Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024

Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024
Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Volunteering and Participating in the 18th Olympiad in San Antonio - Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Today's blog will cover two days. Yesterday, I had a break in my schedule. After walking 12.5 miles on Sunday, my feet needed a rest! Tuesday, both Bob and I were back in the thick of volunteering. 

Monday, February 20: 

Bob worked with his clients most of the day. I volunteered for two hours (8:30 am to 10:30 am) at the Starbucks checkpoint (across the street from the zoo) on the 21 km walk. Over the course of the time the checkpoint was staffed, 250 walkers came by. 

When my shift was over, I took care of chores on the home front. I grocery-shopped at H-E-B and filled up with gas at their station. Six loads of laundry were waiting for my attention and I did that chore, too. 

Afterward, I sat on the couch with the cat in my lap and we snoozed the rest of the afternoon away. Bob came home in time to watch the news and Wheel of Fortune. We had mixed green salad with veggies and flaked tuna for dinner. Both of us like NCIS Hawaii and we watched that at 9 pm.

Tuesday, February 21: 

My duties at the Olympiad didn't start until noon today. That meant I had time to do my Costco shopping. Costco is 20 minutes from home and I was able to shop and have a Costco hot dog lunch before my shift started. I even took the groceries home and put them away.

At 11:45 pm, I parked my car in a paid lot a block away from the La Quinta, gathered up the things I needed to clear the 10 km walk markings from this morning, and went to the La Quinta to meet Helen Hull and Bonnie. They were going to clear the 5 km walk. I had time to use the facilities and talk to Helen about where I should start clearing the 10 km walk. I asked if I could clear some of the 5 km markings since the two walks overlapped for the first couple of miles. She said, "No," they would do it.

I left the La Quinta at 12:30 pm and hoped that everyone who left at noon would be far enough along that I wouldn't clear the trail before they got through. The afternoon was supposed to be 86° F. and I wanted to get done as soon as possible.

The first few blocks of the walks each day are duplicated but then go in different directions depending on the walk. Today, we are headed to the east side of San Antonio, including Dignowity Hill and Knob Hill Historic Districts. Off we go!

Margaritaville chair.

"Just A Perfect Day" mural on Losoya St.

"Sky, Earth and Mariachi Lecho Over
San Antonio" mural on Losoya St.
The explanation of the Travis Park Street Mural.
I found this in an alley.

The next three photos span the whole length of the mural in the alley.

We passed a number of churches, some of which are on our year-round Historic Churches Walk in San Antonio. (You can find our year-round walks at and click on the "Events" drop-down box. From the next page, you click on "Search by State" and then scroll way down the next web page to find San Antonio's walks.)

As we walked along North Alamo Street, we passed The Lucky Duck bar. I loved its gate and graphics.

The Lucky Duck bar.

The Lucky Duck bar.

We continued farther north and east to the Hays Street Bridge. The bridge spans railroad tracks and the art on the bridge railings is aptly named "Trains," by Riley Robinson (2010). The inspiration for this work came from one of his kids' toys, a wooden train set.

The shadow of the bridge railing on the bridge deck
shows up better than the actual metal railing.

The metal railing train art.

The Hays Street Bridge: This early-1900s former
railroad bridge is now for pedestrians only.

Alamo Beer Company is off to the right (south) side of the bridge. I did not take a photo of it. 

The route took us past Lockwood and Dignowity Parks in the Dignowity Hill Historic District. Both parks are undergoing major renovations and are completely surrounded by a construction fence. We had our first checkpoint here. Because I was clearing the markings, I was the last person through their checkpoint. It was very hot and I was getting tired. They gave me some fruity snacks which were very much appreciated.

After a lot of walking in the Dignowity Hill neighborhood, we walked past the historic city cemeteries and the San Antonio National Cemetery. Just before the cemeteries, there was a really cute house with a lovely front yard. The occupants were on their front porch and I said hi to them. They were so thrilled to have all the walkers go past their house today. They said they met some from Belgium. Many walkers took photos of them and their garden. I thanked them for being good ambassadors for the city. It was fun chatting with them!

San Antonio National Cemetery.

Historic city cemetery.

San Antonio National Cemetery in the foreground.

San Antonio National Cemetery.

In the San Antonio National Cemetery.

Historic City Cemetery 5.

Our walk instructions mentioned that Buffalo Soldier Park would be open to all walkers. I was looking forward to going in and exploring it. When Susan Medlin and I were wheeling the walk distance in October 2021, the gate was locked and we couldn't get in. Maybe the park was open earlier today, but by the time I arrived at 2 pm, there was no one there and all gates were locked. Pout!

Going farther east from Buffalo Soldier Park, the walk passed by St. Gerard Catholic School. Just past that was the second 10 km checkpoint at Pittman-Sullivan Park. By this time, I was downright grumpy, hot, sweaty, and exhausted. We had high humidity today!

To the west of the park is the Davis-Scott Family YMCA. On Iowa St., there's a great sculpture called "Open Hand, Open Mind, Open Heart," by Douglas Kornfelt (2015). Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s message of non-violence, this spectacular, 32-foot tall sculpture in Sullivan Park faces San Antonio's downtown skyline. [This information is from "20 Public Art Pieces to Visit in San Antonio," by San Antonio Current Staff, June 30, 2016.]

"Open Hand, Open Mind, Open Heart,"
by Douglas Kornfelt (2015).

"Open Hand, Open Mind, Open Heart,"
by Douglas Kornfelt (2015).

"Open Hand, Open Mind, Open Heart,"
by Douglas Kornfelt (2015).

The walk headed west toward downtown on Iowa Street which changed to East Cesar E Chavez Blvd. There are great views of the Alamodome from the railroad bridge on East Cesar E Chavez Blvd.

The Tower of the Americas and the Alamodome.

The Alamodome.

Meanwhile, Susan and Darren Medlin, my husband Bob, and Jim Tree were all out marking tomorrow's walks. Susan and Darren had been out walking all day marking two 21 km walks. (Egads, they deserve a gold medal!) Bob and Jim Tree were out on bicycles marking trails all afternoon. (They deserve silver medals!) 

I called Bob to make sure he was doing okay. He said he was okay but really tired.

Then I called Susan and Darren to see how they were doing. Both of them were exhausted. I asked what I could do to help and she asked me to pick them up and drive them back to the hotel. No problemo. They still had some marking to do, so we would check in with each other a little later.

The last part of the walk back to the Cos House at La Villita was a real slog in the heat. The nice breeze from earlier in the day had dissipated and it seemed even hotter downtown. When I made it to the Cos House around 3:30 pm, I needed some refreshments fast. 

Who is the mystery man in this photo?

After getting my AVA books stamped, and fooling around getting my photo taken, I found La Villita Café had just what I needed...a Dr. Pepper Chocolate Float!!! That really floated my boat. YUMMY!!!! Revival complete. 

I stopped at Smoke BBQ + Riverbar on the Margarita and Taco Trail Walk to have a snack-size Texas-style brisket taco. It was good. 

I called Susan again after La Villita Café. She and Darren had found a Whataburger for dinner and were ready to get back to the hotel. I drove over and retrieved them and took some bean and cheese tacos from the AVA: America's Walking Club office to them. When I dropped them off at the hotel, I think they were going to go crash in their room.

After taking the Medlins to the hotel, I met Bob on South Alamo Street to do the Margarita and Taco Trail in earnest. I found him chowing down on bean and cheese tacos with a tiny mango margarita in his other hand. When I say "tiny," I mean TINY. That little margarita was in a small plastic pill cup.

At this point, the sun was almost down, the temperature was very pleasant, and we got to discover places around South Alamo Street that we had never been to before. We had such a good time!

Andy Thomas stamping Margarita & Taco Trail
walk books at AVA: America's Walking Club HQ.

The Mango Margarita stand.

AVA: America's Walking Club HQ had both pork &
chicken tamales, and bean & cheese tacos.

The mural on the building next to the AVA HQ.

Walkers from all over the world are enjoying
San Antonio's hospitality and activities.

Oh Yeah Cakes on St. Mary's Street gave us
mini cupcakes. We chose vanilla. Mmm!

So many cupcakes to choose from!

At "The Friendly Spot," we got mini margaritas. So refreshing. Bob and I were sitting at a table when I heard my name being shouted. I was so out of it that I didn't know someone was calling me. It was DJ Moore from Florida. We met at the AVA National Convention in Albany, NY, in 2019. We keep up with each other on Facebook and through my blog! I'm so happy we got to spend a little time together. She introduced us to her friends Wilma, Pat, and Patty - all from Florida. The interesting thing about DJ is that she goes diving to catch lionfish. There is a bounty on them in Florida because they are an invasive species.

Wilma and DJ Moore from Florida.

Pat and Patty from Florida.

One of our stops was not like the others. Bijou Betties Boutique was open with five rooms of fun shopping. Tonight only, she gave a 15% discount. I bought two artsy fish for my eclectic fish collection. If you ever use the restroom in our home, you will have art fish staring at you from the walls. Hahahaha. 

La Churreria by ChurroStar served us mini churros.

One of the most surprising places we found was The Jewel @ 1102 South Alamo Street. We had mini margaritas here, too. 

I'm going to saturate your brain with art photos that are in The Jewel @ 1102 and, from what Bob told me, the paintings are all by the same artist, Gilbert Duran! I hope I got that right.

Artwork at The Jewel @ 1102 bar.

Artwork at The Jewel @ 1102 bar.

The bar at The Jewel @ 1102.

Artwork at The Jewel @ 1102 bar.

Artwork at The Jewel @ 1102 bar.

Artwork at The Jewel @ 1102 bar.

Artwork at The Jewel @ 1102 bar.

Artwork at The Jewel @ 1102 bar.

Artwork at The Jewel @ 1102 bar.

Artwork at The Jewel @ 1102 bar.

I walked 10.6 miles today. I have no idea how far Bob rode his bicycle.

We were very tired and very hungry so we got in our vehicles and drove over to BurgerTeca, also part of our Margarita and Taco Trail. They gave us a small free ice cream. We decided to stay for dinner. I had the Chicken Chop Salad which was excellent and Bob had a Pacifica Tuna "burger" with sweet potato fries, also excellent. Then we shared our food. 

The exterior and interior of BurgerTeca are also artsy. I know I'm inundating you with photos, but it was just that kind of day. Very long and very interesting, and very tiring.

Outside BurgerTeca.

Inside BurgerTeca.

Inside BurgerTeca.

More Olympiad walkers ordering ice cream.

Inside BurgerTeca.

Inside BurgerTeca.

Inside BurgerTeca.

Inside BurgerTeca.

We made a valiant effort to visit every place. 
Unfortunately, we ran out of time.

AVA: America's Walking Club, I have something to say to you: Well done! This event was SO. MUCH. FUN!!!! Thank you to everyone who helped put this together. And, thank you to all the businesses that opened their doors to us. 

"And that is all I have to say about that!" ~ Forrest Gump.

Good night.