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Wide Open Spaces

July 29, 2012

Once, I lived in New Mexico, right outside of El Paso for a year.  It is one of the most beautiful parts of the country.  I think I’ve been trying to get back to the southwest ever since.  I may come from the city of big shoulders, but Texas has a big heart and large beautiful sky.  We were fortunate to be able to visit down there last week.  I had forgotten how easy everything seems there.  The pace is slower, and although it’s hot, the weather is much better than in Chicago.  It’s not as humid there.

We weren’t able to make it to El Paso, we drove, but we did see San Antonio, Austin and Dallas.

San Antonio is a great city.  The Riverwalk is so unique, a water taxis can take you wherever you want along the river, or you can hop on a trolley.

The Alamo is in the middle of town, surrounded by kitschy gift shops and Ripley’s Believe it or Not.  We even spent one day in Sea World.  It was actually Meeshie’s birthday!

I thought we would like Austin better, but I’ll be honest we didn’t.  I’m not sure if it was because we couldn’t enjoy so much of the city with Meeshie with us.  It’s not exactly a family town.  The food trucks were great, the bats were a dud, and everyone seemed to try to be hip.  I kept calling them possers, which made my husband laugh.  The places we visited reminded my of Wicker Park, which for a while there was too hip for life.  We did visit the University of Texas, right in the middle of Austin,  and we loved the campus.

Dallas was interesting.  We spent one day near the mall and the other downtown.  Although, downtown Dallas is not what I would consider tourist friendly.  There isn’t much to do within walking distance of the hotels.  Taxis were hard to find and we were always in the wrong area.  I’m used to staying in a city and walking around to see the sights.  Dallas doesn’t have too many sites to see.  Which I thought was strange, the city has such a great and varied history.  We walked to the JFK memorial, and the book depository.  I was expecting something more.  All my life I heard the story from my parents about the assassination of one of our country’s beloved presidents.  My parents were married on November 23, 1963, the day after Kennedy was shot, so I’ve always been fascinated by this tragedy.

I can say that without a doubt, we had some of the greatest food on this trip.  Texas barbecue, Tex-Mex, Shiner Bock beer,  and gourmet food from a food truck are something that everyone should enjoy.  I only wish that we had been able to stay there longer.  Oh well, maybe next time.

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