Adventures in Texas – Fiesta in San Antonio – Part 2

Inaugural Retirement trip – Part 9 – Visiting and partying, Fiesta-style

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.

In the last post, I provided some background on why this trip was so meaningful to us, and gave a preview of the fun and dear friends we would enjoy during the 11-day party that is known in San Antonio as Fiesta.

A trip to San Antonio would not be complete without a visit to Gruene, a quaint historic town north of San Antonio, right on the Guadalupe River.

The cool, green, Guadalupe river

The cool, green, Guadalupe river

Our gang by the river

Our gang by the river

Day 3 was a warm day, and we enjoyed the cooler air down by the river, browsed a few shops, visited a wine tasting room, and spent a while in the shade listening to the sounds of Texas tunes at Gruene Hall, Texas’ oldest dance hall. Loretta Lynn was on the ticket for the evening performance, and the crowds were marveling over her pristine white tour bus, parked a block away!

Creepy wine tasting room mascot??? The wine was not as creepy.

Creepy wine tasting room mascot??? The wine was not as creepy.

After a long day on the road to and from Gruene, we relaxed in the most festive way possible, with frozen beverages at La Margarita!

Festive Fiesta decorations

Festive Fiesta decorations

Day 4 was Monday, and we chose a low-key way to spend our day, strolling through the grand historic homes of the King William district, and along the far southern end of the Riverwalk. King Wiliam includes Texas’ oldest historic district and holds a Fiesta event the second weekend that draws thousands. We much prefer the district all to ourselves, so we can dream! I took about 8,767,577 pictures, but I will just share a few here:

Fiesta decorations, Texas style!

Fiesta decorations, Texas style!

A festive bungalow

A festive bungalow

Our future home...in our dreams! Look at that garage ;-)

Our future home…in our dreams! Look at that garage 😉

Dorcas' future home, right across the street from ours!

Dorcas’ future home, right across the street from ours!

Now that's an addition!

Now that’s an addition!

Fiesta ready!

Fiesta ready!

A view from the riverwalk

A view from the riverwalk

A group text that afternoon cemented plans for a casual dinner al fresco at the home of macho burgers, ice cold longnecks, and (you guessed it) yummy frozen margaritas, Chris Madrid’s. Dear friends came from far and wide, and a wonderful time was had by all! Again, we made our sides ache laughing and sharing adventures both recent and slightly faded.

Clockwise from left: John, Illeana, Ellie, Melissa, Manuel, Wally, Jerry, me and Anita. Photo credit to Libbey

Clockwise from left: John, Illeana, Ellie, Melissa, Manuel, Wally, Jerry, me and Anita. Photo credit to Libbey

On day 5, we again ventured downtown, to “Remember the Alamo”! It was a lovely day, and we enjoyed our visit to the Alamo and surrounding grounds. Like many visitors, Pam and Eric couldn’t believe the Alamo is right in downtown San Antonio. I guess in most of our minds, the Alamo should be situated out in a desert landscape, but no, not the case!

Alamo selfie!

Alamo selfie!

Lovely cactus flowers

Lovely cactus flowers

Another tiny cactus flower

Another tiny cactus bloom

Sisters from different mothers enjoy the Alamo courtyard

Sisters from different mothers enjoy the Alamo courtyard

At 5 PM that evening, the gates opened to one of the signature Fiesta events, Night in Old San Antonio, affectionately known as NIOSA. NIOSA is a massive undertaking by 10,000+ plus volunteers, and runs 4 nights each year during Fiesta, taking over the historic downtown village on the river called La Villita. NIOSA is a conglomeration of 15 different cultures that early immigrants brought to San Antonio, and a visitor can enjoy the food, music, and sights of each all in one place. With thousands of your closest friends! Seriously, we only attend on the first night, Tuesday, as the crowds are lighter and the visitors a little less rowdy than, say on college night! 😉 But there is no lack of fun or sights, as you will see:

Cascarones are a Fiesta tradition. Egg shells, colorfully painted and filled with confetti, to crack on your friends' heads. Note my Cascarone earrings. :-)

Cascarones are a Fiesta tradition. Egg shells, colorfully painted and filled with confetti, to crack on your friends’ heads. Note my Cascarone earrings. 🙂

Big, creative hats are another Fiesta tradition!

Big, creative hats and lots of people are Fiesta traditions, too!

More hats and other festive headwear

More hats and other festive headwear

There is no shortage of unusual and spectacular sights at NIOSA

Some go further than just hats…there is no shortage of unusual and spectacular sights at NIOSA!

The 'chicken dance' being performed at the German Hall

The ‘chicken dance’ being performed en masse at the German Hall

Commemorating where it all began 20 years ago...still in love at Sauerkraut Bend!

Commemorating where it all began 20 years ago…still in love at Sauerkraut Bend!

I hope you’ve enjoyed our Texas adventures so far…I think one more installment should do it: click here to read it now.

Thanks for hanging in there!

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12 thoughts on “Adventures in Texas – Fiesta in San Antonio – Part 2

    • Thank you so much! And I do the same…binge read blog posts and catch up all at once. Which reminds me, I need to catch up on yours ASAP! 🙂

      Yes, that was one creepy animal…not sure why they would think that is a good thing! LOL

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You look terrific and having fun adventures. That critter was creepy and I always thought the Alamo was bigger. We’re leaving in 2 weeks. Can’t wait!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yep am reading your trip backwards. A few days of respite at Sayward. Sooo when we went to the Alamo and read about crossing the line gotta admit everyone in my groups said, “Hell No!” You??

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, you’re reading, so no problem! And yes, at the Alamo, same deal for us! 😀 We are having a FABulous time on our trip out west, but busy, busy, and crappy WiFi = no new blog posts! I have posted some stuff on Facebook, but I don’t think you get on there much. Look me up if you do, Lynne Miller Goebeler (I don’t have a curvyroads FB page). Cheers!

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