Remember the Alamo! and Other Tall Tales

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to spend a day with 50 12- and 13-year-olds, wonder no more.

It was a total blast. True story. A couple of weeks ago, bad back and all, Luke and I tagged along on the seventh grade field trip to San Antonio. The kids and teachers rode on the bus, while the three adult chaperones and Luke rode in my swagger wagon. Go ahead, be jealous.

We started out with a dreary, damp, slightly cool day and a ridiculous amount of Austin traffic. Evidently our bus driver missed the memo and decided to hit every single bad road in Austin, Parmer/MoPac/183/360/I-35. Oh yes he did. We arrived a little late, but by then the sky was starting to clear and the rain took a break.


As a Texan, there’s just something mesmerizing about the Alamo and its beautiful history. Mom, are you reading this? Please tell me you’re proud. She taught Texas history for 15 years and if I screw up my facts, she’ll disown me. Most folks are amazed to see the Alamo, smack dab in the middle of downtown San Antonio, right across from the was museum. If the San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau is reading this, I have two words: tacky, tacky.

Will and some of his buddies


I’m so in love with this picture I can hardly stand it. We call that Luke’s deacon shirt.


Our guide was awesome and the kids did a pretty impressive job of paying attention. Luke did an impressive job of playing on my iPhone. Our time was a little cut short with our delay, but the time that we did have at the Alamo was great. There were no lines and the crowds were all but gone. Note to self: visit the Alamo on a Monday morning in the fall.


We loaded up the troops and headed over to Mission San Jose, the largest of the missions in San Antonio and also home to the famed Rose Window. We enjoyed a nice picnic lunch and then had about an hour to explore. Can you imagine if the boys had brought their football here? Pure heaven. We’re definitely coming back here for a family day trip. A neat little fact I learned. Did you know that Mission San Jose has parishioners, as in actual parishioners, yet is still operated by the National Park Service? I don’t know why I thought that was fascinating, but I did. One of Will’s teachers was even married there and she had some great stories to share.

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This place was beautiful. And Luke was officially declared the class mascot at San Jose. I turned my back for one second and he’s off trotting with the big boys, like he’s one of them. I kept hearing, “Hey Luke, come over here” and he would run at full tilt to catch up. You can tell that class is full of big brothers. Another reason why we love Catholic schools.

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I wish I could post the two group photos we took, but those aren’t my kids to share. I will share the funniest quote I heard all day from one of Will’s classmates. When going on field trips, and especially when you’re nominated to take group photos, I’ve learned to shoot quick. Typically, I take one test shot while they’re all getting situated and when everyone is ready I set the camera on super high-shutter speed mode and take about ten photos with one click of the button. One of the kids said, “Wow, Mrs. Whitaker, you take ten pictures faster than it takes my mom to just get the camera out of her bag.”

Seventh graders are funny.

Will capped off the day with a side hug (I tried so hard to play it cool) and a, “Well, thanks for not embarrassing me, Mom.” I’ll take that as a win.

Thanks for the memories seventh grade!


  1. Christy S. on November 21, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Great pictures! Have you ever done the whole Mission Trail? They are all amazing – and a photographer’s paradise. Wish we could have seen you while you were in S.A. – maybe next time!

    • Kathryn on November 21, 2013 at 8:42 am

      A couple of kids ago, Scott and I did the mission tour by bus, but we have yet to physically visit all of them. It’s on my list of things to do. Perhaps this spring? Our schedule didn’t allow for much deviation this time, but next time I come back, I’ll holler. Would love to see you!

  2. verdinalouisa on November 21, 2013 at 9:38 am

    You get the Cool Mom award!

  3. Tess on November 21, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Aw, this is just darling! I wouldn’t have expected a field trip with middle schoolers to be so much fun, so it’s good to know it went so well. Lucky Will to have his fast-photo-taking, not-embarrassing mama and adorable little brother along for the ride!

  4. Alyce on November 21, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Luke’s deacon shirt makes him look like a baby Fr. Barry! FB sported a black one this weekend on Aggie Awakening 99 😉

    SO CUTE!

  5. Joy B on November 21, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Got engaged on the day I visited The Alamo so it will always hold a special place in my heart.
    Yay for fun class trips, big brothers and cool moms!!

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