My first few hours in San Antonio looked like this.†
There was apparently an accident on the *mgvflrgl* Loop that had the left lane closed. Or two lanes, if you believe the big red X's over the two left lanes on the *mgvflrgl* Loop, which I did, so I crept along in the second-from-right lane until I'd passed that point on the *mgvflrgl* Loop that was supposed to contain the accident.
I believe the Texas DOT and the local radio stations like to play pranks on unwitting tourists.
Anyway, things got better.
For instance, I passed this church...
...which apparently meets in a storage unit. Or possibly a decorative rock sales yard.
Once I got to Wimberley, I checked my email to see if there were further instructions on the evening's activities.
"Meet us at Ike's!" the instructions cheerfully instructed. "We should be there around 9:00! Or possibly 10:00! Or maybe 8:30!"
As it was about 6:00 and my last meal was the latte I had at Caribou Coffee in the A Terminal of DIA, I decided to find something to eat.
The nice woman who runs the Mountain View Lodge suggested Juan Henry's.
Since I'd seen Juan Henry's in my Google search of "best restaurants wimberley texas," it seemed like a good bet.
"Also, there's Juan Enrique's. I read about them too," I said in my head. "I bet they're related. That's kinda clever. Probably owned by the same family or something."
I drove past Juan Enrique's on my way to Juan Henry's. Five miles into the trip, when the road had narrowed to one lane and the pavement was spotty at best, I decided to start over.
After making the whole loop again, I decided Juan Enrique's was just going to have to do and I pulled in.
Just inside the door? A sign that said, "Welcome to Juan Henry's."
When I ordered a margarita, the waitress said, "You're a club member, right?"
"Um, nooooo..." worried that it might be a country club or something... or like those places in Utah where you have to pay a membership fee and bring your own bottle.
"Oops. Well, I just made you a member. I'll bring the application right out."
So I filled out the application and am now a proud Juan Henry's Club member. And I have the card to prove it.‡
I arrived at Ike's about 9:00, worried that I was going to be way early.
Minutes later, I got a text saying, "Forget Ike's - come to the cabins and bring booze!"
We stayed up very late drinking and talking. The next day was the wedding day, so I opted to tourist around a bit.
The reason I picked the Mountain View Lodge out of the host of options available to me was that it had a walking trail that boasted a genuine allosaurus track. Like I'm going to pass that up.
I flipped through the plastic-bound trail guide in my room, but all it had was names of flowers - no pictures. So I deemed it too bulky to mess with and struck out on the trail.
First, there was yucca.
Then I went downhill for a bit...
Then uphill again.
In my heart of hearts, I will always be sure I went uphill way more than I went downhill, despite ending in the same place I began.
But there were flowers along the way.
There were dangerous yucca obstacle courses...
...but I made it.
Without ever seeing the dinosaur track. Turns out I should've taken the bulky trail guide with me.
I decided to head to the center of Wimberley to find postcards for the nephews and grab some lunch.
And take pictures of the bluebonnets. Because that's what you do in April in Texas.
So, funny story: I was unpacking my suitcase when I got there Friday and realised that I'd brought both pantyhose and thong sandles. I deliberately did not bring a razor.
I'd shaved my legs Thursday morning, which would be fine with the nylon illusion of smoothness pantyhose offers, but was completely unacceptable for complete bareleggedness and two days' stubble. In my travels Friday night, I stopped to get some Nair.
I took a little nap Saturday afternoon, carefully calculating just how much time I'd need to get to the wedding in a time and fashion that wouldn't cause the bride a stroke. When the alarm went off, I shuffled into the bathroom, stripped and began applying Nair to my legs.
After the requisite time to dissolve hair, I turned on the water to warm it up. I pulled the shower starter and found the shower head pointed straight to the back wall. I reached up, tilted it down and... it broke off in my hand.
I turned off the water to quell the deluge and sat on the edge of the tub to assess my situation.
I was naked and covered in sulphurous Nair now clotted with dissolved hair bits. I was running the ragged edge of acceptable timing to get ready. Even if I could find a way to get decent and get to the motel office, I wasn't going to have time to switch rooms or have the shower head repaired.
So I performed all ablutions in contortion under the bathtub faucet, occasionally hopping out to let the globs of Nair/hair go down the drain.
I was sticky.
The wedding, however, was lovely enough that it couldn't be tainted even by my slightly over-conditioned hair and strong soap smell.
The tables and centerpieces
The traditional nuptial salt lick
The traditional raising of the ladder by underaged groomsmen¶
Dave and Kara's son Jasper# in a rare still moment
I don't know this kid or his parents, he just made the picture better
See? Picture without some random kid - not as compelling
Assorted groomsmen at the ready
Kids are doubly cute when they have a job to take seriously
Maisy (Dave and Kara's daughter) is case in point
Some free spirits can use a little guidance
You don't have to be a kid to look cute on the job. This is Jenny, Dave's and Lisa's sister, Matron of Honour
Lisa, the bride
Maisy ate nine or twelve clementines before the dinner was even set up
Ruben (Jenny and Jeremy's son) seemed suspicious of the salt lick.
Kara found the coolest thing for Lisa for a wedding gift.
If I ever get married, you know what to do.
The cake topper was pretty cool.
And I can't stress the joy of lighted things enough. If you have an outdoor night wedding, please consider a wide assortment of things that can light up.††
Sunday, I returned to San Antonio with the intention of having a nice lunch on the Riverwalk and finding postcards to send to the nephews, but was mostly thwarted by the NCAA Women's Final Four.
They had a floating pep rally. Cheerleaders and marching bands on rafts. Awesome.
Too many people forced me to abandon the Riverwalk in disgust, so I had lunch at the airport.
That was my trip to San Antonio. Three weeks ago.
†FOOTNOTE (crossed): That would be the windshield of a Ford Focus. I may be spoiled by the trademarked whiptastic handling of the Mini Cooper, but my honest assessment is that a Ford Focus handles like a shopping cart with a sticky wheel.
‡FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Though I don't for the life of me know what privileges or responsibilities that bestows on me.
§FOOTNOTE (swerved): The only flower I know the actual name of.
¶FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Dozens of adults looked on, never doing more than say, "I wonder what they're doing." Fortunately, they couldn't figure out how to lock the extension, so it wasn't long enough for whatever they were planning on using it for.
#FOOTNOTE (pounded): A quick lesson on why I was in San Antonio: Dave and I have been friends since freshman year in high school. Lisa and Jenny are his sisters, whom I've known since Lisa was 13 or so and Jenny was 9 or 10. Kara is Dave's wife, Jeremy is Jenny's husband. Kara and Dave have two kids, Jasper and Maisy. Jenny and Jeremy have one son, Ruben. Or possibly Reuben. And we were all gathered to see Lisa marry Edmundo, despite the fact it looks like I was there to take pictures of plants and make fun of churches.
††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): Particularly if you're going to have stoned people at your event, because it's something stoned people and straight people can both enjoy equally.