By Golda Fulmer
Being on dance team here at Tustin High, I’ve been places. My sophomore year was Las Vegas, my junior year was Valencia, and for my senior year, we had the funds for San Antonio, Texas. Most people think Texas is a bit of a bore, being helplessly flat and a tad humid with seemingly nothing to do in sight, but I was anxious to go somewhere out of state. I’ve never been, so it was a completely new adventure for me.
It didn’t really feel like being in a completely different state for me right away. It seemed just as desert-like as California. What really opened my eyes was the Riverwalk in San Antonio. When my team and I went in the cooled evening, we found that there were strings of lights in the buildings and trees and lining the river. There were many bridges and an abundance of life and culture, becoming the spitting image of Venice, Italy. The blush colors of the setting sun, the soft lighting and the vibrancy of mosaics and tiles were breathtaking. We ate good food, and then set off for a tour on the river. We floated down the river, admiring the many historical buildings and statues littered along the water. As the night grew a deeper shade of navy blue, the lights became even brighter and the people strolling by grew livelier. The beauty had me, and it seemed like things couldn’t get better. And this was just the first night.
The hotel that we were staying at was smack dab in the middle of downtown San Antonio. Right down the street was the famous Alamo, so that’s exactly where we went. The fortress was a tad smaller than I’d imagined, but still solid. Inside the attraction were battle reenactments and various displays of firearms and weapons, along with a beautiful cathedral and museum. Though simple, the history was felt in every chamber, room, and section of courtyard. The trees and greenery hung low, and the nature was overflowing. The monuments spoke years of history and strength, still standing tall to our day.
The next adventure of that day was the In-n-Out alter-ego Whataburger. There seemed a bit of a need to make a judgment call, juxtaposing the two, but oddly enough Whataburger seemed to gain my favor. It wasn’t based on better quality or a better presentation of food, but the sole fact that I got more for my money: the proportions were significantly larger. The small cups looked like a regular cup to us Californians. I suppose things really are bigger in Texas. Still our day was not yet over.
We walked over to the Institute of Texan Culture. Before stepping into the museum was a platform filled with a variety of flags representing major groups that had traveled to and settled in Texas in its first days. Walking in, there were many halls and paths highlighting ethnic groups like Jewish, Polish, German, Italian, Native American, and many other cultures, as well as other factors that made Texas such a hotspot for all kinds of people around the globe to flock to. This building is a fountain of knowledge, and hours can be spent taking in the variety of cultures and facts about the “Lone Star” State.
Now the Saturday and Sunday when we were in Texas was spent for the reason we traveled 1,339 miles: we were competing at a national competition. The competition was a two-day event, competing a full day against local and even some other out of state teams. The following day was an exhibition day, where the top scoring teams competed against each other again for another grander title. Not knowing what to expect and going in just to “have fun,” we walked out with three trophies, ten or so plaques and a few banners and national titles. This weekend was beyond a doubt the most rewarding and exciting couple of days of the trip. We were heading back home by the Monday afternoon.
San Antonio, Texas was a dream come true for me. The people were wonderfully nice, the sites were stunning and mighty, and the livelihood of the abundance of culture and diversity was bursting at the seams in this little section of Texas. Better yet, I was given the opportunity to go there to do something I love. It was a blessing to me and my teammates, and this “lone state” truly stole my heart.