Hot Love Affair

I’m feeling a bit scattered these days… must be the heat, it’s in the 100’s down here. Continue reading

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Fiesta Time!

 

Jim Hogg Park, TX

The last two weeks have been so bright, warm, and vibrant that it felt like we’d skipped spring and gone directly to summer! Both yesterday and today it’s drizzly and grey. We are in a Corps of Engineers Park north of Austin, TX. The park is always relatively empty during the week, so for now, it’s just us and the critters.

It’s a perfect day to stay indoors and edit all of the photos I’ve taken over the last month, and share my photos from last week in San Antonio. We have lived 80 miles up the road, and I can probably count the number of times I’ve been here in the last forty years. And it was always going to the same few tourist spots. This time we found a wonderful RV park just minutes south of downtown San Antonio: Travelers World,  on Roosevelt Avenue. I won’t lie, as we drove in, we were skeptical… it didn’t seem to be in a good part of town. However, it turned out to be a GREAT park in a very convenient  part of town!

Mission San Jose

One of our favorite restaurants, Rosario’s,  was only a few minute’s drive away. We had the best frozen margaritas we’ve had in ages, around the corner from there at Tito’s, a small, neighborhood restaurant. The Mission San Jose is just down Roosevelt Ave. as is the Charro Ranch, home to the charreada, or Mexican rodeo, which was happening that weekend since it was Fiesta. We attended with some new friends we’d made while at Tito’s, Taylor and Linda, who were going the next day and kindly invited us.

Sebastian

Escorting una charra- cowgirl

The pledge of allegiance.

If you don’t want the bother of driving, the bus stop is directly across the road from the RV park to take you downtown, and even connects to take you all the way up to the Historic Pearl District, then drops you right in front of the RV park when you return. Silly us, we drove into town, and paid for parking.

We bought “Museum Reach” tickets for the riverboat ride that takes you up through the locks, amidst old and new architecture, alongside banks covered in Star Jasmine so intoxicating I thought I was in Heaven.

Waterfowl at Pearl

The ride ends at a lovely pond with a waterfall and a very short stroll to the Pearl Brewery District. Our first stop was the Hotel Emma which had been highly recommended by Brenda Coffee of 1010ParkPlace.com.  (We’d met her “girls,” two spirited pups that I’ve heard so much about, then had a delicious, and informative, lunch with her a couple of days earlier). Upon entering its doors, I became certain I was in Heaven!

Lobby, Hotel Emma

Lounge bar in Hotel Emma

While there were other people here, too, I was careful not to include them. The crowd that afternoon was mostly well-dressed business people. In the background, notice the big tanks; there were a few of them, each converted to private rooms that could hold four people for more intimate visiting. They were all occupied… next time.  The architects used as much of the brewery’s features as they could, making for a wonderful place to explore for hours. The manager told us they could even provide a safe place for our motorhome if we wanted to spend the night there… they’ve done it for musician’s tour buses. I’m picturing a giant bathtub, bubbles galore, and a glass of sparkling wine.  That would be a very special occasion, indeed!

XO Donna

Wanting a Warmer Winter

Location: Jim Hogg Park, Georgetown, TX

It’s Groundhog Day, and I doubt Phil will see his shadow today, especially based upon looking out my own window! As you know, the last couple of months have been cold, cold, cold everywhere, even down here in Texas. We actually had snow all the way down to the coast! 

We had an invitation for New Year’s Eve, in Madrid, NM, and although we wanted to see our friends, we didn’t want to be that cold and have to deal with water-lines and holding tanks in freezing weather. As it turns out, it was warmer and sunnier in Santa Fe than here in the Heart O’Texas, so we headed out for a good time.

We stayed at our favorite park, Santa Fe Skies, and pretty much had the place to ourselves, which was an interesting experience. From there, it is a short drive to the art community of Madrid, where our friends live. The town was beautifully decorated, and their annual Christmas Parade had been featured on national news! The New Year’s Party was held at The Mine Shaft, and it may have been one of my most memorable NYE parties, EVER. I am sorry that I didn’t take any photos!

While in Santa Fe we went to Paloma Restaurant. Twice. It was that good. I immediately fell in love with the bar… which is simple and chic, but the luscious cocktails, delectable food, and excellent service, along with a sexy and mature clientele, made us want to linger all night.

I also got to enjoy some girlfriend time browsing antique shops. I found the perfect sofa, and a rustic coffee table to go with it… alas, I have no place to use either!

After browsing, we had lunch at Bodega Prime, a delightful farm-to-table organic restaurant. The food was exceptional… but the highlight to my meal was the Golden Milk Latte. As close to Heaven in a cup as I’ve ever had! The restaurant is tucked away just across the road from El Rey Inn on Cerrillos. We used to stay there whenever we came to Santa Fe. It’s a sweet hotel with a rich history, and I miss it.

I was reluctant to leave Santa Fe, I always am, but it was about to get really, really cold, so we made plans and headed southwest to Silver City, NM, a small eclectic town with a very interesting history, and some lovely architecture. A deep ditch caused by floodwaters in 1895 split the town in half, but a beautification project has made downtown a great place for an afternoon stroll and a step back in time. 

 

 

 

It took me a minute to remember the name of the RV park where we stayed… andthat’s ironic because Rose Valley RV Ranch is on Memory Lane! It’s a large wooded park right off the main highway. It’s set on a quiet old ranch, and bordered on one side by a cemetery. I love walking in cemeteries, and there were headstones dating back to the 1880’s! Each time we walked we saw a covey of quail as they bunched together and made their rounds, lots of bunnies, and a pair of spectacular jack rabbits. There were ancient buckboards, hay-cutters, plows and other farm equipment, all originally pulled behind mules, placed throughout the ranch. Turk explained what most were and how they worked, but there were a few that stumped even him.

Our friends told us to be sure and eat at Cafe 1ZERO6 – a restaurant they enjoyed when they were last here. I made reservations as we drove into town, we selected our dinners (they have a set menu, and shop fresh daily for it) and looked forward to the next night. It was amazing… we were treated like honored guests by Jeff, our host (although the term doesn’t do justice to the way he took care of us). And we got to speak to Jake, the owner/chef, at the end of our meal. We never expected an award-winning restaurant in such an out of the way place, and I’m grateful we had that experience, because Jake has decided to retire and is closing the restaurant next month. We wish them both great luck wherever their adventures take them!

To be continued in Bisbee, AZ, next time.
XO Donna

What a Year

Location: La Hacienda RV Resort, Austin, TX

03408500-E879-45BD-8E3E-F1A53632762DIt has been both the best of times, and the worst of times this year. We’ve traveled to some wonderful, and new-to-us places. We’ve spent time at places we love. I got to travel alone and have a crazy girls-week with my dear sisters. And almost all of our trips have been spent beside lakes and rivers… which for a pair of Water Signs is a pretty big deal, I’ll tell ya!

We’ve spent time with very dear friends whom we don’t get to see nearly enough to satisfy us. We have met some very nice couples as we’ve traveled, become friendly with great park hosts and crew… even went so far as applying for a job in Durango, which we didn’t get. Maybe next time!

But, even while we are out having adventures, life rolls along the way it always does. We lost some very dear friends this year: Michele, Dennis, and Kim all left this beautiful blue marble way too early, to go on the Ultimate Adventure.

My son has been ill, so we have stayed here in a “home-base” park for the last three months to help him. He’s feeling better, and now I am enjoying catching up with friends. I’m sure you’ve noticed that my writing schedule has been all messed up, but I’m certain you understand, right?

On the plus-side, we have worked out our wi-fi connectivity issues, and done both some preventive maintenance and repairs on the coach that would have been very challenging if we’d been elsewhere.

Lots of people told me they dream of “running away,” thinking that’s what we are doing… but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I believe that we are more fully and intimately engaged in Life. And we are even more determined to spend as much one-on-one time with the people we love as possible.

Wishing you all a wondrous Holiday Season… and a Happy, Healthy, New Year.

XO Donna