Octagonal Bank of New Zealand banker's desk carved from Australian red cedar, Dunedin, circa 1883.

Octagonal Bank of New Zealand banker's desk carved from Australian red cedar, Dunedin, circa 1883.
Octagonal Bank of New Zealand banker's desk carved from Australian red cedar, Dunedin, circa 1883.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Drag Me Kicking and Screaming - Monday, Nov. 23, 2015

I'm catching up on blogs from November.

Sunday, November 22: Our dear friends Jim and Peri returned from being away all summer and were staying at Canyon Lake. When they're in town, we love getting together over a meal or playing games. Because they were a ways out from San Antonio, we met for a late lunch at Cheddar's on the north side of San Antonio. When we got to the restaurant we texted to let them know we were there and where we were sitting. About one minute later, Jim and Peri popped around the corner. They had already been seated too. We consolidated tables and ordered our lunch.

Jim and Peri at Cheddar's restaurant
Jim and Peri volunteered at the Albuquerque Balloon Festival this year. They took some amazing photos and shared them with us. Plus they entertained us with stories about what they did as volunteers. We received a stunning 2016 Albuquerque Balloon Festival calendar from them. Wow. Thank you so much, Jim and Peri! For the next month or so, they will be spending time with their kids and grandkids in the Austin/San Antonio area.

Monday, November 23: My friend, Susan M., wanted to hike at Friedrich Wilderness Park to make sure the Volksmarch directions were correct and easy to follow. When I left the house, I had my mind made up that I only wanted to do the 5k (3.1 mi.) walk. When we met at the parking lot, she got out of the car and said, "Do you want to do the 10k or 12k walk?" I told her I wanted to do only a 5k walk. She wouldn't be dissuaded so I chose the 10k walk (the more difficult walk) which is shorter. I like the challenge of the hills on the 10k walk. She practically had to drag me, kicking and screaming, on the longer hike.


Friedrich Wilderness Park trails
Our weather was beautiful but a little chilly. We started the walk with our windbreakers on, but soon cinched them around our waists. It's the end of November and some wildflowers are still blooming. These are black-foot daisies.

Black-foot daisies (Melampodium leucanthum)
Challenging is the best word to describe the upper portion of our hike. The trails we were on had rocky shelves, roots, and steep, rocky grades that are probably waterfalls when  there's a monsoon-like rain event. Hiking boots, hiking poles, water, and even a snack are worth taking on this hike.

We hiked up, down and along rocky shelves like this one.

One of my favorite parts of the trail -
love the dappled sunlight!
By the time we finished our hike, we were famished. For lunch we chose Islamorada Fish Company inside the Bass Pro Shops. When you walk in, you immediately see a huge aquarium loaded with tropical fish. Snorkeling in Hawaii pops into my head.

Both of us chose fish tacos for lunch; and no, they don't serve fish from the aquarium for lunch! Our fish tacos were delectable. For dessert we split their decadent chocolate cake with fudge frosting. Yummy stuff!

After lunch we headed for our respective homes. Costco was on my way home, so I stopped, shopped, and gassed up the car.

Thursday, November 26:  Susan invited us to their house for Thanksgiving. Her husband Darren is in California building an ultra-lite experimental aircraft, so it was Susan, their son Kyle, Bob and I.

Bob and Kyle on turkey carving duty.
Our feast
Fruit plate, rolls and wine
Susan M. cleaning up
We are thankful for our great friends who are family to us. Thank you for having us to your home for a wonderful Thanksgiving meal.

The fur kids send their greetings...

Bowie and Sunnie
Bowie and Sunnie (cat condo)
Bowie at home in a box
Bowie the box cat
 Travel Bug out.

Friday, November 27, 2015

San Antonio's Government Hill - Saturday, November 21, 2015

Today's walk was just plain interesting. Our 10k Volksmarch took us around the Government Hill Historic District and one of the historical markers was the most unique I have ever read. More about that later.

At 9:00 am we started the Volksmarch at a running shoe store on Broadway in San Antonio. The weather was beautiful, about 68 but very windy. More than once dirt blew into my eyes during this walk. I ended up closing my eyes and holding Bob's elbow to keep more dirt from blowing into them. That was quite the experience in trust. Because we were walking on a street with no curbs and no traffic, it was pretty easy to let him guide me.

Government Hill was developed from 1890 to 1930 and was linked to the development of Ft. Sam Houston. Beautiful homes and businesses built in different styles populate the neighborhood of Government Hill.

Below is the the Gothic-revival style St. Paul's Episcopal Church on E. Grayson Street built to serve the military families in the Ft. Sam Houston area.

St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Lambermont or Terrell Castle
From Grayson Street, you can see Officer's Row at Ft. Sam Houston. Some of those homes are spectacular and housed Colonel and Mrs. Eisenhower and General Pershing.

Below are photos of the original USAA building on Grayson St.

USAA logo
Old USAA building entryway
Historic USAA building
The Quadrangle at Ft. Sam Houston is a lovely place to visit. Inside the Quadrangle walls are deer, peacocks and ducks. We saw them on a different walk.

The Quadrangle, Ft. Sam Houston
The Quadrangle
A bar across from Ft. Sam Houston.
Fort Sam Houston, established 1876
Art at entrance to Johnny's Tex-Mex restaurant
An old school in Government Hill
San Antonio Fire Station No. 5
Another beautiful home in Government Hill
Below is Dixie Flag Company. If you need any flags, this business can provide them or point you in the right direction. You can see by the huge flag that a stiff breeze was blowing.

Murals on St. Patrick's Community Center caught our eyes. The artwork is colorful and very well done.

St. Patrick's Church
St. Patrick's Church
We enjoyed traversing back and forth on the streets in Government Hill looking at the homes.

Home built in an old church
The Bullis House, now a bed and breakfast

At one of our checkpoints, the volunteers pointed out the following historical marker which describes San Antonio's astronomical history. We highly recommend enlarging and reading this marker which is fascinating.

Today's walk was enjoyable. It was nice to have a Saturday off work to do a sponsored Volksmarch. Travel Bug out.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

They Say It's Your Birthday - Friday, Nov. 20, 2015

Well, my birthday was actually November 20. I'm a bit behind on blogging, but today is a good day to catch up.

The president of our Volksmarch Club won a party for 100 people at Howl at the Moon, a dueling piano bar in San Antonio. The party included cover charge and two, $1 drink coupons. Sounded like a good way to celebrate my birthday, so we headed there when I got off work a little early at 4:30 pm. Lisa, Lydia and Randy also went to the party so I knew RVing people and walking people at the party.

Howl at the Moon has free appetizers catered by Rio Rio restaurant and you can help yourself until they're gone. Believe me, that didn't take very long! Good thing we helped ourselves while there was some left. Early on, someone paid to have "Happy Birthday, Susan" put up on the mirror behind the piano players. Others can pay more to change the message on the mirror, but it stayed up the whole time we were there.

Howl at the Moon with my birthday message
Bob and his marathon training partner, Lisa
Ellen's party
Ellen's party
Ellen and her sweetie.
More party-goers at Howl at the Moon
All of us girls danced to "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper. We had lots of fun. All of us left about 8 or 8:30 pm. Bob and I headed home to change clothes. I wanted to put on more comfortable shoes for dancing.

We hadn't had dinner (just appetizers), so we drove through Dairy Queen for "real" food. Then we headed to Boozehounds bar to hear one of our favorite rock 'n' roll bands in San Antonio: Arrowhead.

Me with Arrowhead band members
Arrowhead performing (sorry, it's blurry)
Great face paint!
Virgil of Arrowhead and me
We listened, danced and drank. Had a good time and made it home at 12:30 a.m. Luckily, I had Saturday off work and could sleep in. Thanks, Bob, for a great time!