As a child, I lived for three years in a small town near Beaumont, TX, some 45 minutes off I-10. We had thought of making a quick pass through town, possibly for lunch, but after a rock flew up and cracked the windshield on one of our cars we had to stop in rural Louisiana bayou country (think first season "True Detectives") to get some resin to prevent the crack from spreading until we could get to San Antonio and get the entire glass replaced, we had to ditch that plan. Doesn't matter. How lucky were we that there were not one, not two, but three(!) windshield repair places at the very next exit? Or, how creepy was it that there were not one, not two, but three(!) windshield repair places at the very next exit? Out in the middle of nowhere. Miles and miles of bayou between exits. Gives one pause. Good-bye Louisiana.
First thing you need to know: Texas is enormous. If you flipped the state (on a map) to the right, it would reach the Atlantic Ocean. If you flipped it to the left, it would touch the Pacific. Gigantic. You can't really drive across it in a single day. Thus, San Antonio which sits right in the middle of the state is a good stopping place.
A friend of mine from grad school lives there, works at Trinity University. Unfortunately, he was out of town the night we were scheduled to be there, but he recommended a primo Tex-Mex restaurant near our hotel on the River Walk: Mi Tierra. It's open 24 hours a day, he told me. Good thing, too! San Antonio is the home of U.S. Tex-Mex, and Mi Tierra is one of its long-time practitioners: the epicenter of this unique American fusion cuisine. We got there about 10:30 at night. The place was hopping on a Monday night. Strolling musicians. Maybe the best Tex-Mex I've ever eaten. In a fabulously festive ambience. With cold, cold beer on tap. You've been told.
Next morning we ate breakfast and strolled along the River Walk. It used to be a smelly old canal. The city revitalized it and made it a little oasis in the middle of the state. Every municipality seeking to attract tourism ought to study what they've done here. If you follow me on Twitter, you will recognize my #HowIsThisTexas astonishment hashtag. We stopped by the Alamo on the way out of town, literally ten minutes to take a picture from the outside. It's not much, really. You've been told.
|Stopping for resin in 'True Detective' Season 1 territory|
|Yes, 857 miles across Texas to El Paso in the West|
|Navigating around Houston at bloody rush hour, I-10 closed|
|San Antonio, TX, Municipal Architecture|
|Si, si! Mi Tierra. Muy bueno!|
|Num! Num! Enchilada, Tamale, Taco, Guacamole, Queso, Rice & Beans + Beer|
|The River Walk in San Antonio|
|Every bridge has a different design|
|Lovely, cool, breezy|
|A veritable oasis|
|Seriously, unless you're a Republic of Texas fanatic, Forget the Alamo|