Monday, June 20, 2016

Scobee Planetarium

We've wanted to visit the local Planetarium for years and we finally made it happen a couple weeks ago.

This is the new space suit that is projected to be used in the Mars Mission. You're supposed to be able to bend your knees and elbows better than in the old one. It also takes a lot less time to put on - twenty minutes as opposed to 2 hours (I could be misremembering that info, but it's close). 

It also hooks right up to the outside of the spacecraft and you can step out of it into the inside of the ship, that way the suit always stays on the outside of the spacecraft. I guess there was a big mess when they brought in moon debris, and they're trying to rectify that problem.

Phoebe and Charlize.

I would recommend going to see the Planetarium. It wasn't very expensive (and teachers got in free in June). The lady who presented the program was very knowledgeable ~ I especially liked the question and answer session at the end ~ you could tell she loved the subject and would answer any questions the kids threw at her. A few constellations, the sun, moon and several planets were looked at during the presentation. The planets would zoom in really big on the dome and spin while the lady pointed out various things and talked about them. That was cool. 

We went to the 7:00 show. We might try to go to the later double feature sometime. Or wait for a new show to be developed and go during the winter months so we can spend time in the observatory. It was closed at this time for repairs. 

Hi, Liz!

A tree begging to be climbed.

Sibling snuggles. Warms my heart. 

Liz was hot after coming in from a walk. I guess we could have put ice down her back, but this works too.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Riverwalk - Starting the Mission Reach

We parked at Steve's Homestead (free spot on a side street ~ it was 8:00 am on a Saturday morning), and started at Johnson St Bridge, just north of E. Guenther St Bridge. 

Jessica went with me. She and her husband are back to town after living away for a few years. 
(Still working on selfies.) 

Cormorants again. 

There were several parks along this section. I want to take the kids back here ~ I think they would enjoy the parks and the River. It was more secluded on this path. There were a lot of bikers and joggers, but there weren't a lot of businesses along this stretch. I'm thinking of biking some of it instead of walking it because it's 7 or 8 more miles (one way) of walking with not a ton to see. 

We were passing right by the Pearl on the way home and so stopped at the Farmer's Market. Excellent  idea! I've never been to this, although I've heard a lot about it. We tried lots of samples and I ended up coming home with Bread and Butter Pickles from this lady.......

...... and garlic bread from this place

And a little music to go with the stroll. 

We ended at ConcepciĆ³n Park. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Harrison is Six and The Boat

Liz went down a short section of Cibolo Creek on her milk jug-duct tape boat. The creek is way up this year. Which means it's about waist deep. We walked the length of it through Cibolo Creek Nature Center a few months back, so we would know what to expect if ever she wanted to take the boat down the river.

Liz is teaching me how to take selfies. When I take them, I end up with a double chin.

And Harrison's birthday party. He turned six. Wow. My little squishy is growing up. 

This is the Kylo Ren balloon he wanted. 
It was quite interesting trying to get the thing blown up at HEB. 

Liz did the decorations and the "cake," which was a giant cookie.

Star Killer Base cookie. 

Harrison being Kylo Ren.

Phoebe's Rey hairstyle and staff, all brought to you by Liz. (She's a maker, if you can't tell.)

Emily and Will and Mrs. Alisa came over. 
Harrison said he wanted to "have Emily over. And maybe the other Travis kids." 

Harrison came with Liz and I to Boerne Lake the next day. He brought the Rush Hour game he received for his birthday and played it while Liz took out the boat. Jonathan and Phoebe haven't been interested in going with us to take out the boat, so it's just been Oldest and Youngest and I. 

I took it for a short spin just to see how it acts. It's a sturdy one. Gives you a workout for sure. 

Liz crossed a short arm of Boerne City Lake. She would love to take sailing lessons here some time. Maybe next year. 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Riverwalk and Childhood Memories

I went early in the morning this time, to catch coolness. Traffic was awesome at 7 and 9:30 am. There weren't a ton of people out and about ~ a few.... just enough to say hi to and know that I'm not completely alone out there on the Riverwalk. Joggers and walkers and tourists, construction workers arriving, restaurant employees sweeping and putting out chairs, river workers cleaning up mud and leaves after yesterday's storms. 

This walk kept reminding me of my childhood in Rayne, Louisiana, so this one's for you, Mom and Dad, Mike, Tonya, Cory. 

Not exactly like it, but this reminded me of our old white, column-porched house on West Edwards Street. We could climb out our bedroom windows and sit on the roof. We played on the porch when it rained. We slid down the banister and had all kinds of adventures in that house.

These are just like the spools that my dad brought home from work or some place. These were tables or parts of playhouses or just fun to "walk" on around the backyard. And we had a large one and small one just like this. I think this picture was taken in King William District.

Large crepe myrtle trees. I've seen a lot of crepe myrtles in Florida and here in Texas that are planted in new landscaping, and they are never very large. We had a large one in our yard in Rayne that we could climb, and I noticed the Riverwalk had a lot of large ones also. 

Lots of carvings in this old crepe myrtle, so I went ahead and added another.

A tiny fig tree! 
We had a large one in our backyard. We could climb that tree too ~ it provided a lot of shade in the hot southern summers. During fig season though, the ground would be covered in squishy figs that you had to avoid. I love figs fresh from the tree. It's awesome to be able to go to your backyard and pick food to eat. 

Not ripe yet.

 The section I walked this day was from Jones Ave bridge to Guenther bridge in King William District. About 2 miles. It covered that square section of the Riverwalk that most people visit ~ the one that is near the Alamo and Rivercenter Mall. It's a very pretty section with neat bridges and waterfalls, wooden benches and greenery.

I parked on a side street next to a coffee shop called Rosella Coffee. (Another childhood memory of a good friend named Rosella.) It was packed when I got back to the van, so I'm glad I was there early enough to get a free parking spot. I did step in and get some coffee for the drive home.

This picture isn't so pretty, but I thought it was interesting. There were a bunch of these tiny fish on the sidewalk in one short section. Maybe they somehow got up there from the storm yesterday? There are a bunch of centipedes and snails crawling on them.

Only 9 more miles to go!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Walking the Riverwalk with Family

Phillip and the kids joined me for a short stint of walking the Riverwalk at the Pearl Brewery on this Memorial Day weekend. It wasn't overly busy. There were a lot of senior/prom/quinceaƱera pictures going on. It's a very pretty place.

 The map we're using. 
We walked from the place marked Pearl down to Jones Ave Bridge. 
There was free parking last week at the Witte Museum and free parking for the Pearl this week. Downtown parking can get expensive, so I'm pleased to find parking areas that don't cost anything.

Taking pictures of ducks and turtles. 

Twenty-five long-eared sunfish (fiberglass) hang from I-35 overpass. They light up at night ~ that would be a pretty sight to see. 

It was pretty hot and sweaty even though we didn't walk very far and it was evening.  We stopped for ice cream before heading to the van. 

This ice cream place is called Lick Honest Ice Creams. It's delicious ice cream. Tastes homemade. I sampled their cilantro lime and LOVED it. We also tried coffee, strawberry and chocolate chip mint. Real ingredients (you could taste the herbiness in the cilantro and mint flavors). A bit pricey for ice cream ~ but it's probably the best ice cream I've ever had. Besides what my grandpa used to crank for us. You can't beat your grandpa's homemade ice cream.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Walking the Riverwalk

When we first visited the Riverwalk, I was intrigued by the idea of walking the whole thing. I didn't know how long that would take, but it felt like it would be a fun thing to conquer. 

It's been several years since the idea struck me, but I finally sat down to plan it out. It's a lot longer walk than I thought (they've recently extended it to around 15 miles), so I'm going to have to take it a little at a time. I tried to go on Mother's Day, but it rained. Last Sunday I planned to go and it rained. This week, it was cloudy. But not rainy. And the sun came out as I walked, so that was awesome. 

The part I walked today was from the Witte Museum to the Pearl Brewery. I got mixed up in Brackenridge Park, so I probably walked around in circles for a little while. I can't read maps for anything. The map I used to plan it was also available on signs along the trail. 

So many cattle egrets! (See them roosting in the tree?) They were picking up grass and such for their nests as I walked through the park. And I know they are cattle egrets from this lovely post which identifies many other birds in Brackenridge Park.

An anhinga maybe? 
There were a lot of anhingas in Florida. They dive underwater to catch fish and then stand there drying their wings for a while.

Okay, this lovely site just told me that they are probably cormorants. They have no oil glands to repel water, so they have stand this way to dry their water-logged wings.

This is at the Tunnel Inlet Plaza. 
I guess there are two tunnels in downtown San Antonio that divert water from the River to keep it from flooding downtown. 

At the Pearl Brewery. 
This is where the Riverwalk got pretty. The walk from Brackenbridge Park to the Pearl was a bit ..... puddly and concretey. I don't know which arm of the river I was following, but it was mostly puddles and the trail was a lot of buildings and cracked roadways and sidewalks. So I'm thinking I got the ugly part of this walk done with and can enjoy the beauty of the rest of it. :-)

There was a lovely golf course along this route ~ I shouldn't disparage that part of the view.

And this was on my way back through a different trail in Brackenridge park. That's the San Antonio River spilling over the road. We have had a lot of rain lately. 

It was pretty hot and sweaty by the time I drove home, but I absolutely loved all of it! There were a lot of people out and about ~ lots of colorful parties happening at the park, people golfing, others walking/biking/jogging the trail. I look forward to continuing the adventure.