Monday, April 24, 2017

2017 CROSS-COUNTRY ROAD TRIP - FRIDAY, APRIL 15TH, 2017

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

Odometer: 50161

Time leaving the hotel: 9.12 a.m.

Heading to the Alamo in San Antonio but first, at


10.01 a.m. we have just finished breakfast at IHOP (International House of Pancakes).  It was next door to our hotel. We met a nice young waiter called Tyler from Oklahoma.  He has been working here for four years he said.  Nice stop over, made even nicer with Tyler's friendly attitude.  

10.24 a.m. we have driven 2005 miles since leaving home.


3.05 p.m. we are now leaving San Antonio.  We saw the Alamo but could not take photos inside.  The last time I was here over 30 years ago we could.  Now there is a gift shop with all kinds of books and postcards they want you to buy.  Marketing has arrived at the Alamo.  I make no complaints if the money is used to keep this sacred place going, and there was a lot of restorative work going on inside.


There were long lines to get in there.  You waited in one long line going down one aisle, and then waited in another long line after you turned the corner at the end, and then another line around the corner.  This was certainly a busy weekend.


  
Once you were almost at the door there was another hurdle of sorts, two staff members, one taking photos and the other keeping you back until it was your turn.  You had the choice of turning it down but we bought ours at the end of the tour.  The set of photos were waiting for us in the gift shop.  


Part of the Alamo was closed off so we did not get to see every room.  There is a list of names of those who gave their lives in the siege.  I remember there being people from my part of the world and elsewhere from our last visit.  Many were from several states in the US, but there were also people from England, Ireland, Scotland, one person from Wales, two from Germany and one from Denmark.

35 years ago we were driving across country with our son and my parents.  Gregg says he remembers seeing more back then, but I don't have much recollection.  He remembers another building.  I think I was too busy with our son maybe.  My parents were really taken with the history of the Alamo.  I remember Dad knowing a lot of facts from this era.  He was always very interested in history, and yes was a big Western fan. He and Gregg's Mother had that in common.  I remember many a Saturday morning watching old western movies with my dear old Dad as a child, and then years later with my dear Mum-in-Law.


Not sure what the larger building is but this was taken from the garden in the back.


I am getting tired walking around, and am not used to this heat so early in the year.  Yes I am whining a little here, smiling too.


Anyhow, there were a lot of large shade trees back there and it went down 10 degrees. There were pretty flowers and cacti blooming.  


Prickly pear I think?  And the pollinators were busy.


The Alamo is right in the middle of the city.  Just out of the grounds in front, there was a Turkish Festival going on, with stalls set up.  We could hear singing and dancing.  


We also looked at the Turkish crafts and Turkish food.  We tried a plate from a nice lady dressed in a long robe with a scarf draped around her head.  She looked elegant and had a very quiet and friendly demeanor, with a lovely smile.  When asked what we would like we chose a potato salad, lamb with rice and a roll with toasted sesame seeds baked into the top, which we shared.  It made a very tasty meal.  My photo didn't turn out well enough to do the meal justice.



Later we looked for the Riverwalk, with no success.  We had walked a long way to find it in that heat, and when we came to a path to get down there, it was blocked off by road construction.  We would have had to retrace our steps a very long way, and decided we had just enough energy to get back to the car, which was much closer than it would have been to find another way down.  We were dissappointed but third time's a charm, we will be back here again one day and the Riverwalk will be the first place we head for.  You really have to stay in one place more than a day to see everything, and even then you need more time don't you think?  Am I justifying?  Maybe!


There were horsedrawn carriages.  We would have taken one but again there were people standing in line for each horse.  



The horses were pretty animals, the carriages were very festive, some more decorated than others.



I am having an argument with my iPhone.  She told me I was being rude, that I had said "Maple work very polite and mine - insert a very rude word here - Michael!"  It is most definitely not what I said, total jibberish. It isn't the first time she has told me I am not very polite as she translates my words into something nonsensical. But I have noticed she is getting a bit better.  Am I training her or is she training me?  I had such a hard time one day that as a joke I started talking in a John Wayne American-ish accent as we were driving along and the more Gregg laughed, of course the more I performed.  "Betta watchwhatyar saying thar Pilgrim."  No disrespect to the memory of the great John Wayne but, she translated every word perfectly.  A little bit annoying but then it had been a long day. 

Remembering our travel code from our first trip across country, Gregg has now come up with the following.


You know you have been on the road a long time…

When you start thinking of Siri as a member of the family.

When the idea of changing Siri's voice seems cruel.

When your spouse finds Siri's jokes funnier than yours.


10.56 p.m. and we are in our hotel room for the night.  We stopped early and are in midtown Austin.  When we booked in we were trying to decide what we wanted to do for dinner as we overshot the road leading to Walmart earlier.  The hotel does have a restaurant but it didn't open until 5.00 p.m.  Gregg looked on Yelp and found a Tex-Mex place just around the corner, and it had excellent reviews.  I said we should try an authentic Tex-Mex meal before we left Texas and he was happy.  I am not a fan of spicy cooking and he enjoys this style of food more than I do but hey, we are in Texas.  The restaurant, as it turned out, was a great idea.  I ordered a beef enchilada.



Gregg ordered a plate of beef tacos.  


Both meals came with rice and refried beans.  The beans we said were the best we had had in a long while, the whole meal was delicious!  We had guacamole for an appetizer and they kept bringing the tortilla chips.  We also had a Margarita that was larger than others.  It was delicious and refreshing.  



Our waiter was fun and friendly.  As you come into the door there were several very large white candles laid out not in any particular order, on an oblong wooden platform, about four feet long and a foot wide.  


The candles had been lit many times and the wax had dripped heavily, surrounding all the candles and joining them into one fun looking piece of abstract art.  


Patterns always attract me so, intrigued as to what it would be like when they were lit, I waited.  As it got darker in the restaurant a young girl who had greeted us when we arrived, lit them. Those candles looked lovely.  I went over and took several photos and when I came back the waiter was smiling at me.  I told him I thought they were a very pretty addition to their decor.  He said that they put them there for their customers' enjoyment, and he was happy I liked them.  He then said, with a very straight face, "Of course, there are other works of art on the wall, and you will see them if you look closely."  There were mirrors all over the wall and at first I was puzzled as I stared into one of them.  All I could see was myself.  I got it, I laughed out loud and said to him, "Oh you're good!!!"  He laughed too and his smile got broader.  Such a fun night.

Gregg did the laundry when we got back.  He is so good doing that and I have his dear mother to thank for it.  Between washing dishes and doing laundry I get a lot of help.  When he and his brother were very young, these were two of their chores.  I truly believe it's a nostalgia thing now as he actually enjoys it.  I am a blessed lady in more ways than one.

40 comments:

  1. I am so glad that you are having such a great time. And pretty certain that Gregg would say (and probably does say) that he is also blessed.

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    1. Thank you for that sweet statement EC.

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  2. You are having such an awesome time. Those tacos look amazing! We've never been to the Alamo. Now that I've seen your photos, I'd sure like to see it myself. It's such an important part of US history. My Siri has not being doing well lately. I find I get better answers if I look it up myself.

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    1. I am sure you will get to the Alamo one day Kay. You and Art have seen some amazing places. I end up looking on my own too, eventually :)

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  3. Lots of things went through my mind as I read this post, Denise. Curiosity re that business with the iPhone, memory stirring with the horse and carriages and the way they are decorated with flowers. and refried beans! Refried?

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    1. Yes Valerie, refried. I even saw one recipe where they were cooked in lard. It was from Bon Appetit :)

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  4. Hello, the Alamo tour look great but crowded. I like your Alamo photo, it is a nice memory of your visit. The flowers are beautiful. The food looks delicious, I love tacos. I had a laugh over Siri and John Wayne talk. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

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    1. Thank you Eileen, you enjoy your week also :)

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  5. The carriages on Riverwalk did look attractive and maybe you will ride in one on another visit, Denise. Laughed at the line about Siri although Inhardly use it, but always look things up as its usually faster. The alamo sounds like quite a tourist attraction like so many places have become, but still worthwhile to see. Yeah to Gregg on doing laundry as we well know that chore when traveling.

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  6. A million dollar work of art - you! That waiter had a sense of humor. I have never been to Texas, but our former tenant was from Houston and Dallas.

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  7. wow, your trip just by photo is amazing. love the horses pulling the different things and great selfie with the Alamo.. great shot of the two of you also... food looks delish

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  8. The Alamo sees quite small- maybe it's because it's now in the heart of a city. But very busy!

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    1. Hi William, we were surprised that first time that it was right in the middle of the city. Always thought it would be interesting to see time-lapse photos to see how the other buildings around it appeared over the years.

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  9. Such fun to travel with you two! Thanks

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    1. Thank you Cloudia and you are very welcome :)

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  10. Wow -- we stayed in San Antonio for three months the winter of i 1999-2000 and my goodness "progress" in the form of commercialization has certainly come to the Alamo. However back then they did need to do restoration/upkeep, so I guess the funds obviously go to a good cause. It was very laid-back then, but getting run down.
    Yes you do see more when you stay longer in an interesting place and that's what we liked about RVing. Yet, we still missed a lot.

    I always enjoy following your trips.

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    1. Thank you Sallie. I can see the attraction of RV'ing. Have seen a lot of them on our travels.

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  11. Denise, firstly, I love this photo of you and your mint green top! You look fantastic! Your photos are gorgeous, I feel as though I took this tour with you. The food looks great, too. I have never been to an IHoP before. There are none here in Quebec, that I know of. We do have Creperies, though, which make crepes of all kinds. Thank you so much for sharing.

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    1. Thank you for those sweet comments Linda and oh how I love crepes :)

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  12. You are so cute in your hat in the third picture! What adventures, you guys really do keep moving! I am tired just reading! Your professional Alamo picture turned out beautifully, and the flowers are gorgeous!! I think my favorite is the yellow one with the bee in the center! The bee really does look like part of the flower! I lOVE the decorated carriages being pulled by the horses!! Those are my favorites after the yellow flower picture. They are beautiful!! The restaurant Tex Mex food looks delicious and fresh.

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    1. Thank you Ginny, we are having a fun time seeing all these different places.

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  13. Hi Denise and my what a trip you are having, the Alamo looks fascinating and the history behind even if it has become more commercial over the last thirty years, where hasn't? The horse drawn carriages are so colourful, and love your bee on the flower. Have a good remainder of your trip. All the best to you both. John

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    1. Thank you John and I agree. All the best to you too, Denise

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  14. 2005 miles since leaving home ... that is a lot ... but what sights you are seeing and sharing.
    Wonderful.

    All the best Jan

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  15. enjoyed your photos, travelling vicariously!

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    1. I am glad Christine and thank you :)

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  16. I had fun reading this...the long lines at places bothers me. Seems like I never have enough time to look. I wonder if there is a time when it isn't busy? You made me hungry talking about the Tex-mex food.

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    1. Thank you Rose! I would like to know their non busy time also. It is such a popular place. Glad I got to see it again all these years later.

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  17. Gregg sounds the perfect man around the house, thankfully Nigel is much the same.
    Queuing is one thing I cannot do, My back complains the moment it finds me standing still or shuffling. Well done you made it. Another virtual fun tour for me. Thanks Diane

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    1. Thank you Diane, Gregg and Nigel must be cut from the same cloth :) I know what you mean about standing in line, my back pitched a fit that night.

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  18. Enjoyed your stop in San Antonio since I didn't have to put up with the heat to see it like you did. Thanks for taking the time to inform your readers of the lovely places you visit. It is appreciated.

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  19. I have missed out seeing/doing things often because of long lines! The Alamo as River Walk, are two places Inhope to see one day. I could kick myself for not visiting San Antonio, when I lived in Texas many eons ago.

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    1. Hi Linda, checking to see if I had missed any comments and there are a few. Sorry about that :) I know what you mean about missing places when actually living near them. It is always the way.

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  20. Replies
    1. Thanks Roy, the day I didn't wear it, I was as red as I lobster!

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