Southern Border Adventure 2008 travel blog

Downtown Uvalde

Dad with the biggest ice tea I've ever seen

Grilled cheese and turkey club

Inside this door is a restaurant full of big Texans

San Antonio KOA

Welcome committee at space D5

Chuckwagon Cafe

We had a nice lazy morning at the Lonesome Dove Ranch in Del Rio before getting on the road. I had looked up Episcopal churches on line the night before since the next day was Sunday and I'd hoped to get to a different church each Sunday during the trip. But we'd been on the go ever since Dad joined me, and after arriving late the night before, we were both a bit slow to get going. Instead of our usual cereal, I made scrambled eggs with sausage, cheese, bell peppers and tomatoes and rice. It was yummy if I do say so myself. (pic on previous Dle Rio post) I guess we got on the road about 10:30am or 11:00am and headed to San Antonio, which I discovered wasn't as far as I thought it was - yeah!

As we headed out of Del Rio, we passed a cemetery that had flowers at almost every gravestone. How nice that the families lived close by and could visit their parents or grandparents, siblings, sons or daughters graves.

We drove through Bracketville and Uvalde and in another little town took a detour about seven miles off the road to check out movie studios on the Shahan Ranch that were still actively filming movies so the billboard said. The road rolled up and down a bit, with each gully having a sign that warned of flooding along side a five foot water measuring post. The movie studios cost $9 to see, and there wasn't going to be any shooting in the old western town that day so we decided to forego it. The man at the gate did tell us that this was where John Wayne's The Alamo was filmed, and that he'd just about gone bankrupt getting it done. He'd borrowed money from the owner of the ranch to complete it, who of course got his money back after Wayne went on to film his next movie set in Alaska (?). Movies were still filmed at the set, and it was still a working ranch.

As we retraced our steps, the Baptist Revival was still having their lunch outside their church although the crowd had gotten smaller. Other churches were letting out as well. We stopped in Hondo for lunch as we continued East on Hwy 90. The restaurant that had been recommended in the guide book was closed that day, so we asked in the movie theater for other options. The women gave me an odd look when I asked if there was a diner around - I guess they don't do diners in that part of the country? But they did tell us about Hermann Sons down the road a bit. It sat back a bit from the corner and it looked a bit like a forgotten restaurant, but the parking lot was full. When we walked in, I felt like I was really in Texas or at least in the midst of Texans. They had a stand with big purses adorned with rhinestones and baubles near the front door. They had lone stars on wall, and every other wall had signs with Texas sayings on them which I wish I'd written down because I don't remember them now. At the salad bar were half a dozen cowboys loading up a small salad plate with a pile of salad fixings half a foot high. I don't know why but the scene made me laugh. They seemed to tower over the bar itself and then they had these comparatively small plates just piled high. After their salads, they had bbq or steak or sandwiches. And they took their ice teas to go in huge styrofoam cups. The waitress asked if we'd like some tea - not would you like something to drink or would you like a cup of water, but can I get you some tea? I myself had one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches I've ever had and Dad's big turkey sandwich was good too. We bought the Sunday paper and got back on the road.

San Antonio wasn't much further and we circled around to the Southeast side to 602 Kembler Rd. Driving through the cities just isn't much fun - too many drivers who really aren't paying attention. It turns out the KOA is just up the street from the rodeo which was coming to town in a few days. Darn, I wished I'd timed that better. I'd really like to see a rodeo, and I have the boots!

The campground was set along a river and in a grove of pecan trees. When I pulled in and parked to register, another RV that we'd passed coming around the city pulled in as well. The couple recognized us from The Lonesome Dove RV where they'd just come from as well. They'd been there for three days and would spend the same in San Antonio and then head back to Southern California to help with a grandson who was having a hard time adjusting to daycare. I was guessing their RV was fairly new, and they were just beginning to travel as a young retired couple, so I hoped they were able to enjoy a leisurely trip home before they took on babysitting duties.

The wife of an older couple checked us in and we bought our San Antonio tour tickets, and then we followed her husband in his golf cart to our spot. He sanitized the dump connection, the first time I'd had that done, and we were set. We got hooked up and since it was still mid afternoon and the sun was out! we got out the camping chairs and sat for a spell. Dad read a book and I read a bit of the paper before calling Sue to check in our plans for Austin to New Orleans. While we were sitting there, we had several big ducks come by to say hello. They didn't stay long as we didn't feed them.

We weren't sure what we wanted to do for dinner, and then we heard over the loudspeaker that the Chuckwagon Cafe was open so we decided to check it out. We were both expecting a building of some kind, but it was a trailer with walk up windows and picnic tables outside. The woman was pulling a few weeds that she had missed earlier and said hello. Her husband was inside and as soon as he saw us he got a bit nervous and called to his wife "customers." "I know," she said. "They're still thinking about what they want. I'm right here if they want to order something." Dad thought the pizza sounded good, and so did I so we each ordered one and they told us to give them about 14 minutes to heat them up real good for us. We wandered back to the store and around a bit before coming back to the chuckwagon. We got talking with one couple that was from Canada and another man from Minnesota. As we walked back to the RV with our pizzas we both commented on how easily we could tell where they were from as soon as we heard them talk... and we wondered what they heard in our voices.

The pizzas hit the spot, and I set an alarm for the first time on this trip to make sure we were up in time to take a shower and meet the tour at 8:15am.

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