Observing whatever tickles my fancy

Posts tagged ‘travel’

Mission Concepcion – San Antonio

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Mission San Jose – San Antonio

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San Antonio

December 2012

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADay 1: Arrived at the B&B in mid-afternoon to the sweet smell of freshly mowed lawn and the sound of a leaf blower.  Rocking chairs and a porch swing welcomed me.

A walk toward San Antonio College.  At the south end of the campus 2 police cars were parked.  A bus stopped, someone got off and a foot chase ensued.  The suspect was taken down in the middle of the street and handcuffed.  Welcome to San Antonio.

A wander through the campus.  A puddle of water next to a sign announcing “snow day”.  The temperature in the 70’s.

Dinner at an Italian restaurant where two men sat at a corner table drinking wine, watching patrons enter, like two mob dons.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADay 2: A hopeful day of art at the McNay was rearranged by the challenge of the local bus system. Two helpful young men suggested heading back to downtown and try again.  “Call VIA.  The number is on the sign,” one says.  “Tell them the sign number and they’ll tell you what bus to use.”

I go downtown and stay there.  The Alamo with its crowd of tourists. Five tourists on Segways.  La Villita with its shops.

A visit to the San Antonio Museum of Art where I saw a couple of Diego Rivera paintings. The gaze of the artist from his self-portrait pierced my soul as it appeared to study me.  There was a tapestry copy of Picasso’s “Quernica”.  Amazing.  Which means Picasso’s painting must be magnificent.  May I see it some day. There was an exhibit of Egyptian art that included some pieces from the Boston Museum of Art.  I’m certain I recognized one vase that I drew for an assignment while in art school.

Parading around the Riverwalk.  Eating dinner at Waxxy’s Irish Pub as the sun goes down.  Ordering a $5 slice of chocolate cake to celebrate my birthday.  Deciding to take a river boat tour.  Christmas lights sparkling in the trees, reflected on the river.  Carolers along the bank.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Day 3: Finally, the McNay! An exhibit by Latino artists.  Bold colors, strong lines. Lithographs by La Trec, drawings by Picasso – studies during his blue period. A room full of Rodin sculptures.  An El Greco upstairs, it’s authenticity questioned.  More work by Diego Rivera.  The discovery of Leopoldo Mendez and the Taller de Gráfica Popular (TGP).  Wonderful prints! I must find more of their work.

A painting of a young soldier, John, who died in Afghanistan.  The artist continues his story of this young man with video and song.  The video of a flag-draped coffin slowly crosses the screen while images of the soldier’s home and favorite places are seen in the background.  The video and song last 5-10 minutes.  A box of kleenex on the bench.  Tears well up as thoughts of my nephew, who fought and was wounded in Iraq, crept in.  Our family was lucky, my nephew survived.  The family of this soldier, however, will always have the scar of this loss on their soul.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARelief from the silence of the McNay and the crowded bus came at the Botanical Gardens.  Roses in bloom and butterflies flitting between them and other flowers are a surprise to see in December when one’s usual view of the month is snow and cold.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Day 4: My last day.  A trip to the Missions.  I only saw two of the four and wished that I had seen the others but one was being repaired and the other 6 miles away. The first stop was Mission San Jose.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA walled in courtyard with an active congregation.  A mid-day mass was in session. Next was Mission Concepcion.

Waiting for the bus to Concepcion three young men in colors sat next to me at the stop. They had been on the bus I took to San Jose but got off at the stop before me.  One was angry about something. “F” this, and “F” that…a racial derogatory term thrown in.  And so it went while one of the others tried to rationalize with him to little avail.  The bus came, we got on, and minutes later I got off at Concepcion.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASmaller….quieter.  Three women praying.  A sacred area outside.  Beautiful.

A troop of Boy Scouts that had been at San Jose with me hiked by.  It’s a 3-mile walk between each of the missions.  They were exhausted.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABack in the city I wandered into La Villita where a re-enactment of the Battle of Bexar was taking place.  This battle happened days prior to the Alamo.  Explosions of canon and gunfire wafted through the air as the story played out.

Day 5: The trip home.  An early morning flight to blizzard hit Minneapolis.  Bumped from the connecting flight home. Waiting in the airport for 6 hours. Renting a car with 4 strangers to drive through snow-covered roads.  A four hour trip that normally takes two.

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