Big and Broad: They Call it Texas (Part One)

by Griffin and Beck

The drive from Carlsbad to San Antonio was a long one. Being the expert travelers that we are, it didn’t really feel that long. We ate blizzards around mid-day at Dairy Queen, that was about it. Beck and I passed the time by doing schoolwork, playing on the game cube and enjoying the scenery.

When we arrived in San Antonio we visited the Hard Rock Cafe on the Riverwalk. Beck and I enjoy collecting pins from Hard Rock’s we get to visit. As the Hard Rock says, I guess we’re “pinheads.”


The next day we went to El Mercado (The Market) which is a famous plaza and market place. As we have discovered along this trip “famous” can sometimes translate into “touristy” such as with Fisherman’s Wharf in San Fransisco. This time, however, it was a Hispanic touristy place which sounds weird but it was also fun. Dad, Beck and I found our very own keepsakes from the market place!

I am El Trueno Naranja (The Orange Thunder), Dad is Te Grande (Big T), and Beck is El Hombre Pequenio Paquete de un Golpe (Little Man Packs a Punch).

There was also a museum at the El Mercado, (the MuseoAlameda) the only Smithsonian related museum outside of Washington D.C.  It had lots of cool Hispanic art.

That night we went down to the Riverwalk to take a tour of the river by boat. It was a nice way to get to experience and learn about the city. We floated down the river as the guide told us about the city and showed us some optical illusions. Then we ate at a nice restaurant called Casa Rio.


When we woke up for our second day in San Antonio we said goodbye to mom as we split ways. The three amigos made our way to the Alamo. We visited the shrine and walked around the inside of the fortress. It was a neat experience and we were able to nod our heads and say, “Davy Crockett is pretty popular here, but of course he is from Tennessee.” You might not be surprised to know mom went to find some consignment stores in the city.


That night we met an old friend of my parents’ fresh out of college days. He took us to a restaurant that he liked, and we had fun just chatting and laughing and I really enjoyed hearing him and my parents exchange stories.

The next day we headed north toward Gruene, TX (pronounced Green). As we arrived we pulled up to Rockin’ R Toobin on the Guadalupe River. It was a beautiful day. We decided it was an awesome way to welcome in September. We floated for a couple of hours and enjoyed ourselves. We saw plenty of turtles, fish and some deer along the way. We ate lunch and shopped around Gruene. Dad was excited to visit the famous Gruene Hall (famous for music). Mom and Dad both got vintage cowboy boots for a great price at an antique store.


We headed out the next day for Austin.

by Angie

Hot, hot, hot, hot…..did I say hot? The temps were 100+ while we were in Texas. It is sad that the state is enduring such a drought. I did make an observation that there was a correlation between increasing temperature and decreasing patience/tolerance. I think subconsciously and literally we have made the turn toward home. Although that brings blessings it also brings some sadness. As we tried to stay hydrated I encouraged a spirit of “This is the day the Lord has made, let us be glad and rejoice.”

Griffin and Beck have had their own money to spend on this trip. They have been very intentional and reserved in their spending. On their own they decided to buy t-shirts at Hard Rock that benefited the relief efforts in Japan. They were proud that 75% of the t-shirt cost went to the relief effort. I was proud that they were jazzed to spend their own money in support of others in need!

Overall, I appreciated the architecture, culture and history of San Antonio. We loved, loved, loved being with our old friend Malcolm again! Anytime that you get to spend with “faraway treasured friends” is a true gift! We explained to the boys about the ebb and flow of relationships in life. There are people you love and have to “let go” due to logistics. You welcome them back into your presence with open arms at anytime. The rest of that life theory is that you have to let some people go to embrace the people that are right in front of you. It all works – in ebb and flow.

Floating down the Guadalupe River was fun and I was celebrating that we encountered NO SNAKES!!! As we welcomed September I reflected on the truth that it really doesn’t matter where we are, what we’re doing, where we are sleeping, what we are eating….what matters is that we are together…spending quality, engaged time together. When we get home the spaciousness of our home, our separate spheres of interests, various demands on us and other people will drive tiny wedges into our state of togetherness. That is life. We will continue to intentionally carve our family time together it just won’t be as incredible as it has been for months on this once-in-a-lifetime journey!!!

Austin, here we come!