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San Antonio – nothing beats dumb luck and live music! by Ann Treacy
June 21, 2021, 6:42 am
Filed under: Texas

We had a couple of free days during our vacation and we spent one of them in San Antonio. Bonus! We happened to be here at the start of the Fiesta de los Reyes. Even better? Lily unknowingly booked us into the hotel directly across from the festival. So lucky! Honestly, most people parked farther than we lived. (In the pictures below, you can see Lily at the festival with the La Quinta sign in the background – that’s our hotel!)


It was so much fun. Below is a compilation of the music and dancing. There were three stages. One seemed to have a DJ with dancing. We saw a Grammy nominated singer, who was an awesome performer. (And whose name, I clearly don’t remember.)

There was also a ton of food. We had tacos, gorditas, elote and fruit. The tacos were just how I like them with limited “stuff” on them. Just meat and onions. Kate was stuck being a little hungry as there weren’t a ton of vegan options. The people watching was amazing!

We did take a break from the festival to check out the San Antonio Art Galley and the downtown River Walk. Both were great. We also tried to get food at the Pearl while on the walk. Turns out there still weren’t a ton of vegan option sand we were all getting very hangry and very hot. We did what we could and we all decided that San Antonio was a super fun town to visit Oh the other bonus, was that there was an outdoor pool. We don’t see many of those in Minnesota.

San Antonio, Houston, Beaumont to Lafayette – they can’t all be winners! by Ann Treacy
June 21, 2021, 4:32 am
Filed under: Louisiana, Texas

Today was our travel day. Today was that one day every family has on vacation – that day that just stinks. Start with I truly hate driving but I am the only one old enough to drive the rental car and the only one with more than 20 minutes experience of highways driving. But it was way better than taking a Greyhound! (No offense to Greyhound.)

We tried to get a sneak peek at The Alamo on the way out of town. Construction meant that we are unlikely to remember The Alamo. (Although fitting in that terrible line makes it almost worth it.) We headed to Houston. Too early for lunch, Lily looked up a few things we could do. The overwhelming winner was street art murals. Picture any old low end strip mall, closed and derelict. Then picture a few folks drinking bear and spraying painting all of the back of the mall. That was it. I will never look up how far much faster it would have been to bypass downtown Houston. We did listen to Southtown Girls on the way out, which also made it a little better)

So that left us in Beaumont, TX for lunch. Kate is vegan. She had a bad day trying to find food at the street festival or the bougie food mall we went to yesterday. So she picked out a restaurant where should through she might get food she liked. So we went for an Indian meal in Beaumont. I won’t name it but there was water dripping from the ceiling in part of the restaurant and the sign in the bathroom said don’t flush paper towels or toilet paper in the toilet – but rather into the bin. Apparently their vegan food was good but I just couldn’t eat the chicken I ordered after that. It’s tough to be vegan!

So onto Lafayette. We planned to stay overnight and I had an interview at 9pm so we had some parameters. Lily found a very funky guesthouse and bar. I suspect this place is the epicenter of a few music fests throughout the year. They have bands play. The vibe is great. Except the bar is not open tonight. No live music. We are the only people staying. Due to a slight miscommunication, they weren’t open when we get here. So my 9 hours in the car turned 9 and a half. Normally I might go for a walk but it was pouring rain. Again, cool place but wrong time!

The night got better when we had a nice Cuban meal and starting planning for our day in New Orleans tomorrow. The girls have been a few times so they have a list. We are just holding our hope that the repercussions of the tropical storm that just missed on Saturday are minimal.

Austin TX Day One: Shopping, walking, art and bats by Ann Treacy
June 19, 2021, 1:50 pm
Filed under: Texas

We arrived in Austin in the very early hours of Friday morning. It’s hot but we knew that going in. We are staying downtown, near the University. It’s pretty central but we spent much of our first day on Congress and South Congress Avenues. It’s a shopping, eating, street art sort of street. I’m going to start with our night activity – we went to see the bats under the Congress Avenue Bridge.

Apparently a million and a half bats emerge each night from under the bridge. It seems to happen about 30 minutes after sunset. They are hard to see because they are so fast and small. Mostly what I could see was displacement of the colors where they flew. But it was pretty cool. Adding to the excitement we viewed from under the bridge – risking bat droppings. (That always ups the ante!)

After that we had tacos and fancy cocktails (those over 21) at Lincha. Earlier in the day we walked up and down Congress. (Some of us may have Ubered half the way and some of us got 14 miles in for the day.) Aine ended up buying a bag. We saw lots of murals. It was a fun day.

Austin Texas – a conference, walking, some music and an awesome pair of boots by Ann Treacy
May 9, 2018, 6:36 pm
Filed under: Texas

Last week I spent a fun time at a broadband conference in Austin, Texas. I went with a couple of my favorite colleagues – so that was fun. Our presentation was well received.

We spent the first day checking out Austin. We visited the Texas Capitol, the Driskill Hotel and street art around the city. For eating we had oysters (royal we there), brisket and shrimp and grits.

We also saw some fun music at C-Boys Heart and Soul, The Continental Club and The Elephant Room. I was particularly fond of Dale Watson at the Continental – but the highlight was seeing the guy on the horse outside the door of the C-Boys. To be clear – it is located on a city street.

Another big highlight – finding red cowboy boots at the local Good Will – unfortunately the second best purchase was a box band-aids after I wore the new (to me boots) without socks.

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