Inaugural Retirement trip – Part 8 – The Set-up and dipping our toes in the Fiesta water
So many things, including RV trips, local adventures, and normal life back at home, have kept me from finishing this series with the final tale of the whole reason for our trip: Our visit to San Antonio and the place that our adventures as a couple began 20 years ago!
If you missed the previous posts about our Texas journey, the first trip since our retirement in March, you can go back to the beginning here. There are links at the end of each post to the next.
Just a little back story. In 1984, 20-something me moved to San Antonio in a career move, to work for Southwestern Bell, and then USAA, as a telecom specialist. I didn’t know a soul and began to make friends through work and volunteering. Over the 10+ years that I lived in San Antonio, many of those friends became more like family. In late 1994, along comes Jerry, first as an acquaintance, then a soul mate. A few short months of dating and he left San Antonio to return to Atlanta with his company. Even at that point, we knew we would be together; 6 months later, I too moved to Atlanta. Over the past 20 years, we have returned to Texas a number of times, for casual visits, and for milestone events for our friends. We love the state, and especially, our Texas family. You will meet several of them in this post. ❤
In the last post, we had completed several days of wonderful riding and adventures in the Hill Country and spent a lovely evening with a long-time friend and her family. We were rested, and ready to take on the 11-day party that is known in San Antonio simply as Fiesta. Fiesta has a very special meaning to Jerry and me as a couple. Although we knew each other for a year or so prior, Fiesta 1995 was the official start of our relationship, when we ran into each other at the German Beer hall, AKA Sauerkraut Bend, at Night in Old San Antonio or NIOSA. We are so grateful for that chance meeting, and the resulting 20 years of happiness it has provided, so far. We were ready to experience the joys of Fiesta again with friends both old and new.
We arrived in San Antonio on a rainy Friday in mid-April, to let ourselves into the home of our dear friend and hostess Dorcas, as she was still at work. Seriously, Dorcas is my sister from another mother, and we both cherish the time we are able to share, whether in TX or in GA. She had left us a packet in a secret location, with keys and a little note of welcome. So, I took the keys, went into the house, opened the garage, and we proceeded to strip off wet rain and protective gear and start to unpack the motorcycles in the garage. We were in the house for maybe 30 minutes when there was a knock at the door. Hmm…we were not expecting anyone except Dorcas, and surely she wouldn’t knock…
Well, it was two of San Antonio’s finest officers, with an audience of neighbors in the street, who apparently had reported two men on motorcycles breaking into Dorcas’ garage! LOL, I got the note, the keys, my ID, Jerry and his ID, but still, they were not convinced. I finally had to call Dorcas at work to speak to the officers on the phone and convince them that we were, indeed, her invited guests!!! Starting out the visit with a bang. 🙂
A special treat for this trip was the arrival this same day of our dear friends from home Pam and Eric, who joined us to experience San Antonio with current (Dorcas) and former (us) residents. See the city through the eyes of the locals, right?
Anyway, that evening, volatile weather forced us to cancel our plans to attend Alamo Heights Night, the first in a long series of outdoor evening Fiesta events and move the party indoors. We chose La Fonda on Main as the meeting place, well, because of margaritas and Mexican food, of course! Special friends Libbey, Melissa and John joined Dorcas, Pam, Eric, Jerry and me to have a rollicking good time at La Fonda, and at a couple other places in the old Pearl Brewery complex…because we were having too much fun to go home! We reminisced, shared more recent updates and laughed until our sides hurt. Is there a better way to spend an evening?
Above from left: Me, Libbey, Jerry, John, Eric, Pam, and Dorcas. Photo credit to Melissa.
Above from left: Jerry, Melissa, me, Dorcas. Photo credit to Melissa.
The next day dawned overcast, but in south Texas, that can be a blessing. We made our way downtown to one of the more touristy areas, El Mercado, or the Market. We enjoyed browsing the colorful art and clothing, listened to some music, and then headed over to La Margarita, a San Antonio restaurant tradition for 65 years. Besides, we hadn’t had a margarita since…last night! 😉
We enjoyed a lovely meal and great margaritas, and thus fortified, headed to the San Antonio Riverwalk, probably the second most famous landmark after the Alamo, to enjoy a river cruise. Again, a touristy thing to do, but oh so much fun and a really relaxing way to see the sights of downtown. A few pics from that cruise.
We rounded out our Saturday with another official Fiesta event, the Taste of New Orleans, which runs the first three days of Fiesta, and features the food and music of the finest city in the Delta. The overcast skies kept the heat down, and a nice breeze wafted through the historic open-air amphitheater known as the Sunken Garden Theater. It’s worth a visit even if it’s not Fiesta.
As I note the very wordy word count, I will break for now, and come back refreshed to share the next installment shortly. Thanks for following along!
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