First up, the Alamo! Well first up free breakfast at the B&B which Mark loved and I drank coffee. Because early. Btw, the time difference between us and Texas was AWESOME. We went to bed "late" and "slept in" but really we went to bed at 9 or 10 and got up at 5 or 6 as per usual. But we FELT like we were on vacation! Second was checking out, which literally meant handing the keys back to the innkeeper conveniently on hand to keep refilling coffee, etc. for breakfast and signing the guest book. Then on to the Alamo! And the aforementioned $20 parking, which if you have to choose between that and driving around for 30 minutes looking for a bargain while your wife goes berserk because she's MISSING SOMETHING then it's really an easy choice. We literally saw a guy walk up to the pay machine, realize the price, turn around and tell his wife they weren't paying that and leave. Nope. And, a little Alamo news.
The street outside. All the buildings here are so cool and fancy, I couldn't quit taking pics.
The Alamo hospital! There is no picture taking in the shrine, but there wasn't any sign here so I think I'm okay.
And this is definitely another White-winged Dove! I love this pose he's doing.
I think these purple flowers are on a Mountain-Laurel -- so pretty, fragrant and beloved by bees and butterflies! Also, koi in the acequia!
Everytime you turn around in San Antonio, you're back on the Riverwalk.
So we had lunch there. There's a heron in the tree above looking very majestic under the Texas flag.
An art glass store at the mall. Oh yeah, there's a mall.
The promised ducks, too busy grooming to pose for me.
The Yellow-crowned Night-Heron! In much better light.
The Great-tailed Grackle! The male is so pretty, and I was just saying what a pretty bird, and he flew across the river to steal a chip right out of our basket.
Next up, New Braunfels!
We were so excited to get there, we arrived way too early to check in. So we decided to drive over to the WhiteWater Amphitheater so we'd know where we were going later. We went a little out of our way and took all afternoon, but we got to see such beautiful country!
We got stuck in traffic, and this was my view. Not too shabby.
That water tower reads, "Unicorn Country."
Free Slurpee day at 7-11!
Our room wasn't quite ready, so we sat out on the patio, drank beers and took pictures of butterflies! But no kidding, bees love these flowers too. I walked away, looked down and there was a confused bee just sitting on my skirt.
Earlier in the day, we'd seen these vultures but a little late to stop. It was too much to hope they'd still be there when we went back for the concert, but there they were! Presenting... the Black Vulture!
They didn't love an audience while they ate, and who can blame them.
Our cabin at Hill Country RV Resort! Like a studio apartment, except it's a cabin with your own porch. On the porch was a wasp building a nest right above a spider nest. Discovery Channel predators show waiting to happen, fortunately nothing happened on our watch!
The show!! Doors opened at 6:30 so we left at 5:30 and had plenty of time to stop when we saw the vultures on the road. We had front of stage seating and VIP parking and if you ever see a show here, and I hope you do that will be important. They had kids directing parking, and when we had pulled into a very good parking spot, a more mature staff person saw our VIP parking, and we parked much, much, much closer. When you're leaving that makes a huge difference!
We got in the very short, and very fun front of stage line. A lady in line ahead of us had brought cases of beer that you can't take into the venue so she just offered it to everyone in line. "Free beer behind the tree!" greeted each new person in line. Staff came up the line and put on our wristbands while we waited -- one for the show and one for the bar, and they didn't bother carding anyone who was already holding a beer. But trust me, we were all old! We made friends with the couple in line ahead of us, Jennifer and Rick. We ran into them all night, and they gave us a great tip about visiting Gruene the next day. We all agreed the night was already a 10.5 on a scale of 3 and that was just standing in line.
When the "doors" opened, we found great seats right away, and that's all there is in the front of stage seating -- great seats! I took a few terrible pics, but I always remember what Bobby Bare, Jr. said about looking out at an audience and all you see are smartphones in front of their faces, and I paraphrase, it's like making love to someone reading a magazine. And lucky for me the pros take pics anyways! And there's an NSFW article about the show the night we went as well, in case you're wondering what they sang. But basically they sang every song you know of, and a couple others, and it was amazing. Apparently Willie and Merle never performed together at the first show on Thursday, and there was some dissappointment, and on Friday they did perform together! Which was awesome.
We made friends with our seat neighbors, whose names escaped me immediately but they gave us a great tip about Lake Travis and Oasis for the next day. We hadn't had dinner, so we had show food which brings low expectations, but I discovered my new favorite food: the beef brisket sandwich!
I would like to have said hello to Merle while he was performing, but I was too shy. After his set, I approached a staff guy and asked if he thought I could go back to his bus and say hi, to which the staff guy said, "Heh. No." At least I tried!
Merle singing My Favorite Memory: