Since I last wrote, I have been to Virginia Beach two times and to the sweltering nightmare of San Antonio. The first weekend we went to Virginia Beach, it was for the fourth of July. Our first evening there coincided with the arrival of some passing hurricane, that was so non-eventful, that I already forgot the name of it. I don’t think Atlantic Coast hurricanes compare to Gulf hurricanes in intensity or memorability, at least they haven’t so far in my experience. There’s my judgmental view of things.
Nonetheless, the next morning we ventured out to survey the vast, catastrophic damage to the Virginia Beach oceanfront. Just who is going to lift that sign up again?
To paraphrase George Costanza, “The sea was angry that day, my friends.”
Nevertheless, Knightley was rather unimpressed by the whole affair.
We took an evening walk at a different beach and noted the mild beach erosion.
In between Virginia Beach trips, I had to go to San Antonio for a work-related conference. Let me tell you something about San Antonio in July: it is terrible. Let me tell you something about Texas in general: it is the worst. On the first day of the conference, I was attending some leadership training at the Marriott across the street from my hotel, the Grand Hyatt, and a friend texted me that someone was murdered in our hotel. Sure enough, I came out of the Marriott to go back to my hotel to find 40 police cars surrounding the place. Let me note, this was not some Motel 6 in a sketchy part of town. This was the Grand Hyatt next to the convention center. Basically, between this experience and my terrible experience with the Hyatt in Seattle last summer, I have sworn of the entire hotel chain. However, I have also sworn of the state of Texas with its lax gun laws that basically allow people to open the door to their hotel room and shoot someone and escape all criminal charges.
When not attending the mandatory sessions I had to attend for the conference, basically I hung out at this place:
Swimming a few laps in between conference sessions is always a good antidote to conference and networking fatigue (I will be honest, this year I did not have the energy to put into even a modest attempt at networking). Also, did I mention it was really hot?
Once my final conference session was done, I rented a car and headed up to New Braunfels to go tubing on the Comal River. I needed another water-based activity, and the spring-fed water was actually quite pleasant. On parts of the river, you actually could spot some local wildlife.
We also tubed past the Schlitterbahn, which to be honest, is where I really wanted to be. However, I figured I should play it safe with the whole pregnancy thing and avoid the waterslides, however much I love a good waterpark.
The Schlitterbahn might be the only reason I ever consider returning to the state of Texas.
I know it certainly won’t be for the rodeos. At the West customer appreciation party, they took us out to a ranch north of town to watch some rodeo action (and line dancing and other Texas-related nonsense). Note the ratio of Texas flags to American flags:
That picture could just about sum up Texas, with this document (the Texas GOP platform for 2014)as its accompanying caption. That document also sums up why I never want to return to that state. I cannot even begin to explain how terrifying the Texas GOP’s vision for the future is.
The trip to the ranch did provide me an opportunity to meet my favorite Texan of the trip –
That longhorn looked as about annoyed with everything as I felt.
Luckily, in addition to the pool and the river, there were some good times with good people to moderate the fact that I was a sweaty mess the entire time I was there. Here are a group of well-liked law librarians invading some hipster Texas bar, called “The Esquire Tavern” looking entirely out of place.
What is Texas hipster? Tight jeans and large belt buckles, worn in an ironic way complement plenty of exotic animal taxidermy.
On the last night, I did manage to eat at one legitimately good restaurant called The Granary ‘Cue and Brew, which is the only legitimate thing I can recommend about the entire city.
I will take Atlantic hurricanes any day.