Monday, January 20, 2014

By Chance... Shari, Braydon, Jonny and Tatum!! And Mission San Jose!!

By chance yesterday, Doodle, Eddie and I made a new RVing friend, Shari. The PUPS and I were out walking and we spied a lady with three pups sitting on a concrete block wall. So, as those of you that follow this blog know, I did what I usually do, I walked over and asked if I could take a photo of the four of them. I explained to Shari that I was on a new adventure with the PUPS and that Evin and Bumble had returned to North Carolina to be close to her son, Jackson, and his new blended family.

Gizzy,  Dolly and Suzy with Shari

Shari shared with me that she had just lost her mom, retired from the University of Colorado, had rented out her home in Boulder to some students, recently purchased a vintage motorhome, and was now on her way to Florida to do the "grandmother thing" with her son's and their families.

I shared with Shari that I had recently lost my father and that my mother has Alzheimer's. I also shared how my grandparents had spent the last twenty-plus years of their lives sitting on their couch looking out the window and watching the world go bye. I told her that I was determined not to live my retirement years in the same way. Both my parents, once their health started to decline often commented that they wished they had traveled and seen more of this country.

I asked Shari if she was going to do some sightseeing while in San Antonio and she said, "No, I am new at this RVing thing and I am a little hesitant to venture out alone just yet." I shared with her that I had ridden the #24 bus into downtown San Antonio to the Riverwalk area and felt okay, although, at first, I, too, was a little hesitant. I told her I planned to take the bus downtown after a fixed breakfast for me and the PUPS and that she was welcome to join us. Before I left I wanted to find some chapels near the Alamo, take photos of the gargoyles on the Tower Life Building, visit the Botanical Gardens, and see if Diana had seen the photos I had taken of her.

To make a long story short, Shari took me up on my offer. After breakfast I walked down to Shari's site and she was eating a snack at the picnic table. I told her I would go to the office and see if they had any information about the botanical gardens.

Alamo KOA, San Antonio, Texas.
One of the nicest campgrounds I have ever camped in all my travels to date.

By chance I meet Braydon, age 4,In the KOA office and get to see his neat bike helmet. His grandmother shares that Brayton's mom is a professional photographer.

Earlier, I had called my RV-Dreams friend Bill Napier and asked him about some issues Shari was having with setting up the TV on her RV. Bill advised that he and Linda had stayed at the Alamo KOA and had taken the bus downtown with one exception, they had driven to the Spanish Missions in their truck. He said parking was free and it was an enjoyable outing. 

Bill also asked me to write more on the blog and show less photos. I told him I was trying; but that I found it really hard to cull and not show photos I liked or found interesting. I also like to show the same subject from different angles.  

As Shari and I walk to the bus stop  to catch the #24 bus to the Riverwalk downtown San Antonio, I hear it approaching. I also see there is no one there ahead of us waiting to catch the bus.. I run ahead to attempt to get the driver to stop but, alas, he drives on. Shari catches up with me and walk over to the bus stop and sit down to wait on the next bus, expected in 30 or so minutes, After sitting for 5 minutes or so I suggest why don't we take the car and do the Mission Trail that Bill suggested. Shari says that it sounds good to her. 

It was like we came to a "fork in the road" and decided to set out in a different direction. I thought of a "forked" branch of a tree that I had taken on my morning walk...

In less that twenty minutes, we are at the Mission San Jose's visitor's center...

Park Ranger Jonny, soon to be our tour guide.

Park Ranger Tatum, soon to be a very photogenic model for some photos that will be presented in a different post simply titled:  TATUM

Below is a photo of the entrance into the walled compound and surrounding area:

We were in for a treat when we entered the gate...

Above is the little remaining painted facade that gives a glimpse of what the mission once looked like. Below is a painting representing building appearance in its prime...

One last look as we drive away.


  1. I love the architecture in these old missions.

    1. Me, too!! That is why I just had to post so many photos of the various angles. Sorry, Bill N.!!!!!