Tuesday, July 23, 2013

May 2013

Saturday, May 4th.  My 65th birthday.  The kids had all planned to be in San Antonio to celebrate with me, but they were called to Alpine on an emergency mission of mercy for their father.  He had fallen and broken a hip. Frosty was out of town on business.  Not to be discouraged.  Stanley and I set out on a little Farmer's Market adventure.

The Farmer's Market in San Antonio is located in the old Pearl Brewery.  Many of the buildings have been transformed into high end condos; others into restaurants and shops.  We chose the old Boiler House for brunch.  Lamb hash with mimosas.  Yum!

At the market, we bought a little bit of everything:  chard, potatoes, carrots, beets, lettuce, tomatoes, onions. We lugged a huge bag of produce to the car, stowed it away, and went walking.

The river walk was lovely, the day cool, and the pathways totally uncrowded.  I don't know where every one was, but they missed a great day on the river.

It was such a beautiful day, the sunfish were swimming in the air.

And the turtles were trying to crawl out of their shells.

A bridge across the river took us right to the San Antonio Museum of Art.  

The art museum was wonderful.  With displays running from Egyptian to Roman to pre-Hispanic America; from altar paintings to contemporary sculpture, there was something for everyone.This is one of my favorite shots.  I love the poem.

Back we went.  Past fountains, ponds, and rock walls.  It was all beautiful, but we needed to rescue our vegetables.  To expedite things, we took the boat for the last part of the trip.  

Back at the house, Jill had called Janet and Zac to join us for supper.  She made a small roast pork and the three of us gals divided up the vegetables for preparation.  As you can see, we had a feast fit for any 65 year old queen.  Happy Birthday to ME!

A couple of days later, we flew off to Chicago, rented a car at the airport and drove to Galena.  I do love this part of the world.  In fact, I usually spend a great part of my time there trying to work out how we could spend more time there.  I believe that most foreigners have an image in their minds of what America looks like. For most of them, it is this scene of rolling hills, fields, and blue sky.

The next day, we went to the timber, a small parcel of land that was attached to Stanley's family farm.  The farm was sold several years ago, but Stanley retained the timber.  We go there almost every year, supposedly to mushroom hunt.  Actually, we just like tromping through the trees.

Of all the trips we've made to the timber, this was the most pleasant.  The weather was perfect.  The ground was not knee deep in mud, the weeds hadn't covered the forest floor.  It was an idyllic day.  We found all kinds of wild flowers and the trees were in bloom.

We found a bouquet of feathers.

We found several different kinds of fungi.  But alas . . . no morels!

Too soon, it was time to leave.  

That afternoon, we had a remarkable visit with Ruby.  She is incredible.  

Later we drove to Rockton to have dinner with one of my favorite people, Martha Kaiser.

The next day, we drove to Chicago, turned in the rental car, mailed off a package of stuff I had collected in Galena, and made our train with 20 minutes to spare.  In all the rush, I left my camera in the rental car.  The remainder of our trip was made cameraless.  Oh, well!  Note to self:  Look in ALL the nooks and crannies before returning a rental car.  

The train took us to Flagstaff, AZ.  
The purpose was to celebrate Sean's graduation of college with his mother and stepfather.  We had a grand time exploring Flagstaff, Sedona, and all the area in between.  The graduation was like most except it didn't last as long as some I have attended.  The party later that afternoon with Sean's friends was a delight. 

Congratulations, Sean!  Well done!  We look forward to watching you change the world!

At some point in all the graduation festivities, Jesse called his mother to tell her that he was in San Diego. Being stationed in Guam, this was a real treat.  He was wondering if she could meet him in San Diego for a visit.  Unfortunately for her, her plans were more or less set in concrete and she couldn't change them on short notice.  Fortunately for us, our plans were to spend the next several days in San Diego.  We stayed at Nacho's condo in La Jolla, just a few blocks from the beach.  We were able to visit with Jesse, meet some of his friends there, enjoy the beach, and eat our way through several delicious seafood meals.  It was quite a treat.  Thank you, Nacho!

It all worked out perfectly.  We turned in the San Diego rental car the day before we were to leave.  Jesse took us to the train station and then drove himself to the airport to fly back to Guam.  Couldn't have been timed better.

The train took us to Sacramento to visit with dear friends Don and Trish.  As always we had a great time with them.  Two highlights:  One, a visit to Todd Taylor's winery, always a treat.  Two, an all too short trip to Sutter Creek.  If Sedona is Arizona's answer to Galena Illinois, then Sutter Creek must be California's.  We've already made plans to return for a longer visit including an overnight at one of the fabulous B&B's.

From Sacramento, we traveled by train to Denver.  That train trip must go through some of the most beautiful scenery in America.  At every bend of the track there is another glorious vista.  

A night in Denver and an early morning flight to San Antonio where we spent a few days with family.  Stanley had some dental work done.  He had the routine check a couple of days later.  And then back to Edinburg for a few days of decompression.  Mexico was calling.  We had been away for almost a month.  Stanley was anxious to get back and check on the grapes.  I was thinking about our little house and the winery.  Getting on the bus to return to Parras de la Fuente, we realized more than ever that this little town has become home.  We were going home!