Messin' with Texas...again...
I've likely said it a million times, but here it is again: I love Texas.
When the opportunity arose to head to the Lone Star State again to meet with Agents and Brokers, nothing (and I do mean nothing) could wipe the grin off my face. :)
Unlike the previous trip to Dallas, I was a lone traveller heading to San Antonio. I have friends who have been to San Antonio, and their recollections of the "beautiful city" and the "incredible Alamo" only increased my overall excitement.
It was a busy day full of three sessions at SABOR, with great discussions and questions regarding online marketing, the industry, the housing market in Texas, and the future of real estate. The knowledge and the enthusiasm of the people to embrace new advertising means was incredibly inspiring. A huge "thank-you" to SABOR for having me, and to all of the agents, brokers, technical support, and assistants who attended the sessions, despite the heavy rain and my raspy voice (my cold is much better now!).
As well, thanks to John and Jesse, who highlighted some of the local cuisine, including southwest chicken chili soup and authentic Mexican cuisine. Despite my quirky "food can't touch" beliefs, both meals were superb!
Texans love their food, especially Bar-B-Que, which I had twice while in San Antonio. The first night brought about a trip to Boerne (which I now know the correct pronunciation of) and the Po Po Family Restaurant. With its unique atmosphere and thousands of collector plates, it seemed like a great place to try chicken-fried steak.
Despite my initial skepticism over preparing beef like it was chicken, the Texan dish was actually rather good. My friend and tour guide, Marti, explained how to make it and the "essential" cream gravy to go along with it, so my family is going to get them some chicken-fried steak this Christmas!
Our second Bar-B-Que experience was at The County Line, the self-proclaimed "Home of the Big Rib". Not being a rib fan, I opted for the chicken and brisket. The distinct difference between the Texan corn-fed beef and the Saskatchewan grain-fed beef was apparent and quite delightful. There is a completely different flavour, texture, and look to the meat. The best part of the meal was the garlic mashed potatoes, which were the best I've had in my life. Seriously.
We did more than eat in San Antonio, although at the time it didn't feel like it!
We did head downtown to the Market Square for some shopping and souvenirs, as well as headed to the outlet stores for some bargains. I seem to be obsessed with Target stores, which may not sound too exciting for Americans, but we don't have them here in Saskatoon!
One of the highlights of my vacation time was seeing the Alamo. It brought chills to be inside the walls where such a historically momentous event took place, not only for Texas, but for all Americans. The Texan pride is apparent no matter where you go in the Lone Star State, but seeing what was left of the original mission of such a significant location gave me goosebumps and an experience I will remember for the rest of my life.
After my brief stay in San Antonio, it was time to return home to Saskatoon, where I was greeted with the snow and cold that had, up to that point, eluded us. Since that time, though, it has been extremely cold: most mornings it has been -40 to -58 F (-40 to -50 C), with daytime highs around -13 F (-25 C). Ouch.
Oh, to be in San Antonio again! :)
~ Tanya Spilchak, Education Coordinator