The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Harley takes his role as navigator seriously!

What is Going On at the Pearl Brewery....Farmers Market

From this.....J.B. Behloradsky and City Brewer opens in 1881 to....

this.....San Antonio Brewing Assn formed in 1883.

to the first Pearl beer in 1886......

to 2009 when the first year round Farmers Market in the region opened.......I visited a couple of times and enjoyed it although the hassle of parking took some of the fun away.

Now jump forward to the present day Farmers Market open every Saturday from 0900 to 1:00PM. It's easy to get to taking I35 south and getting off at exit 158c. There is tons of free parking all around the area so that is no longer a hassle and, wow, have things changed. The market is no longer restricted to a parking lot but expands upon several streets which are blocked off so you can meander through and enjoy the whole area. And did I mention that the Brewery is located past the Museum Reach of the San Antonio Riverwalk so you can also enjoy that whole area!

In addition to the old Pearl Brewery building that you can see in the background of some of the pictures, there are many new or refurbished buildings.

 The Culinary Institute of America is located down here too.

One of my favorite booths at the Farmers Market is the Biga On the Banks booth run by Amy Delbridge, Pastry Chef at Biga. She makes the most amazing baked goods and pastries. Her Bacon, Apple, Cheddar Scones are the best scones I have ever eaten....moist and flavorful. She also makes wonderful cinnamon roles with a very unique icing containing lemon that adds a whole different twist to something already a crowd favorite. You can find something great to munch on while at the market or a flavorful focacia bread to take home and enjoy later.

You can catch a glimpse on the right of some of the many condos located in the area. The San Antonio Riverwalk area is encouraging lots of people to move back to the center of town where so much is going on.

Sweet potatoes anyone?

One of the things like I like about San Antonio is the way they have saved so many old buildings and repurposed them and blended new buildings in as well. The Pearl Brewery area is a fantastic example of this.

The Humble House booth was demonstrating the making of ravioli today and they had a schedule of what they would be demonstrating every Saturday for the next few months.

A local winery from the Poteet TX area had samples of numerous wines available.

One of the things I found unique about this market is that they also feature various meat booths where you can order different types of meat.

There was even music provided. This group was just beginning to perform. Another nice feature of the market is that you can find places to sit down and just take in what is going on around you.

Pearl Brewery has lots of businesses that are open every day too such as this Local Coffee Shop. shop.

A Brewing Water Tank was repurposed into a food booth.

And don't these old boiler tanks make great flower planters?

The original brewery building is currently undergoing some renovations with window replacements. Something in the area is always being upgraded or renovated or added so it is definitely an ongoing change of scenery.

And did I mention that the San Antonio Riverwalk is just steps away through some lovely gardens?

On our way out today, I happened to notice this solar power station information. Apparently solar power is already being utilized in this area with lots more to come.

San Antonio is definitely a city focused on the "old" and the "new" and gracefully blending them together. I know I will be back to this area soon and I definitely recommend it as a place which shouldn't be missed when you come to visit San Antonio!

All the Way Home Again

We headed out from Burt, MI on Tuesday morning. The sky was overcast and a front with cold rainy weather was headed in as we left. Our first night we stayed at the Walmart in Marshall, IL after braving the rough roads of Indiana. It was plenty cool enough to need a blanket. Just a hint for those of you that use diesel. The price advertised for truckers looks like a better deal but it does not include taxes which run about $.30 per gallon. You are much better off finding a regular gas station you can maneuver around in.

Our second night found us in North Little Rock at a Passport America park, Downtown Riverside RV Park. This park is located on the bank of the Arkansas River right across from downtown Little Rock. It's easy to find and access and you can get the Passport rate of $10.50 for 3 nights per month if you take one of the slots against the seawall. Otherwise, they will still give you a 15% discount for a lot of other organizations. It is a gated gravel parking area with full hookups and no trees but the location and view are just great. There is a pedestrian bridge across the river right next to the park as well as a walking trail. The lights on the bridge change color.

You can see Little Rock right across the river. The Clinton Library is right across there too. This is definitely worth another stop.

Our plan was to spend the next day and night at Hot Springs National Park but when we got up in the morning, it was raining.....again....with rain and thunderstorms predicted for the whole day. So, that ended the Hot Springs trip.....and I was really looking forward to it.

There were a few breaks in the clouds during the day but not many.

This picture isn't very clear but the paint on this truck was so neat. The backend of the truck looks like the front end complete with headlights, grill, and two people looking back over their shoulders like they were backing up.

We ran into some construction but nothing too bad. It appears this work is going to be going on for a long time. Have you ever seen mailboxes attached to construction cones???

A mailman stopping to drop off mail would be very unpopular with the rest of the traffic since it was one lane each way.

This car pulled over for traffic since he was going very, very slow.

We spent our third night at 5 Star RV Resort in Tyler TX. It was anything but 5 star! We drove down a road with trees bent over it in a pouring rain. The rain was so loud we could barely hear the park manager when we called by cellphone. We wanted a pullthrough site and he said just take any open one and we could pay in the morning. The pullthrough sites were grass with a dab of gravel and were flooded so getting stuck was a huge possibility and wading through water was a definite. I found a concrete pad and backed in there. The next morning we saw mostly older trailers and lots of mud. Manager was nice enough, said they weren't really Passport America anymore but honored the price...hmmm, didn't seem to mind taking advantage of Passport advertising. Anyway, 5 star was definitely somebody's pipe dream or the park slid way down the scale.

We were hoping to have a day without rain. As we headed across east Texas, we took the OSR highway. I missed the turnoff to it on my way north.  Loretta discovered that OSR stands for Old San Antonio Road. It runs from I45 to State Highway 190 on the west side of Bryan TX. It is the only Texas state highway with letters.

You get on it near Normangee.

It is somewhat scenic. The Internet says it is a good motorcycle road. We didn't see any but they would find it easier to dodge the rough road.

It was pretty scary every time you saw one of these rough road signs because you had to wonder how much rougher it could actually get.
And then as we headed toward San Marcos on the last stretch of the road home, we got rain again.

Guess what??? The fridge was empty when I got home.

Now, all that is left of the summer trip is laundry and an RV that needs to be cleaned. Until next time.

It's Feels Like Christmas in Frankenmuth MI

Thursday morning we headed over to Frankenmuth MI. Birch Run Road took us most of the way. There is a big outlet mall in Birch Run so my friends have pretty much anything they need within 10 miles of their summer home even though it is off in farming country. Yards surrounded by corn fields. This antique mall was right at the crossroads where you turn to go to Frankenmuth.

The Grand Traverse Distillery is right there on the left as you come into town.

The main street in Frankenmuth.

The Bavarian Inn is a popular place to eat.

The grounds across the river were being set up for the upcoming auto show with 2500 cars anticipated. It's a big event.

Lots of shops to investigate but Loretta's knee is not in good shape so we were doing mostly a windshield tour.

We did walk across this old covered bridge.

There is a tour boat on the river.

Lots of bells and they do play them often.

Can you see the two "people" coming out from the doors?

Look closely and you can see the rats. They were telling the Pied Piper story complete with all the characters coming out and around through the doors while the story is narrated.

We had lunch here at Zehnder's.

Shops across the street.

They have a big park where they have free entertainment once a week all summer long. Everyone brings their lawn chairs or blankets and sits on the hill overlooking the amphitheater.

Bet you didn't know that Willy had his own sausage shop.

The downtown in very picturesque.

There are hanging baskets of flowers everywhere.

Frankenmuth was founded in 1845.

As I mentioned earlier, we ate lunch at Zehnder's. This young lady was our waitress.

Smothered Chicken Snitzel.

An enormous seafood crescent sandwich.

Fried codfish. Aren't the teeny tiny grapes neat?  And they tasted great too.

I had the chicken dinner they are famous for serving.

They also have a bakery and shop downstairs in the same building as the restaurant.

Dying to try some chocolate covered bacon????

Our next stop was Bronners CHRISTmas Wonderland which is the size of one and a half football fields. Christmas is everyday and if they don't have it, it doesn't exist.

The dropoff zone for busloads of people....there are two of these!

They have different story's played here at the front of the store.

And Christmas is very much a part of their Christmas.

They have every kind of decoration you can think of and many that you would never have thought of.

I went back a few days late to get a personalized Christmas ornament and stopped to see their famous chapel.

Silent Night in every language across the globe.

It's an overwhelmingly magic place. I know I want to come back to Frankenmuth because I barely scratched the surface of what there is to see.