Thursday, December 30, 2010


We stopped off at Threadgill's in Austin - classic Texas chow. Fun place - decorated with lots of retro neon signs rescued from businesses that had gone out of business.


Everybody enjoyed the hearty eats - I got the Thursday special - the chicken and dumplings.

Threadgills - Chicken'n Dumplin's

My father tried chicken fried steak for the first time - and enjoyed it. For you Yankees, chicken fried steak is breaded and deep-fried steak. Relax - it's not that bad. It's actually pretty good, especially when they serve it with a white gravy.

Fun place - worth stopping at if it's convenient.

Texas Capitol

We visited the Texas Capitol building in Austin today. It was Texas sized and Texas grand!

Texas Capitol

My girls got a kick out of climbing up to the 3 balconies in the rotunda.

Texas Capitol Rotunda

A shot of the state senate chamber:

Texas State Senate Chamber

Even the wrought iron fence was Texas grand:

guess what state's capitol

Beautiful building, glad to have had the chance to see it. What a gorgeous day - it was about 70 degrees on Dec 30. It almost makes up for those God-awful summer days.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

San Antonio Museum of Art

Free Tuesdays at the San Antonio Museum of Art!

Pop checking out the Grecian Urns

We took my father and S to the SAMA last night for free Tuesday - free admission on Tuesday nights from 4-9 every week. That's dad there behind the glass looking at the Grecian urns.

Cupid and Psyche

That is Psyche and Cupid - who knew Cupid was hot for Psyche? I never would have guessed. But apparently they ran together. At least that's how it's told at the San Antonio Museum of Art Roman collection. They had a very nice collection of Roman statuary, Egyptian artifacts, and Grecian pottery in their classical world wing (my name for it).

It's a modest art museum (say by comparison to the Smithsonian, which we were used to back in DC), but very nice, and the docents are friendly and passionate volunteers.

Last time we went, we explored their collection of Central and South American folk art, which I really enjoyed as well.

For free, it's a great way to spend an hour or two. Even the full price admission is quite reasonable. It's a small enough museum that it doesn't intimidate.

K and I were discussing whether it's ok to not be totally excited by every bit of artifact you see in a museum. I think yes. If you aren't a trained art historian or cultural anthropologist, I think it's natural to feel like going to a museum is a bit like work. But I think it's worthwhile work. You have to build your cultural capital - and the more you know, the more these things mean, and the less like work it feels. But the work you do in these places, the cultural capital you build, pays back in so many other parts of your life - often when you don't expect it.

I, for one, got a really big kick out of the display of coins from the ancient world. I will have to go back and get a picture of it for my lecture on money next year.

Siam Cuisine restaurant in Schertz, TX

Amazing Thai food! This burned the living beejeezus out of me. And if you know me, you know I love hot food. They have "mild, hot, and Thai hot". I just asked for the hot. I went through 2 beers and 3 glasses of water, and still had to blow my nose and wipe my forehead.

They don't have a web site, but here's the yelp review:

Monday, December 27, 2010

On the River

It's the holidays and we were blessed to have family with us to celebrate them.

Pop & Sally

That's A & S down on the Riverwalk, with one of the tour boats floating past behind them.

Val & Danesh on the Riverwalk

V & D up on one of the scenic bridges spanning the San Antonio River.

Texas Margarita!

We went to "Rita's on the River" for dinner. yes, that is a "Texas Margarita" A is drinking out of what would otherwise me a small fishpond. We got a nice discount from - $50 off a purchase over $100. (As an aside, is a really good deal - you should definitely check it out.) I'd give Rita's 3 stars for this visit. The food was good, but not great relative to, say, Garcia's. The service was slow, despite the fact that it wasn't all that busy and we came in early (5 PM). I'd say Rita's is a good place to get a beer or margarita, and munch on some chips - but if you want dinner, it's not a place to seek out (but not a place to avoid, either.)

The Alamo

We parked out behind the Alamo in a parking lot owned by the Crockett Hotel, so we had to walk back past the Alamo. I balanced the camera on a fence pole to get this night shot.

Unfortunately, when we got back to the parking lot, this is what we found:

honey, where's the GPS?

"Ah, honey, where's the GPS?" Yeah, we left it in the front window.

The night management of the Crockett showed up. The "loss prevention" guy at first told me he didn't even have a broom to lend us to sweep out the glass. Then the night manager came out and was much more solicitous, which seemed to change the tone of the loss prevention guy. Eventually a broom was produced and they both actually helped us clean up. But certainly no offer of compensation or any offer of off-setting the damage (not even a refund of the $10 parking fee).

But I have to say that the San Antonio police officer who came to write up the statement was really great. He was a young guy in his early 20's (it looked like) who was very sympathetic and even called his wife to get us the number of an auto glass company he had used recently when someone broke into his car (she didn't have the info). It's always a comfort to see that there are genuinely caring people who are drawn to public service like this young man.

So, our adventure on the river was truly an adventure, ended with a 20 mile drive in mid-30 degree weather with a window gone. Can you truly appreciate a taste that is sweet if you do not know what is bitter?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Six Flags Fiesta Texas Holiday Celebration

We surprised the girls with season tickets to Six Flags Fiesta Texas on Wednesday.

Six Flags Christmas

Everything was lit up - and then some!

Six Flags Christmas

Little K and N on the Scrambler - I think this has always been one of my favorite rides at any amusement park.

Six Flags Christmas

Little K fantasizing about eating a lollipop bigger than her...

Six Flags Christmas

S's bud K was down from Virginia visiting her dad and it was great to have them along.

you can take the soldier out of the Army...

Can you pick out the one who has 50 cal training? You know what they say, you can take the soldier out of the Army...

Six Flags Christmas

Everyone was a winner, everyone was a hero.

Good times - looking forward to more visits at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. A very clean, well run park.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Santa Claus is Coming to Town!

Santa Claus is Coming to Town!

Santa is apparently hanging out with the Cibolo Volunteer Fire Department today. Hard to believe he has the free time to come down to Texas this time of year with all the work to be done back at the North Pole.

He came rolling down the streets in our neighborhood this afternoon - handing out candy to the kids. One of the attractions of living in a small town.