May 22, 2017

Tales From Texas #4: On the River. Heading Home.

You can learn a lot about life just looking out on the San Antonio River.  

I took one last stroll along the Riverwalk on Friday night.  Families, friends and co-workers were all out enjoying the cool summer's evening and there was still plenty of light left in the sky.

It was the kind of evening made for looking out for the little things happening around me.

A pair of ducks preening and gazing at their shadows reflected off the water.

The sense of peace and tranquillity that washed over me as I walked through this series of fountains in a kind of hanging garden that occupied the ground floor entrance of a fancy hotel along the Riverwalk.  An Irish pub sits right opposite these fountains but you don't really notice its noise and rowdiness when you're sitting bathed in light and the sound of the water.

It wasn't so much people watching as practically walking into them.  There is no privacy on the walk.  While there are trees, boats and buildings everywhere - there really is no place to step out and away from the crowd and the endless activity.  This violinist was taking a break between sets at a nearby restaurant.  His bandmates had all whipped out their phones and were scrolling or calling on them in the way people might have had a cigarette decades ago.  The sleek phones in their hands seemed incongruous against their traditional instruments and costumes.

Elsewhere, cheeky preschoolers dressed for a big family dinner out reminded me of Preschooler SSG back home as they jumped and teased each other dangerously close to the edge of the water.  Their giggles filled the air and their parents had that universal look of trying to maintain discipline in public using the lowest levels of voice and gesture possible (it's all in the hiss and in the eyes when parenting in public).

It was also the Friday night before National Armed Forces Day so many service men and women were out for dinner with loved ones in their uniforms.  Strangers would go up to these men and women, shake their hands firmly and say thank you.  It was beautiful to watch these interactions bridge genders, ages and cultural groups.

And now here I am at the airport waiting for my connecting flight to Dallas and taking advantage of my final hours of free and fast wifi.  I'm ending my annual fast food fest on a high note with this chicken Philly sandwich from Charleys Philly Steaks.  I think the secret's the pickle and the fact that the sandwiches are made from scratch right in front of you.  The sandwiches are worlds away from Subway...

I've eaten my last onion rings for a while too.  I'm yet to eat more than about 5 rings in any given serve I've ordered this trip.

Chocolates have been bought as gifts for back home.

I couldn't find that highly Instagrammable Starbucks unicorn frappe but I this Ghirardelli Nob Hill shake for Instagram instead.

And I've had Ranch with my salad.

Aside from all my food traditions, I've also had the luxury of free time to make full use of the hotel's excellent fitness centre.  I swam twice (!!) and got to sit poolside in the sun with my banana and Diet Pepsi.  For some reason, Coke Zero is as rare as hen's teeth throughout the San Antonio area.

I did some yoga and even managed a headstand without any major injuries.

But it's time to head home.  To Preschooler SSG, to our mostly routine but always busy life, our house, our beautiful city, work and all the minutiae of everyday life.

To having to drive myself places, to having to make my own bed, to doing the laundry.

How did you feel at the end of your most recent break?  Wishing you could stay?  Happy to have holidayed but just as happy to be heading home?


  1. I've enjoyed following along with your trip SSG! Hope you have a speedy and uneventful flight home.

    Look forward to seeing more of what you bought pop up on the blog as you return too, hehe!

  2. I really wish we had Charleys subs here, they are so much better than Subway. I love watching them cook it right in front of me. ;)

  3. No more than 5 onion rings? Honey you need to start training.


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