I have to start the road trip recap by backing up a little bit. Before we went to San Antonio, we spent three days in Houston (I mentioned this a bit in “Being There”). I don’t feel like I did it justice. We had a wonderful time.
Visiting my parents for me is always a very satisfying mix of being on vacation and staying at home. Even though I have to travel, it’s to the place where I grew up, so there are no unfamiliar cities to navigate, which is nice. But, vacation-style, it’s not like I have to work while I’m there. And Mama cooks for me. And we go out and eat Tex-Mex. And maybe my dad will grill something and we will sip cocktails on the back porch while he does. Heaven.
Did I mention the adorable dog? There’s also an adorable dog.
On this trip though, we also did a little bit of seeing the sights, which is something I almost never do in my own home town. It was a total blast. We went up the tallest building downtown and wandered a funky antique store, and on another day scouted out a hole-in-the-wall Tex-Mex place, just like you do on vacation. We had steak at our favorite steakhouse, which I’m sure shows up in all the guidebooks, and I sighed and said, “This is how steak should be!” I loved being a Fake Houston Tourist. I live in a super-touristy city, so I’m used to being a Fake DC Tourist, when the mood strikes (though I always stand on the right on the escalators — let’s not go crazy here). East-coasters, it’s a little known fact but Houston is a pretty cool town too, and the fun to be had there should not be overlooked.
It’s easy to overlook what’s in your own backyard, Dorothy from Kansas taught us, and I think this trip might have taught me that too. Along the highways we found beautiful vistas around many a bend. When we were lost we stumbled upon an art gallery owner with a fascinating life story. When we needed a place for lunch, more likely than not some perfectly adorable place would pop up. Sure, we were on vacation where everything is more fun. It just made me appreciate all the more that there are cool things to be found where you least expect them.