(way overdue but who cares?!)
Everyone needs a set of friends whom move all over the country to new places and are the picture of kind and generous hosts. Mine moved to Texas last year, a place I had never been, nor had more than a passing interest in until my favorite family was there.
It took a while to get myself together, but headed to Texas for a week in April. This was the first time I did anything remotely interesting with a spring break. I think everyone else in the world is really onto something.
I got a wonderful personal tour of Ft. Hood, Killeen, Waco and the surrounding area. I went to my first real rodeo, but lasted only 7 seconds. I really was happy to drive around a chase blue bonnets, the Texas state flower.
Texas in the spring spoiled me. It is (allegedly) the only time when the weather is perfect and things are lush and green and flowers are in bloom. A week or so in any direction on the calendar turns the Texan landscape back into the harsh and dry desert seen in movies. So, I'd say...go in April.
Sadly, I did not find the basement of the Alamo, nor Pee Wee's bike anywhere despite being set to the task about 20 years ago. Pedro and Inez, both sadly missing as well. Possibly on bike. If you followed all of that, I may want to marry you.
San Antonio was a charming place with a beautiful river, well preserved 18th century Spanish missions. All with their own characteristics and charm. I also visited the market square where I was transported to Mexico so convincingly that I kept trying to converse in Spanish as well as convert the prices from pesos. Accidentally, I found a cool candy store Alamo Candy where I tried some weird and wonderful things and stocked up on souvenirs.
On the drive back from San Antonio, I did spot a real Texas longhorn, stopped a Buckees (the most insane and delightful gas station I've ever seen), and tasted some Texas made bourbon.
Later, in a flying trip to Houston, I learned what this space race thing was all about and saw the room where Houston learned that it had a problem. Also...Space ships!
I found Texas to be surprising and diverse and full of life. I loved all of the decidedly "Everything is bigger in Texas" things and the fierce, what I can only call nationalism shared by Texans.