Pennie and I went to the San Jacinto monument despite the rainy morning and reports of eminent thunderstorms all day. And you know what happened? For the several hours we were there, it sprinkled a bit in the morning and then cleared up into a beatiful day until we left in the evening when the rains returned. Yeah – it is nice to live a charmed life.

Built 100 years after the battle it honors, the 570-foot San Jacinto Monument stands in the Guinness Book of World Records as the tallest monument column in the world. It stands 15 feet taller than the Washington Monument. It towers over the prairie where, in 1836, General Sam Houston and his determined army battled furiously to “Remember the Alamo!,” bringing an end to the revolution against Mexico’s rule.

There was a great 40-projector slideshow presentation called “Texas Forever!” which is excellent. It tells the story of Texas from the early settlement by the “original 300” through to the Battle of San Jacinto and independence of Texas. If monuments don’t impress you – go just to see the show.

The festival featured the typical fare – tons of vendors selling everything from sausage on a stick to your own bag of fresh fried pork rinds – yumm. haha There were a ton of informational booth set up showing everything from early blacksmithing and weaving to the archeological work being done on the battlefield itself. In addition, there were a host of bands and performers. The battle reenactment was cancelled early in the day when it appeared that it would rain all day. An ad-hoc battle reenactment was created by one of the directors while one of the bands was playing a song about the battle. They lined up all the “volunteers” on opposite ends of the ampitheater grounds and instructed them at a key point in the song to run at each other in a play battle. As you can see – some of the Texians really got into the roles.

When both sides reached the middle, several of the reenacters fired off their black powder rifles and all the kids fell down as if shot. I got lucky and got this shot right as the blast went off. Overall, it was a lot of fun for the kids and the spectators.

After we finished our day we found a very cool little state park just off to the side of the grounds and kicked back there a bit (and snapped this picture.) It was a lot of walking, a few dodging of raindrops, but chock full of good times and good company.