lady_kishiria: (Toast)
We made the one-hour drive to Fredericksburg, TX yesterday. Fredericksburg was founded by German immigrants (lots of Germans in TX) and if you drive down Main Street it's kind of stuck in the 50s. Cute touristy boutiques or not, there's a very mid-20th century vibe that makes me think it's probably a great place to raise kids until they're teenagers. We were lured (okay, I was lured) by the prospect of wineries. The one place we went to was an obvious trap for rich posers. They didn't even have a restaurant. As Steve used the toilet, I heard a mom grousing to her adult daughter that she was having a hard time deciding what toenail polish to wear to a wedding. Alex, I'd like First World Problems for $5,000, and oh look, it's the Daily Double!

So we left. We ended up at Sonic. My one experience at the Sonic in Irvine, CA had been horrible, but this was a complete 180. Service was fast. Steve proclaimed the Frito Pie to be what they serve in Heaven for dinner, and worth drives out to Santee. I had a small tater tots with chili and cheese, which was nommy because I loves me my tater tots. I also became a big fan of the cherry limeade; I definitely see what the big deal is.

After that we went to the Museum of the Pacific War. Admiral Nimitz was from Fredericksburg, which is why the museum is here and landlocked. We were there for about two and a half hours; my feet and back were sore by the end. The museum is compact and designed chronologically, to take you from the 19th century roots of the conflict in China and Japan through to the surrender of the Japanese. It has more facts packed in than any museum I've ever visited and is very emotionally hard-hitting. For Steve it was very poignant because it reminded him of his dad, who had been in the war in the Aleutians.

By the way, if you're in the military, check out http://www.bluestarfam.com . There is a list of museums free until Labor Day there. Steve and I did not have to pay to get into this museum and it turns out that all the Balboa Park museums are the same.

After that, we went down Main Street on a recommendation that we go to Clearwater Ice Cream. This is (again) a 1950s place famous for its ice cream and shakes. Steve had peach ice cream--this peach country--and I had a crocodile, which is puff pastry layered with pecans and brown sugar. Clearwater deserves its reputation.

After that we headed on home, got a couple of glasses of beer and wine and went up to reheat leftover pasta we'd ordered the night before from Pizza Hut.

Quiet day today. Steve has a business meeting (he brought his suit, yes) and I'm going to work out. We'll do something in the afternoon.

The Alamo

Jun. 28th, 2011 09:14 pm
lady_kishiria: (Default)
Steve and I started the day by driving up to Six Flags/Texas Fiesta. We paid $15 to park, went to the window and found out that there was no military discount as we'd been told. We didn't want to fork out $110 for an amusement park, so we headed south to the Alamo. Parking there was $5 and we made a day of it.

I introduced Steve to the gigantic 100+ year old oak tree in the courtyard. We looked at a few exhibits in the museum, then went into the shrine itself which I had not seen when I was last in San Antonio. It looks much like every Mexican church I've ever visited, with a flagstone floor and side chapels now dedicated to the battle fought there. On the list of dead, I pointed out that there was one Dane, by the name of Zanco. Not a common name at all and I know nothing about him.

Interestingly, the Federal Building across the street was built in order to remind Texans that Alamo or not, they were now part of the US. We went in because it's where the Bankruptcy Court is, and indeed, 341 hearings were in session. Steve decided he didn't want to slip into the bank and hear any because he was wearing a King Stahlman Bail Bonds t-shirt and shorts, plus he didn't want to work on vacation.

After that we did the good tourist thing and went down to the Riverwalk. After strolling along for a bit, we found boat tours on the river and decided to take one. It's been a longstanding wish of mine to ride in a Ventian gondola or a Mexican chalupa (flower boat) with Steve. This didn't exactly fit the bill, but it was entertaining and we got to see a lot of downtown from the viewpoint of the river.

Finally, I steered Steve over to Hemisfair Park, which was built for a 1968 American fair. (Or it was in celebration of Steve's birth, take your pick.) As soon as Steve saw the Tower of the Americas, which is like Seattle's Space Needle more than the CN Tower, he had to visit. So we went up to the Chart House, which is the restaurant up there, and ordered Arnold Palmers (ice tea and lemonade) and appetizers. They were well-done and reasonably priced. I had a pear and bleue cheese salad with candied pecans and Steve ordered a raw tuna appetizer and cold spring rolls with lobster and crab. The rolls were okay, but the chef hadn't soaked the rice paper long enough so the wrapping was stiff and chewy. The salad was delicious.

Our waitress, however, said I looked like her mother. She assured me that her mother was very beautiful. Still, this is the first time I've been reminded that I'm middle-aged. Anyway, turns out Mom is a realtor, so I gave our server Steve's and my cards and we'll e-mail.

Home again, home again, and I had the best laundry day EVER because I sat in the lounge during happy hour while I washed our clothes in the guest laundry on the same floor. I'm now showered and Steve and I are having Pizza Hut delivery pasta and watching our living room TV (as opposed to our bedroom TV.)
lady_kishiria: (Default)
...visited Steve's family in La Mesa, AZ. They have a hairless dog, which feels really weird, like a warm leather couch or something.

...Bought a piece of petrified wood! I've been wanting one for years!

...drove across New Mexico. We didn't buy souvenirs in Roswell, NM but the Roswell Credit Union has a flying saucer as their logo, and over and over you find aliens used as the mascot of the town.

...Had adobo and brisket burritos as lunch in Pecos. The Fire Department was making and selling them as fundraisers outside the Wal-Mart, where we'd gone to use the toilet.

We are now in our suite at the Embassy Suites in San Antonio and looking forward to exploring the town and meeting with old friends while making new ones.
lady_kishiria: (Default)
We're in Mesa, AZ. Apologies to anyone who hoped to see me; family visitation took up the entire day.

We arrived last night, having departed San Diego a day earlier than originally planned. Because of this, we stopped at the house of yet another Steve M. Negativsteve, as he's known, has been friends with [profile] americanstd for around 30 years. He owns a townhouse style condo, but he's also single and lives by himself. This meant Steve and I slept on a carpeted floor beside a bathroom that sported a shower with only a trickle of cold water, a sink that leaked into the floor below and a toilet that mercifully worked. Many laughs were had, but the next day Steve and I checked into a Best Western so we could take showers and catch a nap, which we did.

We've spent the rest of the day with Steve's extended family. After starting the day with a massive breakfast at Cracker Barrell (they now have a multigrain/granola pancake that I endorse heartily)we went on to have two more large meals with the family. NOT what I'd planned foodwise, but oh well. Steve had brought a lot of mementos from his parents, all of which said family members were pleased to receive. They've moved into a different house which is now full of antiques from both wife's and husband's family. Since we have a very simple set-up in our place, the knicknacks and pieces of jewelry have reached a good home.

It's hot, but my time in Kuwait has immunized me against anything under 120 degrees F. Plus it's a dry heat, and yes, that does make a difference.

Off to Albuquerque tomorrow to visit Ryan's parents.

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