I flew to San Antonio yesterday for a performance with fellow Backun Clarinet Artists at the Texas Music Educators’ Conference in San Antonio. I have never been to San Antonio before, and I have been anxious to explore this wonderful city about which I have heard so many great things. Fortunately, my hotel is in the coolest part of town, right on the famed River Walk, and my fifth-floor balcony opens right up to the teeming activity of the river. Sadly, Dan is not here to join in on this adventure with me, so I am doing some solo exploration of the city.
There is something different and rather special about exploring a new place on your own. I would always rather have Dan with me to share in the adventure, but just like my solo travel to Madrid, I learn things about myself when I travel alone. I push my boundaries, fighting the pull I always feel to hole up in my room and stay inside myself. I am doing my best to be observant, to really see things around me, notice the little things. I am fighting my shy nature and am looking people in the eye as I pass them on walks, smiling and greeting them. Sometimes I am ignored, but often people break out into a smile to echo my own- that always feels so good.
I am here to work, but I am grateful that there is also some time on this quick trip to experience the riches this amazing city has to offer, from the interesting cuisine all along the River Walk, the shops, the friendly people, the historical sights, and of course, the beautiful River Walk itself. In addition, I get to experience the Texas Music Educators’ Conference- the largest music ed conference in the country. Hey, it’s Texas- what would you expect?