In July 2002, I was invited by my friends, Jack and Donna McLaughlin to share their vacation and travel with them to San Antonio, Texas, where we would attend the American Spaniel Club Summer National Specialty Show. I jumped at the chance, since I had only ever travelled as far south as Georgia.
We started our trip by heading west to Cincinnatti, Ohio, where we stopped at a place called Trader's World, a huge indoor and outdoor flea market. It is owned by the nephew of Henry Clay Frick's, a relative of Jack's, so we had a nice visit, as well as getting some really great bargains. The owner was supposedly at one time listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for having built the largest lawn mower in the world by connecting together a lot of regular lawn mowers. Apparently he made it to mow the grass on the world's first sod farm, which he owned also.
We turned south the next morning and travelled through Kentucky and Tennessee. We stopped at the childhood home of Abraham Lincoln. It was closed, but we were able to take turns standing in front of it and taking each others photos. What a feeling of history!
We stopped at a roadside rest in Alabama, I think, where they had one of the earlier NASA rockets on display.
We pushed hard to get to New Orleans because Jack wanted to taste Gumbo. After being lost and wandering around in New Orleans a bit, we finally found the French Quarter. It was a lot of walking in the heat for me, but I'm really glad we did. We bought souveniers in a little gift shop, and Donna and I bought, among other things, the bead necklaces that we saw hanging in the trees all along the route where the Mardi Gras parades go. Imagine our chagrin when we found that they are the necklaces that people throw to the women who bare their ******!!! We sat and ate snow cones on a bench while watching the boats on the Mississippi River.
We crossed the river near there and I think it was just inside Texas where Jack stopped to show us a place called the Tiger Truck Stop. They had cages of tigers on view there. The tigers were really beautiful, fat and healthy, though they looked rather bored by it all.
As we went around Houston, there was a terrrific thunderstorm that dumped huge amounts of water on us as we were stuck in a traffic jam. We were hoping that there wasn't a flash flood to wash us off the road.
We finally got close to San Antonio, and spent the last night in the town Seguin, where I went alone to the restaurant next to the motel for a quick dinner while Jack and Donna went to do laundry. Sitting two booths away was what you would think of as the typical movie cowboy hero, from his broken down dusty boots to his cowboy hat. In his tight-fitting jeans and western shirt unbuttoned halfway down his tanned chest, squint lines around his eyes, it was enough to make a woman drool when he drawled out his order to the waitress with a sprinkle of "Ma'am's" . Then he went and spoiled it all by pulling the cell phone out of his pocket to call his girl friend. Sigh..
The next day we arrived in San Antonio and went to our room in the historic Menger Hotel, built only a few years after the battle of the Alamo. It is said to be haunted, and was even featured on the History Channel's History's Mysteries. We didn't meet the resident ghosts, but did hear a lot of bumping and banging in he walls. I was hoping to see one, but alas, the ghosts were in cooler climes I guess.
It was an easy walk over to the Alamo across the street, and I walked over several times. Being a child of the 50's, and raised on Davy Crockett, and John Wayne, I loved the Alamo. But the feeling there was almost palpable, you could almost see the brave men who died there, and smell the gun powder. I spent a lot of time sitting on a bench in the garden area where people were walking from place to place. There was a reverence coming from all of them, everyone spoke in hushed voices, the kids instinctively seemed to know that this was no place to be rambunctious.
We spent some time at the dog show too, but I was just more interested in Historic San Antonio. Then Donna received some bad family news from home and the next day we started home. It was a somber trip home, and mostly we just travelled, wanting to get home.
Below are some photos we took on our trip, a trip I'd like to make with Larry some day.