Saturday, July 05, 2014

San Antonio to Houston

The San Antonio River Walk was amazing. I hear "river walk" and I imagine some lame trail next to a river. This was so far from that that I was embarrassed by my wrongness. This place was like a long, lush secret garden. Restaurants faced the water and people dined at numerous patios. It really felt like something from a theme park or a different country.

San Antonio is seriously close to the Mexican border at about 2.5 hours. After all of the driving we'd been doing the last few days, that seemed like nothing. I even had Lydia pack her passport just in case. I read about the tourist situation there quite a bit. Nuevo Laredo was the closest border town but also sounded pretty rough, with the murdering and the whatnot. I asked our server at a couple restaurants what they thought about visiting Mexico: they said don't do it. I considered different, less scary border towns that were farther south, but there just didn't seem to be anything to do or see down there that could justify the effort. The fact that I haven't been to Mexico is an ongoing threat to my International Man of Mystery reputation and it can't be allowed to continue much longer.

When I had finally found peace with our decision to not make new friends in Mexico, we went east to Houston.

We stopped at a very cool art museum: The Menil Collection. It was free, they had pieces from well known masters, and they didn't allow any photo taking inside.

I saw a big tree nearby. Here it is.

For dinner we tried a ramen restaurant. Ramen is a big ole deal in Japan, where it is served as a main course at restaurants that specialize in it. This was by far the best I've had in the US, but it wasn't that great. They received points for effort. Lydia accidentally got a really spicy bowl, so that was fun.

We took a walk around downtown before heading to bed. We stumbled across this Live! place. It's from the same chain as St. Louis' Ballpark Village. I don't really like Ballpark Village because it's a little too corporate for me. So seeing its ugly twin was a bit of fun. Nothing says authentic experience like Hard Rock Cafe.

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