June 13 thru 16, 2018 At JoAnn’s, I finished packing-up and right when about to hit the road, tummy issues arrived and I hung out hung out until all passed for about an hour. Super glad I was still at the house instead of on the road. Oh, ‘Nighty Noodles’ JoAnn♥️
On the road again, destination San Antonio. Just down the road, I stopped at the Jim Hogg City Park, a small park area next to an old building with a historic marker and the Quitman Chamber of Commerce.
Coordinated a walk-thru of the historic home with the help of a Chamber employee I met in the parking lot, Lauren. The coolest part was she’d wanted to see the inside for years. Ha! She asked the couple working on the house if we could walk through and the woman was happy to give us a tour of the two room cottage, originally built 1862 and restored in 1952. So nice!
Drove through Mineola into Grand Saline, when I spotted this little place. Made a u-turn and checked it out. The daughter took my order and her dad, the owner, cooked it, the #5 with eggs, sausage, cheese and yep… jalapeños. Smothered and ate 1/2 with salsa and wrapped the rest to go. Very nice people and cozy place.
Happy tummy hit the road. Before long I was passing old stomping grounds around Lancaster and DeSoto. Not a damn thing looked familiar after 20+ years. Will be back here after San Antonio for visits, so kept on moving.
Gas prices continue to rise, averaging $2.69 and up. Walmart’s Murphy station seems to be the best option around here, $2.59-2.63 in several locations. Flying J offers awesome amenities for travelers and truckers with showers, laundromat, game room, TV lounge, and food, but their gas is on the higher scale, about $2.75.
The absolute best rest areas off 35 South are Safety Rest Areas by the Texas DOT. I stopped at one in Hillsboro and in Salado. Pretty landscaping, cool playgrounds, vending machines, historical features, covered picnic areas, cold A/C and they double as storm shelters. I really liked the restrooms that look like silos.
Stopped at the Jiffy Mart in Georgetown to fill up ($2.65). Traffic quadrupled even before hitting Austin. Even though the convergence added an hour to my commute, people actually seemed to give a crap about safety and even showed some courtesy, unlike Atlanta madness.
Arrived at the home of family friends, Judy and Mario, about 4:30p. Yea! Although it’s been years and years, I’d easily recognize them both anywhere and it felt wonderful to hug them. I was in love with their fantastic trees and the limbs that stretched across the yard like arms. Birds were everywhere!
Next morning, I opened front door and shared a startle with this little deer who walked, not ran, away. Seems they’re so common in the neighborhoods they’re referred to as street rats. Haha!
Happy Birthday #22 🎂 sweet Matthew. You’re in San Diego, CA working summer internship. Cheers to you and I can’t wait to hear about your Las Vegas weekend! XOXO.
Awoke Friday morning looking forward to seeing Theresa in the afternoon. Showered and ate an awesome mix of cottage cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, red seedless grapes and shredded mozzarella with tasty herbs (try it!).
Judy’s about the same age as mom and I was super impressed and motivated by her continued interest in yoga and gym time. Stretched on her yoga ball, again; must get one after the trek!
I love my new GPS! Enjoyed an uneventful drive to southern San Antonio, where I met with Theresa outside the main building at the facility. It took a double-take for me to recognize her with super long hair. She wanted to pick up some thank you cards for the staff and just hang out. Sounded great to me! We headed to IHOp (temporarily IHOb for Angus burger promotion) where we sat and talked over tea and ice-coffee (me). Believe it or not, it was too sweet for me to finish!
We ‘hopped’ from there to the Dollar Tree where Theresa found her cards and I got gum, twizzlers and bobby pins, to Goodwill where I got a shirt. I’ve missed my thrifty buying buddy for far too long; we figured out it’s been 8 years. WOW! Wonderful visit that flew by too fast. I love you, Theresa.
Spent the rest of the day and evening listening to Mario and Judy’s fantastic stories about how they met, when mom joined their lives and more. Had a tasty dinner and a few beers I hadn’t tried before that were very nice!
I’ve missed both of them and hope they’re able to visit mom in the near future. Come to find out, they’re selling this house and in the process of renovating their next, which is closer to the grands and smaller.
Saturday morning, Mario took me to downtown San Antonio to explore the River Walk. It was my first time back in more than 30 years. It was a little overcast, which I hoped would help keep the air cooler. It had been hot and muggy.
Parking seemed to be a challenge downtown; very grateful Mario knows it so well! We parked in the garage on the 3rd floor, across from the Marriott, used the prehistoric elevator (so slow) and headed to the River, not far from the Alamo entrance.
The overcast sky and breeze helped immensely, which made the day even better! Here are a few of the 200+ photos taken, starting at the entrance where these gentlemen were representing the Alamo and the ivy cascaded like a waterfall.
I’m standing next to the statue of St. Anthony of Padua, with the inscription: “San Antonio—For Whom the City and the River Are Named—Gift of Portugal.” The city was named after Saint Anthony in 1691. Another statue of this patron saint of miracles stands in front of San Fernando Cathedral downtown.
We swung into one of the gift shops where I picked up a few postcards and a magnetic Mariachi bottle opener. The woman kept trying to sell me a doll I considered getting for Lila, which turned me off of it after a few minutes. Ha!
Enjoyed a wonderful lunch at Maria Mia Bistro. I had the veggie quesadillas with fresh pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream and lettuce, while Mario had loaded brisket nachos (both wonderful!). Couldn’t have asked for a better place or companion, although we both agreed it’d be even better if Judy and mom were with us. The tables were beautiful, with bright glass mosaics of butterfly, flower and bird designs. A two-legged, feathered friend joined, patiently waiting for droppings.
The Mariachi band added a brilliant touch of music to the day. Loved the food cart with server mixing fresh guacamole on the spot. Passing Dirty Nelly’s brought back awesome memories when mom took me there eons ago; Mariachi band and pianist entertained us.
Mario explained the system created to deter flood water, from city streets to the River. Even rocks along the River Walk were strategically placed to support the process. Ivy, trees and a well feature provide natural concealers and decor around many pipes.
We walked a long way, then popped upstairs to the street level. We took our time in the ice cream shop to cool off in their a/c and get something cold; the soda was his. Ha!
We definitely walked off our lunch. Back to the car and Mario was my guide as we drove through and around downtown, pointing out buildings and places he’d worked. Lots of progress happening with new builds and old ones that are incredible. Although the city was cool, I especially liked the older areas. Lots of character and art, murals and graffiti.
I took a nap almost immediately at the house. Mario wore me out! To top the day off, we went to Thalia’s home, who I hadn’t seen since we were young. Of her three children, only her youngest, 4-year-old Nora, was home and she stuck to Mario. He’s an amazing granddad! . They ordered Thai, which was delicious. Judy, Thalia and I hung out a bit on the back patio, drinking, smoking and talking.