The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Willy, Harley (back center), and Gretchen

Texas Hill Country Christmas Lights Magic

Yesterday we had to drive all the way to Brownwood instead of Marble Falls to pick up the Grandkids for the weekend. We picked them up about 4:15 pm and headed back south. About 5:45 pm, we were in Lampasas so we stopped at Taco Bell for supper.  Whoa, Steve didn't bring Angus any dog food. Hmmm. Angus was good with a soft taco snack with dinner after we got back to San Antonio.

We stopped again in Johnson City at the Pedernales Electric Co-op to see their fantastic light display. It is truly magical.







This is actually a home light display on a nearby street.

Next up was Blanco TX. The whole downtown Courthouse square is lit up as well as a magical walk through the park next to the square. It was cold so we didn't walk through the park this year but it is wonderful to see even from the road.

I lovc seeing the Christmas light displays.......it really is magic.

The Big White-out in San Antonio

One minute it was mid to upper 70s and then.....

I had to run over to my son's house to get some dog food before Willy decided to eat me instead. He and Angus (my son's dog) eat the same kind of dog food so we take turns buying the big bags. Actually, Willy dined on some of Harley's special dog food for dinner but I didn't want to make a habit of that so I hopped in the car and headed two miles over. It was raining when I left, sleeting halfway over, and snowing big thick white flakes by the time I got there. Unbelievable for San Antonio. It snowed for about 4 hours leaving us with about three inches of snow. It never got down to 32 degrees but the snow stuck until the next morning when it started to melt.

Harley didn't know what to make of it.....it was his first snow experience.

I threw the ball and he took off after it without even thinking.

Once he got out there, he was lifting his feet up and and didn't quite know what to do.


Kids couldn't resist the challenge......

The next morning.....things started to thaw. The snow slid off the trees.






It's just wrong to see snow on palms.




 
Harley and I were very glad to see the end of the snow. The last snow was 1987 and hopefully it will be that long before the next one. I grew up in Minnesota and I only want to see snow on postcards and pictures.  Seventy degrees is my kind of winter day. lol



Pony Express Comes to Gruene TX

Every December the Pony Express comes to Gruene TX. Of course, it isn't the real Pony Express but it is a lot of fun. There were bales of hay at intervals along the main street in Gruene which was nice for several reasons. First, cars couldn't park there which made it so much easier to see the horses coming. Second, it gave people walking from the Market Days event at one end of the street to the other end lots of room to walk. Third, the bales made for some decent seating for the people waiting on the event. Gruene has lots of parking with a couple of huge free lots anyway.

Can you see the second rider from the left? I think she was about 3 years old and she handled her horse like a pro.

The group lined up in an open area so that everyone could see them and pet them and talk to the participants.

You could also get your Christmas letters stamped with a special Gruene postmark and mailed out from the special temporary post office.

After the parade, we headed back up to the Market Days. There were lots of people and plenty of booths for shopping. Gruene Market Days are always fun. They are usually the third weekend of every month but December is an exception when the Market is moved up to the first weekend. We always manage to stop at one of our very favorite coffee shops, the Gruene Coffee Haus. They roast their own beans onsite. They have two nice inside seating areas as well as umbrella tables out front.

Riverwalk Christmas Lights

Don't worry, the Riverwalk pictures are coming right up. Tuesday, all the Pink FlaminGoes that could make it showed up at Catalano's Pizzaria in Cibolo for lunch. Catalano's has been around for a long time....it isn't fancy but the food and prices are great. They have a lot more than pizza too. It is an Italian restaurant. They have specials every day and a pizza buffet on Wed and Sat I think. Tuesday was Manicotti which comes with a salad, delicious bread, and ice tea for $6.75. My favorite special is Eggplant Parmesan on Wed. My cousin Shirley in the white top got to meet a few of my RVing friends.

Tonight we headed down to the Riverwalk to see the Christmas Lights. This is the Hilton Palacio del Rio.

The Alamo.

Alamo Plaza.

Down on the Riverwalk itself.






The Arneson Theater.

I think this is my favorite one. Just cellphone shots but still pretty magnificent.

Pearls to Donuts

Saturday morning, the kids, grands, and Angus in one car, with my cousins Shirley and Jack plus Hershey and Harley and me in a second car, convoyed down to the Pearl Brewery for the Pearl Market which is more of an event than a Farmers Market. That pretty building in the background is the Pearl Brewery.

There were actually a lot more people than this picture seems to indicate.  I should say people and dogs. The whole area has been modernized with condos and apartments in the old brewery buildings and other warehouses.

This is the stable originally used to house the horses for the brewery.

We stopped for coffee at Local Coffee. There was a bit of a line but they are pretty fast. In the background you can see a Yoga group on the lawn.

Hotel Emma is also located at the Pearl. It is a really unique hotel. The d├ęcor utilizes a lot of the equipment left from the brewery.  There is a huge outdoor fireplace at the outside entrance to the hotel. This is the storage for the wood.

In the lobby area, several of the huge old storage tanks have been cut out with conversation pits inside.

Lots of people were relaxing and enjoying some snacks in the rest of the lobby area.

We found this tapestry in one of the hallways.

Back outside enjoying the market area. The market goes on every Saturday and Sunday. There are lots of booths with different types of food as well as items for sale. The area also has lots of different restaurants and other shops which are open all the time.

Nope, that isn't Harley. There were quite a few other dachsies strolling around.

This is Hershey with my cousin Jack and Harley with grandson Cameron.

The caboose was decorated for Christmas.

 
Steve and Helen met up with some friends and were going on to Gruene but we decided to save that until next Saturday. The grands opted to come with us. Our final stop on the way home was The Art of Donut. Our family foodie, Helen, happened to mention it and Jack and the kids thought we really needed to find it. After my phone sent me several different directions, I realized it was close to the San Antonio Zoo right off Hwy 281.
 
They have this showcase of donuts so you can pick what you want. Of course, it was after 2:00PM when we arrived so they were out of many of the choices. Shirley and Jack had a Cherry donut and Morgan and I shared the Blackberry donut in the lower right corner. Most of the flavoring is in the frosting which was quite strongly flavored. They don't look as big as they really are in this photo....more than large enough to share as they were about 6 inches across.
 
All in all, we had a great day. Jack and Shirley came over for dinner which was a pot roast fixed in the Instant Pot along with some homemade rolls and then the grands stayed overnight so we watched a couple movies.