Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023

Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023
Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023

Monday, December 1, 2014

Culture in All Its Forms - Mon., Dec. 1, 2014

I can't believe I haven't written since my birthday 1-1/2 weeks ago. Time flies when you're having fun and enjoying some culture too.

After working all day Friday the 21st, Bob and I went rock 'n' roll dancing with friends. Usually we like classic rock, but the band we went to see played mostly heavy metal. We danced anyway. Couldn't stay too late because I had to work 10 hours on Saturday.

Saturday night we went to our RV park's Ice Cream Social. For $1 we had two scoops of ice cream with toppings. The RV park celebrated the birthdays of all those born from May to November. (We have to make up for the May to October birthdays in November because that's when the Winter Texans/snowbirds return for the season.)

Thankfully, I took my umbrella to the Ice Cream Social. When we left, there was a massive thunder and lightning storm. Bob and I shared the umbrella in the pouring rain (oh, how romantic!), and made it back to our 5th wheel before the water came up. In one hour, the water was up to the bottom step of our 5th wheel. (We are in a low spot in the park; a few sites flood.)

By Sunday morning the water had receded. Bob went out to run a half-marathon as part of his marathon training. Susan and I did a Volksmarch from Mission San Jose to Mission San Juan. The day was absolutely gorgeous.

Mission San Jose Visitor Center - our start point
Most of our walk was on the Mission Reach of the San Antonio River. We passed Espada Dam and the site of a town which is no longer there. At Mission San Juan, we walked the grounds, toured the museum, did the nature walk behind the museum and looked in the chapel.
Mission San Juan entrance
Mission San Juan
The chapel
Interior of the chapel at Mission San Juan
Inside the museum at Mission San Juan
Mission San Juan diorama
Beautiful weaving
The Royal Road of Texas
Community Goods
River of Life
When we finished at Mission San Juan, we retraced our path to Mission San Jose.

After our walk, we wanted to see "The Theory of Everything." Bob was finished with his half marathon and wanted to go with us. We went back to the RV park, picked some tangerines for Susan to take to Darren, and picked up Bob. We drove to Santikos Bijou Theater for the movie. The Bijou Theater serves food so we all ordered lunch to eat while we watched the film.

"The Theory of Everything" is the story of Stephen Hawking, a famed theoretical physicist; his first wife Jane, and his battle with Lou Gehrig's disease (motor neuron disease/ amyotrophic lateral sclerosis [ALS]). When he was diagnosed with the disease at age 21, he was not expected to live past 25. He is now 72 years old.

The movie shows the progression of the disease and its effect on Stephen's body. However, the disease does not affect his mind. Stephen goes on to theorize about black holes and time and writes "A Brief History of Time." He becomes a professor at Cambridge University. All of us enjoyed the movie. Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking was excellent.
We thought the musical soundtrack drowned out some of the conversation. We all agreed we need to watch it again with subtitles so we could catch everything that was said.

Sunday afternoon, Bob and I drove to Universal City for dinner with Jim and Peri at Cheddar's Restaurant. We hadn't seen them for quite some time, so we had to catch up on everything. Peri learned how to make soap at one of the places they stayed. She brought us eight bars of homemade soap.

Monday and Tuesday, I worked at an insurance agency for Snelling Temp Services and Wednesday, I worked my ten-hour shift at Travelers World RV Resort.

For Thanksgiving, we went to Susan and Darren's home.

Susan and Darren in the kitchen
Darren carving the turkey
Beautifully set Thanksgiving table
Everything is ready.
There were nine of us at dinner.

Susan M., Susan A., Bob A., Shawn, Sharif, Coral, Travis, Kyle
Susan M., Susan A., Bob A., Shawn, Sharif, Coral, Travis, Kyle
We feasted on turkey, stuffing, cheesy baked potatoes, gravy, mashed yams, praline sweet potato casserole, tossed salad, green beans, pumpkin bread, cranberry relish, pumpkin cheesecake, and pumpkin/pecan pie. So good!

Thanksgiving feast
Bob enjoying dessert while watching sports.
Friday and Saturday, I worked two more ten-hour days at the RV park. Friday night we had movie night at the RV park. I'm in charge of Movie Night. This month's selection was "The Impossible" about the 2004 tsunami in southeast Asia. The movie follows one family's harrowing experience. It's a true story. I am amazed by the special effects that make you feel like you're right there with them through the whole ordeal.

After work Saturday, we went to see "The Great American Trailer Park" live musical at The Cameo Theater. It was fun, although it was hard to hear all the lines and song lyrics.

The trailer park set

Great American Trailer Park Musical

Audience interaction

The finale
Finally Sunday arrived and I had a day off. I made pumpkin pancakes with cinnamon applesauce and fried eggs for breakfast.

I really wanted to go to McNay Art Museum for their Intimate Impressionism exhibition, the most extensive exhibition of French impressionist and post-impressionist paintings to come to San Antonio. Nearly 70 landscapes, portraits, interiors and still-lifes demonstrate similar aesthetic goals shared by avant-garde painters of the era. We saw Jongkind, Boudin, Monet, Manet, Renoir, Pissarro, Picasso, Sisley, Fantin-Latour, Gaugin and Vuillard. The impressionists enjoyed painting en plein air (outdoors).

In the lobby of the museum, is a beautiful wall of birds. Look closely. The birds are made from vinyl record albums.

Part of Paul Villinski's "Burst" in the museum lobby
"The Towpath" by Johan Barthold Jongkind
Renoir's "Woman with a Cat"
"Flower Beds in Holland" by Vincent van Gogh
In addition to the impressionist exhibition, we were there when a Belle Voix Concert was being held by Copperleaf. This quintet of a capella singers entertained many museum visitors for an hour. Their beautiful voices carried throughout the impressionism exhibit and down the stairs to the sculpture exhibit.

Copperleaf quintet
The regular McNay exhibits include modern French art, Medieval and Renaissance art, 19th and 20th century art, Southwest art, art after 1945, prints and drawings, theatre arts, and outdoor sculpture. I especially enjoyed one of Chagall's paintings, "Dream Village." If you enlarge the photo and look closely at the blue background, you can see neighbors talking over a fence, a cow playing a stringed instrument, the Russian village where Chagall was born, and lovers embracing.

Chagall's "Dream Village"
Henri Rousseau's "Landscape with Milkmaids"
Needless to say, I could go on and on about the beautiful art we saw today, but I also want to show you a little of the museum itself. It used to be the estate of the McNays. The building is its own work of art!

Beautiful tile art on an interior wall
Looking out to the courtyard
Main entry
Interior courtyard
Tilework art
Window seat on the second floor
Bob on the staircase

One of a pair of Puma sculptures
Staircase to library
Front entry of the home
One side of the home
Just one more photo. After spending four hours at the museum, we were ready for dinner. "The Big Bib" BBQ restaurant wasn't too far away and we love it. I had a turkey leg with sweet potato casserole. Bob ordered turkey breast with sweet potato casserole and potato salad. We heard how good their desserts were, so we ordered banana pudding and peach cobbler. Don't fret, we only ate half of the desserts and brought the rest home. I only ate half of my turkey leg and brought the rest of that home as well.

Eating dinner at "The Big Bib."
Whew. Finally caught up with 1-1/2 weeks' worth of activities.

All kinds of culture:
  • Rock 'n' roll dancing
  • Movie night: "The Impossible"
  • "The Theory of Everything" at the Bijou theater
  • Ice Cream Social
  • Thanksgiving dinner
  • Mission San Juan Museum
  • A walk
  • McNay Art Museum
  • "The Great American Trailer Park Musical" (live theater)
  • Belle Voix Concert by "Copperleaf" a cappella quintet
Travel Bug out.


  1. Well that was worth waiting for. Great photos and run down on all activities. The trailer park live show looked funny. Thank you for an entertaining read.

  2. You've sure been busy, the time here has flown by even though we've not done a lot. Hope we can find some time to get together, I'm sure you know of some good Volksmarches between here and San Antonio.

  3. No wonder you haven't had time to post, you two have been busy, busy, busy. Looks like you are enjoying the good life!

  4. wow. . .you HAVE been busy. . .

    loved the musical. . .we need to be more aware of when things like that are going on, since we love local theatre, and such. . .

    aren't the Missions just amazing. . .we have gone to all but one. . .lots to see and do in San Antonio. . .


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