors.

Inside the Alamo is a feeling of such great weight.... calm, but you definitely feel a hush come upon you as you walk that small space (the mission is incredibly tiny). The walls are still gouged in spots from gunfire. Picturing the siege and the horror and pain that took place within those walls was humbling. Little kids on some kind of tour were tossing out questions in rapid succession and fellow tourists were laughing and talking... and I just walked reverently from space to space.

We exited to the side and immediately across the way is the gift shop.

No offense to the powers-that-be that use these funds to help support the upkeep of this site, but the center of the room is of interest because it houses various Bowie knives of the era, excavated cannonballs (much smaller than I had imagined them to be), guns and buttons.... it was a historical junkie's heroin. We walked slowly down both sides and just soaked it all in.

The outer edge of the gift shop though... well... total pandemonium. Little boys screaming as they chase each other around the store, wielding toy guns and Calvary swords, and little girls looking over all the local wildlife plushies (armadillos, bison, horses and, for some reason, monkeys). Ashtrays and shot glasses emblazoned with Davy Crockett's famous quote "You may all go to hell and I will go to Texas". Replicas of the Alamo itself... you name it, they probably had it. There was a nice book section though where I picked up a book ("Sea of Mud" about the retreat from the Alamo by the Mexican army) but, on the whole the gift shop turned my stomach... especially after just coming from the site itself it seemed rather tasteless (sorry baby!)

I was happy when we finally got out of there and back out onto the grounds, and I quickly put that behind me as I drug poor Richard from place to place to inspect the memorial plaques, cannons, a really neat baptismal font from the original mission, and other such historical fodder that appealed to me. He also patiently waited while I took photo after photo of what must have seemed odd things (doorways, windows, steeples... I went a little overboard probably in order to make up for not really getting any pictures up til this point!)

And speaking of pictures... below is a bit of what I snapped. Oh, and that shot taken before we entered the mission? Turns out on your way out you can buy a copy of the picture they took. I walked up to see what we wound up with but we didn't end up buying it... the gal snapped the picture with Richard tucked back a step or two and that hideous picture killer (perspective) had me looking miles taller and about 4 times as round. Okay, it probably wasn't THAT bad...but that's what I remember.

Next post we take on the Breckenridge Sunken Gardens... where Richard had originally planned to propose to me.

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