Friday, December 15, 2017


As I said earlier this week, my point and shoot photography is not the best. So, I thought I'd share just a few of the beautiful shots my hubby got when we spent the evening at the Pearl Brewery complex over in San Antonio.

And, don't forget, this was just a small offshoot from the main riverwalk, which is just dripping with lights this time of year. If you have never been to San Antonio at Christmastime, it truly is something to behold!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


I shared a Facebook meme the other day that really struck a chord with me. It was a reminder that we are "not obligated to continue holiday traditions that leave us broke, overwhelmed or exhausted". I couldn't agree more. Over the years, my side of the family has gone from giving gifts to every single person, to drawing names, to doing a white elephant grab and swap kind of thing, and from very elaborate feasts on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to something much more casual.  No matter how we do it, we always have a great time when we're together. The same is true with our little family unit. There were times when we were alone in a foreign country, missing out on all the family get-togethers. That's when our friends became our family, forging bonds to last a lifetime, and we ended up having some of the best celebrations ever. When all the kids in our family grew up, things morphed yet again. We started celebrating as a group in mid-December, so that the kids and grandkids could each celebrate in their own homes on Christmas day.

The first time Hubby, the kids and I celebrated alone here in Wimberley, a new tradition was born. The flagship Whole Foods store had just opened in downtown Austin, and the four of us decided to go down there on Christmas Eve to see what all the hoopla was about, and to gather delicacies for our Christmas feast. Oh my, what fun we had! Over the years however, when they added a skating rink and lots of other stuff for the holidays, the crowds grew and grew, until it finally became more hassle than fun. Then there was a period where we went to the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar each year. The last two years we got together here, at the Blue Genie Art Bazaar...

which worked pretty well with an infant/toddler in a stroller.

Next year, with an almost-three-year-old, that may not be true. But that's OK. We'll adjust. You see, the tradition isn't about where we go. It's about being together, doing something fun.

Because the holidays aren't about doing everything just the way your mother or grandmother did it, upholding all the traditions that were important to them back in their youth. They are about being with those you love now, creating memories and traditions that will be meaningful to them. And, which won't leave you broke, overwhelmed, and exhausted!

Monday, December 11, 2017


Hubby and I had a fun little adventure Friday night. He has a group in Austin that he meets up with periodically for photo walks, and this month they decided to do a night walk at the Pearl Brewery complex in San Antonio. Knowing how much I love San Antonio at Christmas time, he invited me to tag along, and we booked a room for the night. Not, however, at the amazing Hotel Emma, there in the complex. It's just a tad pricey. First stop upon arrival? Mi Tierra cafe, in El Mercado, for a cup of their delicious Mexican hot chocolate, to warm us up. (It's not on the menu. Just ask for it.)

Now, I'm sure that all the professional photographers got some amazing shots, considering all the equipment and tripods they were lugging around. But since all I had was my little point and shoot, and John didn't show me how to set it for hand-held night photos until the end of the evening, well, mine weren't so great. Nevertheless, I still had a lot of fun just soaking up the sights and sounds.

A Close-Up of the Tree Above

We made our own tapas-style dinner off of the appetizer menu at The Boiler House.  The cheese and charcuterie platter was good...

but the Buffalo Meatballs and the House Chicharones & Hot Sauce were moan-inducing!

The next morning, after checking out of our hotel, I assumed we would go to our usual Mexican place or Guenther House for breakfast. But, just for the fun of it, hubby used his phone to see what all was in the area, and discovered this -- La Boulangerie

Love these cups that keep your knuckles away from the hot cup. We had our choice of dark or sweet hot chocolate. I think the dark is probably better for dipping something sweet into.

The $14 combo included coffee or tea, yogurt with fruit and granola, orange juice, toasted baguette with honey, butter or jam, and your choice of pastry (he chose a chocolate croissant).
Croque Monsieur
Picture me desperately trying to think of any excuse to return to San Antonio in the very near future!