San Antonio, 3-Apr-2014

Having had such as busy Wednesday, we only had a couple main destinations for Thursday: the San Antonio Botanical Garden and the McNay Art Museum.

We didn't have anyone knocking on the door, but we did wake at 5am to what Melody described as sounding like a truck driving on the roof. When we finally woke up for real a couple hours later, we realized we were hearing a jackhammer; could they really have started at 5? Perhaps.

Breakfast was uneventful as usual. We had a slow start since we would first meet up with Celeste and Jean for lunch, so we took the opportunity to do a bunch of reading, planning the afternoon and the next day, etc.

Just before we were about to leave, housekeeping showed up to work on the room. Since it was almost 11:30, it wasn't too surprising, but she said it was no problem to return later.

Time came to get picked up, and the four of us went to Paloma Blanca for lunch. Neither Melody nor I could pass up the molé enchiladas. Having taken care of food, we made the short trip to the garden.

San Antonio Botanical Garden

 San Antonio Botanical Garden

San Antonio Botanical Garden

The San Antonio Botanical Garden has a lot of areas, and we hit practically all of them. As we were walking around, there was a girl having her portrait done, presumably for her quinceañera. She was all dressed up, and must have posed for over an hour in many parts of the garden. She must have been pretty tired by the time they finished.

 San Antonio Botanical Garden Palm Pavillion

San Antonio Botanical Garden Palm Pavillion

The main showpiece is the Conservatory, which includes a bunch of very stylish greenhouses surrounding a central courtyard. The orchids were very showy, of course, as were the palms.

 San Antonio Botanical Garden's Japanese garden

San Antonio Botanical Garden's Japanese garden

The Japanese garden was smaller than dedicated Japanese Gardens, but was quite nice. The way they set up the plantings and paths, you weren't able to see the whole garden at once, which made it feel larger.

 San Antonio Botanical Garden's Hill Country loop

San Antonio Botanical Garden's Hill Country loop

We also went on a set of trails which represented the flora of South Texas, the East Texas Pineywoods, and Hill Country. Of course they had a nice selection of formal, herb, and floral gardens.

Not long after we started touring the garden, we got separated from Jean. We figured at some point we would meet up, so after we were done, we went towards the entrance. After a few minutes resting our feet, she showed up. We were ready to head to the McNay.

McNay Art Museum

 McNay Art Museum

McNay Art Museum

The McNay Art Museum is largely the work of Marion Koogler McNay, who commissioned the design and building of a 24-room Spanish Colonial Revival house which is now the museum.

The guards in the various wings were all very knowledgable about both the art and the history of the building, and willing to help.

 McNay Art Museum courtyard

McNay Art Museum courtyard

The house surrounds a central courtyard which is a great place to relax and watch the birds. The grounds surrounding the museum have an endless variety of fountains, art, and plantings. Just like at the Botanical Garden, I saw a man getting his portrait taken, this time at various points on the surrounding grounds, such as near a pond and next to an elaborate fountain.

Dinner and ending the day

We were hoping to pick up something from a grocery store for dinner, so Celeste took us toCentral Market, and she and Jean also did some shopping. We also picked up some things to supplement the breakfast offering at the motel.

We got back to the room, had our dinner, then as we were relaxing in the evening, we started to hear a bunch of kids. Ends up they were all in the pool (as small as it was), and we were wondering how long they would be there. The party didn't last very long, and we were able to get to sleep, wondering what noises would wake us up the next morning.