Greetings from the Lone Star state as the wandering foursome wind down their two week “swang” through Texas with a night on the town in Austin and a stop at Donn’s Depot to hear fellow South Dakotan, Chris Gage perform on stage. UPDATE: Great evening, Chris sounded fantastic. He even did a couple old Red Willow Band songs for us.)
Below is Texas Motor Speedway, where we were heading off to in the rain last time I blogged. It was so magnificent, we went there twice.
After sitting in the stands for about three hours, watching track dryers fail to get the job done, we all got word that the race was postponed till Monday. So, after inching our way back to the motel in a world class traffic jam, we returned the next day for the actual race.
We all agreed it was a great experience but really kind of a boring because there wasn’t much action. The day was soured too by the huge traffic jam that followed. Trying to inch our way through agonizingly slow traffic to our motel in Waco was so frustrating that we finally just had to laugh.
We made up for it the next day on a toll road to San Antonio where the speed limit was 85 which, of course, means 90. So we really loosened Big Red’s reins and arrived in short order to our beautiful hotel..The DruryPlaza..right on the famous Riverwalk.
It was built as the Alamo National Bank in the Art Deco era and beautifully restored into the hotel.
The weather was spectacular; perfect for a riverboat cruise.
Those familiar with Drury Inns know that guests receive three free cocktails daily as well as a huge hot buffet during happy hour and for breakfast.
We made sure to take advantage in order to justify the room rates which were a bit spendy but with four of us in one suite it wasn’t too bad if you don’t mind the noise. I didn’t notice it but others mentioned I might have snored slightly.
Speaking of spendy, Linda and I decided to splurge for dinner one evening and found a place right downtown called The Palms. It’s just what Linda wanted; an outside table, a delicious Texas steak and red wine. Perfection.
We figured that walking is over rated so we boarded the double decker bus with hop on hop off privileges and took the San Antonio City tour. Great fun. Well, take a look.
Seeing the Alamo tucked in among all the big buildings comes as kind of a shock to some.
Linda has 7 brothers and sisters..three of whom live in the Austin area..so we’ve been making sure they don’t have a chance to escape seeing us. Our first stop was in Lyndon B. Johnson’s backyard; Horseshoe Bay, Texas. A man made lake near MarbleFalls that uses water from the Colorado River to power generators at a few dams and provides lots and lots of incredible water side real estate for filthy rich oil barons. Tom and Cynthia Tucker (Cyn is Linda’s sister) are residents but are also the exception. They live on pensions from careers in electronics and nursing not big oil.
They don’t live directly on the water but do have a pontoon boat docked at the Marina which Captain Tucker took us aboard for a memorable ride around the huge man made lake for a look-see at all the high falootin mega million dollar homes bought and paid for every time you fill ‘er up at the gas pump.
( That’s Cynthia on the left and Joanie on the right.)
So far, Big Red..our 14 year old Lincoln has performed admirably. We did have a gearshift lever issue which was quickly repaired at no charge by one of Tom’s buddies.
There was sad news during our journey when we learned of my cousin Bob Gruseth’s passing from Alzheimer’s complications. He was a good man who, for some reason known only to his maker, was robbed of so much..but not all..of the personality that made him special. He’ll be missed.
I hope you have good friends and family in your life that are always glad to see you come, spend a little time, eat, drink and be merry who will shed a tear when you drive off into the sunset.
Being welcome and being missed. What better legacy could you ask for?