January 2013–San Antonio
Our year started out with two weeks of sickness. Two weeks of not wanting any food. Two weeks of one person or another laying on the couch all day. It was a very effective weight loss plan–not at all fun (is any weight loss plan)–but effective. So when we all started feeling better, we all wanted food, and lots of it.
So we headed to Texas we were looking forward to Texas-sized servings of Mexican and BBQ.
But before we could leave, we had two parties to attend. Scout’s friend had a skating party to which the whole family was invited. (Scout is far right and Eloise is far left.)
This was our first time skating this year, and it felt good to be on the ice again.
This rink allows strollers on the ice, so we all had a fun time.
Our next party was Little Man’s best bud. Happy Birthday Tate.
So Sunday afternoon, we headed south to the border. Two days later, we arrived in San Antonio and sunshine, and warm weather,. . .we had finally arrived at our vacation.
We looked so WHTE compared to everyone else. The temps were a perfect 70, but the sun still had the harsh, white light of a desert.
We walked everywhere, but we could have taken this trolley or even a horse-drawn carriage. Having come from Michigan–the state of eternal winter–our legs all enjoyed walking, our skin soaked in the warmth, our eyes loved the colors, and our stomachs rumbled in anticipation of a Mexican meal.
Since we currently HAIL from Michigan–home of Domino’s pizza–I snaped this shot. I loved the cute Mini.
Little Man loved the mini guitars, but with 6 guitars, one banjo, and one Tinjo in this house, I think we have enough.
Our first stop was Market Square. All the kids had money to spend, and they had never really been to an outdoor market. The very first thing that caught my girlies’ eyes were these “halos”. I thought it was a silly purchase, so told them to wait and think about it.
We all liked the jewelry. I couldn’t help it. Even though the girls had their own money, I bought them both a bracelet.
Strike One. I didn’t buy a bracelet. I am still mad that I didn’t get myself one. I love these colors! Perfect with a white T-shirt jeans and cowboy boots. I just wish I had a Big Texas buckle and a little tiny waist to go with the outfit.
We wanted to shop, but our stomach was pulling on our leash, so we headed through Market Square to a recommended Mexican restaurant.
But just like a dog on a leash, we kept finding interesting things that made us stop. The pricing was random. Here these Knights in Armor were a cheap $40 dollars, yet an embroidered shirt I liked was $95. If space hadn’t been an issue, I think a knight might have come home with us.
Mi Tierra came recommended by the locals. Now Scouts birthday was way back at the beginning of January, but the beginning of January is rather a difficult time for a birthday. If your birthday is the first week of January, your mother will be too tired from all the Christmas that has happened to want to drag out yet more decorations for a birthday. Further more, she won’t want to bake, and she is finished buying gifts. SO! This is what this mother told Scout, “Give us two weeks, and we will give you a birthday in San Antonia.” And Scout (who is also called Sugar) said, “Sure! Sounds like fun!”
The party atmosphere started right at the entrance with a man bouncing all over a marimba (wooden xylophone). The need for tips also started right at the entrance.
There were many rooms in the restaurant, and each was decorated like Christmas, Mardi Gras, and Cinco de Mayo all collided. The decor matched our mood. We were ready to celebrate Scout’s birthday.
. . .And Hot Tamales the smells coming from the kitchen were enticing!.
The Daddi motioned the mariachi band over and told them we had a birthday. They were delighted to sing her a love song in Spanish (her name inserted) that concluded with Happy Birthday.
In true 10 year old form, she pretended that they weren’t there singing to her.
I have said this before, but here is the guy that keeps this Whit’s End family together. And when we fall apart, he picks up the pieces, kisses them, and puts them back together.
This birthday girl just turned 10! Happy Birthday girlie!
We ate our way though several baskets of chips, but there was no hurry.
We had finally sat down to celebrate Scout’s birthday, and we enjoyed every minute of it.
The girls had thought long and hard about their purchases, and they knew just what they wanted–halos. (Or garlands made from paper flowers and streamers.) And I realized that this is exactly the thing a girl really wants. It is not “silly”, it is perfect.
Here is my little Mexican Senorita.
Eloise also bought a dress. She looked so sweet! She lives “in the moment”.
We strolled through the market looking at all the wares. There was some beautiful pottery, but my house is full.
We laughed at this T-shirt, then kept walking. It was not until later that I realized I should have bought one for my farming brother. Strike two. I didn’t by myself a bracelet (strike one), and I didn’t buy this T-shirt for my brother.
As we left the marketplace and walked toward the Riverwalk, this was the mural we saw. You have to look twice because all those people working on the mural are PART of the mural. The whole thing is painted on tiles.
I wish I was a better photographer, because I wanted to catch the wedding dress, and the reflection of the Mommi in the glass, and the little girl in front of the glass, and the Daddi right under the sign that said “stop.”. All the elements are there, but the photo isn’t artistic. I wanted it to be more layered, more dreamy, more something. But the wedding dress is beautiful!!
As we were making our way over to the Riverwalk, we glanced through a wrought iron gate and saw a beautiful garden. We went around the corner, and saw the entrance to The Spanish Governor’s Palace.
Admission was about $6.00, and we loved our self guided tour.
I love the simple lines and stark whites of Adobe architecture.
The rocks on the ledges are for keeping the windows open in the summer, but I love the minimalistic look they give the room. The thick adobe walls keep the house about 7 degrees cooler than the shade temperature out-of-doors.
Simple. Beautiful. Harmonious. Full of grace.
We were not the only people to enjoy the tour of The Spanish Govenor’s Palace, here is Maria Von Trap (from The Sound of Music) touring The Spanish Govenor’s Palace with her husband.
Stepping outdoors, we walked around the garden which had originally enticed us.
The girls in their halos and Spanish dress immediately started playing “house.” We had the whole museum to ourselves, so we just relaxed and drank in the beauty, warm weather, and the non-scheduled day.
Scout took this blurry photo of us. I love that it doesn’t show all my “crow’s feet.”
I think we look old in this photo. But we also look happy. And that is more important.
I will leave you with one last shot of The Spanish Governor’s Palace.
And I will leave you with one last shot of the Spanish Governor. LBG (Little Big Guy) bought two guns at the market–a rubber band gun for himself, and a plastic pistol for his little brother. These two guns were carried (unconcealed) the rest of the trip and loudly used. He also bought a 6 foot whip. Little Man (the baby) was convinced that every person he saw in a cowboy hat was also packing a pistol. Now 50% of the males in South Texas wear cowboy hats, so Little Man (baby) was in his element.
We had stopped at Cracker Barrel on the drive down for a rather late supper. A few tables away, there was an 80 year old man eating dinner alone. He had a cowboy hat hooked on the chair beside him, and Little Man (the baby) was fascinated. He wanted to ask the old man if he could see his gun. So when he rose to leave, we asked the 80 year old man. The old man smiled and said “Sure”. He donned his hat, and reached inside of his coat. He fumbled with a clasp and then whipped out . . .
. . .
. . .
his cell phone! We all laughed, as I was about convinced that he did carry a gun. (Remember folks, we were in Texas.) He left with a chuckle.
We continued our walk toward the Riverwalk stopping often.
Here is City Hall.
Here are bicycles that you can rent. You can get a day pass for $10.
There are plantings everywhere in San Antonio. We walked along this wall and turned the corner to see. . . .
. . .San Fernando Cathedral.
In this cathedral are the remains of those that died at the Alamo.
We entered as quietly as four kids in squeaky tennis shoes can enter, and took a seat. There was a film and camera crew working away. They had printed T-shirts with their company name on them. And so here is Strike Three–I could have just jotted down the company name on the T-shirt and gone back to the hotel and googled it to give me a hint as to why they were filming the cathedral, BUT, I didn’t think of it until later.
And then we left as quietly as four kids (two with guns) can leave.
And then finally, we arrived at the Riverwalk.
We just had to figure out where to catch a boat. This is a water taxi, but we wanted the boat tour, so we had to head to the Aztec Theater. Adults are $6.00. Kids are a little less.
The Riverwalk looks like this.
This is one tall building.
And this is one small girl looking at the one tall building.
We all relaxed and enjoyed the ride.
At Christmas time, the entire place is lighted with Christmas lights. It would be beautiful. They had stopped the night river rides, so we will have to come back to see the Christmas Lights on the Riverwalk.
We had fun.
With the boat ride over, it was time to meet up with our friend Heather. (Heather is getting her masters at the University of Texas at Austin.) I hadn’t seen Heather in years, so I started talking, and stopped taking photos. We stopped at an ice cream shop then found a spot with some benches in a little garden right on the Riverwalk where we visited for two hours. The boys played with their guns and whips and the girls created imaginary rooms in the garden and played house.
We went out to a fusion restaurant for dinner, but again, I was busy visiting, so I didn’t get any photos. Heather and I shared ceviche (raw fish “salad”) as we both grew up in South America and miss some of the foods there. Heather left around 8:00 that evening, and we headed back to our hotel. The hotel where when we arrived we realized that we had booked our room for the following night. The hotel where they not only found us another room, but due to occupancy gave us an upgrade. The hotel where The Daddi convinced us to all go swimming outdoors until midnight. The hotel where we all fell into our beds after a very, very, very fun day.
Happy Birthday Scout!
P.S. I am having problems with WordPress and Internet Explorers. If anybody has advice or helpful links, I would appreciate it. Basically, my pictures won’t load, and then my whole site crashes. I’m currently using Firefox, but don’t particularly like it.