Today is THE DAY…my birthday. The day my mother was induced (I was actually due May 20), the day my dad and Aunt Diana went out for pizza and left my mom to welcome me into the world by herself, and the day God said “ok, time to add a little crazy to this family”. I didn’t actually come home until May something — my lungs were not developed so I took my first and only ambulance ride from Pocahontas, AR, to Jonesboro to a higher level of care facility.
When I did come home, the story is that my brother tried feeding me corn candy. He was given a bag so he would behave — asking a lot of a kid that was not yet two years old (we are 22 months apart), so when I started crying on the way home he attempted to make me happy by ‘sharing’ his candy — by shoving it into my mouth. LOL. I couldn’t have asked for a better brother!!
Today I woke up still sans a suite case, I felt a little scuzzy, but the place I’m staying had a few items to use to make myself somewhat presentable so I could go find at least a toothbrush. Found a local Wal-Mart then started my day.
I had breakfast at a little coffee shop I found on Yelp, Common Wealth. The food was all made fresh there in the shop. I asked a fellow customer what she recommended after verifying she came there often. Her suggestion was the breakfast croissant (her’s was going to be without meat since it was Good Friday); so I opted for the croissant with egg, bacon and spinach. I topped the meal off with some fruit and a Lavender Honey Latte (made with their fresh herbs and local produce). The staff we all friendly and the food was great!! Definitely somewhere to visit, and return to!!
I received my annual text from my friend in Uruguay while eating breakfast. We met on my missions trip to Argentina, back in 2001 (I think that is when I went), he never fails to remember and text. We talk twice a year, my birthday and his (October 3). His sister’s birthday is two days before mine…maybe next year we will celebrate together. He also randomly calls if he hears about crazy stuff happening in the states (flooding, hurricanes) to make sure I am ok. Always nice to hear from him.
After leaving the coffee shop I headed out to the San Antonio Botanical Gardens. The gardens were more rugged than the one located in St Louis, they basically had the grasses and stuff very wildly growing and name plates down. It was neat to see all the different cactus and flowers from the different regions of Texas. They also had small houses depicting different types of yards (Spanish, courtyard, wild, and basic American). <hehe>. There were also different types of houses (adobe, German settlers, and the Auld Home from the 1800’s). It was a beautiful day with nice weather!!
My next stop was the Japanese Tea Garden (free entry). There were people everywhere!! They were taking senior cap/gown photos, maternity photos, and the random tourist like myself. It was very neat, clean, and had paths that wound around the hillside that made for pretty scenery. The koi fish pond was very clear and the fish were beautiful.
Went back to the apartment to see about getting completely cleaned up, still no clothes so had to call the airline again and reschedule a delivery. The phantom (but oh so real) bag finally made an appearance. Slightly beat up and broken, which makes me sad because I just bought it, but all my belongings were still inside — which is what matters most.
After a refreshing shower and change of clothes — yes I wore the same clothes for one and a-half days <bleh>, but no one that saw me yesterday saw me this morning so it didn’t really matter. <LOL>. I headed downtown to grab some dinner and explore.
I stopped in at Mi Tierra for dinner at the suggestion of my cousin who has been here before. The decorations are all vibrant and colorful, with stuff hanging everywhere. The people were all friendly and the food was good. The salsa had a kick to it, but once the hair on my tongue was singed, it was all good.
There is a FIESTA going on this weekend, so the Historic Market Square was a madhouse. People were everywhere, along with a very heavy police presence. Everyone is either carrying a margarita or beer, but everyone was well behaved and polite. There were a ton of little shops, all kinds of trinkets and ‘junk’ to be purchased for souvenirs. I found some key chains and made a quick exit…way to many people.
I walked down to the La Villita in hopes to catch the Crowning of King Rey Feo (the ugly king). It is a tradition that started back in Spain when they wanted someone that would be for the people, they called him the ‘ugly king’ in a ruse to not let the king know they had another ruler. The tradition is carried on here to raise money for different charities and scholarships for students in this area to attend college. When the king was crowned, he is a cardiologist by trade, he made a statement that was great in a public setting…he said “it’s not a day to honor this king, but the True King that lives in each of us Jesus Christ. So I take the crown off in honor of Him who gave himself this day”. He then said “it’s Friday, but Sunday is coming”. They have raised over 7 million in scholarships throughout the years…the fanfare and celebration was amazing. The military were there in full force, and they were honored by everyone. It was a very cool experience.
I then headed back to my abode, to relax and make plans for tomorrow. The traffic here is actually not bad, I do believe St Louis traffic is the worst around and if you can drive in it then you can succeed anywhere. Stopped in an underpass and took some pictures of graffiti, these artist are amazing!!
Until tomorrow when my adventure will continue…