Pam and I had dinner last night at Hot Joy, an Asian fusion restaurant here in Southtown/King William. Hot Joy has a rotating menu that currently is inspired by Japanese cooking. Absolutely delicious. The portions were ample and the service outstanding. If you're in San Antonio, you need to try this place.
We're in San Antonio for a bit before we fly back to O'ahu. Fiesta San Antonio was a blast, great food, fun things to do and the great people we met along the way. San Antonio is a big city (nearly 1.5 million residents in the metroplex) with a small town feel. San Antonio is a great walking town with great neighborhoods and, of course. the Riverwalk. The one thing I'll miss the most is the food. From the BBQ to TexMex to burgers to beef in any form you want, the food in San Antonio is awesome. We even found several really good Chinese restaurants and a local style Hawaiian restaurant (Aloha Kitchen) that filled my need for loco moco quite well. The one restaurant Pam will miss the most is Torchy's Tacos. In Pam's opinion (mine as well) Torchy's has the best tacos anywhere. Unique ingredients, fresh everything and great portions, too.
Some random photos of San Antonio:
On our way back from New Orleans we stopped off in Shiner, TX, the home of the Spoetzel Brewing Company. the makers of Shiner beer. I've wanted to do the brewery tour here for a long time. The tour started in the tasting room and gift shop. The tour highlighted the bottling line. Today the product was cans of Shiner Bock. It was really cool to watch the process from empty cans to sanitizing to filling and finally packaging. Thousands of cans of beer were produced in the short time we were there. I love watching industrial processes no matter what the product.
Suzanne, our tour guide, truly loves the company and it showed. She was enthusiastic and knowledgeable. A great tour and a great beer.
Pam and I planned a drive to New Orleans from San Antonio. It's about eight hours and straight shot on I-10. Beautiful driving conditions and weather. We stayed right in the French Quarter, a block from Bourbon Street. What a blast. This was my first time, but Pam had been there before for conferences and meetings. The food was great, the people were fun and the hospitality awesome. We made a few friends for sure. Did I say the food was great?
We walked through many of the neighborhoods in New Orleans. Amazing architecture. Many of the buildings throughout New Orleans have been standing for three hundred years. That is focus on tradition. A few photos of our time in New Orleans.
This is St. Louis Cemetery No. 2, consecrated in 1823. Because New Orleans is built below sea level and the water table is high, the dead are laid to rest above ground. Many of the tombs have fallen into disrepair and have crumbled. The bones are removed and moved to another location. The latest date I saw of someone being laid to rest here was 1988.
I love the architecture of New Orleans. The buildings and homes in the city are being preserved and brought back to life. The excitement of the French Quarter never seems to let up, day or night.
These musicians were playing out in front of Café du Monde.
The mayor of New Orleans, LaToya Cantrell entertaining a group of school children visiting the French Quarter. Lots of fun.
Street car in New Orleans. These are fun to ride. These cars are restored to their former glory.
All the video recorded with my Samsung Galaxy S9 smartphone and the DJI Osmo Mobile 2 gimbal stabilizer. Works really nicely although I have play around a little bit with the balance.
Missionfest is held on the last day of Fiesta San Antonio at the iconic Mission San Jose. The event features local music and culture, and great food. It has been a Southside tradition for generations. All proceeds benefit the Mission San Jose Catholic Church.
The King William Fair is a family friendly Fiesta San Antonio event in the historic King William District. It is the primary fund raising event for the King William Association which works to preserve the historic King William neighborhood. Lots of fun, lots of fun people and awesome food.
A Night in Old San Antonio is a four day celebration in the village of La Villita in downtown San Antonio. Music, artists and unique local foods are everywhere. I think most of San Antonio showed up here. it was packed. The music and food were tremendous. The people, extremely gracious. We had a blast.
The Texas Cavalier River Parade is a parade of boats decorated and lighted and motor down the San Antonio River Walk. The parade was started in 1941 by the Texas Cavaliers, a group of over 500 business, civic and community leaders. The idea of the parade was formed after a group of Cavaliers watched boats and barges decorated in flowers in the floating gardens of Mexico City. This coincided with the San Antonio River restoration project.
Texas Cavaliers River Parade
I decided to make the drive from Albuquerque to San Antonio in one leg. Google maps indicated nearly a 12-hour drive. Started in a bit of fog in Albuquerque.
The fog lasted for about twenty miles before it cleared, after that it was clear and bright. It was fabulous driving conditions. We passed several small towns and stopped to take a few photos and stretch. One place we did want to stop and walk around was Gallup, NM
Jerry's Café is one of the best restaurants for New Mexico and Southwestern food anywhere. There is always a line during lunch and dinner. Amazing food, the chile and the sopapillas are the best.
This is Hiroshi Miyamura a recipient of the Medal of Honor for exceptional gallantry during the Korean War. He fought a delaying action so his machine gun platoon could escape after being overrun by Chinese troops. Sgt. Miyamura was eventually taken prisoner and held until the cease fire. He is a native of Gallup, NM. This display can be seen at the Veteran's Memorial Plaza along with displays honoring other veterans from Gallup. He is still going strong at 94. Remarkable man.
Some of the places we stopped at and photographed. A lot of these towns, sadly, decayed after I-40 replaced Route 66. The interstate effectively bypassed these towns closing once thriving businesses.
Pam and I will be in San Antonio for a week or so for Fiesta de Los Reyes, a ten day celebration throughout San Antonio. Then New Orleans for a few days.
Another long drive ahead of us from Kanab to Albuquerque. Huge rainfall as we neared Albuquerque. Visibility was no more than two car lengths. Traffic slowed to 45mph. It must have been serious rain for New Mexico drivers to slow down. We stayed overnight at the Albuquerque Hotel in Old Town. What a beautiful location and incredible service.
The lobby of the Albuquerque Hotel
This is a truck in front of Camino 66, a marketplace for all things New Mexico and Southwest. Lot of really cool artwork and fun stuff.
From Moab we drove to Kanab. Really pleasant drive. Our goal was to visit parts of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and the north rim of the Grand Canyon. As it turned out, the weather turned rainy and some of the roads to Grand Staircase were not usable and the north rim of the Grand Canyon was closed because of snow. Oh, well. We did, however, visit the Moqui Cave five miles north of Kanab. It really is a roadside museum. Interesting history. It began as a dance hall and saloon catering to many of the actors and crew that filmed westerns in Utah and Arizona. The owner, Garth Chamberlain, was the first player from BYU drafted into the NFL. He played for the Pittsburgh Steelers for two years. We met his daughter-in-law and grand children who now run the museum and gift shop. Mr. Chamberlain built this attraction while working as a county sheriff. He and his wife traveled the world to bring back fossils and rocks to display. Fascinating story.
Entrance to Moqui Cave
The museum is the where the dance hall was located. The museum has one of the largest displays of phosphorescent minerals in the US.
There's small replica of a stegosaurus out in front.