We arrived in San Antonio after a relatively uneventful drive, except for somehow losing one jack snap pad. For those of you unfamiliar with a snap pad, it is a shoe which fits over the jack so blocks no longer become necessary.
We had not quite settled in and began hearing the sound of a police helicopter hovering over us. It flew around for over an hour. It was apparent they were looking for someone, but just in case, we stayed close by. The police was scouting the area because someone had broken into a nearby Pizza Hut, no less (apparently looking for some “dough”)!
Our friends, Debbie and Tommie Preuett arrived in San Antonio and we so enjoyed our time with them. We dined at Rosario’s, a local hangout, where the food was delicious and the margaritas were out of this world. Between the four of us we had the usual lime, strawberry, mango and go figure, I opted for different, so I had prickly pear. Somehow drinking cactus juice didn’t seem appealing to me until I tried it. Wow!
A weather phenomenon I did notice while there was that if it rains for over a few hours, a flood warning will go out. We received a flood warning and I thought it so dramatic as it was only expected to be a bad thunderstorm just like the typical ones in South Florida during the summer, except, oh boy, it did not take long at all for the water to rise as it had nowhere to go. The roads quickly flooded and the water rose anywhere between 8″ to 12″. I immediately understood the reason for the continuous warnings. There were flash floods, people getting rescued when trying to cross flooded roads thinking they could get across, a teenager had to get rescued from a river, all in all, just a mess! It did not last long, just long enough to create havoc and back to a drought we returned. Then the pendulum swung and we experienced yet another first. I had been noticing a haze and had no clue as to its cause, it was neither fog, nor smoke, it was African dust. Yes, Saharan Dust apparently mixes in with the jet stream and it tends to bring with it a heat wave. Well, we experienced heat for sure. When we decided to explore Texas on our way to Arizona, we were not really concerned we would be traveling in the middle of summer as being lifetime Floridians, heat and humidity are part of life. Except, we had never experienced temperatures in triple digits which stayed that way until way after 8 p.m., even Jackson was unimpressed. We had to purchase cool paws for him so he could walk to do his business, although he absolutely hated wearing them. The weather forecasters repeatedly warn pet owners to be mindful of asphalt temperatures, as they can exceed temperatures of 145°.
We visited Fredericksburg in the hill country. We found it to be a rather cute, artsy town with a strong german influence.
There were quaint boutiques, art stores and plenty of eateries lining the major roadway with lots of different types and styles of benches along its sidewalks. I imagine most of them are used by bored men, waiting and keeping an eye out for their spouses as they meander in and out of the many stores and hoping that not much money is spent. Most intriguing, was a Dooley’s 5 and 10¢ store. I just had to go in if only but to reminisce about all the products/items that are now difficult to find in our current times, but which I vividly remember using. One item in particular brought back some vivid memories. They were the diaper pins, pink ones for girls, blue one for boys and of course, the white ones for neutral. I remember having to use only blue ones, and I will never forget the numerous times I pricked myself using those evil little things all the time while trying my best to avoid pricking fidgety Randy.
And of course, boys will be boys!
We stopped by the Enchanted Rock, a tremendously large dome which people come from near and far to either climb, hike or whatever, and even get to pay for the experience too! We climbed up the mound where the marquee was and that was the extent of our climbing ability and inclination. We went and saw the rock, that’s all!
We visited the Main Plaza in downtown San Antonio at night and enjoyed a video art show of a mesmerizing trip through San Antonio’s history projected onto the façade of the San Fernando Cathedral. The images told the story from the historical discovery, settlement and development of San Antonio, told through custom choreographed music and was absolutely spectacular.
There are five missions in San Antonio, all part of the National Park System. The San Juan Mission is a working mission and we had heard that a mariachi band played all the worship songs on Sundays, so when Sunday came around, albeit neither Debbie or I had attended church in years, we chose to attend Sunday services at the San Juan Mission. While waiting for the doors to open we met a worshiper whose parents were forced to relocate from their home and family land, which they had owned for over 100 years, simply because it was located yards from where we were standing and the Park System had to have it so they could enlarge the grounds. You know, that pesky little thing known as eminent domain. You own it. We want it. We are bigger than you. We got it. You lose. Oh well!
We did the obligatory stroll through the River Walk, a stone pathway connecting shops, restaurant, various hotels and museums. We also took a river boat along the meandering San Antonio River. We were told the city is planning to extend the water route from its current 2 miles to 13 miles so it can connect with the historic districts and theater and the other four Spanish Colonial missions.
We visited the Tower of the Americas, a 750′ tall tower for happy hour and dinner, and enjoyed an amazing 360° view of San Antonio. From our eagle view, we were able to see “La Antorcha de la Amistad”, Spanish for the Torch of Friendship. This was a gift from the Mexican government to the City of San Antonio in 2002, representing a symbol of cooperation and shared culture between the country and the city.
We decided to visit the remaining missions in San Antonio, each of which are remarkably preserved and equally as beautiful.
and finally, we visited The Alamo
During our visit to San Antonio I had no choice but to address a medical hiccup. For the past two months, I had been experiencing worsening pain and discomfort in my right shoulder and was having extreme difficulty with daily activities. After seeing an orthopedic doctor who confirmed I had a torn rotator cuff and three partial tears, I ended up undergoing surgery. I still do not have a clue how it happened but do know that John was definitely a happy boy as he had to help me wear and remove all my tops. As a result, we had no option but to extend our stay for an additional six weeks so I could get the initial physical therapy. The remaining six weeks would be done in Arlington, Texas, which was our next stop.