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.
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!
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!
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:
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.
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!
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:
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!