The Souvenirs I Couldn’t Fit in My Suitcase


I just got back from San Antonio (hence the Alamo picture above). The Riverwalk is a wanderer’s dream, especially if you wind your way past the more populated area near the convention center to the quieter area near the art museum. It just keeps getting better if you walk even further into the recently redeveloped Pearl Brewery district (Not a brewery, just an area of the city were there are a number of warehouses that used to be part of a brewery. Which is, in a word — awesome.)

It was at a lovely restaurant in that area (The Granary) where I met the first in the cast of characters in my San Antonio story. The handlebar moustached owner stopped by our table as we were finishing and we chatted about the beer he brewed and the too tender for words brisket. Then he passed along the name of his favorite place to go listen to jazz music on Monday nights. He loved his business and his city, was eager to share. For a few moments it was more like sitting on the porch of a friend’s house chatting about good music and good food.

About home.

Monday night, we ventured to that tiny bar he recommended. The musicians arrived soon after. The normal headliner (Jim Cullum) was not there, but three accomplished members of his band were. Early on there were several tables of people clearly there for the music and we all sat there with toes tapping and heads nodding along. As the evening wore on a bigger crowd showed up and started talking loudly at the bar, filling the small space with a din that nearly overtook the music. The piano player noticed. He sent several silencing glances their way to no avail and then played on. I thought about being an artist and sharing your gift with the world even when they aren’t listening.

About perseverance.

Along with a suitcase of sweated-in clothes (it’s hot in Texas, ya’ll) those were the souvenirs I brought back with me from my trip: a reminder that home is about the people who make you feel welcome; you should never stop playing your music for them.

What are you bringing home from vacation this year? Leave a note in the comments below. And don’t forget to sign up to get my blog in your inbox every week!

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