Friday, June 5, 2020

Texas Legends, Flat Tires and the Big Easy

With the entire world closed, it looks like it may be awhile before I can do any traveling. With that in mind, I’m re-posting from my original blog. This section follows me and my son's trip from California to Washington DC for a temporary assignment. 

Day 4:

We got up at a decent hour, considering the time we arrived in San Antonio. When I took the first bag to the car, I noticed the driver’s side front tire was low. I asked at the desk and they directed me to the nearest gas station. For some reason I had a tough time getting air into the tire, but we got it filled and went to the Alamo.

I had been warned repeatedly not to get too excited about the Alamo. All of my friends who have been there let me know how small the site is. Even with the warnings, I was amazed at the scale of the site. Now, you have to realize, most of the fortifications have been destroyed, and the Ripley’s Believe It or Not “museum” and all the other businesses around the current site all used to be part of the Alamo. That said, I still was in awe at the thought of what transpired on that piece of land and the effect on the American experiment.

The front of the church at the Alamo

We left the Alamo in a slight drizzle. I had looked closer at the tire, and decided to take the car to the nearest Sears and have the tire replaced (I had noticed some cracks in the side wall). We checked the GPS and headed off to the nearest Sears store. Unfortunately, it must have closed. We checked again and headed to the second choice the magical GPS provided. We found this one pretty easily. I told the clerk I wanted to replace the two front tires on the car, and we headed over to the adjacent mall to buy a couple of CD’s to listen to when the radio stations failed.

San Antonio's famous river-walk, sans water.

We looked around the mall for about 40 minutes and headed back over to the auto center. As we approached the auto center, we noticed the car had not moved (the clerk told us it would take about one hour to change the tires). We went inside and heard the clerk tell the mechanic that he had 35 minutes to finish up our car. Without a word, we walked out and went next store to “Freddies” for some chili fries (which by the way I highly recommend).

After about 30 minutes we went back to the auto center. We went inside to the waiting area, which has a view of the service bays, and I immediately noticed they had removed the back tires from my car. I went out to the clerk and asked him what they were doing. He told me, they had decided my rear tires were worse than the front tires and were replacing them instead. Needless to say, I expressed my dismay at the total lack of common sense they displayed. In the most polite way, I can assure you.

I asked the dumb shit what they could do to make up for the fact they had completely ignored what I asked them to do. He told me that he could do nothing except charge me full price for all four tires. After they finished, and I had paid, I asked DS if the manager was in. He told me the manager would be in the store in about eight days. He said the assistant manager was unavailable (which was funny, because there is a picture of the Asst. Manager in the waiting room and we saw him several times, he was working with a person from their alarm company on the alarm system). So I asked for contact information on the regional manager. Amazingly DS was suddenly able to refund part of the cost of my tires and he gave me credit for the remaining wear on the tires they removed.

After the great tire ordeal, we left San Antonio, and headed to New Orleans. Because of the delay leaving, we landed in Houston during rush hour, which added a little time to our trip. Amazingly it was the first heavy traffic we had seen in four days. We did not arrive in the Big Easy until about 11 pm. We tried to check into the Marriott, unfortunately, there are about four Marriott’s in a few blocks. We were in the JW Marriott, across the street from the one we tried to check into. Turns out to be a very nice place.

The view from the room at the Marriott

After checking in, we asked at the front desk where we should eat, they suggested Daisy Dukes across the street. Great choice, first because it’s open 24 hours, second, because deep fried breaded shrimp rule. Now its time to get some sleep. Tomorrow we are expecting to hit some bad weather for the first time since leaving home.

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