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Tuesday, 7 July 2009

How do you celebrate a 21st wedding anniversary in Texas?

With Barbeque and bluegrass of course!
Well, the family has been in Texas now for a month, and we are still trying to adjust, having lived in England for 2 years.

John and I decided to celebrate our 21st anniversary a few days early, I guess so that if necessary we still had time for a "do over."

So, did we go to a nice restaurant and have pate and sip champaigne? Nope. We headed for one of San Antonio's famous BBQ places, Rudy's, at which you can also fill up your gas tank. Very handy. Sitting at a weathered wooden picnic table we enjoyed a romantic feast of brisket, three bean salad, chicken and potato salad, dabbing the sauce off the corners of our mouths with brown paper towels from a dispenser on the wall. We loved it.

Next we drove deeper into the heart of Texas: to Gruene, a small community settled in the 1800s by German immigrants. In the center of the town is Gruene Hall, purported to be the "oldest dance hall in Texas." It was about 6 in the evening and the heat was still going strong --somewhere around 103 degrees. We tried to adopt a Texas "saunter" as we pushed open the screen door into a building that looked like it might only have been up to a 1918 building code. The hall was cooled by about 10 ceiling fans working hard to stir the hot air. I was preparing myself for the possibility that my foot might, at any moment, find its way through the wood floor.

Gruene Hall sells beer and bad wine only, and people come to listen to music and dance. On this particular evening the featured singer was Paula Nelson, Willie's singer/songwriter daughter. The heat wasn't too bad as long as we sat very still. As tempting as it was, we might have been the only people not to carve our names in the long tables where we sat soaking in the music and doing major people watching.

What a collection of folk were gathered to listen, dance, talk and sample the Budweiser and Heineken! As you would expect in Texas, there were men with cowboy hats and buckles as big as Delaware. There were young women in the classic summer Texas ensemble of shorts and cowboy boots. There was the two year old with a Mohawk whose father was fully covered in rainbow tie dye. A guy with a barbed -wire tattoo around his upper arm shared a laugh with the young woman dancing with her niece. A man in khaki shorts and tube socks beat out rhythm on imaginary drums while a smiling senior citizen led his partner across the dance floor while wearing a baseball cap with a picture of piece of pie on it. Nobody seemed particularly hot. Everyone seemed like that was exactly where they wanted to be on a Sunday afternoon and nobody seemed out of place.

It was a great 21st anniversary.



Blondie said...

Happy anniversary! It's good to see that you're settling into the Texas surroundings. Have you been to a beer barn yet? This Iowa gal just laughs when we see them.

anne said...

Happy Anniversary. Sounds like you and John had a dog-gone good time.

TxTrouble said...

I'm not sure how I got a "New Post" alert on this, but who knows. Anyway, reading this I was struck with how interesting it is to "see" Texas through a newbie's eyes. I loved your descriptions and yes, those belt buckles are about the size of Delaware...I think I may still own one!

I hope you're setting in well. Hang in there, summer doesn't last forever in Texas, it just seems like it!

I don't know if we told you, but for some good food, head to Rio Rio on the Riverwalk. There's a feast for two on their menu that is outstanding!