Okay — I’ll do a little introductory quote here …
Since you have chosen to elect a man with a timber toe to succeed me, you may all go to hell and I will go to Texas.Davy Crockett, Final statement on his Congressional defeat
This weekend was the weekend of my annual “mothering conference and seminars.” Does that sound good? ACTUALLY 11 of us got together (12 counting the daughter of one of the moms), shopped, wandered the San Antonio Riverwalk, drank good wine and great margaritas, and solved the problems of the world (or at least each others lives). I will be giving this from my viewpoint, but if you’re interested in other versions we may be seeing reports from Squib, The Burbs, The Zone, or Trees, etc. Any differences in reports can be attributed to colds or Margaritas.
I rambled out of Chicago on Friday morning after getting the kids off to school. I had a successful flight to SAT (note: I consider ANY flight that lands as a successful flight delays, weather, whatever, my goal is to LAND, I have pretty simple requirements for my flying.) I got to SAT and had a “successful” shuttle ride to the hotel (okay — so even though I paid for a round trip I did NOT use the shuttle to get back to the airport). After a text message with Christina, I took a quick shower and found Connecticut mom heading back to meet the others at the mall. We wandered the riverwalk and finally managed to meet the rest of the crowd that had already arrived.
Now, I am not a shopper. In a typical year I can usually count the number of times I go the the maul on the fingers of one hand. I figure it’s a BAD year if I have to use the fingers of both hands. And I am happy to say that although I ended up at the Rivercenter Maul in San Antonio twice this weekend, if I add that to the number of times I’ve been at other mauls this year I STILL don’t need to use more than one hand. I’m not a maul person. One of the reasons I’m not a maul person is this:
That’s right — at mauls they have stores that exist to do nothing except sell things that are purple. I think it’s totally weird. Though we have a couple of moms with a passion for purple that did help the San Antonio economy.
I wandered back to the hotel with TexasHostess and her daughter and then eventually wandered back out to CVS pharmacy. I was hoping to find a freezer bag for my foot. Instead I bought a six pack of water which was then packaged in what was to be my ice pack for the weekend, a plastic bag (HEY it worked and since I was in a hotel, there was an ice machine down the hall — DUH shoulda oughta thought of that in the first place). Eventually I discovered my fellow travellers at the rooftop hotel pool, we sat there for a bit and decided to commander the observation deck, where we talked, looked at pictures, and ordered pizza. Hotel security came to kick us out at 10:10, since the deck closed at 10. I was rather surprised, since I had looked at my watch about 10 minutes before she came and it was 8:30. I guess time flies. We made plans to meet the next morning for breakfast.
On Saturday we took a tour of San Antonio. We went on a trolley past some missions, and ended up in a really cute little marketplace. We wandered around there, and I bought my birthday present.
Basically, I have two dresses (that I wear with any regularity). A plain black one and a plain brown one. I love the fabric and the drape of both of these dresses, and while I rarely pay attention to what I’m wearing, I’m sure the folks at church or at work would get bored out of their minds if I switched between the same two dresses always — so I use scarves to bring in color and accent (much the way a man with two suits would wear different shirts and ties). A few years ago I got a new scarf when I was at reunion, then last year in Portland I got a new scarf, so I’ve decided to start a new tradition.
After shopping, we had lunch at a Mexican restaurant in the marketplace, and then some of the ladies decided to go tour one of the missions that we had passed earlier (I decided that I needed to revisit my icepack). While I was one my way to revisit my icepack, I ended up getting diverted to an art fair. Then, I decided to be a lazy bones and took a water taxi back to the hotel.
We ended up having dinner at Ruth Chris’ steakhouse. I’d never been to one before and all I can say is YUMMMMMMMMM and pass the sweet potatoes. I even got a free dessert for my birthday. Also, nobody complained when they had started pouring a second bottle of wine without us ordering the wine — so they comped the wine.
Sunday morning dawned and after breakfast we made our way to see an Imax movie about the Alamo where I learned a bit of Texas history. We then decided to make our way to a German deli for lunch BUT the German deli was closed on Sundays so we ended up at another Mexican restaurant (but the prickly pear margarita was quite tasty). After that, we said our goodbyes to LP (one of my roommates) and Alto2 as they headed back to their respective homes and the remaining 10 of us split up — some back to the maul and some to wander to see the Aztec Theater. On our way to the Aztec theater KnittingGreen pointed out an Italian restaurant but, at that point in time the rest of the group was walking a bit quicker than the two of us and were quite ahead. I took matters into my own hands and just went ahead and made a reservation and told people (or sent text messages) that we had a plan for dinner (that wasn’t Mexican and did have vegetarian options) and if anyone didn’t like it they were welcome to come up with another plan. Nobody complained as I think making decisions about where to eat was beyond anyone’s interest at that point.
We stopped back at the hotel where I once again visited my high tech ice pack, then made our way to the Aztec Theatre (which was across the street from our hotel). This is an old movie house that has been “elaborately restored.” It has a 1925 Wurlitzer pipe organ and I now know where the term “all the bells and whistles” comes from.
After the movie we had some time before dinner, and while most of the moms had gone on the boat tour before us latecomers had arrived, we went on the boat tour. I discovered why the architecture of downtown San Antonio resembles a bowl (shorter buildings leading out to taller buildings), a building cannot be so tall as to cast a shadow on the Alamo(1).
wandered to the hotel, and then out to dinner at the Italian Restaurant where I finally had my requisite “margarita on the riverwalk.”
By this time our numbers were dwindling, it was quite like Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. We started as twelve, lost two on Sunday after lunch, lost three mor on Sunday afternoon (actually on Monday morning but they retired early on Sunday) and then lost everyone else at various times of the day on Monday.
Monday morning those that were left had breakfast and then packed up. There were three of us left and as I had yet to see the “Shrine of Texas Liberty” I went to the Alamo. In Texas (unlike other states) students in the 7th grade are required to take one YEAR of Texas History. Teachers need to take a one semester (3 hour) class in order to qualify to teach the course. Now let me state that I didn’t just “go to the Alamo” but I went to the Alamo with qualified Texas history teacher. This visit gave me an insight into the history of Texas and the whys and wherefores of why the United States is now the US and Mexico is now Mexico, but it also helped me understand a bit of why Texans have such a deep sense of Texas Pride. Though I must agree with a decision that a former Texan (now living in Oklahoma) made when her mother offered to send her some dirt. Seemed Grandma had made a grand offer to her daughter — she would send Texas dirt to her daughter so that she could put it under her hospital bed so that when her child was born he would be born on Texas soil. Somehow the mom to be had turned down the offer. HOWEVER, even if the dirt was under the hospital bed it wouldn’t have made any legal difference.
After that the remaining three of us had lunch at a nice little deli in La Villita, had some blue bell ice cream, and wandered back to our hotel to print our boarding passes, pick up our luggage, and head to the airport.
Ladies, thanks once again for a marvelous weekend. Health and finances permitting, I’ll see you all next year, likely someplace on the “left” coast.
(1) No you can’t throw shade on the corn
It’ll die as sure as you’re born
No sir we don’t mess around
Our library’s underground
No you can’t throw shade on the corn
(If you know what that means – put a comment in the comment section)