Tonight Pam and I had dinner at Mi Tierra Café y Panaderia at San Antonio's Market Square. Opened in 1941, Mi Tierra has been the go-to location for Tex-Mex food. Tex-Mex has its roots in the Tejano culture of Texas. The food is amazing and the atmosphere and service is spectacular.
We had lunch on Saturday at Black's BarBeQue in New Braunfels. Black's is one of the oldest Barbeque restaurants in Texas and started in Lockhart, TX. The food here is incredible. The meats perfectly smoked and seasoned and the sides, unbelievable. We're so glad we stopped.
Some photos from our evening walks around the neighborhood around the Blue Star Arts District, Southtown and King William. Beautiful walking weather last week. Temps in the high 70s and low 80s in the evening with relatively low humidity.
Once we returned from Chicago, we headed out the next day on a road trip to California, Arizona and Utah. California for a red egg and ginger party for my niece's baby girl, Aria. Great to finally see Aria. She is absolutely beautiful and such a perfect baby.
We next drove to Kanab, Utah for a visit to the north rim of the Grand Canyon. It was spectacular. I wasn't quite prepared for the cold. It was in the teens first thing in the morning.
From Kanab, we headed to Bluff, Utah to visit Monument Valley. Monument Valley has been on my bucket list for some time. Before we got to Bluff, we had to stop at Horseshoe Bend, another spot on my bucket list.
We stopped for a bite to eat at the Dairy Café in Bluff, where the really nice woman who owns and operates the restaurant suggested we stop at Goosenecks State Park, since it was on the way to Monument Valley. Goosenecks is named for the multiple bends the San Juan River makes as it meanders through the area. It is every bit as nice as Horseshoe bend but with multiple bends in the river.
Horseshoe Bend, Page, Arizona
It was nice little walk from the parking lot to the view point. As expected, it was crowded and everyone waited their turn to photograph the river.
Goosenecks State Park, Blanding, Utah
Us 163 towards Monument Valley
I know this has been photographed a million times, but not by me. I just had to do it. Monument Valley is a Navajo Tribal Park on the Navajo Nation on the border of Arizona and Utah. It is one of the most well-known and iconic landscapes in the country. We took the seventeen mile Valley Drive. It is a bumpy and dusty road but easily done. The drive takes you past some incredible sandstone formations. Well worth it.
Arrived on the mainland 21 September, relaxed two days and flew to Chicago for three days. We met my sister, her husband and her mother-in-law for a quick vacation. My sister has never been to Chicago so we acted as tour guides. We had great fun and the weather was really nice. We visited Millenium Park, Lincoln Park Zoo, the Magnificent Mile, the Museum of Science and Industry and walked all over.
We had plenty to eat as we made stops at Gino's East and Lou Malnati's for Chicago style pizza. While I really like them both, I have to give the nod to Lou Malnati's. It's the crust I think that sets it apart. We also ate at Carson's for Ribs, one of the great steak and chop houses in Chicago. We grabbed a couple sandwiches and tortas at Xoxo, Rick Bayless's take on Mexican street food. The food is made to order and excellent. Chicago is a great food town and unfortunately we only had three days.
We're back on the mainland for a few weeks. First stop is San Antonio and a little barbecue at the Bun 'N' Barrel. This restaurant has been here for more than sixty years. It has sit down service and curb service. Food is good and the people here are really nice.
Then we're off to Chicago for a few days where we are meeting my sister and her husband. It has been several years since I've been to Chicago. The last time was for a meeting with the Chicago Transit Authority. Always a fun time in Chicago.
A couple of shots of the sunset here at Ko Olina the other evening while Pam and I were taking a walk along the lagoons.
We arrived back in Hawai'i a week and a half ago. A lot of catching up to do with friends and family. Great to be home but we do miss the mainland for a lot of reasons, mostly Mexican food and Texas bar-b-cue. Probably travel back for a couple of weeks in the fall for another road trip. We want to hit Canyonlands National Park and maybe the north rim of the Grand Canyon. We also want to get to Antelope Valley, if we can swing it. Until then, we'll keep busy here in paradise.