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« San Antonio, Issue 1 | Main | There Is No Arizona »

Go Spurs Go!

Two weeks ago I told you how I visited Mesa, Arizona, one of two sites I was considering for a year-long rotation program through work. Last weekend I visited the alternate site, located in San Antonio, Texas. I have a few things to say about San Antonio, then I'll tell you what I've decided to do with respect to the rotation and I'll even show you some pictures.

Texas has historically been one of the leaders when it comes to prohibition. Even before prohibition took a national stage, the fine citizens of Texas had already voted to outlaw alcohol. Prohibition in Texas went back and forth for years until finally, in 1935, the dry law was repealed at the state level. Regulation of alcohol sales was left to the state and local communities could decide whether to restrict or allow certain sales. What all that boils down to is you cannot purchase hard alcohol for off-site consumption in Bexar (pronounced BARE) county except at designated liquor stores.

As many of you know, I always travel with a martini kit, replete with all the martini accoutrements, including an emergency ration of vodka. Don't laugh, I'm serious; the case is even engraved with my name. For the visit to San Antonio I was also traveling with my girlfriend, Jennifer. She does not come with emergency rations. Ordinarily I also travel with my own regular supply of vodka, but this trip was an exception as I decided to pack light. Sunday, after mass, Jennifer and I found a local grocery store and went to purchase the appropriate supplies to make our favored beverages.

A few weeks ago, I was with Road Scholar Luca at what I thought was a respectable establishment. I requested a martini and asked what type of vodka they had. The waiter told me they had everything, but as I listed off my top three brands one by one, he shook his head. "This is Renton, scale it back a bit." I was forced to drink Absolut.

Traveling to Texas, I was at least preparing myself for such a contingency. Jen and I walked the aisles of the local HEB grocery store and found the cranberry juice for her cosmos and limes for the twist. As we walked down the beer and wine aisle searching for the vodka selection, I began to get an uneasy feeling. "I bet this is one of those states," I said to Jen as we searched each shelf. "I bet we'll have to find a liquor store." Sure enough, when we asked the checker where we could buy some vodka, she kind of smiled and said playfully "oh, at a liquor store," emphasizing the work liquor as if we had just asked her for a dime bag of weed.

Being from out of town, I asked her WHERE the liquor store was located. She gave us directions and we were off. Twenty minutes later we pulled into the parking lot and I got another sickly feeling. This was Sunday. The liquor store was closed—cerrado to the 58% Latino population of San Antonio. Nothing truly prepares you for moments like that. This was scaled back taken to the next level.

We never did purchase any vodka in Texas for "off-site" consumption. Thank heavens for emergency rations and fully stocked bars within walking distance. Having said all that, you may be thinking to yourself by now that you know the answer to the question of where I have decided to spend the next year of my life. If you have paid any attention over the past five years to my rants, if you know me at all, you are thinking "there's no way in hell Sean is going to spend a year in a place where access to vodka is not readily available.”

You are correct. I'm going to order in bulk on the Internet. San Antonio, here I come. Based on what I saw over the weekend, the next year will be filled with all kinds of great new Road Scholars updates

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