Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017
Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Busy, Then Relaxed - Wed., Dec. 11

Hey, somebody turned up the heat!! I was able to open all the windows in the fifth wheel today. 

Yesterday, Susan and I said we'd check in with each other after she picked up her son from college in San Marcos to see if we would walk today. When she texted me around noon, I was in the process of drying eight (8) loads of laundry. We were raring to go and decided to meet at Daily Bread Bakery in Alamo Heights (suburb of San Antonio) to do the 5K walk that started there.

We arrived within a minute of each other, signed in, and headed out. Our garb today was much lighter than our winter wear from yesterday. I walked in a T-shirt and jeans (no coat or hat) and was just right.

The 3.1 mile walk was almost entirely on the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) campus. Each previous time Bob and I walked here there were no students out and about. No students were around this time because of Christmas break (when Bob and I walked here, it was summer break). A cadre of landscapers and construction workers were on campus, though.

We passed the retirement home run by the Sisters of Charity at the university, the spring where the San Antonio River starts (when the aquifer is over 676' above sea level, it's dry most of the time at this location), Lourdes Grotto, the San Antonio River Bridge on campus, Benson Stadium (Cardinal football), Sullivan Field (baseball), Barshop Natatorium, Bonilla Science Hall, Center for the Performing Arts, Sisters of Charity Convent, Chapel, Clock Tower, Brackenridge Villa and numerous statues.

Bridge over (dry) portion of San Antonio River.
Description of what the UIW campus was like in years past.
And, we always find new things each time we walk. Today we found a painted backdrop for a nativity scene with real manger and hay bales. Photo op.

Susan M.
Susan A.
 At the "Classmates" sculpture by Paul Tadlock, Susan M. became fast friends with both "students."

Susan M. and "Classmates."
Art and Music Departments' addition is in full swing. We watched a crane manuever a steel beam into the middle of the construction. Two workers guided it into place. Notice that the workers are safety compliant in their hard hats, and both are tied off. Way different from the old photo of workers on the Empire State Building in N.Y., N.Y. eating their box lunches 100 stories in the air on a girder with no fall protection!

Here's a photo of what the completed addition/renovation will look like phased in with the old architecture of the University.

Each holiday season, University of the Incarnate Word fully decorates the campus with lights for their Light the Way tradition. Many people drive through the University to see the display. A steel Nativity set was donated to UIW by the Menger Hotel of San Antonio. Here are photos of a couple of panels done in the German art form called "Schwibbogen." See sign describing these below.

Part of steel Nativity set

Part of steel Nativity set
A famous persona in San Antonio history was Colonel George W. Brackenridge. Although three of his brothers joined the Confederate army, George Brackenridge became a war profiteer in the Matamoros cotton trade when he went into business with family and a friend to form Brackenridge, Bates and Company. During the Civil War, he was forced to leave Texas because he sided with the Union. He was appointed U.S. Treasury Agent in 1863. When New Orleans fell to Union forces, he worked in the Treasury Department there.

After the War, he organized the San Antonio National Bank. From 1886 to 1923, he was president of San Antonio Water Works Company. Long story short, he was very wealthy. He donated Brackenridge Park to the city of San Antonio. The  Brackenridge home, Head of the River, was purchased by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word to use as a Motherhouse, and the home is still a part of the University of the Incarnate Word. The Motherhouse was renamed Brackenridge Villa. See photo below.

Head of the River is now called Brackenridge Villa.
Also see photo below for continuation of the house.
Continuation of house photo (left side of photo above).
History of Brackenridge Villa
As we walked the peaceful campus, we had no idea an honors student from the college had been killed two days ago by a campus policeman. You can read about this terrible tragedy here (NBC News). I found the story when I Googled University of Incarnate Word to make sure I identified buildings and facts in the above description.

We finished our walk in one hour and got treats at the bakery afterward.

Susan M. headed off to grocery shop and I went home to relax. While I relaxed, the birds were busy. We must have had about 20 birds at or around our bird feeder including sparrows, Inca doves, white-winged doves, great-tailed grackles, and Brewer's blackbirds.

Inca and white-winged dove (rear view only)
White-winged dove and sparrows
Inca doves waiting their turn in the water dish.
Travel Bug out.


  1. Really envying you two the camaraderie to do these walks together. You look like you are having a great time and motivate each other to get out there.

  2. Wow what the adventure! It looks like yall had a great time :)

  3. We love Texas but find it to be a little warner in Florida. We hope to be in Texas in March, but not sure, depends on Doctors. Looking for that book from you on all the hikes and places to eat.


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