Bob and Rigamarole at Texas Canyon Rest Area, Arizona, September 30, 2017

Bob and Rigamarole at Texas Canyon Rest Area, Arizona, September 30, 2017
Bob and Rigamarole at Texas Canyon Rest Area, Arizona, September 30, 2017

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Scream Queen - Sat., Sept. 24, 2016

Tired...four hours sleep on Friday night...ten hours of work on Saturday. I was a zombie when I got off work. Bob, on the other hand, had run 14 miles first thing in the morning as part of his marathon training. In the afternoon he drove to Austin to hear Gary Johnson, Libertarian presidential candidate, speak. He had to stand in the meeting room because it was so crowded.

What do you do when you're tired and you feel like a zombie? Why, go to Six Flags Fiesta Texas Fright Fest, of course! That'll wake you up in a hurry.



Bob and I rolled into Six Flags about 7 p.m. It was still light outside. Dark, gloomy clouds loomed in the distance. Would it rain? Was there a possibility of thunder and lightning? Maybe, but with our season passes it didn't matter, we could come back another time if we needed to.

The park had been open since noon and would remain open until 10 pm. Maybe that accounted for the extremely short line at Goliath, the roller coaster with the rails on top where your legs dangle freely. Bob and I walked right up to the loading platform and were able to get on the second coaster that came into the station. Oh, how I love that coaster! I did get a little dizzy and when Bob asked me if I wanted to return to line and do it again immediately, I said no.

It was starting to get dark and we were hungry. Our next stop was Old Blue's BBQ restaurant. Bob had a chicken vegetable spud and I had a Texas style spud. My baked potato had brisket, cheese and BBQ sauce on it. Bob's spud had diced chicken, broccoli and Ranch dressing on it. The potatoes were huge and we could have shared one. I got pumpkin pie and Bob got a berry cobbler. The pumpkin pie didn't meet my taste standards and was almost frozen. The cobbler, on the other hand, was warm and yummy.

Next, I really wanted to go on Iron Rattler, THE most exciting roller coaster in the park. Bob decided he'd wait for me and hold our water bottles. The line for Iron Rattler was pretty long so it took me a while to get to the platform. Because I was a single rider, I was able to go ahead of some people to get on the coaster. I sat next to a guy and I said, "I hope you don't mind, I scream...a lot." He said he didn't mind. I told him it was my first time on Iron Rattler. He said, "The first drop is straight down. It's insane." I thought he was exaggerating.

Well, come to find out, the first drop is straight down. We go 70 mph! OMG. What a ride. That is one of the most fun coasters  I have been on. It was dark outside so I wasn't really sure what was coming next. The coaster does some tricky maneuvers including a zero-gravity roll. Wheeeeeee! When I got back to Bob he said I had been gone 36 minutes.

For Fright Fest, Six Flags Fiesta Texas has areas they call "Scare Zones." In certain places, the walkways are pitch black with blowing smoke and creatures come out of the dark to scare you. We walked through one Scare Zone on the way to Sky Screamer, a 200' tall tower with a swing ride on it. I could barely see where I was going! We did see a creepy monster-type character in the gloom but we were walking as fast as we could so didn't really get a good look at it.


Sky Screamer (not my photo)
The Sky Screamer is wonderful. You sit in the little swings and they lift off the ground. When they start going around, you go up and up to 200' in the air. You are higher than the sides of the old rock quarry where Six Flags is built. The view was awesome at night with the lights on the amusement rides. The ride goes pretty fast.

When we finished riding Sky Screamer, it was coming up on 9 p.m. and we decided to head home. With season passes we can go back any time. The evening was great and we didn't have any rain.

We especially liked the fact that we were in the park at night; no sunscreen was required and it was much cooler to wait in the lines...no hot sun beating down on us!

Thanks, Bob, for going to the park with me. You are a real trooper after the day you had.

Travel Bug out.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Music Under the Stars - Fri., Sept. 23, 2016

Bob and I often remark how much we enjoy living in San Antonio, a city of festivals, spiritedness, enjoyment of life, and a feeling of contentment. We have so many events to choose from and so much diversity in the culture.

Tonight we chose to go to the Music Under the Stars Concert at Mission San Jose featuring the USAA Band and Chorus. Before the free concert, we went to Chaba Thai, our favorite Thai restaurant, and picked up Chicken Pad Thai for two to go. We took our "picnic" with us to the concert.
Music Under the Stars at Mission San Jose in San Antonio
It was a lovely evening, but we were wary of the weather. (You see, last year we also attended Music Under the Stars; however, as soon as the first song had been played the concert was called because of thunder and the imminent possibility of lightning strikes. Then we had a big rain storm.) This evening the sky clouded up and we felt the slightest of sprinkles, but the clouds soon parted and we had a perfect 78 degree temperature with a slight breeze and 47% humidity. The fireflies were out, but the mosquitoes weren't.

The lights on the mission were part of the show.
Mission San Jose
Music Under the Stars
Attendees brought lawn chairs or blankets and food and drink. There were also chair rentals available at the mission.

A small part of the crowd enjoying an evening out.
The quality and variety of music was wonderful. The selections were:
  • "I Just Want to Celebrate" - Zesses & Fekaris, arr. Wallace
  • "The Star-Spangled Banner" - Francis Scott Key
  • "Jubilate! Joy We Bring" - Antonio Vivaldi, arr. Liebergen
  • "This Land is Your Land" - Woody Guthrie, arr. Gallina
  • "Latin Carnivale" - arr. Victor Lopez (a medley of songs including "Hot, Hot, Hot," "Conga" and a few others)
  • "Sway" - Ruiz & Gimbel, arr. Taylor
  • "Fever"- Davenport & Cooley, arr. Holmes
  • "Oye Como Va" - Tito Puente, arr. Mossman
  • "Malaguena" - Ernesto Lecouna, arr. Kerchner
  • "The Yellow Rose of Texas" - traditional, arr. Hibashi
  • "L-O-V-E" - Kaempfurt & Gabler, arr. Collins
  • "Save the Last Dance for Me" - Pomus & Shuman, arr. Ragsdale
  • "I've Been Everywhere" - Geoff Mack, arr. Althouse
  • "My America" - Joyce Eilers
  • "March of American Hymns" - arr. William Swor
  • A salute to the Armed Services - arr. Jari Villaneuva (Themes from each branch of the service were played and those who served in those branches or had relatives in those branches stood while each theme was played.)
  • "God Bless America" - Irving Berlin, arr. Moss & Christopher
The show lasted 1-1/2 hours. Did I mention Mission San Jose is only 3/4 mile from Travelers World RV Resort? It's really close to home.

In other news, Bob is feeling great. The other day he was running on a treadmill at lunch in Gold's Gym and did 10-minute miles for six miles. It's about the best he's ever done and he felt wonderful. He is heavy into his training for the Honolulu Marathon in December. I think he is running 14 miles on Sunday and then 16 miles next weekend. Then they taper off for a bit. Also, his neck is healing well. His left ear is numb as they did have to cut a nerve when the did surgery. He jokingly says about that ear, "I could get my ear pierced without anesthesia because I can't feel anything."

At Travelers World RV Resort where I work, our new owners (Sun Communities, Inc.) are making all kinds of upgrades to the park. The most major one is the addition of five new park model cabins for rent. They were just installed a couple of weeks ago and are being cleaned and furnished. We already have three of them rented for most of the winter season. The other two have some daily and weekly renters so far, but are not full. Because of the popularity of the furnished cabins, Sun is going to put five more park models in sites that are not used often. Two of the cabins will be two bedrooms. They hope to have those cabins in by the end of 2016. Other remodeling and changes are coming too. Onward and upward.

Enjoy your weekend! Travel Bug out.


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Scares, Flips, Twirls and Craziness - Sat., Sept. 17, 2016

This happened on Sunday, September 11, 2016:

I admit it. I am a roller coaster adrenaline junkie. This is the first time in my life I've had a Season Pass to an amusement park and I want to go as often as possible.

Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio is open only on weekends now that school is in session. With our new season passes in hand, we drove 25 minutes to Six Flags to meet Susan and Darren for a day of roller coasters, water park, and other fun rides. Today we wanted to explore and see what the park had to offer. Plenty, it turns out.

When the park opened at 10:30 a.m. we were inside waiting for them to open the line into the rest of the park. I was like a kid in a candy store and wanted to go on everything at once! Since that was not possible, we used the strategy of going to the big roller coasters at the far end of the park first.

Superman Krypton Coaster has an intriguing gimmick: put roller coaster riders in virtual reality goggles and show them a movie with all the twists and turns matching the twists and turns of the coaster. OMG! Here were my impressions. First off, the goggles don't fit over glasses. So Bob and I took our glasses off. Bob put them in his hat and held on to them through the ride. When the ride started, it was very disconcerting not to see where the coaster was going. As we watched the movie in our goggles, the coaster car followed Superman's flight path through Gotham City. We didn't know what was coming next. About 1/2 way through the ride my goggles were shaking loose and flopping around on my head. There was no way to adjust them because of the big restraining bar that came down over our shoulders. So it was VERY distracting to have the goggles loose.

At the end of the ride, all of us agreed we'd rather do the roller coaster without goggles. Next time we go, we'll skip the goggles. (Although I heard from the rep who supplies the goggles -- who happened to visit Travelers World a few days before we went -- that Sunday was the last day they would be using the Virtual Reality goggles.)

From Superman, we went to the new Batman: the Ride. Whee! This roller coaster has the wheels and track on the side of the cars which means the cars can spin around head over heels forward or backward. What a trip. At one point during the ride I remember hanging forward facing the ground with all my weight on the shoulder/lap bar. You have to have a lot of faith in those restraints!

After the ride, Darren stopped us to get a quick picture by the Bat Mobile. Today is 9/11 and Darren took the perfect patriotic red, white and blue photo.  See how happy we are. We survived the ride!

Susan M., me, Bob by the Bat Mobile
Here's the BatMobile
After those two coasters it was time for lunch. We went to Johnny Rockets, it's one of the franchises in the park. (There are two of them.)

Then we decided to explore more and wandered over to the Fiesta Bay Boardwalk area where we went on Scooby-Doo Ghostblasters: The Mystery of the Haunted Mansion. It's a slow-moving ride on a track through a "haunted mansion." Each of us had a laser ghostblaster to shoot at targets throughout the ride. All the way through, the four of us were seriously blasting away at the targets. I won with a scare score of 1410. Then we went on the Crow's Nest ferris wheel which afforded a wonderful view of the park.

From the ferris wheel we watched a new ride called Hurricane Force 5. Picture a U-shaped roller coaster track. At the bottom of the "U" is a round platform with motorcycle type seats facing outward. When the ride starts the round platform starts going around in circles, then it travels up and down the U-shaped roller coaster track. We had no idea what to expect when we decided to try that next.

We waited in a short line to ride Hurricane Force 5. The ride was really fun and even a little relaxing. We thought it would be scarier; the four of us were pleasantly surprised.

You'd think we were gluttons for punishment if you saw what we went on next: Pandemonium. It's a roller coaster with cars of four people that spin like tops as the roller coaster goes around the track. It was tame for most of the ride until the cars tipped a certain way on the track and our car spun around in circles. Different.

From circles on the roller coaster to circles on the swings, you know, the carnival ride where you sit in a seat, the seats lift off the ground and then the swings go around in circles about 20' off the ground. That's another relaxing ride with a view of the park.

It was mid-afternoon and time to hit the water park (included in our passes). On the way to the water park Susan, Bob and I made a quick detour to the Road Runner Express roller coaster. Darren sat out the ride and watched our backpacks. There wasn't a long line and we made it on the second coaster into the loading platform.

Once at Whitewater Bay, we changed into our swim suits and water shoes. Bob sat in the shade and waited with our belongings while Susan, Darren and I rode the Texas Tumble water raft ride. First we waited in a long line all the way up a four-story tower, then the three of us were loaded into a big round raft. The raft goes down a big, open-air tube. You sit on your bottom with your legs in front of you. I didn't like that it felt like the raft was going to fold in half on the banked turns.

The Lazy River was so crowded, there were no inner tubes available to float. Because it was so hot, Susan, Darren and I walked through the Lazy River. Bob waited with our belongings. We asked if he wanted to go in the Lazy River and Susan and Darren would keep track of our bags, but Bob said no. We finished up Whitewater Bay by going to the Wave Pool. All four of us were able to cool off in the wave pool.

We dried off and changed back into our shorts and T-shirts, feeling refreshed. Then we went back out to the park. We tried to go on SkyScreamer, a 200'-tall swing carousel tower. Think carnival swing ride on steroids. This swing's seats travel at 43 mph! Unfortunately, the SkyScreamer was closed and we were not able to go on it.

All of us were hungry so we went to Sangerfest Food Court for dinner. Bob had a turkey sub sandwich with potato salad. I had a turkey leg which I shared with Bob in exchange for some of his potato salad.

After dinner, we took a train ride around the park. Then it was time to go on the Iron Rattler, the biggest, baddest, fastest, tallest coaster in the park. As we started to walk down the path to the coaster, the attendant told us the ride was closing. We asked him what time the ride closed since the park was supposed to be open until 8 p.m. He said, "The ride closes at 6 p.m." It was 5:55 p.m. and we didn't get to go.

On our way out of the park, Susan and I rode Boomerang Coast-to-Coaster while the boys waited. The Boomerang starts out by pulling the roller coaster cars backward up a very steep track then releasing them. The roller coaster goes out through loops and over hills, goes up to the top of another tall tower, then goes backward through the whole track. It was really fast! We finished our day on a high note, pun intended.

High on the list of rides to hit first on our next visit are: Goliath (roller coaster with the rail on top and cars suspended beneath), Iron Rattler, Poltergeist coaster, and Superman Kyrpton Coaster (without the virtual reality goggles).

We left the park about 7:00 p.m. The parking lot was total gridlock. It took way longer to get out of the parking lot than it did to drive home.

What a day! So much fun. We'll go again for Fright Fest at the park (weekends at the end of September and all through October).


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Snake spotted today! - Wed., Sept. 7, 2016

Susan and I met at Mission Concepcion at 7:15 to do a 10k Volksmarch from Mission Concepcion to the Blue Star Arts Complex and back. The starting temperature was 88 degrees with 94% humidity. Thankfully we had 0% chance of rain. I left the umbrella in the car.

With all the rain South Central Texas has been having the past couple of months, flowers are re-blooming, the grasses are growing out of control, and the cypress trees seem to have grown 10' over the summer.

Things change all the time along the trail. Today there was a new trail with no directional sign. We took it because we didn't have the instructions with us and weren't sure which fork in the trail to take. We hadn't gone too far when I said to Susan, "I think this is a new trail. It doesn't look familiar and look how new the concrete is." We turned around, went back to the junction and took the other trail.

As we were on the path headed toward the Blue Star Arts Complex we saw two parks workers in a golf cart and asked to make sure we were going the right way. They said we were. We let them know they needed to put a directional sign at the junction with the new trail. [Note: When we returned, there was an orange barrel with a "Trail Closed' sign in the middle of the new trail.]

At Blue Star Arts Complex, we lamented the fact that Stella Public House wasn't open for us to get pizza. They don't open until 11 or 11:30. We were there at 8 a.m.

On the return trip, we saw a snake (water moccasin or copperhead) completely underwater. It looked like it was hunting minnows. Silly me, I forgot to take a photo of it. It wasn't a huge snake, kind of medium sized. It had a triangular-shaped head and was patterned in brown and orange.

One of San Antonio's landmarks, The Lone Star Brewery property, is being developed into offices, retail, and apartments and condominiums. The old smokestack looked great in the morning sun.
Lone Star Brewery smokestack
We almost walked past this yellow-crowned night heron...

Yellow-crowned night heron
For part of our return trip, we had a nice breeze which perked us up.

After the walk, I showered and then went to my massage appointment. I had a 60-minute massage with a different massage therapist at the place I normally go. He was wonderful. I really liked his therapeutic massage. I will be making my appointments with him from now  on.

After the massage, I worked extra hours at the RV park. I have a project of making SDS (Safety Data Sheet) binders for the office, chemical storage, pool chemicals, maintenance shop chemicals and Rec Hall kitchen cleaners. I wrote the lists today. Tomorrow I will research and print the Safety Data Sheets and put them into binders for each area, along with an SDS Master Log Book for the office. I worked 2-1/2 hours in the afternoon.

Then it was time to go home and relax. All for today.


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Weekend is Over, Back to Chores - Tues., Sept. 6, 2016

This morning, I slept in for the third day in a row. I rarely get to do that!

After breakfast, I did seven loads of laundry, vacuumed, dusted, cleaned the kitchen floor and did dishes. I also shopped for a few items at Wal-Mart. While I was in Wal-Mart, I apparently missed a downpour. When I went out to the car, the ground was drenched, with puddles everywhere and it was HUMID! However it wasn't raining. As I was driving home to the RV park, I saw lightning and heard some thunder. It was a very fast-moving storm.

My latest project at work in the RV park office is putting together binders with current Safety Data Sheets (SDS). That was part of my job at two different commercial roofing companies where I used to work.

Now that Sun Communities has bought all the Carefree RV parks, they are making improvements to the park. We are getting in five park model cabins to rent. Four of them arrived last week. Today they started setting those four into place.

Here are photos of the four park models when they were delivered last week.




They will look very nice once they're set in place and skirted. We have already received a number of inquiries about renting them. They can be rented daily, weekly or monthly.

So that's it for today. Tomorrow morning Susan and I are doing the 10k Volksmarch from Mission Concepcion to the Blue Star Arts Complex. Looks like only a 10-15% chance of rain. I'll be taking my umbrella, just in case.

Amusements - Monday, Sept. 5, 2016

Day 3 of our Staycation: Bob went on five-mile marathon training run by himself. I slept in. When he got home we drove to the Shops at River Center in downtown San Antonio for lunch at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville.

Tiki Bar - "It's 5 o'clock somewhere!"

While we enjoyed the music and the ambiance, my taco salad sucked. First, it didn't come in the usual taco shell bowl; instead there were four pieces of crunchy something or other laid on top of lettuce. It was basically head lettuce with "volcano" chili on top of it. The lime crema dressing was terrible in combination with the chili. I would not ever order the taco salad there again. I asked for honey mustard dressing to try to improve the salad. It went well with the salad and covered up the weird flavor of the chili. Bob's Cheeseburger in Paradise was very good. He substituted ground turkey for the ground beef. Moral of the story: Order a burger if we go to Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville again.

A few weeks ago, Bob and I went to Dave and Buster's at Wonderland/Crossroads Mall where we played the H2Overdrive boat racing arcade game. It was so much fun we wanted to do it again. At work, I found some coupons in our brochure rack to buy one $20 Dave and Buster's game play card and get a second $20 game play card free.

There is a brand new Dave and Buster's in the Shops at River Center downtown, so we headed there and bought two $20 game play cards and got two free. We then went inside to play our favorite arcade game only to find they didn't have that game. We left without using our cards.

We made a detour back to the RV park so I could print a confirmation for my Six Flags Fiesta Texas 2017 Season Pass. We had to take the voucher to Six Flags to pick up the Season Pass Card.

The Dave and Buster's at Wonderland Mall is on the way to Six Flags Fiesta Texas, so we stopped there for about an hour and played H2Overdrive and Dirty Drivin' arcade games. Bob played Galaga too. We also used some of our game play on a motion simulator ride which was kind of fun.

From Dave and Buster's we headed to Six Flags. I hadn't ordered a Season Pass for Bob because he's not that into amusement parks. My friend Susan and I were going to go together. However, when we got to the park, Bob wondered why I hadn't ordered a Season Pass for him. We parked the car in a 30-minute parking area, not knowing how long picking up our pass was going to take.

Because we needed to buy a pass for Bob, we stood in a 15-minute-long line. While we waited in line, we decided to buy the Dining Package for both of us as well. I should mention that Six Flags was having a 70% off Season Pass Flash Sale during Labor Day weekend. The Season Pass (which is good from the day you buy it until the end of 2017) cost $63.99 per person and includes unlimited admission to all Six Flags amusement parks, parking, special events, and a certain number of "bring a friend free" days each year. The Dining Package is $69.99 per person and includes lunch, dinner and a snack EVERY time you visit a park.

Once our passes were bought, we had to go to the admission gate to pick up our cards and put in our fingerprint which is how you get into a park now...put your finger on a scanner. From there, I had to go to Season Pass Guest Services building inside the park to have my Dining Package added onto my Season Pass. Why they couldn't do that where they were selling tickets was beyond me.

In the meantime, our 30-minute parking time ran out so Bob literally ran out to short-term parking and moved the car to a new spot then came back in the park to meet me at Season Pass Guest Services. We thought about having dinner in the park but knew we couldn't eat and get back to the car in less than 30 minutes.

From Six Flags, Bob took me to the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort to show me around: that's where his accounting convention was earlier this year. It's a beautiful place with convention center, seven restaurants, a lazy river, waterslides, golf course and beautifully landscaped grounds. We walked around for about a half hour, then headed home.


Hill Country Marriott
Lazy River/pool area
Pool
Beautiful landscaping
The glass art in the Marriott Convention Center ceiling looks like Chihuly, but I can't confirm it.
Beautiful glass art
Fanciful glass art
We thought about going to dinner after exploring, but we had German rye bread at home and cheddar and pepperjack cheeses. I made grilled cheese sandwiches and steamed asparagus. We sat down just in time to watch American Ninja Warrior and then Running Wild with Bear Grylls. Another wonderful staycation day.

Thank you, again, Bob for all the fun stuff we did this weekend. I love you.






Sunday, September 4, 2016

For the Fun of the Thing - Sun., Sept. 4, 2016

Our staycation continued today with the luxury of sleeping in late. Our first destination today was McNay Art Museum. One of their special exhibits here until September 11 is Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861-2008.


Ever since the exhibit opened on May 11, I have wanted to see it but as we know life sometimes gets in the way. This weekend is a perfect time to get to the museum for the exhibit.

The McNay's website describes this exhibit below:
"Coney Island: Visions of the American Dreamland, 1861–2008 celebrates the most iconic, uniquely American amusement park in the United States. Also called, “the People’s Playground,” Coney Island is a national cultural symbol that has inspired artists, musicians, novelists, poets, and filmmakers. From Coney Island’s beginning as a watering hole for the wealthy, through its transformation into an entertainment mecca for the masses, to the closing of Astroland Amusement Park following decades of urban decline, the exhibition explores 150 years of the lure of Coney Island. The modern American mass-culture industry was born at Coney Island, and the constant novelty of the resort made it a seductively liberating subject for artists. Taken together, these tableaux of wonder and menace, hope and despair, dreams and nightmares, become metaphors for the collective soul of a nation.
"Coney Island is organized by the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut, and the McNay is the exhibition’s only Southwest venue. The exhibition features more than 140 objects—paintings, drawings, photographs, prints, documentary and popular film clips, posters, side show banners, architectural artifacts, memorabilia, and carousel animals. From early depictions of Coney Island by Impressionists William Merritt Chase and John Henry Twachtman to modern and contemporary images by Diane Arbus, Walker Evans, Red Grooms, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Reginald Marsh, Joseph Stella, Swoon, George Tooker, and Weegee, Coney Island investigates America’s playground as a place and an idea."
No photography allowed in the Coney Island exhibit...
this is as good as it gets for a photo.
This is a particularly fascinating exhibit to me because it incorporates not only the art and advertising over 150 years, but it delves into human subjects as well. For example, sideshows exploited people's disabilities and deformities, showcasing those suffering from certain diseases, charging admission, and making spectacles of them.

Another example of the psychology of Coney Island was creating thrill rides in which total strangers were thrown into others on roller coasters and Tilt-A-Whirls. Singles often met their spouses by literally bumping into them on these rides. There was an allure and adventure in going to Coney Island when it was in its heyday.

Percey's Pocket Dictionary of Coney Island is mentioned in the exhibit under the title of "For the Fun of the Thing." I looked up the quote to find its origin. Here is how it is used in the book:
"Photographs. — If you should for any reason, personal or otherwise, desire to have your picture taken at Coney Island there is a small pavilion devoted to the art near Leach's West End Hotel, and at the Brighton Beach Bathing Pavilion. There are generally itinerant photographers also to be met with on the beach. The quality of the pictures taken, of course, rarely surpasses
the original, but you don't pay for flattery, but 'for the fun of the thing.'" 
Coney Island consisted of three separate amusement parks -- Luna, Steeplechase Park, and Dreamland -- as well as seaside resorts, vaudeville theaters, croquet lawns, an aquarium, piers, pavilions, bowling alleys and restaurants. The first carousel was built at Coney Island in 1876 by a Danish woodcarver.

One of the movies on display in the exhibit was from 1905 and showed the park at night lit by Thomas Edison's light bulbs. All the buildings were outlined in lights. It was very pretty.

A huge, seven-story building in the shape of an elephant was visible to people arriving on Coney Island. Known as the Elephantine Colossus, this building housed a hotel. People the world over traveled to Coney Island to partake in the amusements.

The amusement parks suffered a decline during the depression. During part of that period, Coney Island was used to train troops when the U.S. went to war, and the sound of soldiers marching took over the boardwalks. In WWII there was a resurgence in the need for amusement parks and once again the parks gained in popularity.

Another impressive portrait of Coney Island in art and photographs was the sheer number of people on the beaches. The crowds were body to body. I couldn't figure out how anyone could get from their towels to the water, or how they ever found their way back to their belongings!

From the Coney Island exhibit, we toured the rest of the McNay and spent some time on the grounds of the museum which are worth investigating.

"Man on Fire," by Luis Jimenez, Jr.,  cast bronze
The installation below is a continually changing video of wildflowers revolving and moving. It was beautifully mesmerizing.


"We Came from the Stars," by Jose Alvarez
Inner courtyard
Tile art of Don Quixote
"Guernesey," by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1882
A new exhibit since the last time we visited was the art of toy theaters. These toy theaters had elaborate moving parts, lighting, and an array of set drops and cut-out characters. The toy theater below was made by Ruloff Kip, a wealthy New Yorker, for his daughter Elizabeth. What was special about this toy theater was his attention to detail and his use of his own family for inspiration.
Kip's Toy Theater
 Below is another toy theater created by Everett Shinn.

Everett Shinn's Toy Theater
The McNay Art Museum not only has an interesting and eclectic collection of art, the museum itself is a work of art. The building is a 24-room, Spanish Colonial-Revival house and has gorgeous lines and a beautiful inner courtyard. In 2008, 45,000 square feet was added to create gallery space for major exhibitions, classrooms and an outdoor sculpture garden.
Bob on the second floor of the McNay
Lovely lines of the second floor landing
"Stream of the Black Pond," by Gustave Courbet
We then wandered outside to see the grounds.

Nice walkway

Bob by the fountains
Me with a big tree
Us in front of the McNay Spanish Colonial-Revival mansion
Bob with his new girlfriend.
We had worked up an appetite and headed to Broadway where we have been working our way through the many restaurants along that street. Broadway 50/50 was recommended to me by my hairdresser so we gave it a try. 

Our lunch stop
Interior of Broadway 50/50
Art on the walls
Bob's salad and my burger and sweet potato fries
That was a good plate of food!
With that part of our day complete, we headed home to rest before we headed out to the San Antonio Missions baseball game. Oh, just before we got home, we took the Escape Pod to the car wash, it was a mess! At least we got it clean.

The ball game was supposed to start at 6:00 p.m. We arrived at the ball park a little after 6:30 p.m. only to find this...

Rain delay
Everyone waiting under cover until the rain passes.
A definite "hurry-up-and-wait" scenario.
The game had a couple of false starts. The crew started taking the tarp off the field, but ended up putting it back on three different times. It was fun to watch the process...not something we usually get to see.

Removing the protective tarp
Removing the tarp in a different direction.

Putting the tarp back on.
They finally removed the tarp for good about 7:15 p.m. and the game was played at 7:40 p.m. We stayed until the top of the 9th inning. The Missions were down by one run to the Corpus Christi Hooks. I'm not sure who ended up winning.

We had another wonderful day on our Staycation. When we returned home, I wrote a blog. Then I noticed Six Flags Fiesta Texas was having a 70% off sale on their 2017 Season Pass! OMG, that's amazing. The sale is only good until midnight, Sept. 5. The Season Pass includes admission to the park for the rest of 2016 until the end of 2017, parking, admission to special events and, from time to time, we get to bring a friend to the park for free! I signed us up and for good measure added the Dining Package. Any time we go to the park, and we can go as much as we want, the Dining Package gets us lunch, dinner and a snack. We couldn't pass that up. My friend, Susan, bought tickets for her and her hubby, Darren too. Score!

Thank you, Bob, for such a wonderful weekend. And we still have a day to go. Yee ha!