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How do you say Teeeexas?

March 15, 2012

Texas. Okay, I can’t help it, every time I say Texas, in my head I am imagining William Shatner and how he says it in the movie Miss Congeniality. Texaaaas. Well, now that I have that out of my system, a quick recap on my trip to that gigantic state a few weeks ago. A contingent of grad students, professional staff, and faculty from my institution flew out to San Antonio to attend a conference. It was the first time that I had been to San Antonio (at least that I remember) and it was a lovely four days in another part of the South.

So, first I should mention that it was a great conference, and all of the sessions that our group members presented were well attended and seemed to be really well received (honestly, you can think you rocked at a presentation, but if the participants didn’t learn anything from it…. What is the point? But I digress.) The point is, I think we represented all of our offices and out institution very well. Now onto my review of San Antonio, which is what I know you all really care about, not about how great our sessions were!

We had a ridiculously early flight that morning and it had connections, so we were all pretty tired when we arrived, but it didn’t stop us from trying to use our time to sightsee before the conference kicked off that evening. I guess I was a tad taken aback at how very small the San Antonio airport is, it felt as if there was no room to move. And the security line! Sheesh, when we went to leave it was backed all the way into the ticketing area! They need to a bit of remodeling and expansion, that is for sure. However, that being said… they did have the most organized taxi pick up area I have ever seen all my years of traveling, and in case you haven’t picked up on this by now, I travel a fair bit. The only place I can recall having as good a set up was Victoria Station, a train station in London, England!

We stayed at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio, which is right downtown and on the Riverwalk and connected to the convention center. It was an okay hotel, I have definitely stayed in worse, but I have also stayed in better. To be honest, I expect a bit more from Hyatt’s and this one just didn’t live up to expectations. First, I find it a bit annoying that some Hyatt’s recognize their Gold Passport Members and others don’t. Even something as simple as immediately knowing your name and saying welcome back to the Hyatt goes along way. One of the perks of membership is that you should be able to have a late checkout without a problem. I was highly annoyed that they would not grant my half-hour late checkout request so that I could attend one last session before having to move all my stuff out the room. There was also this VERY annoying cooing that was happening in the room. Seriously, my conference buddy roommate, Jane, and I just couldn’t pinpoint where the heck it was coming from. We ruled out an actual pigeon because it was so constant, we were thinking pipes, but who knows. It was just hard to sleep with it happening. Add to that the fuzzy TV channels and not good selection of restaurants/ shops in the hotel and it just wasn’t all that I hoped it would be.

The Alamo was very cool to see, I was just exhausted by the time we got there. Early airline flights, time changes, late lunch… I may have been a little cranky. Anyway, it was still cool to see. Yes, it is in the middle of downtown, not out in the middle of nowhere, but I had been prepared for that. I guess I was literally expecting all these tall skyscrapers to be dwarfing it, and literally right along the same wall as the mission image we all know so well. But really, it was a larger piece of land than I imaged, situated in a little square, with some midsized building surrounding the square. It was very pretty to see, but sad at the same time, to remember all that dies there. Plus, when I was a kid I thought Davey Crockett was so cool, it was sad to see where he died (Who has the Disney Davey Crockett song stuck in their head still- that’d be me!)

Apparently it is impossible to get a picture without people in front of it.

Okay, enough for one day. Check in a few days from now for the continuing review of my time in San Antonio!

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