When I began painting “Tailgating Through The SEC”, the SEC consisted of 12 schools. I had nearly finished painting the last 2 schools when the SEC announced they were adding Texas A&M. Soon after the University of Missouri was added to the conference. At first I thought I would stick with my original deadline. I quickly decided that to not include the 2 new schools would immediately date the project. By delaying my timetable I was able to add a couple of great road trips! James and I made plans to attend the Texas A&M/ Florida football game, A&M’s first game as an SEC member. We knew spirits would be high.
Flying to Texas meant we could not take our usual tailgating supplies. James and I departed from Pops’ Place in Gainesville with my UT (University of Tennessee) rolling cooler,
a surprise birthday gift from James.
Now we would have liquid nourishment wherever we tailgated. I used it for my “carry on” bag for the flight.
We decided to include a few side trips to see TEXAS.
We flew to Austin, Texas. It was 101 degrees. When we picked up our rental car, the rep said, “We have a special on BMW convertibles for just $50 more per day.” I looked at her like she was crazy and said, “even in Florida we don’t drive with the top down in this kind of heat.” James and I just laughed and drove off in our comfortable mid size car with the air conditioning blasting as high as it would go.
First stop, San Antonio. I had never been to San Antonio, but knew what to expect based on hearing all about the Riverwalk. James expected a river slightly bigger, wider and deeper. When we arrived at our hotel on the Riverwalk, he looked out over the outdoor seating area and said, “where is the river?”
I laughed and said, “right in front of you.”
All joking aside, the city has made wonderful use of the river and provided protection from flooding.
San Antonio boasts many great restaurants and outdoor cafes with lots of colorful umbrellas.
We enjoyed a boat ride tour of the river.
Being a Tennessee “Volunteer” , I had always wanted to go to The Alamo. More Tennessee volunteers died defending The Alamo than from any other state; one of the reasons Tennessee is called The Volunteer State and The University of Tennessee goes by Volunteers.
Tennessee fans like to say, “Remember The Alamo.”
One of my favorite buttons.
We toured The Alamo and I donated $10 to the mission and told James that $5 was for the padres to pray for a Florida victory over Texas A&M and the other $5 was for a Tennessee victory over Florida the following weekend.
I also purchased a sheriff’s star badge that said, “Alamo, Kathy, Ranger”. Remember I always wear buttons to football games.
We ate dinner at a wonderful restaurant, Boudro’s on the Riverwalk and then spent time at Howl At The Moon, a dueling piano bar. For those of you unfamiliar with dueling piano bars, the routines are similar in most places. Requests are made for certain songs to be played and slogans to be posted on mirrors behind the pianos. Money is involved and the price goes up as the night goes on. The $5 mirror states “Phrase of the Night” and goes up a dollar with every new request.
We arrived to friendly bantering between Gator fans, Texas fans, and Texas A&M fans. Florida colors are ORANGE AND BLUE. Texas is BURNT ORANGE.
The $5 phrase on the mirror was “Texas + Aggies= Gator Bait.”
Someone had raised it with “Real Football is played best in Burnt Orange-
I could not resist, paying a whopping $7 with my request,
Remember The Alamo. Go Tennessee Volunteers…
A better UT and a better shade of orange. (Notice the piano player misspelled Tennassee. I promise I did not misspell it on my request.)
I won’t tell you the $8 bid, but it was not a flattering comment to UT. Maybe they meant the other UT, Texas.
We loved San Antonio and I took lots of pictures to one day be painted.
Next stop, Austin, Texas. James college friend, Rachel, works for a US senator from Texas. She gave us the grand tour of the State Capitol. What a beautiful building.
I couldn’t help but start singing “ooh I love to dance the little sidestep, now they see me now they don’t” from an infamous Texas Broadway show and movie starring the late Charles Durning as the Texas governor.
Dinner at Moonshine served traditional Texas cuisine with a twist. Chicken Fried Steak and the most unusual Mac and Cheese.
Had dinner with Rachel’s friends; some Gator fans, some FSU fans.
After a nightcap on Rainey Street I turned in ready for the next day drive to College Station and Aggieland. Stay tuned for Tailgating in Aggieland…Alabama fans may want to see my next post as they are playing the Aggies in College Station this weekend.
I welcome your comments, recipes and any inside information on your favorite tailgating spots.
Come celebrate with me. I’ll save you a seat at the table.