Friday, July 04, 2014

A Very San Antonio 4th of July

San Antonio was closer to what I had envisioned Texas would be: much more Mexican influence. As soon as we hit town we made a beeline for the Alamo.

I'd learned the background of the Battle of the Alamo at the Texas State History Museum two days prior, so it was a whole lot easier to keep up with what was going on. I would say the key point that I took away from the whole thing was that Santa Anna, the Mexican general/president, had abolished the constitution and declared himself a military dictator. He was pretty brutal to the Texans during their unrest, killing lots of prisoners of war and other naughty things. Previously I felt a bit bad that the US took so much of Mexico's land, but I feel like in this instance they deserved it. I still know very little about the later Mexican-American War though, so that could be a different story. Lydia was super impressed that Santa Anna's captured wooden leg is on display as a war trophy in Springfield, Illinois at the Illinois State Military Museum.

I was surprised to find that the Alamo is not a National Park, just a state one. It was also impressive that there was no charge for admission. There was a considerable line to get in, but I wasn't real bothered by it considering the free entry. There were several service members in the place. I don't know if that was related to it being the 4th of July or not.

We had an epic lunch at Mi Tierra CafĂ©. The place was so well decorated, atmosphere so awesome, and food so good that I was worried that it would ruin all Mexican restaurants for me forever. Every Mexican place you've ever been to is a shabby counterfeit of this one.

We had to wait for a seat, so headed to the bar.

There was a World Cup game on, which just added to the ambiance.

I finished my giant margarita first so I then tried to help Lydia share hers. I thought the "only child" was supposed to be bad at sharing but I think the "oldest child" might be pretty bad at it as well.

It really just goes to show, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it let you sip its margarita.

Once we were seated I restored order by getting myself another margarita. The flavors on these things were phenomenal. I was proud of myself for picking this one: chamango. Half chamoy and half mango. I did not know this but chamoy is the brine leftover from pickling fruit with chili powder added. As a result it is sweet, sour, and spicy all at the same time. Um, yes please.

There was food too.

Back outside we perused some very Latin-feeling markets.

I did my very best not to unlawfully loiter, linger, or loaf on or about the farmers market. In my opinion Lydia's lollygagging followed the letter but not the spirit of the law. 

Lydia has an admirable fondness of fireworks. I just get a little bored with them. I just wish they had some different shapes now and then to mix it up. Spell out "San Antonio" in the sky or something, jeez. 

Dinner was our very first visit to Whataburger, a regional fast food chain.

I liked it a lot. The food seemed a little more authentic than the big boy chains.

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