2021 Autumn Leg 3: San Antonio and Home to Florida

2021 11/21-11/23 San Antonio

We drove from South Lladro to San Antonio where we had a short and enjoyable stay, camping at the Mission River RV Park, a fitting name for a campground near the Alamo, one of the original missions to Texas before it was Texas. After Stu had Winnie all hooked up, we had a short drive to capture a setting sun image of the Tower of the Americas, a place we know as the Space Needle. The structure, 7500 feet high, reaches far above the San Antonio Convention Center and the  Alamodome.

photo of tower of americas

The Convention Center is a fairly ordinary big space designed without apparent imagination to hold large gatherings. The Alamodome is an interesting building with a cable suspension system similar to the Golden Gate Bridge designed to hold up the roof without any supporting internal columns. This gives every seat an unobstructed view of the sports and concert activities conducted in the building and provides an interesting image to us tourists interested in photography. If it had been twenty years ago, this would have used two rolls of film.

photo of Alamodome

We took a short drive from the Space Needle to the San Antonio Riverwalk,  an engineering achievement constructed below grade level in the downtown  area. Our search for the ideal Tex-Mex (“The “Original Mexican Restaurant”) was cut short and we retreated from our foot search to a Yelp search that led us to the Cuishe Mexican Restaurant and the very, very best Chicken Enchiladas Mole Stu has ever tasted. The soft tender chicken was rolled gently in fresh enchilada shells and smothered in a sauce made of rich chocolate with none of the fatty sugar taste that spoils the usual Mole sauce. The dinner was served steaming hot in a cast pan and smelled as good as it looked.

photo of our dinner

Joan had a tasty crisp Cesar Ensalada covered with chicken shredded with Parmesan cheese, with just the right amount of dressing. It was a nice meal, especially so after they moved us from a rapidly cooling outside patio into a warm and invited dining area.

The next day we began at the local laundromat, using 5 machines for our clothes and bedding. Then we drove downtown, back to the Tower of the Americas, for lunch at the Chart House restaurant, a slowly-revolving restaurant near the top of the tower. We had a fine lunch as the building revolved. We viewed the city from an eagle eye height while Stu enjoyed an appetizer of  shrimp beignets balanced by a simple salad for his main dish. Joan had a fabulous cedar planked salmon with every imaginable vegetable including avocado in the ample hash-like sauce for the salmon. It was so good, we finished it all with none to take home for a later meal. After lunch we visited the Observation Deck at the top of the Tower, for a good birds-eye view of the city.

daytime photos of tower of americas

Next we took an unremarkable Hop On tour of the city, with its only exciting feature being the driving, as Kathy, the driver/narrator, navigated the narrow streets and low hanging branches that threatened to remove the heads of the second floor passengers.

hop on photos

We hopped off the hop-on and returned to the River Walk, managing to get a rare ticket to the River Walk boat cruise for an enjoyable tour of the beautiful old buildings and amazing engineering.

photo of riverwalk cruise

2021 11/23 – 11/25 Houston

Houston is a large, sprawling city with different flavors in different areas. Stu lived in Houston for several years  in the 1990’s and nearly never went to the downtown area we visited during this leg of our trip back to Florida.

We arrived late afternoon and set up Winnie at the South Main RV Park, just on the edge of downtown. The skyline was impressive when we could see it over the rows of similar RVs and barbed-wire fences.

photo of campground and barbed wire

Immediately after setting up, we departed for Hermann Park, the largest Houston Park, located just down the road. Hermann Park is impressive. We walked a portion of the park and past the Japanese Gardens, a prime site for our next visit. We walked the length of the Houston version of the DC reflecting pool toward the Zoo area. By then, darkness was approaching and we had to choose between the Zoo light show later in the evening or the Hermann Choo Choo that was just boarding. We chose the train and reserved the zoo for our second day.

train photos?

The train ride in the dark and cold was interesting but lacked narration and lights so we saw only part of the sights. The trip was followed by a walk in the dark and cold back to the car and nearly empty parking lot. We had dinner near the zoo with the high point (for Stu) being the hot tea with honey.

photos of Cosmo restaurant

The next day was much better. We had a full day in the Houston Zoo and took  only one of several trails through the animal exhibits. Stu’s favorite was the monkeys. Watching them play on the ropes and trees in their enclosure reminded him of living near woods as a kid and building tree houses. He also enjoyed the giraffes, being impressed that their long necks are basically the same construction as our shorter necks and use many of the same parts. Is this parallel evolution or did the giraffe committee just go to the same parts bin and take the neck parts and stretch them to fit the overall giraffe design?

photos of zoo animals

2021 11/25 – 11/26 Lafayette, La

Thanksgiving was in the rain. We drove to a nice KOA in Lafayette, LA and had a shaded spot near the lake to enjoy Thanksgiving in the trailer and the end of a full day of heavy rain.

Joan seasoned the largest chicken that would fit on our grill and Stu prepared a perfect large chicken with fresh grilled corn to enjoy with our salad for dinner.

photo of chicken dinner?

The rain stopped long enough for a walk around the grounds and started again just as we considered a round of miniature golf.

2021 11/26 Baton Rouge

On our way to New Orleans (NOLA) we saw a beautiful building and had to look more closely. It turned out to be the Old State Capitol Building of Baton Rouge, and it didn’t disappoint.

images of state capitol building

After viewing the building inside and out, we walked down to the levy along the Mississippi River and enjoyed the sights.

photos at the levy

Then it was time to continue our drive to NOLA>

2021 11/26 – 11/28 Faubourg Brewing in New Orleans

 

 

2021 12/02 Lunch with Glenns and Sebastian Inlet

Frigate’s

Sebastian Inlet