Sunday, November 11, 2012

San Antonio

For awhile I've had thoughts of visiting San Antonio, TX.  Years ago one of my favorite uncles shared pictures of his trip - including pictures from a Naval Museum.  It was one of his favorite ways to razz me.  I was in the Navy but stationed in the middle of the San Joaquin Valley at a Naval Air Station.  He loved to send me pictures of ships with comments like "This is a Navy vessel Deb".

After the family wedding in August (and into October) I struggled to find purpose again.  Two years of weddings and projects will do that to a person.  We found airfare that was ideal, a reasonable rental car and perfect timing with our second grandson's football schedule.

Salt Lake City
Time slipped by and our first ever trip happened.  We flew into Dallas and rented a car.  We are such frequent travelers (joke) that we had no clue what benefits were out there for us.  We fly, we rent, we just don't keep track.  We were informed we could PICK our rental car.  My husband quickly looked past the rows of practical, economical, comfortable cars and zoomed in on A TRUCK.  I nixed that idea and caved in to the 4-door Jeep.  Here's a news flash.  They drive just like a 2-door Jeep and are equally uncomfortable for someone with a 36" inseam to drive.  But hey - we looked dang good!  The 4 hour drive south was an experience.  We had heard of a new tollway on our route that allowed people to drive 85mph.  Really not a necessity since everyone around us (on the non-tollway) was already driving 80+mph, until they were going 60 and then back to 80.  Mike labeled it the Texas Freeway Caterpillar.   

The temperatures were in the 80's  all week long and the skies clear and blue.  We found our hotel and settled in for the evening, waiting with everyone else, for news about the Superstorm Sandy.

Monday we headed north to the San Antonio Zoo.  Though it was a little late in the season and a lot of the exhibits were under construction for the zoo's 100th birthday celebration in 2013, it was still very nice to stroll through and take pictures.  Our favorites were definitely the butterflies and the birds.

Our next stop was the Japanese Tea Gardens.  We found ourselves a bit more tired than we anticipated and still wanting to visit several of the Missions so we did a look around and continued on our way.

Four of the five colonial missions form a National Historical Park.  We drove to visit on the south edge of town.  The history was remarkable.  We started with the Visitors Center and watched a movie which was very interesting.  From there we toured the Mission.  I loved imagining the first people who inhabited the small community moving about their day.   

We were able to find our way to Mission San Jose and Mission San Juan Capistrano as well. Though the maps had us thinking we might take one road to go from one to the other, we actually had to weave around a bit.  There is a lot of road construction all over Texas - and San Antonio was no exception.

The Riverwalk
The Alamo

How fortunate for us, Mike's second youngest daughter Tonya was in San Antonio for business. We headed back north of the city towards the airport to take her to dinner at Lupi's Tortilla.  We were able to catch up with her family's routine in Tennessee.

We didn't allow enough time to see all we wanted to see in the San Antonio area.  We will someday return to Hill Country and visit that historic area. 

We were able to stop and visit the former homestead of one of Mike's ancestors.  The ranch is now owned by University of Texas and used as a writer's retreat.  The current writer was willing to allow us an opportunity to visit.  It was fun to see so much history. 

The original cabin was built in the Swedish style.  The home where the writers stay has been updated with a few modern features - running water and electricity! 

But our time had come to an end and we needed to return to the Dallas area so we could visit with Erin's Godparents, Lew and Donna Flitcraft as well as Krieg's Godparents, Lori and Andy Otano.  Plus we had the big football game to watch.  

We arrived at Otano's home in Colleyville on Halloween afternoon.  While the guys caught up sharing their war stories, Lori and I handed out candy to trick or treaters.  We were able to meet hang out and visit their little town of Grapevine.  

The next day we were heading for Mike's oldest daughter Renee's home in Wylie.  How fortunate that Erin's Godparents lived only 30 minutes east of Wylie.  We met up for lunch and had a crash course in 'catching up'.  It was too brief but the memories and love was abundant. 

Friday night we were able to see our grandson Kalen play in a Varsity football game.  There is nothing like Friday Night Football in Texas.  Crazy.  This particular game was away.  The opponent was intense.  Very 'good ole boy'.  When the coach from the other team didn't like the calls made, he would involve the referee in a rampage.  He definitely needed to work on his sportsmanship.  We are proud of Kalen and his teammates.  They can hold their heads high. 

As usual, it was time to return home.  We enjoyed completing an item on our bucket list by visiting San Antonio finally.  It was made extra pleasant by the added opportunities to see family and friends as well.  

1 comment:

Erin Murray said...

Love the picture collages to go with the story. The ones of you with Andy and Lori are great! Looks like it was a lot of fun!!