Sunday, April 18, 2010

¡Hola de San Antonio!

We have been experiencing a deluge of Texan -- if not Biblical -- proportion. In between downpours, we've managed to work in quite a few activities in the past two days, although we've had to do a bit of adjusting of plans on the fly.

On Friday, we went straight to SAMA (the San Antonio Museum of Art), where we looked at the psychedelic art exhibition and were joined by Amy S. for a lovely lunch on the covered patio of the museum's café, which overlooks the River Walk. It's just as well that we abandoned our idea of taking the river taxi to the museum -- all the while we were eating lunch, not one single river taxi came by. By the end of lunch, the rain had let up enough for us to walk a bit of the River Walk around SAMA. This is a new section of the River Walk, just opened last year, which included various art installations in the underpasses and along the walk. Near SAMA, we saw a couple dozen giant fiberglass fish (supposed to be long-eared sunfish, native to the San Antonio River) hanging from the I-35 underpass, and a grotto with stalactites and a scary face, made by a famous faux bois studio in San Antonio.

With the skies reasonably clear, we headed down to Mission Concepción to take a quick peak at the newly-restored chapel, and back downtown to El Mercado for a bit of shopping, and to a tweet-up at the Southwest School of Craft and Art where we got some free food and a sneak preview of several booths in the Fiesta Art Fair.

We awoke Saturday morning to the most horrific rainstorm I'd seen in years. Thunder, lightning, black skies, and rain like someone had opened a gigantic fire hose on the city. For the second day in a row, our plan to walk the Texas Star Trail was scuppered by the weather. We waited around until the torrential rains abated a bit, and went to the Pearl Farmers Market, which thankfully was under tents. Things looked better weather-wise after we'd done the fruit and veg shopping, so we optimistically headed for the Art Fair, which wasn't crowed and was quite pleasant despite the by-then misty spritz. The rain had seriously delayed the set-up of the sound equipment for the music stage, however, but loyal fans that we are, we waited for Miss Neesie and the Ear Food Orchestra to play the first few songs of their set.

A little before sunset, Molly and I returned to the I-35 underpass on the River Walk to see the fish lit up and to wait for the bats to come out. At 7:55 p.m., they emerged in groups and started swirling around, out and then back under to bridge, before taking off in search of their dinner. There aren't as many bats as live under the Congress Street bridge in Austin, but this was the greatest number of bats I'd ever seen at one time so I was impressed. We noted that the air smelled of guano and were careful to stand away from their flight path so they wouldn't poop on our heads.

That pretty much sums up days one and two in San Antonio. Stats (steps and expenses) to follow. Adios.

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  1. Bob Gaffney1:15 PM

    The bats around here are nearly gone, with the white nose disease thing. At Watermelon Wednesdays in the little church in Whately, it looked like a thousand used to fly out from the belfry between sets - last summer just a few. Hope you're enjoying your trip.

  2. Love the fish! Sounds like you & Molly could use some gills yourselves.