It’s mildly disappointing to travel 900 miles in 2 and a half hours and find out you ended up exactly where you started. Particularly if you spent $1000 for the pleasure.
You may have surmised from the last post regarding the unceremonious deposit of Wonderbutt (and his sister, Mrs. P.I.B.) at the kennel that the Firepants family was about to embark on a vacation.
We live in Texas. We flew to Nashville for the first leg of our trip.
As we wandered around downtown Nashville, I had my camera ready for exotic pictures of this new locale. But it turns out Nashville is just like San Antonio – only more. It’s like someone turned on the Texas radio station in their Ford pickup and cranked up the volume full blast just to make sure the cows on the ranch in the next county could hear.
More cowboy hats.
More country music.
Same street names.
Same tourist traps.
I might as well have just stayed at home and taken a cab downtown for half the price.
I tried to hide my disappointment and to enthusiastically involve the family in my observations.
“Look! There’s a poor homeless person on the sidewalk playing a broken drum!” I’m pretty sure it’s the same guy I saw in SA three days ago.
And then I saw it. I jumped up and down (to the chagrin of my husband, Cap’n Firepants, who prefers to blend into the crowd).
“Look! Look!” I pointed to the novel sight – something we definitely do NOT have in San Antonio.
“What?” my 10-year-old daughter cried.
“A bar! On wheels! That you pedal! Down the street while you’re drinking!” I exclaimed.
Finally – something she can write about on her, “What I Did on Summer Vacation” essay.
It is Fiesta season here in San Antonio. Our cousin, Mr. Globetrotter, was visiting from Houston this weekend, and asked, “What exactly is Fiesta?” Everyone – okay, it was only 3 people, but I still felt a lot of pressure – looked at me. Not because I am particularly smart. I just happen to be the person who has lived in San Antonio the longest out of the four people who were in the room. Which, apparently, gives me no special powers, as I quite honestly had to say, “I have no idea.”
Here is what I do know about Fiesta:
It is approximately 10 days of parties and parades.
We get off school on Friday for a “Battle of Flowers Parade” – which no one I know actually attends.
When I was in college, my sorority worked at one of the Fiesta events. I volunteered to sell tickets. We were locked in a wooden booth about 9 square feet to keep us “safe”. One night, we were told to stop selling tickets because there were too many people inside. When we announced that we could not sell any more tickets, one not-so-congenial drunk threatened to set fire to our booth with his lighter. I can pretty much trace my fear of being confined to that one intoxicated pyromaniac.
If you are younger than 10, your favorite part of Fiesta is the cascarones, the hollow eggs filled with confetti. It is customary to break these open over someone’s head. Many people do not understand that you are not actually supposed to use the person’s head to crack the egg. Hence, there are many people walking around with concussions and multicolored circles falling out of their hair.
If you like crowds of people stumbling into you with towers of beer cups, Fiesta events are the place to go.
If you like live music, Fiesta events are not the place to go – unless you also happen to enjoy crowds of people stumbling into you with towers of beer cups while you are trying to listen to good music.
If you like stumbling around with towers of beer cups, it’s probably best if you don’t attend the River Parade, where your chances of stepping off the sidewalk into 6 feet of water is increased by 10 for each beer cup you have in your stack.
As you can probably tell, I am not sold on the whole Fiesta extravaganza. Other than the day off from school, I am pretty ambivalent about this city-wide event. It’s fun to see everyone in a good mood. But, I can’t imagine why parades, drunks, and excess amounts of fattening food do not excite me.
After all, I moved here from New Orleans.