I have visited both the Texas State Capital and the Bob Bullock, State History Museum enough times that I could just about give the tours on my own, (only admittedly in watered down form, but I know the things that are significant for my students to learn). The fourth day of the Tour of Texas was a Sunday. The weather continued to be beautiful. We walked around the outside of the building and I pointed out monuments pertaining to periods we’ve studied in the course of the school year. We also made a point to stop by the plot where Tyler Roses grow. Most States have capital gardens. My understanding is that Texas is the only state with a divided campus for its garden. The Tyler Rose Garden is considered a wing of the State Garden and thus has a small area set aside next to the capital in Austin, to grow Tyler Roses.
When we visited the capitol building that morning there was a surprising number of People. Prior to our arrival, I was concerned about whether or not the legislative chambers would be open. Fortunately I need not have worried. We walked through both the House and Senate, discussing the paintings that hang there and identifying people in the portraits. The students also explored the rotunda looking for historical figures like Sam Houston, they’d been assigned to find.
Following our visit to the Capitol, we made our way to the State History Museum, had lunch on the balcony of the museum cafeteria, and then explored the exhibits. The last educational event of the day was the short film entitled the Star of Destiny, the “4 D” feature film presented year round by the museum. The students loved the movie but I must confess to being a bit disappointed in the normally great movie. Some of the effects seemed not to be working at key points. I was apparently the only one who noticed and everyone had a great time.
It might seem silly but for me the event of the day was checking off the last box on the list of great Texas food, namely bar-b-que! That evening we ate at Austin (actually Driftwood), barbeque legend, “The Salt Lick.” The restaurant is well known and has been featured in magazines and on television shows like the Travel Channel’s Man vs. Food. Its great Texas bar-be-que, and we all had more than our fill. Particularly some of the young men in the group. The following morning I was unable to eat breakfast finding that I was still full from the previous evenings feast. I guess Fat Tuesday came a couple evenings early for me.