Good ol’ Theresa called me to tell me her internship in San Antonio was over, and she had one more day to explore the city. I booked a delightfully cheap Megabus ticket for the following day. I arrived to catch a bus to San Antonio in time to get really hot and bored waiting under the Megabus canopy.
The bus got to San Antonio at 11:15 am. Theresa was waiting for me in her blue Mustang, a Mustang with brakes that are not long for this world.
We headed first for the famous River Walk. Everyone who lives in, or has been to San Antonio, will tell you to go to the River Walk. The River Walk, they say, is the place to be. Steps lead down from the street to the murky water, bordered on either side by sidewalks, connected intermittently with bridges. “There is a $500.00 fine for jumping in the river,” Theresa informs me. She is familiar with my long, loving relationship with skinny dipping. But not in the daytime! Theresa! Honestly!
God forbid you should get in the way of their thrifty river tour business. Slow pontoons crowd the river, each one weighed down with bored, hot tourists.
What are they touring? The river is surrounded on either side by cheesy restaurants, not one of which got over 2 1/2 stars on Yelp. It’s like if Venice was fat and ugly and spat you out into a mediocre Mexican food court.
We found a decent restaurant only after we surfaced from the River Walk. The Alamo was next. But not before a Cilantro Drop.
Now, to the Alamo.
We followed signs pointing the way.
It was at this point this that one of us yelled, “WHERE THE FUCK IS THE ALAMO?”
IS THAT IT?
It was. We went inside and it was packed, with extremely long lines to look at every display.
Wait, what even is the Alamo?
We left in a hurry, but I was a good tourist and read a sign outside explaining the Alamo’s significance. First, the Spanish built it as part of a mission. Priests spread the good word for a while but eventually got too hot and bored and abandoned it. Then Texans used it as a fort when fighting off the Mexicans, creating the brief but oh-so-fondly remembered Republic of Texas.
In a local gift shop, I dutifully bought postcards. There was some evidence of redneckery.
“WE DON’T DIAL 911.” Phones are for queers.
Through tactical eavesdropping, I learned Iron Cactus was a popular destination for margaritas. It was nearby, but down on the banks of the river of tackiness. Should we risk it?
Leaving the gift shop, we noticed God.
Inside, we sought divine guidance.
Outside, all became clear. The Iron Cactus was close by and we were going to pass out from double heat strokes pretty soon.
I got a Mexican Caipirinha. Not bad! We sat outside and were monitored on all sides by birds that live on a steady diet of abandoned tortilla chips. I’ve been watching lots of David Attenborough nature documentaries, so I was inspired to try to photograph a plump tortilla bird doing its thing. I planted tortilla chip bait. My efforts were not in vain.
Nature, y’all. It moves fast.
We observed a bride descending the stairs from the hotel on the other side of the river. Once again, I am not an effective enough person to capture a compelling photograph. She is just out of sight, but try to scrape together some interest in the groomsmen in black cowboy hats.
As usual, Theresa took her time finishing her dreadful pink beverage. A nearby bee was so hot and bored he decided he wanted to die a drunk, pink death. Again, my urge to document nature had terrible results.
Below, the initial plunge.
If you look closely, you’ll notice how gross it is.
Maybe an aerial view will capture the drama.
The waiter noticed how prolific I was with the camera. “Do you want me to take your guys’s picture?”
“Oh, no, that’s ok.” Just trying to capture the majesty of bee death. Nothing more.
“No really, I don’t mind. I do it all the time.” He was convinced we were just being demure. I am not photogenic, and I’m not into pictures of myself indulging in an afternoon of hedonism when I should have been at home, saving money and planning my first novel.
“We’re too hot to have our picture taken.” OH GOD. WHAT DID I JUST SAY? IT’S NOT WHAT I MEANT. What I meant was, “We’re too sweaty to have our picture taken.” He backed away, clearly thinking, “This sweaty bitch thinks what about her appearance? Has she even ever seen another person?”
We returned to Austin to eat tacos and go skinny dipping. Austin is better than San Antonio.
Remember the Alamo! But skip it.