Texas 2015 (Part 2- San Antonio)

San Antonio is an absolutely beautiful city.

I was privileged to spend time there as a teenager for a high school speech competition and I’ve been there twice with Paul.

We were on the road early from Houston toward San Antonio. Paul had decided he wanted to eat lunch at The Canyon Café. It is located not far from town in the Alamo Quarry Market shopping area.

Though it’s about the same cost as most family dining restaurants, it boasts a four star chef. Their chicken quesadillas are delicious but the side, margarita slaw (it’s non-alcoholic) is amazing!

We spent one of Paul’s birthdays a few years back at this same place and each time we visit San Antonio, we are going to make it a point to return.

Also on our list is Freddy’s. Have you ever had a Freddy’s custard? It’s like pure joy in a bowl. This time, I ordered chocolate. It was nestled on a brownie, drizzled in chocolate syrup, whipped cream and topped with a cherry. It just doesn’t get much better than this, folks!

We were in a Hampton for this stay. It’s actually the same Hampton we have stayed in before. Unfortunately, it’s one of the worst Hamptons that we’ve stayed in- the service and the hotel in general, is just not what you normally find consistent with the Hampton branding. That said, they have a free breakfast but nothing anywhere close for lunch and dinner so we knew we would need to figure out a way for me to eat while I was at the hotel each day.

Paul didn’t have a lot of free time while we were in San Antonio. This hotel was also in the middle of nothing and did not offer shuttle service. I had been having a lot of trouble with one of my ears (a leftover from my bout with flu 😛 – I have had my eardrums rupture before so I take these things seriously). Paul decided it would be best to have me added to the rental car insurance so I could drive if I needed, or just wanted, to get out for a while.

Have you seen the Texas road system??? Their access road are probably great if you are used to the structure, but if you aren’t, and combined with an interstate that just looks like a big plate of spaghetti to me, it’s a tad intimidating.

When Paul left for work the first day, I found myself feeling so tense about just making the trip to find something for lunch I decided then and there I was going to make myself drive those roads if for no other reason than to say I did.

Of course, I did spot this HUGE San Antonio thrift store (I’ll admit it did help with motivation!). One of the biggest I had ever seen! I had wanted to see if I could find boots for my littles and maybe some Texas-style peasant skirts for the girls and I.

On the first day, I stayed at the hotel to work on some homemaking projects I had brought. I also had gotten pretty far on my afghan project.

When it was time for lunch (actually around 2 when I finally got up the nerve!), I grabbed the keys and headed for the elevator.

I took my time and went straight for the thrift store. That was fun! The whole time I was thinking, “Hey! I’m actually doing this! I’m actually driving in Texas!”. 😀

That thrift store was amazing. I bought a few books to read to my littles over the video cam. I found several nice skirts and a couple of purses (I ended up not buying because I noticed the leather split- but they sure were cute!). This store was much lower priced than the ones back home, and also much cleaner! I was impressed and actually ended up returning the next day. I never did find boots, but I did manage the skirts plus prairie bonnets for my little girls, and cowboy hats for Courtney and Jon.

The rest of my days there were spent working on our ever-changing home schedule and home school plans, Bible study, book reviews, and correspondence.

Paul and I did have a chance to re-visit El Mercado. We didn’t buy a thing but enjoyed walking around. A couple of days later, we returned to the downtown area. It was growing dark outside. I was amazed by the carriages all dressed I colored lights and silk flowers. They looked like a fairytale scene…all so beautiful- and the horses! The horses were magnificent!!

The backdrop of this area is the Alamo. I had only seen it during the day- it is unbelievably beautiful at night!

We decided to ride the riverboat. We had done this a couple of years before. I was expecting Jackson during that visit. We had visited the Alamo and then took a ride. It has been a sweet memory for us both.

This time, we bought tickets for the ride to begin just before the sun went down. By the time we finished, it was completely dark. The river is lit so beautifully. It’s one of those places you just want to linger and enjoy.

As is always the case, the Lord has a plan for our lives- that night, we had four folks all dressed in business attire and VERY intoxicated join our riverboat cruise. They decided to sit right beside Paul and I.

At first, one of them asked if we were on our second honeymoon (we were asked probably a dozen times while we were gone!). We said no and pretty much didn’t start any additional conversation, but they kept talking with us. They were telling us they had been really drunk the night before and how they had a hard time sleeping that night off. They were a sales team on a learning event. The older man was their supervisor. The two other men were about my age. One was married and one was not. The fourth was a girl about Courtney’s age. She was so intoxicated and dressed in one of the smallest dresses I think I have ever seen. At some point, one of her co-workers had her trade seats with him which had him sitting across from Paul and I and her right by Paul.

I couldn’t help but feel so sorry for her as I watched her almost yelling every single word that was coming from her mouth. I thought how blessed I am that my girls are at home and not into this kind of scene. She was unprotected and alone in a world that seemed like it could, and was already consuming her. I thought about her parents- she is someone’s baby girl. Would they want to stop her? My heart hurt for her.

I kept feeling Paul squeeze my hand. It wasn’t until later that he told me that it was because she kept rubbing her legs against him. He was moving closer and closer to me. I just thought he was snuggling, lol!

(I’m thankful for a man who wants his heart to remain pure for our marriage!)

I’m sorry for her. When she and her co-workers got on the boat, they were all holding three or four more beverages each. Paul and I were offered a beer (the biggest beer I’ve ever seen seen, btw! Remember when I said everything is bigger in Texas?!), multiple times. It was not the most pleasant of situations.

The younger, married man became suddenly very serious after watching us. It was as if he completely forgot that he was on a riverboat ride. He asked us questions about our home and Paul’s job. I asked him about his family and he pulled out photos. He explained that he lives on hundreds of acres that his family has owned since before Texas was Texas. They have a family cemetery and those Texas wildflowers grow in abundance across the land where he grazes his cattle. It sounded beautiful. …and he was quiet.

I will never know why the Lord had us on that boat, that night, with those folks. In all things, God has a plan. hey have all remained in my thoughts and prayers. I know we were meant to talk to that man that night. May the Lord be glorified and may seeds that were sown take root and grow in the lives of those four people.

Dinner on the river was next. Guacamole and fresh made tortillas, taquitos and a tall glass of water, with a slice of lemon. The music and aroma along the edge of that river is wonderful. I found myself feeling so overwhelmed with gratitude to the Lord for allowing me that time with my husband. He has said often he is just lonely being on the road so much of the time. I was glad to go along with him. It’s easy to get caught up on all the roles we each fill in our daily lives. It’s nice to find our place back to our friendship.

I bought the girls all turquoise jewelry while we were there. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it at a better price or a better selection than in San Antonio. It was fun to choose something for Emma this time, and for Kylie.

Our family is growing. 😀

We rode back to the hotel that night with our minds full of many things.

The next day, Paul was back at work and I packed the car for the next leg of our adventure and took care of our laundry.

Seeing the same room day after day makes you notice things you might not normally notice. At some point, I realized this lamp was really drawing my attention. Is it just me, or does this look like a nun?

I know Paul was tired. He’s been used to just working and then coming back to the hotel for sleep. I had him running the entire time we were gone. 😀

I was surprised when I awoke the last morning and he told me he wanted to go back to the River Walk area.

When we arrived, there were a TON of people there. Within minutes we were handed a gospel track. There were stages set up in front of the Alamo. There was also a man dancing in a dress and heels on the street corner. That was odd. :/

I found out a little later that it was Fiesta! weekend in San Antonio. We didn’t stay long- Paul needed us to head toward Fort Worth. He did ask if I wanted to go have a wax hand made. That was an unusual experience.

These were being made in the wax museum.

They have you take off your jewelry and rub down your hand with lotion. You dip your hand in icy water for a few minutes and then we held hands and dipped both of our hands into melted paraffin wax. It was obviously VERY hot. She kept lifting our hands out of the icy water and into the wax and then back again several times. It was so odd to feel my hand inside of that mold with Paul. When she had several layers, she asked me to first pull my hand out and then Paul. We were left with a wax figure of our hands.

I love them. My children said they can’t decide if it’s really neat or just creepy. *smile*

(When asked again if we were on a second honeymoon, I asked why they assumed that we were since we had been married almost 25 years. That last lady said it was because we were holding hands. *smile*)

While I was standing in the wax museum, I did snap a photo of the only 400x Hawaiian shirt I’ve ever seen….

And how about the world’s largest ping-pong paddle:

I hated to leave San Antonio. It’s one of those places I pray the Lord allows me to see many more times in my life- especially in the spring!

Rudy’s ribs! Yummy!

 


1 thought on “Texas 2015 (Part 2- San Antonio)

  1. What a delightful read! I felt like I was almost there! Especially when you mentioned Freddie’s. They are apparently all over Kansas. There is one about 18 miles from us in a town to the east, and one about 20 miles in a town to the north – and we partake often!! Yes, their custard is absolutely the creamiest thing I’ve ever tasted. Their Hawaiian sundaes are just scrumptious!! And I love their steak burgers!

    So glad you got to spend this time with Paul. Sorry the sweetness of it has to be interrupted by the drunks, but as you say, there must have been a reason. I’m sure just being there was a testimony to them.

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