Oh, and what a morning it is to be back in sunny Tennessee. Easter Sunday, grace à an itinerary designed by M.C. Escher, Matthew and I left our hotel at 4:30 AM, drove to the airport, dropped off the rental car, flew from Austin to Memphis, deplaned at 7:30 AM, drank some coffee, got on another plane at 8:15 AM, flew to Cincinnati (?!), drank more coffee, got on another plane around 9:30 AM, and finally arrived back home in Nashville at 11:15 AM. WE PUT IN AN EIGHT HOUR DAY, JUST GETTING OFF OF PLANES. But! What a good time was had! I'm going to try and fill you in on all the dirt, but we're going to have to go one major event at a time. I'm gonna start with the Alamo:
Now, much like the other wedding guests as we regaled them with stories of our travels in the state, you're probably thinking, "But Lisa, the Alamo is in San Antonio, and you flew into Austin." Correct! The Alamo IS in San Antonio, but Austin is a lot closer to San Antonio than Nashville, and by Godfrey, I wanted to go. BAD. When we got our rental car and called to see when check-in was, we actually had a few hours to kill before we could unpack our suitcases and put on our finery for the big to-do at 7 that night. So we drove up an hour and a half to San Antonio and looked around a bit. The staggering thing, if you really want to know, was we actually stood in line for a few minutes, realized we wouldn't be able to get in and still drive back to Austin in time for the wedding, and left; only to RETURN the next day and actually get to see the historic site from the inside. Yes, we drove the hour and a half TWICE in order to actually properly visit the site of famous Tennessean (and beloved childhood icon of mine) Davy Crockett's last stand. Speaking of:
Here I am in front of the monument in front of the Alamo, with the man himself! Or at least a statue of him. The Alamo is kind of strange to visit because if you're familiar with the movies (John Wayne has a version, Dennis Quaid has a version... a gripping moment in US history, and not bad movie fodder!), it's always depicted as waaaaaay out in the middle of nowhere, which is what makes the scene where General Santa Ana's ma-zillion armed troops versus the brave few left at the garrison set up at the Alamo Mission so impressive a crescendo the beginning of the battle. Well, nowadays, the city has crept up all around the historic site, so that there's a Ripley's Believe it or Not museum across the street, and all manner of downtown, tourist-attraction kind of doohickey places. I kind of loved the old timey sign and building for the Crockett Hotel, which was down the street just a tiny bit. It looks just like a souvenir postcard, but in real life! I am squinting in all these pictures because a) it was sunny and b) I was wearing my glasses to save my precious contact time for the ceremony.
Here's a beautiful photo of Matthew, carrying my purse, the umbrella we bought at Walgreen's that morning (it didn't rain, probably as a result of my buying this umbrella, until we got home), not one but two audio headphone tour contraptions, and the multiple pamphlets I picked up during the course of our visit. How about that vintage photography thumb-over-the-lense action going on here? I told you I couldn't see! :)
What was so surprising at first was the LINE running AROUND THE BUILDING to get into the Alamo. Once we got to the kiosk that had the audio tour headphones, though, we found out that if you bought the headphone tour, you got to skip line directly into the Alamo. No joke! The guy who set us up with the headphones went and let us in the front door! I feel like a veep. Here's how it feels to be a veep in front of a cannon. I took a picture sitting on it, but something about it looks totally vulgar, so here's a more lady like pose riding the thing sidesaddle:
Here's the doctors' quarters at the Alamo. I wish there had been more "like it was then" dioramas, they're one of my favorite parts about visiting historical sites. I remember as a kid they had a woman at Fort Nashboro who sat in one of the rooms, carding wool. Used to scare me to DEATH as my dad could not convince me that she was a volunteer and didn't actually live in that spooky, run down cabin recreation on the banks of the Cumberland, rocking and carding wool through my nightmares. Things more historic sites need: 1) recreations of period decor, 2) spooky, spooky volunteer re-enactors. I decree it!
This was a poem etched in stone and presented in 1914 by a Japanese scholar who noted the similarities between a famous feudal battle in his own country and the Battle of the Alamo. The marred spots in the middle are from people shooting at this monument (!!) after news of Pearl Harbor in 1941, which sparked controversy as to whether or not Texas should keep the monument in the (American) historical site, but eventually, it was decided that since it was a gift during peacetime, it would remain. Isn't that crazy! Can you imagine shooting at this old stone tablet out of red blooded patriotism? An interesting footnote.
The gift shop was housed in a building made up especially for the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition, and ain't she a beaut? I love the relief of the cowboy reaching the Alamo, and the bell in the alcove above the arch.
DAVY CROCKETT'S ROCK AND ROLL 1835 vest. Seriously, this vest belonged to Davy Crockett. I don't know if I was supposed to take a picture of it, but I did. HOW COOL IS THIS VEST?!
Here are two last photos of us in front of the monument. I love Matthew's standard, epic pose.
Have you ever been to the Alamo? What impressed you the most about it? Do you have any memories of the old movies where Davy was saving the day (kind of, except up until the end)? Let's talk!
There's more Texas info this week, so if you're planning a trip or just want to visit vicariously, here's your chance! I'll see you tomorrow with more from the big state. Til then!