TRAVEL THERE: NOT A MARIACHI IN SIGHT!
Warm Reunion of Friends on a Cold San Antonio Night
One hallmark of my travel planning is finding a way to squeeze in a visit with friends and family if they are anywhere along my route. San Antonio is home to one of my best buddies that I barely knew until a few years ago, even if we did meet decades ago. We’d only casually crossed paths back at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, but rediscovered one another on Classmates. Maturity gave us a whole lot more in common than we’d had as youngsters and Facebook gave us access. Since Bill and I would be in my friend’s town, we took the opportunity to meet he and his wife for dinner.
Searching for Mariachis
Who else but me would have discovered a mariachi competition that just happened to be going during a visit? And who else but me would drag relative strangers around the Riverwalk on the coldest night in San Antonio anyone could remember (but not as cold as it was going to get while I was there)?
When we first started planning the trip, I suggested to my friend that we meet at Durty Nelly’s and he agreed that it was a good idea, but then I found out about the mariachi competition and learned they’d be having a concert at Rivercenter’s Lagoon, so I upended all of our plans to include the free concert. Being the spoiled rotten kid I am, everyone acquiesced to my wishes, except the weather.
Champion that Bill is, he only grumbled a little bit about leaving our nice warm hotel room to walk along the Riverwalk to the Starbucks at the Rivercenter Lagoon to meet Clark and Linda, people he knew virtually nothing about. As soon as we entered the shopping mall I saw an information desk. They didn’t know anything about a mariachi concert, but they did know where Starbucks was. Shortly after we walked into the coffee shop, Clark and Linda joined us. Introductions abounded and everyone tried to make nice.
As we chatted one thing became very clear, no mariachis were going to play. No one with gold braided costumes came in with instruments in black cases. Proud wives, mothers, aunts and cousins were not clustering around the lagoon. In fact, the whole area was becoming quite empty. Obviously, everybody had someplace else to be. The Polar Express had struck again.
Dashing to Durty Nelly’s
So I suggested we retreat to Durty Nelly’s. I love Durty Nelly’s. It’s a not quite clean pub on the Riverwalk that has a crazy guy playing the piano. I literally could have sat there all night singing along with his goofy songs – and perhaps Clark would have enjoyed it too, but the spouses both had this “what in the hell am I doing here” look in their eye. I’ve got to give them credit, they were making the most of it they could, but I may have been the only one having a good time.
Moving on to Paesano’s
So I suggested the next item on our agenda – Paesano’s. Someone in our Sunday School Class had suggested it to Bill and Clark said it was a big favorite with them, so we headed to dinner. The wait was thirty minutes for a table inside the building, so somehow we ended up on the enclosed patio. It was a lot colder than I wanted to put up with, but after dragging these people all over the place, I wasn’t going to complain about where we sat. I’m just not sure who thought it was a good idea.
I’d fill you in on what a great restaurant Paesano’s was, but my brain got numb in the cold. My baked eggplant (the only thing I thought might be safe on my diet) was quite good, but I have no idea what everyone else had. And it was so dark, I could barely see my own dish, much less my dining companions’ faces.
Darn that weather. I’d anticipated my reunion with Clark to be a great time, with much wandering about the River. I knew all the spouses were going to get along grandly and perhaps Bill and I would be singing our way back to our room in the wee hours of the morning. Instead, Clark and Linda beat a hasty retreat home and we power-walked our way back to the hotel. (Note to self: check the weather!)
There’s one more day in San Antonio, so be sure and come back next week.