Monday, 10 September 2012

Texas part two - San Antonio

Katie Briggs- worlds strongest lady??
Hey everyone I can't believe it my first week of travelling is over. Texas was amazing beginning in Austin and then ending in San Antonio staying with another camp person, this time Beth the assistant director. I find this to be be one of the amazing things about attending Camp you make friends who are always willing to open their doors for you and are the most hospitable people when there.

We arrived in San Antonio by Greyhound bus. Emma and I chatted the whole way about anything and everything I'm sure we annoyed the man in front of us, but it certainly made our journey go far quicker. Beth picked us up at the bus station and after a quick fill in on what had been going on with everyone for the last three weeks it was time to rest.

The next day we had a leisurely start, with the three of us taking advantage of Beth's amazing back yard. Emma and I became little kids again playing in the pool whilst Hannah sat on the side relaxing in the sun and reading a book. It was a perfect leisurely morning a chance to just stop and have nothing to do for the first time in weeks. 

Just relaxing
Loving life!!!
Beth then took us out for lunch and a visit to the biggest pair of boots, out side a San Antonio mall. Along with a trip into another boot shop. The fashion in Texas seems to be all about bling, crosses and who has the most expensive pair of boots. The craftsman ship that goes into the boots is incredible, so many amazing styles, colours it is overwhelming looking at them all. If I wanted a pair I would not even know how to start.
On Saturday it was time for war with Tim one of Beth's sons. We certainly know how to cause havoc and mahem :)

We then had the opportunity to see American football in action watching Collins' Middle school team play. I am still not sure of the rules of the game and I have to say I think I pre-fare Rugby, it was however a great thing to watch and it was amazing to see so many parents turn out. I am not sure that many would have turned out to an English School sports game. After the game yet more swimming and a chance for a cool down in the pool.

Beth and Hannah at the Football game

On Saturday evening Beth took us to Tejas Rodeo which was an incredible experience. When I was at camp over the summer I had the opportunity to go to a rodeo in Vermont this was nothing in comparison to the Rodeo in Texas. It started off with saying a prayer and then singing the national anthem, followed by synchronised horse dancing (sorry horse people I don't know what else to call it). Bull riding which included a clown jumping in and out of a barrel. Really a clown in a Barrel???? There was also mutton Busting, a kid gets on a sheep and waits to fall off, seriously this actually happens. Apart from these few questionable things the rodeo was great to watch. A definite must for anyone going to Texas.

Clown in a barrel
Bull riding
Synchronised horse dancing

On Sunday we left Beth and the boys to get on with homework and headed to San Antonio city centre. A truly beautiful city, the city has such a great history behind. Something that I feel is missing in many cities in America and something that I am used to coming from Europe. We went to the river walk which is walkways and buildings built up around the river, it was great to just potter around and get a feel for the city. We also went to see the site of the Alamo, and me being the true history lover that I am I read every piece of information and started annoying the others by becoming a walking guide book. I won't start now as I don't want to bore you with a history lesson.
I think I thought I was Peter pan here.

Life on the river

Little secrets on the river walk.

Our chosen spot for lunch

Enjoying a yummy Margarita sat at the waters edge

At the Alamo
I am in Texas after all.

One more swim and some final yummy food, a small discussion about politics (now I know why people ban it from the dinner table) and our stay with Beth and her family had come to an end.

Thank you so much to Beth, Collin and Tim for an amazing time in San Antonio. Miss you all already.

Thanks for stopping by everyone. Next stop Florida and I am on the hunt for Mickey Mouse.

Katie. x.x

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Howdie y'all - Austin, Texas

Hey everyone I am currently sat writing this in San Antonio Texas. The travelling has commenced again, it feels great to have my backpack packed and be moving around. I am currently travelling with Hannah and Emma. N two other British people I met whilst at Camp Huckins. I left camp on Monday with Jenny (a friend from my last summer at Huckins in 2005) driving me to her house in Boston and very kindly letting me stay for two nights. I had an amazing time catching up with her seven years is a lot to catch up on I don't think we stopped talking for the two days I was there. Jenny was an amazing hostess who's daughter and husband were an added bonus. On my second day with Jenny we went to Salem and found out about the craziness that was the Salem witch hunt in the 1800's.

On Wednesday I headed on down to Texas with a uneventful flight, which turned out to be far better than the one my friends had. We flew in to Austin and stayed with two friends Pookie and Andrew from Huckins in 2005, it started to feel like a 2005 reunion at different points this week.

Ignore the fact that Emma is wearing a jumper it was hot!!
I had been warned before heading to Texas that it was going to be hot but as soon as I got of the flight in Austin I was shocked by how crazy hot it was in the 100's even in September. After finding our way to the centre of Austin to wait for Pookie and Andrew we found a bar with air conditioning and collapsed :) British people really do not do well with heat.

Andrew and Pookie were the perfect hosts and took us out for typical Tex Mex food in the form of the tastiest Tacos that I have ever tasted. 

They then took us to a traditional 'dive bar' Ginny's Little Long Horn Saloon. Unfortunately the music they had on that night was not country but the music was still great in the form of blues. When we were at the bar Pookie was telling us about Chicken Shit Bingo that they play there on a Sunday night. A chicken is put into a cage that has numbered grids on the base, wherever the chicken takes a poo that number wins! Ha only in America!! After Emma's and Hannah's eventful journey it was time for us to leave and get some sleep ready for our next day of being tourists.
Andrew and Pookie at Giny's Little Long Horn Saloon
Hannah and I
The music came to us.
Around the back of the bar, two rusty old trucks.

Trying on boots

The next day we headed to Austin and hit some really cute bohemian boutique shops in an area called SoCo Shopping district. I was very proud of myself and only bought three scarves, to start hiding my roots :) I was quite content just looking through everything and taking photographs of one amazing shop that was crammed from floor to ceiling of amazing trinkets and junk. For lunch we ended up in Guereo's Taco bar, not quite as good as the night before but still very yummy. A little more wandering around and then we headed back to say goodbye to Pookie and Andrews and head to the Greyhound bus station to head to our next destination, San Antonio. Austin was a lovely city I feel like we barely scratched the surface of what it has too offer. It certainly seemed to have a lot to offer tourists. Who knows one day I might hit Texas again and I will definatly pop into Austin for another visit.
How do I look, does it suit me? 
Thank you Pookie and Andrew for a great stay in Austin. Good luck with your wedding. 

Keep Posted everyone for what we happens whilst we are in San Antonio.

Katie .x.x