December 12-17, 2018
San Antonio, Texas
Several weeks ago our good friend Kelly (bkamericanodyssy.com) reaches out to let me know they're in the hill country north of San Antonia this week. Of course we don't hesitate to make arrangements to meet. They're staying on friends' property while Bill works in the area making more RV'ers' solar dreams come true.
Wednesday we explore a long loop to end up at their place for dinner (score!). It's a cloudy day, but it's warmer and the winds hold off until the next day.
|The Guadalupe River is beautiful. It's so nice to be back where river water isn't brown :-)|
|Hanging over the highway.|
|Interesting rock shelves along the river.|
The first year we were on the road we met several RV Dreamers in Quartzsite - Cori and Greg were one of those couples. And their place is where we're having dinner! Definitely nice to have this time to get to know them better - their property is a little piece of heaven. We also meet new friends Jason and Brandy who are in between jobs at disaster areas.
|Like blue water, we're happy to see cool rocks again :-)|
It's a great evening!!
|Jason, Brandy, Kelly, Bill (and Hobie), Cori, Greg and Bill enjoying a perfect fire with great weather and cold brews. Life is good.|
|Hobie only has eyes for Bill (Kelly's Bill).|
As anticipated, the high winds arrive on Thursday. A perfect day for going to the movies. We both enjoy Fantastic Beasts - Crimes of Grindelwalde although for a new theater with a full bar, the seats are very uncomfortable.
|Love these wonderful friends - thanks Bill and Kelly for a fun evening.|
It's light when we get home, and we don't notice that the power is out. So we're using power like we have it :-) When the lights and TV go out we finally notice the whole park is dark - and our dead batteries tell us the rest of the story.
One thing I always do is make sure we have over 1/4 tank of fuel, just in case we lose power (it's never happened) and have to run the generator. Except.....yep, except this drive when I didn't want to hassle with a fuel stop. Of course.
We read then go to bed. All the utility trucks show up and get the repairs done before midnight. The whole next day the tree trimming crews are clearing away branches from the power lines. Prevention after the fact - like filling up with fuel when we leave :-))
Not Bill's thing, I want to visit the missions. It's still windy and cold under mostly blue skies, so not many others have the same idea. Nice.
|Mission San Jose is the largest, and most fully restored of the four missions.|
|Shapes and layers add to the character.|
|Restored in the 1930's by Works Project Administration.|
|Part of the two story living quarters.|
|Vestibule off the front doors.|
One of the best videos I've seen is shown in a large theater at the visitor center. It is a unique perspective told by both a historian and descendants of the Indians who lived here. Many of the hunter/gatherer tribes came here seeking protection from hostile raiding tribes and exposure to small pox by increasing European settlers. They gave up their freedom, their culture, their language, and their names. Still, there is a sense of pride in these beautiful missions by the families of those who built them. The reality of slave-like conditions, the many deaths by the small pox that found them here, and the sometimes cruel treatment is not covered up, but it is only part of the story. I strongly recommend seeing the film as your first stop.
|Mass is held every week at each of the missions.|
|I feel so grown up in these short doorways :-)|
|Mission Conception is the oldest un-restored stone church in America. It is also surrounded by commercial and residential growth.|
|One step inside and you can feel the history.|
|Original fresco paintings throughout the church.|
|Stunning in its simplicity.|
|Mission San Juan has no interior access, but the grounds are beautiful.|
|Mission grounds were fortified, with some areas looking more military than sanctuary.|
|Mission Espada, established in 1690, was the first mission in Texas, and is also my favorite. I love the keyhole door.|
|Franciscans still live on site in rooms along this pretty walkway.|
|The peaceful grounds hold stories in the old trees and bricks.|
|No colors on the walls or windows, the church still feels warm. I light a candle for tolerance.|
|A small interpretive center holds artifacts and photos from a different time.|
|Just outside the grounds is the 18th century Espada Aqueduct, still moving water from the San Antonio River to the gardens at the mission.|
Other than a quick trip to the vet for Tessa's vaccination, and a mediocre brunch, we spend a lazy weekend at home.
|The River Walk is never far from anywhere I go - these raw sculptures catch my eye on the way home.|
In California the grandsons are embracing the holidays. We miss them so much - even more this time of year.
Holiday Blessings to you and yours - may all our words and actions begin with kindness.