October 31, 2013

Exploring downtown San Antonio

Yeah, so if you find yourself in San Antonio for some welcome yet obligatory reason, a day or 2 seeing the sites with your kiddo rocks!  But don't put a San Antonio trip on your Bucket List.  A full 2 days is about all you'll get.  Try Austin?
Here was our first day:
First stop: the plastic surgeon to make us mo bettah.
Fun house mirrors at Ripley's Believe it or Not.  We look like the Stretch Armstrong toy.

The first building to catch my eye, the Neo-Romanesque Bexar Courthouse.  I love the deep warmth of it's sandstone and how it stands juxtaposed against the modernity of the rest of the city.

A froo-froo stop to treat Dylan to new nails in preparation for her graduation.  Exciting after 5 months of military roughness and nail biting.  AND the nail tech is Mom's new BFF cuz she gave me a mimosa to sip and assumed I was Dylan's SISTER. 
The lovely River Walk.  I appreciated the many sections in varying styles and architecture; it wasn't a redundant THE SAME SHIT for the entire walk.  Each bridge, building, staircase, fountain was it's own individual piece.  Trees, flowers, ducks, the sound of Mariachis, the aroma of tex-mex and chocolate ....such a departure from any city I've visited! 
Ok, what IS it with Texans and the Bedazzler?!?!  BIG with Ladies of a Certain Age.
A good old fashioned vintage Theee-ATER ticket booth!  The Majestic Theater.  Why, why, WHY did I NOT catch a show here one night instead of sitting in my hotel room watching Parolees and Pit bulls?!?!?  Kicking the ass in 3...2...1......oooof!

A neato wall.  5 cents!  AND when Coke had COKE in it!!!!!
I had to stop and groove on this very Jim Dine-esque walkway!  Various and sundry tools embedded in chipped rough cement.  Texture luvah!  Thanks for thinking out of the box, folks!  I wondered if this was just some workperson's whim, or tools of some historical significance.  My minimal research has led to no answer. :I

The Alamo!  Yay?  Way.........minimal to what I was expecting?  I was envisioning tumble weeds, cactus, and the Roadrunner maybe?  Weird, this small structure smack dab in the middle of Downtown.  But, logically, what would you expect?  The line to get inside was looooong and upon reflecting back to our Empire State Building visit that took up half a day, we decided on a couple quick photos and getting on with our walkabout.

Shrimp cocktail, a margarita, and watching the Parade of Coffins from the second floor deck above the San Antonio River.  AND spying Dylan's recent ex-jerkoff holding hands with some bimbo!  Caught ya, dick!  So glad my girl has a good head on her shoulders.  Adios, POS!!!!

Ah!  My big Spanish-Baroque turned Gothic Revival style cathedral!!!   Our country's oldest working cathedral of 281 years!    Beautiful lit up, setting sun sky behind, festive mariachi band out front-yay!-with lancet openings, twin towers, triple portals, and gabled roof, and elaborated with quatrefoils, pinnacles, and moldings.  And the inside!  DENIED entrance because of some stupid wedding!  BOO!  Gaaahhhh.  My quick glimpse of the inside: vast, high arches... smooth... clean... light.  Strength... but delicately ornate with gorgeous dark wood and some lovely OLD marble works.  I felt compelled to dip my finger tips in the holy water bowlie thingie and attempt the sign of the cross.  I ALWAYS got the order wrong....left, right, up down....wait...UP, down, right, left....or left, right.....

First day done....prezzies for the family bought-Mexican jumping beans!-Dylan headed out to join friends for one last downtown night, and I , jet-lagged and OLD, headed back to our illustrious hotel.

October 30, 2013

After 5 months.....

Holding my girl again.  She surprised me by meeting me at the airport!  I was coming down an escalator....sensed her there before I even saw her!  I could hardly contain myself!!!! 

What an amazing feeling to just wrap my arms around her tight, tears busting out.   We had a great 4 days together, reconnecting and exploring.  I got to experience all the things I was hoping to!   Witnessing her graduation from tech school was such a proud moment.  Dylan is now Airman First Class Pruner, and ready for her post at Aviano AFB!!!!

I loved having Dylan stay in my hotel room for a couple nights!  Thankfully she is no longer a kicking squirming little bed partner.  We watched our trashy reality tv as is the "hotel stay" tradition.  She introduced me to Downtown San Antonio and the River Walk.  VERY cool concept!  A below street level river flanked by restaurants galore, walkways, bridges, cafes, shops and fountains (so romantic, I was REALLY missing Miles and wishing he could experience that, too!)  Built in the 1940′s the River Walk is an amazing system of canals and waterways.  The river was prone to flooding and near the turn of the century (1900) the city wanted to drain it and reroute the river out of the downtown section.  The conservation society put forth a plan to put in flood gates, a dam and to control the river rather than remove it.  They were successful and built a little mini city, one level under the main city streets and sidewalks.  The river hosts a variety of "parades" each year-instead of cars and trucks pulling floats , barges are decked out in the appropriate theme and make their way down the river.  Dylan and I caught the "Coffins on Parade" as we sat and lunched a couple levels above the river!

The Froo-froo shopper in me was a bit disappointed in San Antonio's lack of independent clothing boutiques and art galleries.  I guess growing up with the lights of NYC visible from the top of my street in New Jersey has me spoiled!  As well as living in Seattle and spending a bit of time in Vancouver.  Lets just get it right out there.....with the exception of the River Walk, The San Antonio Missions and King William historical district, San Antonio rather sucks!  From the top of the Tower of Americas, a flat, tedious expanse into nowhere. And Lackland Air force Base?!?!  Oh, my poor baby girl!  5 months on that thing!  A labyrinth in beige, so drab it sucks what little natural color there is out of existence!   Meh.  But the explorer in me made the best of it and I had a fantastic time-especially with Dylan and especially from a photographer's standpoint!

 On a long evening run after dropping Dylan off on base, I headed southward on the Riverwalk and Discovered the Mission Trail.   I had wanted to see a cathedral, and I did the day before-downtown's San Fernando Cathedral(GORGEOUS but I didn't get to go in!!!!)-but discovering the sister missions of the Alamo was such a gift!  Another post coming to cover that!

Salt Lake, Utah YAY!!!!  I got the window seat for all my flights!!!

Mt Saint Helens

The breathtaking view from the hotel room!  Jealous yet?!?!

October 23, 2013

All packed and ready to go!

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  And I get to ride on the airplanes!  Heading to San Antonio Texas on Friday for Dylan's graduation from tech school!  It will be the first time I've seen her since June and I can't fucking wait!  We only have 4 days together, but she gets to stay with me at my hotel and I'm sure we'll have much fun dinking around downtown.  Miles and Willa are deeply bummed that they can't come, but we're all hoping we'll have Dylan home for the Christmas if the Air Force would just get her file together already and get her orders....in order!!!!!  There's been a hold-up and she's going stir crazy not knowing when she can come home and when she'll leave for Aviano, Italy.  Such is the military. 

We were holding off from visiting her in Texas to save money and air miles for a nice chunk of time in Italy, but then Dylan called very stressed out by the fact that her biological mother was planning to visit her on graduation weekend, she made a clear plea for parental back up.  So we got me a flight and a hotel.  Turns out, that visit isn't happening after all.  Dylan's choice.  For you long-timers to the blog, I won't go into the whole bio-mother thing again, only to say that Dylan made a choice to establish contact.  Being an adoptee as well, I understand the need to investigate the "mystery" of the person who adopted out and/or abandoned their child.  I did it myself!  To try and fill that hole that I thought would make me a WHOLE person.  Age and experience has shown me that no one...no mystery or absent part of your past can make you whole, complete you, or define who you are.  It's all up to YOU and that is some of the sweetness in life!  The discovery that YOU are in charge of who you are!  I hope Dylan finds that someday.  I think she's well on her way.  It's an amazing feeling.  ...And so has been the fact that I could finally let this part of ALL of our past go from my own heart and mind.  I will always be protective of my children, but this is Dylan's journey now.  I'm just sad that it's bringing so much turmoil for her. 

So!  I'm leaving the weekend up in the air.....I'd like to do the River Walk, see the Alamo where Ozzy Osborn pissed on it, there's a cathedral there so I'll get my fix, shop a little, watch bad reality tv in our hotel room....just re-connect with and goof around with my little girl....and go for a good run or 3 while I'm there!  I'm excited to see the base where Dylan has been living these past few months, meet her friends, witness her graduation and get a taste of her current life.

I doubt I'll sleep much the next couple nights, I'm so excited!  I'm also looking forward to one last blast of summer weather before our Alaska winter hits full on!

October 13, 2013

I got to run the 2013 ZOMBIE half marathon yesterday!

I was SO bummed out last year when I couldn't run the Zombie with Miles due to my ITBS injury.  But this year-injury free, albeit a bit undertrained-I ran it with my hunny, various and sundry friends, and Willa ran the kid's 2k!  Since we have not properly trained, Miles and I once again did the one minute Run/Walk split to keep the impact lower.  We came in approx. 2 minutes faster then the Big Wild Life half where we employed the same race method, and only 15-ish minutes slower than our very first half where we ran the whole thing.  We had a great time making our bloody ripped shirts and zombifying our faces. 

Water dowsing zombie?
At the start we were joined by many other variations of zombies as well as the random, "OO! a Race! I have to look sexy" jerk-offs in their very UN-zombie sexy kitty, sexy bunny, sexy fairy, sexy whatever costumes.  I don't get it.  It's a ZOMBIE run.  Zombies run after people to try to eat them, therefore when you have a race of runners dressed as zombies running through the woods, it looks like something out of a freaky zombie movie!!!  Why the ra-oh, never mind.  There will always be those who MUST take every opportunity to dress up in a "sexy" costume.  Jesus, at LEAST be a sexy ZOMBIE?  Zombie run 101 lesson OVER.

Well played, my friend!

A girl and her zombie dog with lunch

Happy runners ready to start!
The weather was warm for this time of year and the trail filled with wet colorfull leaves.  Cool fresh air and the deep loamy smell of autumn.  An enjoyable run along the coastal trail opening up into beautiful vistas and then into the woods of Kincade Park.  Awaiting us was a long winding bitch of a hill leading us the last 3/4s of a mile to the finish.  Miles and I were pretty much side by side, but about 100 meters before the finish line I suddenly got tingly and light headed.  Logic trumped ego and I slowed to a walk until it passed.  It seemed like a minute went by before I resumed running and crossed the finish, but apparently it was only 10 seconds because  Miles crossed at 2:15:15 and my time was 2:15:25.   I'm bummed he finally beat me in a race but glad I listened to what my body was saying!
We found Willa and her friend who had just finished their 2k.  2 cute zombie girls with their hard earned bag of loot and proudly displaying their race medals.  It wasn't until we where seeking food inside the park's chalet that I realized the medals Miles and I where wearing were from some other race TWO years ago!!!  I looked around and saw a few people with the cool Halloween inspired ribbons sporting 2013 Zombie Half Marathon medals...but MANY with the 2011 ones!!!  There was a hailstorm of complaints on the Anchorage Running Club's FaceBook page, let me tell you!  Mine included.  Along with much bitching about the fact that the aide stations ran out of water soon into the race!  What shit-ass planning!  All these people of all ages, shapes, sizes, and athletic levels who trained long and hard, and got out there and BUSTED ASS to RUN 13.1 miles...and they are greeted at the end with a 2 year old medal from another race?!?!?  SLAP in the face!  You just don't DO that!  Most might say, so what, it's a hunk of medal, but to us runners it's an important symbol and keepsake.  Idiots.  Finally they responded to the complaints and hopefully we will be able to add the appropriate medals to our collection sometime soon.
Anyhoo....I'm proud, I'm happy, I'm in love with my family and I'm looking forward to more...
I felt great the rest of the day.  Peaceful and calm but still had energy and no major stiffness like in the past.  Today, however, my legs are pretty sore.  Planning on making it a snuggle and watch movies day.
Mid-run selfie

It's WALDO!!!!  There he is!  .....oh....goodness.....

Weeeeeeeeeeee!  Wave to the pilot!

Zombie moose joins the run!

Miles finishes with flourish!

You don't have 2013 Zombie medals?!?!
I'm going to fucking DINE on your innards!!!!

Proud little zombie!
Cleaned up nice and ready for an Octoberfest party!