After having made a quick visit to Austin, we turned our attention south of our base of operations in San Marcos to San Antonio, the home of the Alamo. Now, we’d been to San Antonio for a half marathon a couple (few?) years back, and while I won’t say it’s familiar stomping ground, we’d seen a fair bit of it before. However, I’m a sucker for the River Walk area, and I was also scheduled to give a self-publishing seminar at the Forest Hills Branch of the Public Library.
We started off the day with a couple of unpleasant things. First, I discovered that ants, which are literally all over the place here at the Pecan Park Campground, had marched up the water hose and infested two of the compartments in the RV. We’d had an ant problem before, and it wasn’t something I wanted to have again. So it was off to Lowes to get some granules to spread around the RV’s contact points on the ground and spray to kill the little buggers in the compartments before they could spread further.
As I was heading out of the campground, Jan called and told me the power had gone out! Fearing that the RV’s power cable had finally given up the ghost, I headed back. Fortunately, everyone was out of power: a transformer somewhere had blown. With that, I headed back to Lowes, came back and waged holy war against the ants, and eventually the power came back on so the cats could have their beloved air conditioning back on.
While we could have gotten an earlier start into San Antonio, Jan and I were content to laze around a bit after the long day in Austin and the ant-and-power antics that morning. After the power came back on, we decided to head over to a nearby Starbucks for our traditional Friday is for Frappuccino Day (okay, it was Saturday, but who really cares, right?). While that was no big deal, the Starbucks was right across the street from the Centerpoint Station, a rustic and grungy-looking place that just oozed with coolness. It’s sort of an odd place, offering short order food like burgers, antiques, touristy stuff, and heaven knows what else. But for me, the most interesting thing was the outside. Now, I’m not normally a big “sign guy,” but this place had a great collection of vintage signs on the outside (with more inside) that were just way too cool. I’m posting the pics here, so I apologize for any signage overload. Then again, it’s my blog, and, well, too bad for you!
Heading into San Antonio, our primary order of business was a self-publishing seminar the folks at the Forest Hills Branch of the Public Library had asked me to put together. The librarian who was hosting it was very nice (even providing lemonade and cookies – how can you go wrong?), and I like to hope that the folks who attended got some useful information out of it.
One of the attendees was fellow author Rob Pruneda, whom I’d hooked up with online some time ago (he’s also one of my PS3 Black Ops gaming buddies). He lives a couple hours away, and took the time to head up to San Antonio so we could finally meet.
After the seminar, Rob, Jan, and I headed downtown to the River Walk, which is one of San Antonio’s key attractions. Anchored at the Rivercenter Mall, it’s sort of a meandering canal well below street level, with shops and restaurants on either side, with tour barges laden with gawking tourists chugging up and down. Here are some pics, which I pimped from my wife:
We had originally intended to eat at Boudros Restaurant, but without reservations the wait was forty-five minutes, so we ambled on to the Republic of Texas restaurant. I finally caved in and had fried catfish, which a follower on Twitter has been urging me to do since day one of the trip, and it was delicious. A batch of sweet potato fries and a strawberry margarita rounded things out. So, the food was good (although Jan reported that her burger was a bit dry) and the prices were reasonable, but the main point of interest at the restaurant was our waiter. I wanted some of whatever this guy was having, because he was flying high as a kite on either pure euphoria or pure caffeine. He was bouncing around like he’d had a dozen Red Bulls with Monster Drink chasers before he came to work.
After that, we did a bit of walking around the River Walk. I have to say that if you’re into people-watching, this is a great place to do it. There were lots of very interesting, attractive, and downright scary-looking folks wandering about, and I’m sure we fit right in!
At last, it was time for us to head home. We parted company with Rob in the parking garage (after we found the right one!), then made the hour long drive back to the RV where we collapsed into an exhausted stupor.
Tomorrow it’s time to head out to our next waypoint on the road west: Sonora, Texas…