Our family has lived in San Antonio for a little over a year now. Last night, we were discussing some of the more interesting or surprising things we have discovered about our new hometown during that year:
- The need for layers -- in the summer. As incredibly and consistently hot as it gets here during the summer months (and lingering into the fall), if you are leaving home and going to be entering another building and spending any significant time in there, you need to take a wrap of some kind. Church, grocery store, restaurant, Target . . . it doesn't matter. They keep their indoor temperatures at refrigerator levels around here during July and August. Good heavens.
- Mediocre BBQ -- We have yet to find a BBQ place that knocks our socks off . . . or even one that just makes us really want to have BBQ for dinner tonight. They're not bad, just meh. Which is really a bummer when you're in Texas, for Pete's sake.
- The RiverWalk -- I expected it to be pretty. But seriously, every time I'm down there, I'm struck all over again by how truly lovely this stretch of land is in the middle of a major metropolitan area. SO pretty. And so well-kept by the city. It's enough to make me wish I lived downtown so I could just spend all my evenings wandering along the river path.
- The 90s are liveable -- It's not as humid in San Antonio as we expected; I guess we're far enough south and west in the state to miss the sweep of moist air that floats up from the gulf as far even as Kansas (where hubby and I grew up with hot, humid summers). And because it's relatively dry, the heat is relatively tolerable. If you're not exerting yourself too much, and if you're in the shade, and particularly if there's a breeze of any kind, you can be outside quite comfortably for any length of time. I enjoy sitting in our courtyard even in the middle of the day (well, I would if I wasn't a veritable feast for every biting insect in the county).
- Fireplaces still have value -- It actually does get cold enough in the winter to light a fireplace indoors. Once in a while.
- The taco vs. burrito thing -- This has been a controversy in my daughter's class all year. A certain taco chain in town has an item on their menu: beans and cheese wrapped in a tortilla. They call this a bean taco. And my daughter cannot bear this. That is a burrito. That is, in our experience, practically the definition of a burrito. And I've already written about the breakfast taco/burrito question. Yeesh.
- Spursmania -- Okay, admittedly, this may have only been a surprise to me because I don't follow NBA basketball. But good heavens, this place is Spurs-nutso. Especially when they are doing well at the end of the season, which they usually are. After watching some of the championship game they won this year, I understand the loyalty and excitement now; I may even get swept up in it myself pretty soon.
- Long ballots -- I think I already mentioned how I was surprised at the offices I had to vote for in the primary elections this year. Railroad commissioner? Seriously? That's an elected office? And one of the hot contests as well! And all sorts of other minor positions were on the ballot, too. I'm kind of bracing myself for the November ballot which I assume will be more thorough than the primary election ballot was.
- No basements -- Having grown up in tornado alley in Kansas, and having heard all my life about tornadoes ripping through cities in Texas (also part of tornado alley), this one threw me. Apparently, the ground is too rocky in San Antonio to dig deep enough for a basement. Nobody has them here. However, most of the houses we looked at (and the one we bought) have decent-sized "game rooms" on the upstairs floor. "Texas basements", they're called. Only they're of no use to you if a tornado comes.
- Texas pride -- Yes, we knew Texas was about being Texas. But sometimes it feels like Texas is ALL about being Texas. Lone stars everywhere, folks. If the state were to secede someday, it should surprise no one.
. . . And probably our biggest surprise . . .
- No cowboys -- Nor any southern accents. At best, I have one friend I can think of who has a bit of a drawl that she will exaggerate for effect on occasion. This is Texas, people! Where are the ten-gallon hats and big-hair ladies? Where is the country music and line dancing? Where are the cowboy boots? (Well, you do see some of those around.) Where are the "y'alls" and "ain'ts" and the "yee-haws"? I wasn't expecting to live in the midst of a hoedown, but come on, friends. We're in TEXAS!
Yes, but we're in San Antonio. Tamale country. More "holas" than "y'alls" around here. And that's fine. We like San Antonio. But I'm going to have to throw out a "y'all" once in a while.