The following is not for everyone. To enjoy these experiences for what they are requires a certain appreciation for irony and absurdity.
- Best Stereotype Wrapped Up in a Caricature (San Antonio): A visit to the Buckhorn Saloon & Museum makes you ponder some of the deeper questions, such as "Why don't more museums sell beer?" There are no easy answers. Yes, much is made of the Old West's culture of violence. You can see gunfights enacted and exhibits on blood-thirsty desperadoes. It's all good family fun. But to those who would still cock an eyebrow at this place, I have one thing to say: costumed fleas. They must be seen (barely) to be believed.
- Best Sensory Overload (San Antonio): Excess, thy name is mariachi. To set the scene perfectly, you need a table by the river, a rather large platter of Tex-Mex food in front of you, a frozen margarita at your right hand, and the aforesaid mariachis, belting out some standard, such as "Guadalajara, no te rajes," with great bravado. They must of course be topped with their large sombreros and one of them plucking the strings of one of those large bass guitars. Lesser mortals might well recoil from the stimulation of so many nerve cell receptors. But you can placidly take it all in, comfortable in the knowledge that you have reached the promised land of travel brochures. Congratulations.
- Best Way to Take the "Walk" out of River Walk (San Antonio): Big boats on a small river -- there's something very Texas about this, as there is about the boat captain's monologue.
- Best White Elephant Souvenirs (San Antonio): Are you in the market for a souvenir with no redeeming aesthetic value? Are you looking for that perfect something to quiet forever those pesky requests to bring something back from your trips? Souvenir stores can be found scattered throughout the touristy areas of downtown, but there is an especially fertile hunting ground along the west side of Alamo Plaza. Take your pick of such gems as an Alamo ashtray, a beer can wind chime, or a barbed wire candle, just to name a few.