What quote am I vibing? “Rough, tough, we’re the stuff. We want to fight and we can’t get enough.” The chant of Colonel Wood and Colonel Roosevelt's regiment (later the Rough Riders), heard throughout San Antonio
Bonus Quote, Also Very Applicable: “I consider myself the damndest ass within ten miles of this camp.” Theodore Roosevelt (after getting in trouble for buying kegs for the men)
Road Day: 68
Miles Driven So Far: 10,250 (Can you believe my trip counter reset at 10,000???)
Blogging the following morning, instead of the night of - yesterday, I drove from El Paso to San Antonio. Through some beautiful Texas country! I definitely almost ran out of gas because of poor planning, but it wasn't the first time on my trip I did that, and it certainly won't be my last.
I've been driving and driving at such a more vigorous schedule than usual because I couldn't wait to get here, to San Antonio, where Colonel Theodore Roosevelt trained with his Rough Riders before their transition to Cuba to fight for the US in the Spanish American War. And Here!! To stay at the Menger Hotel. TR spent his first weekend in San Antonio here in this hotel, before he switched to the military camp. Also, in this hotel bar, men could sign up to join the Rough Riders - the men organized and rallied here.
When I arrived, I tried to save money by paying for city parking in a lot, then began a stressful process of messing that up and having to use expensive hotel valet anyway. At this point in my trip, I am so far removed from cities, I feel like I forget how to navigate - the parking, the traffic, the people. I'm sure I'll reacclimate. But what in the world - so much rushing. Slow down.
I checked in, threw everything on the floor of my BEAUTIFUL Victorian style room, changed into a bikini and headed to the pool to calm down and read. At least I still know how to navigate my own emotions. Maybe I've even gotten better at that! The pool courtyard was gorgeous. I was so at peace and happy there, reading and moving my legs through the water.
But, what do you do when you are nearing the end of your trip and your trip budget and you are sort of freaking out about how much money you have left? You go to the fancy hotel restaurant and get the filet. Double down. Dive in. Never look back. (This was always in the plan - I had an 8:00 reservation...don't judge me!!) Also, the Menger Hotel signature baked potato wrapped in puff pastry. And for dessert, the mango ice cream that Bill Clinton served at both his inauguration dinners.
And now it was time for me to go to the bar...the room where it happened. The bar was chock-ful of TR memorabilia. I was looking around like a kid in a candy store. But no TR-themed drink?! Definitely an area of opportunity. Always have the themed drink, y'all!! I had two drink coupons from booking online, and I traded in two for a premium drink - something with tequila and Midori and sour mix...then had another (a rum and Diet) after I found myself involved in a fun conversation at the bar.
Remember how I told you I don't drink a lot?! Oh my goodness, this is true, and I never ever should. In a conversation regarding favorite Presidents, my bar friend said something like "Ulysses Grant was key in uniting the country after the Civil War" and I said something like "TR was a sexy, cool, cowboy man!" Usually I come up with something SLIGHTLY more intelligent and historically-sound than that. But, just like a Rough Rider, sometimes I need to let loose a little. Let go of my schedule and expectations for myself. Let go of my anxiety about nearly everything. And just bask in the light of my favorite Colonel.
(TR Forever!! 26!! Colonel Roosevelt!)
Just like Teddy gave up his posh accommodations after one weekend in the Menger for the military camp, I too am splitting my time in San Antonio between the Menger and more meager lodgings, but I'll continue to adventure here today after work.