Saturday, December 22, 2018

A Rare Power Outage Doesn't Darken Our Last Days in San Antonio

December 12-17, 2018
San Antonio, Texas

Several weeks ago our good friend Kelly ( 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.

Like blue water, we're happy to see cool rocks again :-)
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. 

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).

Love these wonderful friends - thanks Bill and Kelly for a fun evening.
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.

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.

Mass is held every week at each of the missions.
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.

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.

The River Walk is never far from anywhere I go - these raw sculptures catch my eye on the way home.
Other than a quick trip to the vet for Tessa's vaccination, and a mediocre brunch, we spend a lazy weekend at 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.


  1. Oh, I'm so glad you visited the missions! Biking along the Mission Trail and stopping to see the missions was one of the highlights of our time in San Antonio. Mission Espada was my favorite, too. Love your photos, and love that you lit a candle for tolerance.
    Such sweet photos of the grandsons. :-)) Solstice Blessings to you and Bill and Tessa!

    1. We didn't get to Pearl for Lick Ice Cream so we have to go back :-)

      Hope you and Eric are having a joyous holiday in the desert - hoping to see you in the New Year.

  2. You did not mention if you use a surge protector, but glad no damage was caused by the power outage. The Missions do make an interesting window to the history of our Spanish/Mexican/Native heritage.

    1. Yes, a surge protector was a must-have before we ever plugged in so we were good. We're fortunate this was our first one! I learned a lot at the missions.

  3. Love your new header photo! We too loved the missions--visited all of them when friends from Montana came and we were staying at Lake Medina RV Resort. Merry Christmas to you all!

    1. Thanks Janna - the pic was one of those "this looks cool" finds :-)

      Merry Christmas to you and Michael and Emmi. I'll reach out when we get in your area next month!!

  4. Beautiful photos of the missions, Jodee. We visited there with Bob and Kat and really enjoyed the day. Sure wish that one was open to the public.

    1. Thanks Jim. It's wonderful that they're so different.

  5. We've never done the missions in San Antonio, that and the TX Hill Country are on the radar for the next winter we spend in TX. Nice fire with good friends, doesn't get better than that. Merry Christmas to you both.

    1. Merry Christmas to you and Dave.

      I've never done the missions in California :-), but these were really nice to see without any crowds. Fun with a camera too!

  6. Your photos and tour of the missions is wonderful. What a great day of exploring. Looks like you had the places to yourself. I'm sure it is hard being away from the grandsons on Christmas. Adorable photos:) Happy Holidays to you, Tessa, and Bill.

    1. Today and tomorrow will be tough, although we can't complain about the perfect weather and wide open spaces :-) It was great to have the missions nearly to myself. Such a peaceful day.

  7. The missions tell many stories and I'm glad they are shared. Not all history is roses. Merry Everything and Happy Always!

  8. Of course you paid no attention to the power and didn’t fill up your gas tank. Murphy paid you a visit but it seems like no harm, no foul. Love your Mission pictures especially the one of Espada with the keyhole door and triad of bells. How amazing that the aquaduct is still moving water after 300 years. Great pics of those grandsons. I know you miss them Hope your Solstice was Merry and Bright!!

    1. All did turn out fine :-) The aqueduct is in really good condition, I'm sure it's been maintained, but it's the original. Our holidays were lovely, hope your time with the kiddos was as well!

  9. How fun to have a big fire with friends. Years ago we lived in an apt with a central fire pit. many happy summertime bonfires were shared with our neighbors. Nice photos of the four missions. Christmas is passed and soon it will be 2019. Happy New Year!!

    1. Just caught this comment! We're not fans of fire pits by our rig, but it was great to enjoy this one on their property - such fun people.